A very limited number of Premier model instruments will be available.
After winning the Gold Medal playing my Atherton MacDougall drones, I didn't think I would ever play any other instrument. But a few years later I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play a set of Atherton Premiers and could make a direct comparison between the two under a variety of conditions. The Premiers had the same features I loved in my MacDougalls -- ease of tuning, rock-solid stability, air efficiency and a warm, seamless tone -- and a little something extra. Incredibly, I found the Premiers even slightly easier to 'lock-in', and once tuned their staying power is like no other pipe I have ever played. They produce a bright, room-filling yet smooth sound with a bit more bass presence. My Atherton Premiers are now my No. 1 set.
Alan Bevan -- SFU Pipe Band
One of the great joys of piping is the peak experience of playing when the fullness and resonance of your bagpipe sound is at its full potential. This rock solid steadiness of drone sound is regularly achievable with the superbly designed and crafted Atherton Premier bagpipe. I also own a set of the Atherton MacDougalls -- which were the best pipes I had ever played, until I got my Atherton Premiers. The Atherton MacDougalls are incredible pipes, but the Atherton Premiers are just better. My Atherton Premiers are without a doubt the greatest set of drones I've ever played. In every way, they exceed every other set I've played: stability vs. pressure changes, stability over time, fullness of tone, ease of use with different types of reeds, ease of tuning. When I play my Atherton Premiers, I have 100% confidence I can get them in tune and that they will stay in tune for the duration of my performance. I believe the secret of the pipes is not just Dave's proprietary design, but also the execution of his design through his high personal standards for quality of craftsmanship, unsurpassed quality of materials, and exacting quality control measures.
Jori Chisholm -- Bagpiplessons.com
I am lucky to own a few sets of vintage pipes, including Lawries, Robertsons, and Gavin MacDougalls, all of which now have been replaced by my Atherton Premiers. After playing my Premiers exclusively for about eight months, I recently played my full ivory circa 1948 Robertsons and I was amazed at the difference in tone. The Premiers were smooth, rich, warm and perfectly blended. No tenors, no bass, just sound. Each of the vintage pipes I own can be described as bass dominant, or tenor dominant, but the Premiers have what can only be described as a perfect blend. And the stability is amazing. There is very little variation. Once in tune, they just stay in tune. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is amazing. Every single tiny detail is meticulously thought out.
Burton N. Stodghill M.D.
I just wanted to tell you again how amazing your pipes are! The testimonials on your website as well as others I have read do not come close to describing the brillance of the drones and the superb quality and craftsmanship of your pipes. Your pipes are the Bentley of bagpipes. As the Rocket drone reeds are settling in the one drone sound is truly haunting. I have never experienced this before! I have vintage Henderson, Hardie, Macpherson and Lawrie pipes that do not remotely come close to the brillance your Premier pipes produce.
Bill McFarlane P/M Ft. Lauderdale Highlanders
Dear Mr Atherton,
Belated thanks to you for the pipes. It took me a while to finally perfect the configuration of the pipes and they do not disappoint. The degree of steadiness that your pipes exhibits, exceeded what I thought was possible for African Blackwood. Your pipes are simply unbeatable by any other makes in terms of steadiness or timbre, and they are sounding ever better everyday! I find that the fancy brass-lined blowpipe helps condense moisture and so the drones remain dry even after long hours of playing. The same as any other musical instruments (e.g. piano or violin), a better one let the player realises his own deficiency in skill because it allows the player to do stuff that is more technically demanding and makes any blips or imperfection in the playing clearly discernible. This is what I find when I play your set of pipes. It is literally a humbling experience to play them, which I shall never want to part with!
I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to tell you that I've been playing your Atherton Premiers on a regular basis now. They are just the most steady pipe I have ever played. Plus they stay in tune for long periods of time. I'm not sure how you did it but you have perfected the design of the bagpipe. They are worth every penny I paid for them. There can't be anything that plays better than this instrument.