Balance Tone Drone Reeds

Balance Tone Drone Reeds provide the piper with the ability to achieve the ultimate sound from their drones. Designed by Major Bruce Hitchings, and played and respected by thousands of Highland Pipers worldwide. These innovative drone reeds are

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  • Steady
  • Exceptional in tonal quality
  • Easy to strike in
  • Easy and efficient to tune
  • Take a minimum of air
  • Moisture resistant
  • Easy to set up
  • Strike in every time

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Click here to view the Balance Tone Drone Reed support page.

Rock-steady, full of harmonics!

Just a short note to tell you how delighted I am with your Balance Tone reeds. I only played cane before and I have not been attracted so far by synthetic drone-reeds, but I must admit that your reeds are great, rock-steady, and full of harmonics, in particular on my MacDougall set. I will make publicity here in Brittany!

Patrick Molard, France

New piper finds them easier to strike with no necessary adjustments!

I am more than happy with the Balance Tones, as a new Piper, still in the learning stage, I find the reeds easier to strike in than cane reeds and once set I have not had to make any further adjustments. The tone sounds good and fits in with the band (South Cheshire Pipe Band) that I play with well.

Jez Frith, Alderley Park, UK

Lowest maintenance and steadiest bagpipe I’ve ever had!

Taking only seconds to remove and reinstall before and after each performance, this hassle free moisture control system has greatly increased my playing duration with no noticeable change in tonal quality or volume … definitely the lowest maintenance and steadiest bagpipe I’ve ever had.

Robert Watt , Northern Ireland


Reeds fantastic. It’s a pity they weren’t available 60 years ago; it would have been a breeze.

Andrew MacKay Drumbeg, Sutherland

Made my life as a Piper so much easier!

Just had to write to congratulate you on an excellent product! I recently purchased the … moisture control system from you. Last night I played at an RAF Officers Mess Burns Night and was incredibly impressed with the performance … I am THE wet blower and having played for well over two hours (in total) my reeds were as dry as when then started. You really have made my life as a piper so much easier. I wish you every success with the system, you deserve it.

Andy Workman, UK

Second to none!

Your Balance Tone reeds are second to none. I’ve recommended them myself to people here in Australia.

Pipe Master Sandy Dalziel, Australia

Switching all our pipes to your reeds!

We had a good test this summer while touring Northern Ontario, where some of the weather was cool and very wet. My concern was their ability to resist moisture build up from condensation. I am happy to report they worked out admirably and resisted to the bitter end under extremely poor conditions. I have been switching all our pipes to your reeds as the occasion arises. Good tone, low air consumption, easy start/stop. Tuning and volume control in all types of drones is excellent.

Bill Holloway, Ontario Provisional Police Pipe Band

No setting up … and spot on

Received both sets of bridles today and both sets work fine. They took no setting up and are spot on … Also using your drone valves another excellent product. Thanks again and appreciate the extremely fast good service.

Brian Lynch, England

Struggled with previous reeds, playing yours straight away!

Thanks for the four chanter reeds that arrived today – very promptly!! I do not play the pipes a lot now and have been struggling with some reeds that I bought some time ago that were supposedly “soft” or “easy”. I was getting nowhere, they are very hard and even with a lot of scraping don’t improve much. Yours arrived, a brief wetting and they play straight away!! Wonderful! I can now pipe the haggis in on Saturday with a lot more confidence than I had a day or two ago.

Robin Jakeways, West Yorks

Can not believe how great they sound!

I have just put your new moisture control system MCS2 into my pipes and can not believe how great they sound.

Russell Cooper, Australia

Would not put a cane reed in my pipe again!

I put in the full set of your reeds and after only 10 minutes to set up and settle I played Old Men of theShells. The pipe never moved. Don’t think I would put a cane reed in my pipe again. Can you please send me another 2 sets as I want to put a set in my other pipe and have a back-up set.

Stuart Shedden – Gold Medalist, Glasgow


The bridles arrived three weeks ago … I placed the bridles. I adjusted them then balanced the drones and adjusted my reed. WOW !!!!!

My early cocus wood  David Glen pipes are again happy. Your reeds cause these pipes to hum!

Charles Acklin, USA

Every single judge I played before this year loved the drones!

I just had to drop you a line to let you know that it’s official – EVERY SINGLE judge I played before this year loved the drones!!! Several of them asked me about them after the competitions, and one even swore they were cane until I showed him otherwise!

Amy Drown, USA

Strike in every time and do not stop!

I am very pleased with the reeds as they strike in every time and do not stop – in fact, almost idiot-proof as far as the youngsters in the band are concerned.

L Proudfoot, Isle of Arran Pipe Band

No frustration with these!

I am very pleased with the drone reeds. I put them in and set them up in about 20 minutes. It is very different from my previous experience with other brands…..hours of frustration.

Skip Kirkwood, Florida, USA

Playing beautifully with almost no tweaking!

The reeds arrived less than half an hour ago and are playing beautifully in the McCallums already with almost no tweaking. They are brilliant with my nice solo chanter. Many thanks,

Gilbert MacKay, Scotland

The only ones that work!

Your drone reeds were the only ones that worked in my Kilberry pipes! Thank you very much.

Robert Huffman, Germany

Tuned me in record time!

Have been using the Balance Tone Reeds for several weeks now. When I went to practice I did not say anything about the reeds but noticed the P/M seemed a bit surprised by the steadiness and great tone, tuned me in record time. A lot to be said for these great reeds.

Read Elwell, USA

Very simple to setup and very easy to adjust and tune!

Having ordered your drone reeds I have found them very simple to set up and very easy to adjust/tune in. Whilst my views may not be of value to your more experienced clients it certainly is the case that the plastic drone reeds produce a very clear and steady sound and are not as temperamental as the traditional type. As you will appreciate this is a big help for enthusiasts such as myself.

Arthur Johnstone, Scotland

Making these my permanent reeds!

Bruce, thank you for the help – I did as you indicated and after a few adjustments, they worked fine. I used them in a competition last weekend and they sounded very nice. I even had a pipe major help tune me and he also thought they sounded very mellow and rich. I plan on making these my permanent reeds in part because they sound so good and in part because they are so easy to play and to tune. Again, thank you for the help – it made all of the difference.

Chuck Quimby, USA