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First Chair Oboe Reeds

Designed For Players Seeking An Oboe Reed With A Beautiful Tone And Supple Response

Summary:

  • First Chair Oboe Reeds are handmade from scratch and 100% hand scraped.  They are designed to promote a free-blowing, supple playing experience. Their slimline construction is achieved through a combination of cane selection and processing, staple size, blank construction and scrape. They are easily identifiable by their red thread.
  • I draw from my Frejus oboe cane inventory which has a true medium strength and is precision processed for best outcomes.   
  • I fulfill orders in real time, and select blanks from my inventory based on aperture size.  Smaller apertures are reserved for student reeds.  Note: I try to keep a week's worth of blanks on hand to promote faster turnaround.
  • All reeds are made with an American long scrape.  
  • Every reed receives dozens of micro adjustments and quality tests prior to assignment and shipment.
  • My process supports the optimum balance of the four pillars of the oboe reed: stability, pitch, tone and response. Extra weight is given to the response factor. While higher end reeds are distinguished by added nuance which promotes darker tone color, these reeds are generally very warm and forgiving at every level.

Experience Level:

  • First Chair Oboe Reeds are available in student, intermediate and professional grades.  It is a highly accessible reed that can be introduced to beginners after 6 months experience. Players can upgrade when they can manage the increased structure and detect improvements in sound quality commensurate with the higher price tag. 
  • Players will find subtle increases in reed aperture size coupled with improvements in warmth, roundness of tone and dynamic range as they move  up grade levels.

Construction/Scrape Details:

  • I draw the best cane from my inventory and precision process it for optimum results. Cane is sorted for quality, conformation, diameter, strength and density and then matched with my objectives. 
  • Medium range shape (currently  Mack ++).  This is subject to change at reed maker discretion.
  • Mounted on a professional Chiarugi 47 mm 2+ unmarked staple with a natural cork and brass core. 
  • Tie length is 73 mm. Cane is offset from the staple median by a couple of degrees to create extra torque in the tie.
  • Reeds receive up to 2 scrape/drying cycles, as needed. The properties of the cane used generally do not require additional cycles.
  • Reeds are finished with a moderately defined heart and tip. The heart is @.40 + mm in thickness along the sides of the spine. The rest of the scrape depends on what is needed in pursuit of the four pillars described above.  Finished length target is 70mm. It is never longer, and sometimes 69.5 to address pitch issues.
  • No two reeds are ever exactly the same, and in multiple reed orders one will always be best.  
  • Tested in two rooms with and without carpet on a Loree 125 oboe. Reed prep instructions are included.  When I test reeds, I try to replicate the embouchure of the player I expect to purchase it, not my own.  If it is not a fit, I start over.