Boderiou Chanters – “The Low Maintenance Chanter with High Quality Sound”

Close up of the bell on the Boderiou wooden solo bagpipe chanter.

You can read more about Xavier Boderiou here but I wanted to take a moment to give a personalized take on his chanters.

I’m extremely impressed with the Boderiou Wooden Solo Chanter.

I had been searching for a dependable wooden chanter for solos for some time before coming across his newest model.  I’ve been playing it since 2018 and find it the perfect balance of toneful, easy to reed, and easy to play.  

The tone of the wooden solo chanter is wonderfully bold and crisp.  My first week with the chanter was spent swapping different reeds between it and the various chanters in my collection (A wooden 2000s Naill and Kron Medalist, as well as a plastic MacCallum, Shepherd, G1, and RJM).   The Boderiou Chanter gave much more full and balanced response than all of the others with much better projection on the top hand. The tone was more full than some of the other “band chanters” in my pipe case but was still sweet and refined.

Based on the success of wooden chanter, I ordered a set of his band chanters for my Juvenile band and a Bb chanter for a project I was working on. Xav was open to discussion about the band chanter and provided fantastic service getting me set up with the exact right product for my group of young players (and their smaller hands). I’ll do a more detailed review of those chanters later but the quality and “magic” held up among the different designs and tunings.

On the left, a Boderiou Wooden Solo Bagpipe Chanter. On the right, a Boderiou Delrin pipe band chanter.
On the left, a wooden solo Boderiou Bagpipe chanter. On the right, a polypenco band chanter of the same make.

In terms of setup, the Boderiou Chanter is VERY easy to get going.  I found I wasn’t working around a handful of “trouble notes” (like other chanters) but was instead able to groom the chanter in whatever direction that I wanted.  No matter what reed I put in, or how deep I sunk it into the reed seat, I could expect an even, regular amount of tape on the chanter. The F and High G are frighteningly stable making these chanters an absolute treat to play piobairached on.  The solo chanter sits well in the 477 hz range, but doesn’t bug out if you want to push it sharper
In terms of reeds, the Boderiou chanter handled Moulded and Ridge Cut reeds equally well (Though, I did find the Piobaireachd High G slightly more steady with reeds with a more moulded/tapered profile) and also reeded easily with cane shaped in Scotland and North America.  

The Boderiou chanter has since become the main go-to in my solo setup.  I’ve been playing it for well over a year and rarely have to move tape or fiddle with it during the switch from Winter to Summer.  I’ve gotten very positive feedback about how clear and harmonic the tone is in a variety of live and pre-recorded online solo contests and also find the chanter just plain comfortable to play.