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oboe reeds

Reed Monkey Oboe Reeds

Best Oboe Reeds For Players Seeking A Free-Blowing Response With Consistently High Quality


  • Reed Monkey Oboe Reeds are handmade from scratch. They are crafted using my own Headstart Reeds that feature a light custom profiled scrape.  I have been successful in achieving outstanding results by: drawing on cane that responds very well to profiling (not all cane does); applying the right profile with moderation; and, using expert skills to hand finish them to the highest standards.
  • I offer this reed for four reasons. 1) the reeds play great, 2) they are  differentiated from my other reeds in terms of tone quality and playability in ways that are very pleasing to me, 3) some customers prefer the extra consistency across orders that these reeds offer, and  4) I wanted to add a brand at a somewhat lower price for the budget conscious buyer, and this is one way to get there. The truth is that these are just as complex and time intensive as my other reeds and they are in no way inferior-just different.
  • These reeds feature an American scrape with somewhat more blending between the parts than my other models- but always with enough definition to achieve desired results.
  • Every reed receives dozens of micro adjustments and quality tests prior to assignment and shipment.
  • Reeds are made with the same professional materials as my other brands. 
  • My process supports the optimum balance of the four pillars of the oboe reed: stability, pitch, tone and response. Extra weight is given the consistency and response factors. 

Experience Level:

  • Reed Monkey Oboe Reeds are available in student, intermediate and professional grades.  Student reed customers can do fine without the aid of a private teacher. Others will enjoy these reeds with developing to advanced embouchures. Players will benefit from an upgrade when they can manage increased structure and detect improvements in sound quality.
  • Players seeking extra warmth, roundness of tone, and somewhat larger aperture sizes will find them with upgrades within the brand.
  • Players seeking the most structure/definition and expression are invited to explore the Magic Reed brand. Those seeking 100% hand scraping with extra warmth and playability can find it in the First Chair brand.

Construction/Scrape Details:

  • I draw the best somewhat harder cane from my inventory and is precision processed for optimum results. Cane is sorted for quality, conformation, diameter, strength and density and then matched with my objectives. Don't be afraid of harder cane. In this case it is just what is needed to get the maximum benefit from the hybrid scrape.
  • Medium range shape (currently  Mack ++).  
  • 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. 
  • Reeds are finished with a defined heart and tip. They have a blended mid section. The heart is a little thicker than my other models. 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.

Note: I am blessed with an incredible inventory of oboe cane that has been acquired in large batches since 2015.  They originate from three different regions of France- Var, Avignon and Frejus (my Select cane is sourced outside of France).  Each is highly capable, but achieve subtle differences in tone color, response and other attributes.  I have found there there is enough of a difference to separate them by oboe cane brand. Of course, great reeds cannot be cloned, and there will always be some differences from one reed to another (even within a brand that manages materials). This improves consistency across orders.