A great piper needs the right combination of training, experience, and ability, the same is true of bagpipe makers. To understand why David Naill bagpipes are so coveted, you must first know the company's uncommon history. Bagpipe maker Leslie Cowell began his career as an apprentice to the famous London bagpipe maker Henry Starck. The Starck family made bagpipes and other instruments for several generations, and Les worked there from 1946 to 1955. Starck bagpipes were widely known for exceptional tone and workmanship. Later on Les worked for instrument makers Boosey and Hawkes, and in 1976 he opened David Naill & Co.
Setting new standards of excellence. Les Cowell's years of training and experience as an instrument maker went into the design and manufacture of his bagpipes. In the beginning years of the company David Naill set new standards of excellence and expectation in the way bagpipes are finished — from exquisite turning and bores, precise beading and combing, to the finest hand engraved metalwork from in-house silversmiths. From early on Les diligently sought input from champion players on what makes for the best-sounding instrument. And throughout the years since, his bagpipes have been the result of the marriage of unsurpassed craftsmanship with the master player's ear — bagpipes both equal in beauty and harmonics.
An unequalled competitive record. When Les started the company in 1976, almost immediately David Naill products were enthusiastically embraced by the piping community. He become known for producing bagpipes and smallpipes with precision tooling and unequalled craftsmanship. Both bagpipes and chanters were coveted by high-level competitors. The Naill chanter became the choice of the vast majority of solo pipers, and from the 1970s to present day, most solo prizes in top competitions have been won on Naill chanters. Year after year the reputations of many current masters were molded on these exceptional instruments.