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Best quality handmade oboe reeds are hard to make on a consistent basis. As a professional oboe reed maker I understand how important it is to have a clear idea of how my customers want their reeds to function. I also need a clear but flexible strategy for getting there. My best oboe reeds are possible because I know that cookie cutter approaches get inferior results. My customer base includes early learners with 6+ months experience through touring professionals. It is not enough to match cane strength to response. Flexible oboe reed making means managing many variables to get the best outcomes. I take pride in selecting the right cane, shape, mount and scrape to get your best result, whether you are a student with 12 months experience or a touring professional. While some players search on-line for "oboe reeds near me", feel confident that Magic Reed has very happy customers, in almost every corner of our beautiful country and you can enjoy our reeds. We do leave high altitude reeds to others because they do not do well in transport. Find Oboe Reeds for Sale On Our Shop Page
Oboe Reed Making - How I like My Reeds
How an oboist blows influences how they approach their oboe reed making efforts. There is a range of production (blowing) styles and tonal preferences between top professionals (both here and abroad). Oboe reed style preferences and reed making techniques trickle down to their students, and create pockets of distinct reed styles. I employ the American long scrape in my oboe reeds, which is used almost exclusively in the States. The structure has a defined tip, a defined heart and defined back (with windows).This helps direct choice of materials and scrape. Some players, for example, want a completely free blowing oboe reed, with a small aperture, and without relying too heavily on certain muscles. They have to blow harder to open the reed, but it is made up for with improved endurance. This often restricts dynamic range. Many sound beautiful. That is not me. I prefer a medium to somewhat larger aperture with my NY sound. My actual oboe reed style is a Philadelphia/NY hybrid. I do not like collapsed reeds. I tend toward a stronger embouchure with a somewhat larger aperture and a little more cover. It requires more support and effort, and I am fine with this because I like the bigger and darker sound that can be achieved with my scrape. Don't worry. While I have one of the beefier oboe reeds on the market, I have lightened it up over the last couple of years so I don't have to work so hard. My customers love them. I am nothing if not flexible. Also, when I make an oboe reed I have you in mind. When I test a reed, I test it with an approximation of the embouchure and support system I think you have, based on the information you have given me. I then adjust these reeds based on your set up not mine. It seems to work.
My oboe reed making promise is that all reeds are handmade from scratch, and to order- with no outsourcing. This includes oboe cane processing which is done in-house. This achieves the best outcomes because we control the variables- materials, processing and scrape. I keep our business small and manageable so we can make consistently excellent reeds and offer a more personalized service. My pipeline management is the envy of the reed making community. I have a long-term stock of oboe cane in various strengths, sizes and densities. I have plenty of inventory in every processing level, with gouged cane ready for every contingency. It is not uncommon for me to test different corners of my inventory throughout a season to determine what works best at a point in time. I am also flexible with my shapes which I try to match to cane hardness for darker tone quality.
Best Oboe Reeds Need To Best Made With Superior Cane, With The Right Strength And Strict Quality Controls When Processing
I never skimp on process or materials when I make an oboe reed. My oboe cane was purchased based on a worldwide search and pre-testing protocol. I hedged the market in some of my purchases and have a great inventory. Cane Is processed with professional equipment- including Kunibert and Reeds n Stuff oboe reed making equipment. I match strength, diameter, gouge and shape to the results required by the customer. I am informed by expected developmental milestones for student oboe reed models, and by the product options that are selected for the professional oboe reed models. I only use professional Chiarugi #2 47 (or 46 mm) for all reeds, including student models. Look around- this is not the norm in the industry. Frankly, it is better for me too, because I don't want to waste my time making reeds with materials that will not help me succeed. You get better quality oboe reeds, I get more time, because of fewer failed reeds.I never skimp on process or materials when I make an oboe reed. My oboe cane was purchased based on a worldwide search and pre-testing protocol. I hedged the market in some of my purchases and have a great inventory. Cane Is processed with professional equipment- including Kunibert and Reeds n Stuff oboe reed making equipment. I match strength, diameter, gouge and shape to the results required by the customer. I am informed by expected developmental milestones for student oboe reed models, and by the product options that are selected for the professional oboe reed models. I only use professional Chiarugi #2 47 (or 46 mm) for all reeds, including student models. Look around- this is not the norm in the industry. Frankly, it is better for me too, because I don't want to waste my time making reeds with materials that will not help me succeed. You get better quality oboe reeds, I get more time, because of fewer failed reeds.
Sort, Test and Select Oboe Reed Cane To Achieve Flexibility In Response by Model Without Sacrificing Tone And Other Functions
Cane hardness is a critical factor in oboe reed response and function. Very hard cane is impractical to work with because it takes many more scraping sessions for it to respond properly, and has a high probability of cracking relative to softer strengths. It is all too common for professional reed makers to use soft cane that is easier to work with. It may arrive ready to play, but only lasts a nano second. Frankly, I generally find these unplayable. There is plenty of room in the middle. My strength specs are just south of medium to medium or my student reeds. I invest extra time to get the response right to give you a more vibrant reed that will last longer. My professional oboe reeds have a standard medium strength, with medium/medium hard and medium hard to hard options. None of this harder cane is at all brittle, which is why I like it so much. The general goal of reed making is to use the hardest cane that achieves the results you want with a reasonable time investment. Harder cane accepts more nuance without collapsing, which is why pro's use it. Soft cane may need a more streamlined scrape to avoid pitch problems. The bottom line, is that I am willing to exert more effort than many professional reed makers and my customers love the results. Since I have a very large inventory of oboe cane, I move around within it over the course of the year, striving to match the best cane to changes in temperature and humidity. Expect my reeds to arrive needing some breaking in. This may mean advance planning if your have a concert coming up. It is much better, in my opinion, to need a break-in period, and enjoy a long lived oboe reed than to suffer with a reed that has died in the middle of an important performance. I believe that aperture management is one of the most critical factors in a well functioning reed. It can be managed with cane strength and diameter, materials, shape, tie length, and scrape. The goal is to have everything in place so that the burden does not rely fully on the scrape. It is often a doomed effort. As a northeastern, my preference is for 10.5-11 diameter cane. This produces a manageable aperture- neither collapse or gigantic. This is the diameter I use for all of my reeds unless 10.0-10.5 is selected as a product option. 10-10.5 works best in high altitude climates or for expert reed makers with a set-up that helps manage the size of the opening in other ways.
Execute A Nuanced Oboe Reed Scrape To Promote A Better User Experience At Every Level
I seek a warm nuanced oboe reed that is balanced in all the ways that matter. I make a reed that is capable of accepting changes in wind speed and converting it to a beautiful vibrato. I also make a reed that has a full dynamic range. I strive to create a reed with the right beef (resistance) to be able to achieve these goals. I test and adjust them multiple times in rooms with and without carpeting.I use an American long scrape with a personal point of view, and combine it with the nuanced and flexible finishing that make it "best in class" by grade. My tips tend to be blended, and medium in length. The definition between the back and the heart is pronounced, except for student reeds. My heart has a thickness @ .4 (where we all measure it) with blending over the shoulders. This is not a one size fits all system. I never sacrifice tone and pitch in pursuit of the response needed by grade. This is more difficult than one would think. I actually have more failed reeds at the student level than the professional level. Don't worry. If I don't like it, I won't sell it.
Construct An Oboe Reed With Real Value
My reeds simply perform better, last longer, and rarely require more than a light adjustment, which saves valuable lesson time. While my reed may cost a little more because of how I make them, but I will see you less often than you may be used to - and when I do I expect you and your pocketbook will be very happy.