Questions and Answers

  • Is there any such thing as a perfect reed?  Only in fairy tales and legends.   If your teacher hasn't had this conversation with you, it may be time for a little talk.  The truth is that a perfect reed is as elusive as the "Holy Grail" and that any reed that comes close is rare and cherished, even for the most experienced performing artist.   Also, the nature of the cane we use, in the form we use it  in, means that today's beautiful reed may change in a number of ways so that it doesn't play the  same way in a day, or even in an hour.  This is why last minute adjustments at concert venues is the norm.  You can expect any reed you make or buy, including ours, to need a scrape or two at some time if you are particular about response.

  • What is your Guarantee Policy?  Your satisfaction is very important to us.  Our satisfaction guarantee policy applies to reeds that may have failed due to leaks or cracks, or did not otherwise meet your expectations on arrival.  Our policy is to fix or replace.    Please call us within 5 days of receipt of your reeds so we can help make things right for you.

  • Why Do Your Reeds Cost More?  Magic Reeds are positioned to compete very well with the prices of similarly labelled handmade reeds.  The fact that our reeds perform better than those competitors, makes us an exceptional value.  It is true that there are machine made reeds that are being sold at prices as little as $8-10 per reed.  They are made by machine (perhaps in China), with inferior materials and no hand finishing, testing or other quality control.  I know that you are not a player who would buy these products because you are taking the time to learn about the best, not the worst, of reeds. The bottom line is that handmade is always best, Magic Reeds are great quality reeds,  competitively priced in their category, and come with a full guarantee.

  • Why am I playing flat on these reeds?   Fundamentally, there are two reasons you could be playing flat-  its either you or its the reed.  If you think it might be you, the first thing to do is to make sure your embouchure is correct-not too loose and not too firm.  Then, you need to make sure you are supporting your reed with the right air speed.  If these are new concepts to you, or you need a refresher, I suggest you talk with your private teacher or arrange for a consultation with a professional oboist.  Reeds that are too hard or too soft might also play flat. Sometimes its a problem with the reed, and sometimes it is because of a mismatch with your own set-up and this needs to be considered when placing a second order.  If you don't have a resource to help you refine your reed so you can enjoy it more, contact me and we can arrange an adjustment.

  • How long do Magic Reeds last?  Forever if they are never played.  Practically, however, the answer is longer than most providing you take good care of them.  They last a little longer because they have more structure than many reeds in the marketplace.  You should expect your reed to last around 8-10 hours and should probably purchase three per 4-6 weeks depending on your playing schedule.