Some feedback and comments from customers over the years.

I’m always so pleased to hear when customers are enjoying their instruments, and are able to get on with the pleasure of playing music.

Paul Chedgey, Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK – Chanter in Ebony and Brass, Full Set on order.

“I picked up my chanter from Andy about six months ago and I can honestly say it's sensational!

Shortly before starting to make it Andy sat me down in his kitchen with a cup of tea and asked me exactly what I wanted in the instrument. I explained I had three requirements, that it sounded nice, was in tune and was easy to fill. Well he met all of those and more besides.

Over the months the reed has settled nicely and it has become very responsive, slipping into the higher octave easily. It's taken me a little while to get used to the scoops but now I find I can't put the chanter down and as a consequence I have added considerably to my repertoire of tunes. I'm finding that I'm playing tunes easily that I've always struggled with in the past.

I love the sound it makes, no words can describe it, it's crisp and clear and yet it has a richness and warmth. It's in concert pitch and for me the volume is about right, I think it's safe to say that in a crowded session I wouldn't go unnoticed. I went for the twist stop mechanism {concealed style stop key} instead of the {traditional style} stop key, which works well and means the chanter looks stunning as well as feeling balanced and light. I’ve been playing the pipes for about 35 years, after such a long time it's amazing to have chanter that is so thrilling to play. I am delighted with it. To boot it is bang in tune.”

August 2023 - Update from Paul Chedgey, now playing a Full Set in D :-

“Hi Andy - I just wanted to let you know that your pipes went down a storm doing the solo performance in Italy. They loved the sound of the drones to such an extent that the Crowd asked me to play them on their own, and the entire audience joined in humming along with them. Playing jigs and reels the marquee was filled with people up yahooing and dancing. Flippin incredible! Thanks again for your amazing pipes Andy”

Ciaran McNally, Cork City, Republic of Ireland - Full Set in D, in Ebony and silver plated brass.

“I would highly recommend Andy Faden as a pipemaker and this is based on my experience with Andy, over a 20-year period. I initially purchased reeds from Andy, for my Cillian O’Brien set, but most recently (July 2022) when I purchased a new full set from Andy in D. Andy has never let me down, both from a customer service perspective as well as the quality of his workmanship.

My experience with other pipemakers unfortunately, has been hit and miss in relation to both these areas, but never with Andy. He is very professional in his business dealings, design & craft and sets a high bar for himself, in relation to the quality of his instruments.

My new set in D is practically faultless in my opinion, and it has received high praise from many pipers and pipemakers that have since played with me. Andy also let me put my own stamp on the set, with some physical features that was most appreciated.

If these areas are important to you, and you want a reliable, well build, well designed, in tune set of pipes from a reliable pipemaker that won’t let you down…. Andy is your man. An absolute gentleman to deal with, I honestly can’t say a bad word about his pipes, his customer service, or his reliability.

He makes a fairly decent cup of coffee as well……

If you are interested in buying a set from Andy, I am happy to speak to you about my experiences – Andy has my email address.”

Richard Firman, Devon, UK – Full Set in D, in Ebony and nickel plated brass.

“I received my Bass regulator from Andy, this being the last part of my full set which I purchased stage by stage, chanter, drones, regulators. Andy has been a fantastic help from the start and the advice given has been second to none. Andy knew what my heart was set on and ensured I remained true to this. 

The pipes, now when I take them out, look and feel amazing. Reliable, sonic, and occasionally when I play I have to come up for air as they have a tendency to lift the tunes into another dimension. I look forward to mastering the regulators and sharing such a nice, authentic and powerful sound with anyone who wishes to listen, not least myself. 

If you have the budget and the dream, let go and take this journey through piping. Andy is reliable, accurate and prompt with building a fantastic set for you and sharing the skill and knowledge he has acquired.”

Paul Blackburn, East Yorkshire, UK – Chanter in D with 3 keys, in Ebony and nickel plated brass.

“I took delivery of my new keyed Faden ‘D’ chanter about three weeks ago and it has already become an invaluable member of the family. It’s beautifully made, the key-work is excellent and it looks and sounds really good. I played the chanter in a small session on Sunday and it was a dream to play. The hard ‘d’ (and ‘e’) are great. 

There is nothing more to say really except I’m plucking up the nerve to ask Andy to make me a flat chanter in the near future. I highly recommend his work.”

Philip Khripkov, Israel –Eb Chanter.

"I have ordered a bit unusual chanter in Eb from Andy, fully keyed in boxwood.

Once I tried it for several minutes I felt it was the best chanter I have ever played, and I tried a few chanters in my life. The holes have comfortable carvings for finger placement, the chanter is super easy to play with excellent sound and power, and the keywork is neatly crafted, it gives me instant confidence when I play it.

I am very happy that I turned to Andy for this chanter and I very easily recommend his chanter work."

Jenny Tabecki, Norfolk, UK – Half Set in Ebony and Silver Plated Brass.

“In my youth I was driven by the musical beauty of the Irish pipes to try to play, but forty years ago unless you were very lucky or very rich or a famous Irish player with a set in the family, you struggled with very poor creations made by well meaning people in their basement workshops and learned how to modify them yourself, and played as if trying to wrestle a wild beast. But after an absence of many years and deciding that life is too short to not play the pipes, I had the good fortune to meet Andy Faden. He is the perfect combination of engineer and artist, which is of course what was always needed in a pipes and reed maker. My set have a lovely clarity of sound and are an example of his absolute attention to detail. He goes out of his way to make the instrument to suit the person. He was even willing, for instance, to listen to my complaints that pipes, like many musical instruments, have been made as standard to fit big blokes, and spent time looking at what details of modification would help (the pipes fit me). There are now of course many good pipes makers, but for an elderly woman to come back into the largely testosterone driven world that is Irish piping, it was manna from heaven to find in Andy the perfect gentleman.”

Jakub Tormek, Oxford, UK –C Natural Chanter.

This customer ordered a C Natural chanter so that he could play those lovely Galway D minor tunes, but play them with an E minor fingering on a C chanter, against his D drones. Here are his comments :-

“The chanter sounds absolutely beautiful! I'm so happy with it. Beyond the sound itself, it's very easy to play pressure-wise, (once I get used to the different hole spacing).Even my wife commented how rich and nice it sounds.The idea of playing Em tunes on a C chanter with D drones works as well as I had hoped. All the best.”

Richard Mullick, Harrow Weald, Middlesex, UK –C Natural Chanter.

"On a recent reed making course with Andy, I had the opportunity to play a 'C' chanter he had recently made. I was immediately impressed with how easy it was to play. It had a nice mellow sound, not too loud and with a great bottom D. The reed sounded superb with a clean response in both octaves. The build quality of the chanter was very evident with very good attention to detail. Based on this experience I placed an order and now own a great C Natural chanter which I love playing. I have now placed an order for the drones, bag and bellows, in 'C' to make up to a half set. Andy has been very helpful and encouraging and I am very happy from my experience to recommend Andy's 'C' chanter."

Colin Mullin, London – Full Set in Ebony and Brass.

"A few years ago, I was playing a practice set of pipes and I bumped into a great piper at the Return to Camden Town festival called Kevin O'Connor. He introduced me to Andy Faden's pipes and let me play a few tunes on them - I was immediately drawn to them.I returned later to the London Pipers club where I was being taught by the great Tom Lynch from Achill Island Co. Mayo with my practice set and told the members of the club I wanted a set from Andy as soon as possible! Fortunately for me a member of the club had already had a 3/4 set on order from Andy and allowed me to take his place in the queue.Once I received my set I just couldn't stop playing them. The pipes are just so well balanced it makes playing effortless. It wasn't long before I had the bass regulator on order (and curled rather than straight I must add) and I finally had my full set and couldn't be happier.

Andy was very easy to contact and was very adamant to get the pipes to play exactly how I wanted them.

Andy Faden's pipes definitely had a part to play in me coming second in the All-Ireland Uileann Pipes competition."

Kevin O Connor, Ennis, Co Clare, Republic of Ireland – Full Set in Ebony and Brass.

“I was initially introduced to Andy Faden about 8 years ago by Cillian O Briain when I was looking to change my pipes from a 30 year old Bruce Du Ve Set that I had been playing since a teenager.What is so wonderful about my Andy Faden pipes is the clarity of design and the pure elegant engineering that makes everything perform to optimum efficiency at all times.Andy then combines this clarity and elegant beauty with a quite staggering brilliance of reed making that then transforms the instrument to make such a full powerful and clean sound.The drones are strong and unmistakable, the regulators are a church organ in full song and the chanter reed is a joy to be able to achieve your highest ambitions or just your simple aspirations.I could not recommend Andy Faden highly enough as a man and a master pipe maker of which he just excels in both roles.

The purchase of my pipes 7 years ago changed me as a musician after 30 years of piping, it allowed me to soar into a new realm and made me love playing music again into my years ,,,”

Mark Kesby, Gwynedd, Wales, UK – Full Set in English Boxwood and Brass.

"I came across Andy by chance and when I met him he had not long been making pipes, though he had been a player and reed maker for some years. I was impressed with not only his craftsmanship, attention to detail and innovation but also his enthusiasm and willingness to share his knowledge. I have had a set of Andy's pipes since about 2006 and have upgraded them over the years from a practice to a full set. They are a joy to play and have produced many compliments from other players who have tried them and musicians who have heard them. So from my experience I am more than happy to recommend Andy if you are thinking of buying a set."

Roger Scofield, Norfolk, England, UK – Full Set in Ebony and Brass.

“I was recommended to Andy Faden as a excellent pipe maker by Lucy DeLap a fine piper from Cambridge. I had previously owned two sets of pipes from different makers, a half set and a full set and they needed a lot of maintenance particularly regarding air tightness. This necessitated costly journeys and being without the pipes. I asked Andy to make me a half set in brass and ebony which he duly did on time! They were a revelation! Great tone and a joy to play. Andy added regs later. I have had them about 8 years and the bag and bellows have NEVER leaked!I play in sessions and a ceilidh band and they have never let me down. I just take them out of the case, tune and play. They are so reliable. I have no hesitation in recommending Andy's pipes as fine instruments.”

Nick 'Nero' Wright, Cambridge, UK – Full Set in Macassar Ebony and Brass.

“I was fortunate enough to try one of Andy's first ever chanters and was so impressed that I only reluctantly gave it back.As time went by and I upgraded my practise set to a half set I still wanted one of Andy's chanters. Finally I reached the point where I could handle a full set of pipes and after talking it over with a very helpful Andy, {he} added my name to his waiting list.Time passed and finally I received a phone call letting me know I was top of the list.Throughout the build (I prefer creation) Andy was exceptionally helpful and co-operative; from letting me choose the wood (Macassar Ebony) down to any detailing I would require. I opted for a keyed chanter and also wanted a "Stop Key" fitted but as Andy didn't have a stop key at that time I decided to go with what he had and fit one later. This was not necessary however as Andy proceeded to design one and met my requirements to the full. As I lived within a reasonable distance to his workshop I even had visiting rights to see different stages of my set's creation. 

Finally my pipes were ready and they have been the best thing I have ever purchased. Good tone, rock steady drones, regs that hardly need to be touched all continue to give me pleasure every time I play. Thank you Andy Faden for a wonderful set of pipes.”

Jim O'Hara, purchased for his son Conor – Full Set in Ebony, Brass, with Cherry rings and endplugs.

"Three years ago I purchased a half set of pipes from Andy for my son who was 15 years old at the time. He was delighted with them and two years later Andy made the regulators for him to complete the set. He was most professional and helpful during [the] whole process and has been readily available for help and advice subsequently. We are delighted with the result and the craftsmanship and care which has gone into the making of the pipes - they not only look great but also have a great tone and sound. I am very happy to highly recommend Andy to anyone seeking to have a set of pipes made."

Brett Hirsch, Perth, Western Australia – Full Set in Ebony and Brass.

"I'd heard good things about Andy's pipes, so when an opportunity to visit the workshop arose in 2013 I took it. I was instantly impressed, and commissioned a full set on the spot. The chanter sings, and is well balanced with the drones and regulators. Andy's design is sophisticated and elegant, and the result is as beautiful to play as to look at. Wherever I travel, I receive compliments about the set and how it sounds at sessions. Andy's commitment to customer service is also top-notch -- since he builds pipes full-time, I've never had trouble contacting him, while the pipes were being built and long after when I have questions about maintenance. Overseas buyers should also rest assured that their orders will be securely packed -- mine reached me in Perth, at the opposite end of the globe, safe and sound. I love my Faden set, and recommend Andy's pipes to anyone without reservation."

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