The Best "System" Pipe?

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withnail

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Oct 30, 2011
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United Kingdom
Over the years pipe makers have tried various ways to produce the perfect cool, dry smoke.  These "System" pipes each use a different method, hoping to achieve this goal.  Which have you tried and what do you feel are the pros and cons?
I have two types of system pipes - the Peterson and EA Carey Magic Inch.
Peterson System - works by having a sump under the bowl which disrupts the air flow causing the tar and moisture to remain trapped in the sump and below the shank.

Pros - it does give a nice dry smoke and also reduces the pressure of the smokers draw for a slower burn

Cons - it's difficult to get a pipe cleaner through the shank and into the bowl plus the sump can be tricky to keep clean.
Magic Inch - this works by splitting the stem into separate inner and outer sections.  The inner section joins onto a piece  that extends from the shank (and is the path the smoke takes) while the outer part has a grill in it to let in cool air. The part added to the shank has small holes in it that are covered by a small paper tube, which collects any moisture.

Pros - again it does seem to work giving a dry smoke and you don't loose any flavour as the smoke is a not passing through a filter.

Cons - you need to keep a supply of the paper hole covers and if there is any blockage in the air way to the bowl, air is sucked in through the magic inch section making it harder to notice what's wrong. It also means you cannot part cover the bowl for that "carburetor" effect.
Over to you - is there an ideal system pipe out there, or are they chasing an impossible dream?

 

peckinpahhombre

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Dec 24, 2012
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I have several Petes but not a system pipe, so I can't comment. Anxious to hear what people say though.

 

martiniman

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Apr 6, 2012
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I'm a Pete fan, I could take or leave the p-lip.

I know nothing about the Magic Inch.
so +1 for Petes.

 

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Sep 21, 2012
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IMO the Brigham system is the best I've ever tried, the design is really effective since you can still pass a thin pipe cleaner thru the maplewood tube. After each smoke, you just take it out, clean it a little, and once dry, use it again. The Peterson system is also nice, but I find that the moisture accumulating in the "reservoir" tends to be very noisy as it gurgles, spoiling my smoking experience a little bit.

 

yadan

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2012
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Central Galilee, Israel
While I agree that Kirstens provide indisputably dry, cool smokes, they tend to do it with a bit of 'overkill,' meaning they also reduce to some degree the amount of flavor that reaches the mouth. For that reason, I favor Falcons and Koolsmokes, which also greatly reduce moisture and tars but allow full flavor to reach the smoker. Vikings (Dr. Grabow) are also effective, but I find they tend to produce some gurgle.

 

withnail

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Oct 30, 2011
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I'd like to try one of the Brigham pipes as, from what I've read, it seems a great idea. Although I've yet to see one this side of the Atlantic.
The classic Calabash must give a wonderfully cool and dry smoke. I'd love to add one to my collection if and when my numbers come up on the lottery! :)

 

jah76

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Jun 27, 2012
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I have two Peterson system pipes, both XL315's. Honestly I really never noticed the "system" while smoking. They both have got big bends in the stem and I still need to run a pipe cleaner through them about midway during the smoke. You can push them and still get a gurgle. Honestly they seem to smoke about the same as the other two Peterson pipes I own. However the wells do seem to catch a fair bit of moisture in it.
I have one fish tail stem I swap back and forth between them. I dislike plips. I think the draw is a little worse with a plip and I lose a lot of the flavor IMO.

 

brdavidson

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Dec 30, 2012
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+1 on the Brigham system. Even when pushing a moist aromatic it still seems to keep the smoke cool. I've never had gurgle from one of my Brigham systems.

 
Sep 21, 2012
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+1 on the Brigham system. Even when pushing a moist aromatic it still seems to keep the smoke cool. I've never had gurgle from one of my Brigham systems.
I smoke all my "goopy" AROs in my brighams, the maplewood system is overkill for drier VAs and Englishes IMO, they really shine with the AROs preserving the flavor while getting rid of the annoyances.

 

erichbaumer

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Dec 4, 2012
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Illinois
I'm a fan of both the Peterson systems and the P-lips. Don't have a magic inch or other system, I'm just not interested in anything that requires replacing parts/filters. I am however very used to the Peterson system and lips because my third pipe, and the first I really liked, was a WDC Wellington that's basically an exact copy of Peterson system pipe. Since then I've also acquired a true-blue Pete, and those two are easily my favorite pipes. Cleaning the reservoir is necessary but something you get used to, and for me it seems to help with for getting a great, cool dry smoke-no gurgle, no tongue bite, they're my most reliable pipes. Though they're both dedicated to English blends, so I have no idea how aros would do in them.

 

4dotsasieni

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Jan 6, 2013
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+1 on erichbaumer's comments -- I have several Peterson Systems, all with P-lips, and love them all. No gurgle, no draw problems, and I swear the P-lip improves my experience of the flavour and aroma of the tobacco.
But, after all, it's our varying perceptions and preferences that motivate pipemakers to produce so many choices, so let's hear it for diversity!

 

withnail

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Oct 30, 2011
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United Kingdom
Interesting range of opinions, which is what I always like to see on these forums :)
The Brigham pipes sound like a popular choice, especially for wetter tobaccos. I guess it is an extension of the balsa wood triangular filters.
I only have one filter pipe (I agree that it doesn't really count as a "system" pipe, but it is another way of trying to get the perfect smoke.
I wonder what percentage of filter & system pipes were sold last year versus the number of traditional pipes?

 

morton

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May 3, 2012
649
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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
I have a fair number of Peterson system pipes, all with p-lips and I like them very much. They are forgiving if you are smoking like a house afire which I can do if not paying attention. They deliver a beautiful smoke if I smoke properly and the P-lips lets me enjoy red virginias by keeping the smoke from direct contact with my tongue. Love the flavor of those reds but hate how they hurt me. I even have a meerschaum Pete system with a P-lip, which has become my favorite pipe.

 

joshwolftree

Preferred Member
I have two carey magic inches. in one I use the paper filters and smoke exclusively CAO baccies out of it, it has to be packed very lightly and the ussual draw tests don't work, I also find myself constantly relighting because of the reduced drag in the bowl and my natural slower smoking. The other works great I wrapped some electricians tape around the inner portion where the paper would go and it smokes like a dream, nice wide open draw :lol:

 

chubbster

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Mar 12, 2013
184
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I personally like the reverse calabash pipes (Revyagin, Eltang, etc.) and find that, system wise, they smoke great. Now if you use a funny bowl coating, I could see some people having a taste issue ;) but the pipes, mechanically, smoke wonderfully. Dry and flavorful.

 
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