i use two practice chanters. Both are African blackwood McCallum chanters. One is the standard and one the longer version. For the shorter version, I really like my green piper’s choice reed. See http://piperschoice.com/products/bagpipe-accessories/reeds/practice-chanter-reeds/ for the info on it. It has good sound, doesn’t cut out when blown too hard and just really hums in that chanter.
On the longer chanter, I am still looking for the perfect reed. I must have a dozen different reeds that I have tried in that chanter. It takes more air to get it going than the shorter one. It won’t play well with the piper’s choice. My current favorite is an Apps reed, but it still doesn’t matchup as well as the other chanter. I’ve tried the Gibson, Abbott, Warnock, and numerous other reeds in it. I even bought the Apps do it yourself reed kit and tried that. I still have a couple left to make in that, but there is a reason that reed makers make reeds and we just buy them.
I just got in a new couple of reeds from the Piper’s Dojo. One Gibson and another Apps. I got another Gibson, as the one I have looks kind of bent, so thought would give it another try. And the Apps because I like mine so much, I felt another reed might be the answer. Neither did much for me. But I haven’t tried sanding them yet. I Found when making my own Apps reeds that they needed some light sanding which really changed how they played. So I may try sanding the Gibson a bit. Sanding seems to soften the reed, but it is really, really easy to over do it and ruin the reed. My biggest complaint about the practice chanter reeds is that I don’t think I should have to blow that hard to get a good tone, but the larger PC needs pretty good airflow, so most of the softer blowing reeds shut down when they get over blown, which seems to happen a lot. It doesn’t seem to be a problem on the smaller chanter. It’s not too much of a problem until I get to the low “g” and then it will cut out.
I might try another Abbott reed as the one I have seems to have changed. When you look at the end of it, you can see the edges don’t quite line up any more. They are beautifully made reeds and I used them in my plastic Gibson PC. See http://www.abbottreeds.com/orderform.htm for their website. But I have to admit that I need to quit switching reeds and get on with the practice. But I am finding that my playing is maturing, so I think it is natural for me to get a little more picky about my equipment.