THERE are more than enough synthetic reeds on the market these days so something new and hoping to capture its share of that lucrative market has to have something of an edge.
On first sight the box from Hoggan Reeds in Kirkcaldy appeared to have that something.
Many pipers have difficulty in getting modern reeds to tune high on their drone tops but low tuning is generally accepted as a concession to steadiness and the ease of management that modern reeds offer. In contrast Hoggan Reeds new Legato reeds are much thinner in the tube body than the vast majority of other similar type reeds which should result in a higher tuning position
because of the changed pitch dynamic. And it does. It also seems to lack nothing in steadiness and ‘lockability’. That has perhaps something also due to the thinner body allowing the air column a bit more space before being pushed northwards to the drone tops.
The Hoggans Legato pitching is operated by means of a screw at the base of the reed body, which is perhaps the most popular method on the market, and it also offered excellent adjustment on the sample set I reviewed. The range between tenor and bass sound was also good and the overall sound produced a nice tone which is sometimes sadly lacking in synthetics.
At about £40 a set the Hoggan Legatos also offer outstanding value and in reality they could find a much higher retail price.
Well made, looking good and most important of all - pitching which allows for a much more refined drone sound.