An unequalled competitive record
When Leslie Cowell started the company in 1976, David Naill & Co. made its mark by producing instruments with precision tooling and unequalled craftsmanship. These instruments were enthusiastically embraced by high-level solo competitors.
The Naill chanter became the choice of the vast majority of solo pipers, and from the 1970s to 2004, most solo prizes in top competitions have been won on Naill chanters. Year after year, the top prizes came home on Naill chanters, and the reputations of most of the current master players were made on this exceptional instrument. Every major awardthe Gold and Silver Medals, the Dunvegan Medal, the Clasp, the Open Piobaireachd, the Bratach Gorm, the Silver Star, the Glenfiddich Championshiphave been won many times over with Naill bagpipes and chanters.
A number of master players have exchanged their "lifetime" bagpipes for a set of Naills. After winning the Inverness Gold Medal and the Former Winners Silver Star for MSR on his vintage MacDougalls, Jack Lee set them aside to play a new set of Naills. "The MacDougalls are a great bagpipe," says Jack, "but the Naills gave me the added edge of consistency and stability that I was looking for." After years of solo and band prizes on his classic Henderson bagpipe, P/M Terry Lee switched to a set of Naills. Even more impressive, Terry made the decision to convert the entire SFU pipe corps to Naill bagpipes, and since that time SFU has won four World Pipe Band Championships (and been 2nd on three occasions) playing exclusively David Naill drones.
What Has Changed in 30 Years?
A few things have changed in 30 years. There has been a worldwide explosion of interest in bagpipes, and the demand has never been higher. Many firms have come forward to take advantage of that demand.
At David Naill and Co., our focus in 2004 is the same as it was in 1976. We continue to aspire to make the best instruments possible, using the best machinery and people available. We have recently brought on the latest in high-tech CNC lathes for some processes. Our expert staffunder the direction of Les Cowell and his son Martinare your assurance of a great product every time. Every piece of a David Naill bagpipe is precision crafted at our workshop, and every piece begins with art-quality design, and the best materials.
One constant through the years has been the firms desire to make the best instruments possible, in terms of both tonal quality and appearance. Over the years we have refined our designs, processes, and tooling, and brought on a range of products and designs that are widely imitated, but never equaled.
Recently, David Naill & Co. has worked closely with Jack and Terry Lee on the Naill pipe chanter. Both pipers are renowned for their ability to produce a beautiful bagpipe sound, and they feel the Naill chanter will assist others to achieve "that" sound. "I am very excited about the Naill pipe chanter," says Jack Lee. "I feel weve made some important adjustments to what was already the best solo chanter on the market. Im really looking forward to playing this instrument, and I have full confidence that the Naill chanter is the best choice for pipers of all abilities."