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 Ambipoly reeds
Author: CMW 
Date:   2021-12-31 06:16

I always like to keep a synthetic reed in my inventory for emergencies or for outdoor gigs. I am curious about the Ambipoly synthetic reeds. I wonder if they might be a good alternative to the Legere reeds.

I've had mixed results with Legere. Some of their reeds were wonderful, other leaked horribly and sounded nasty. I hope that the Ambipoly will be more consistent.

I heard one YouTuber ("oboeron") test one and he sounded way decent on it!! Then I listened to Ambipoly's promotional video for their oboe reed, and the background music at the beginning of the video was pretty unimpressive. But that was followed up by demonstration from Nestor Garrote, who sounded fabulous!

So have any of you played on the Ambipoly reeds? I understand that they are adjustable in many ways, using standard reed tools. Has anyone had luck altering the European cut Ambipoly?

Christine



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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-01 00:28

This is the first I've heard of them, so it's good to see more companies are producing synthetic oboe reeds that work. I've been using Legeres since they were first launched and have been happy with them straight from the box, so it wold be good to see how these compare.

https://www.silversteinworks.com/product-category/oboe-reed/

Now, what we all need are companies like Legere and Silverstein to get their cor anglais reeds launched as I for one are beyond desperate for them!

Chris.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-02 11:53

YouTube video (and that lacklustre rendition of 'Gabriel's Oboe' early on):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBHAZfJWBS4

Chris.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-01-10 21:59

I bought one and tried it last weekend. It feels unresponsive and has a hollow tone on my Loree AK...I am trying to return it.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2022-01-11 13:10

I've heard similar reports from clarinettists using antibody reeds - maybe the combination of a dense but porous material is made more dense by water retention.

Chris.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-01-12 21:16

I talked to the Ambipoly rep, who told me that they are working on a long scrape version, which I think could be a boon to my beginner students for whom tone is not the highest priority. I think that the reed would be worth the $120 price tag if it lasted 6 months and provided a consistent tone, feel, and response.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: belle 
Date:   2022-03-04 14:00

I bought a European medium-soft Ambipoly and initially I believe it leaked a bit. Felt stuffy and not so good projection. But the tone is pretty good. Not as good as cane, but totally fine. Taped it up and doesn't leak anymore, but response on it is touch and go. So I would never perform on it for that reason alone. Great for in lessons where my demonstrations might be few and far between and I don't have to worry about a cane reed drying out.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-03-06 01:20

I wonder why these are so awful for double reeds when they clearly work quite well for a lot of single reeds. I have a soprano sax reed I use on my clarinet and it is, for my uses, better than cane because it is going to last forever and is just as stable as cane.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-03-09 19:38

My guess is that the curvature of double reeds makes it more difficult to produce a reed compared to the flat single reed architecture.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2022-03-13 07:13

Purchases two med soft Silverstein. The biggest issue I have is the tip aperture. Both reeds are too close for me.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-11-29 00:58

I have trouble believing that they work right out of the box and sound ok. I've tried three different legeres, two of them purchased for $$$ and one borrowed, and they all sounded like sick cats compared to cane. And highly unstable to boot compared to a reasonably good cane reed (e.g., Howarth Academy student reed; FAR superior to the legeres I have tried.) I can't figure out how anyone can even begin to play on one of these.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-12-15 02:50

I just did some internet chatting with the company yesterday. They sort of went away when I asked if the reeds were returnable. My whole reason for getting one would be that I didn't have to adjust it, but it appears you DO have to adjust them.

I agree likely a usable choice for students who need to just blow and learn the fingerings for a while.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-12-15 23:34

I bought one, tried it, didn't like it, and returned it. It was not difficult.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-12-16 01:25

Where did you buy it?

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-12-16 21:34

https://www.silversteinworks.com/product-category/oboe-reed/

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-12-16 23:40

Did you adjust them? Their blurb keeps saying the tip is thick on purpose so it can be adjusted, which is the main reason I haven't gotten one yet; if I have to adjust it, for me it's no better than a cane one I have to adjust.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-12-18 11:31

No, I didn't. If I adjusted it and it remained a poor reed for me, I would have been out the cost cuz I couldn't have returned it.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2022-12-20 20:54

Since I wrote this I have re-visited the site and oboe reeds ARE returnable if they have been scraped. Single reeds are not.

However --- in the last couple of days I again messed with the Howarth Academy soft student reed I bought a while back and found still too stiff for my altitude and climate (2600' desert.) I got a new ceramic knife, stayed away from the very well-done tip, and managed to get it quite playable and still on pitch after quite a bit of scraping, with the most minute tip clip. Henceforth ordered three more and have some hope of actually playing this instrument instead of just feeling helpless about the reed situation. I had excellent instruction but the teacher who supplied the reeds moved away, and that was that.

The most amusing thing about these Howarth Academy reeds is that they are cheaper -delivered- here in Arizona, than anything I can buy made in the USA. I have no problem playing on them and am not sure what the supposed differences are in embouchure; I blow, they play -- and probably I simply adapt without knowing in particular what I do. If it's in tune and sounds like an oboe, I'm happy. I'm not competing with the pros.

I have a group I can play in IF I can get this reed thing workable. I just want to make in-tune oboe sounds with a reasonable amount of effort. With the synthetics I've tried, neither the intonation nor the sound quality is anything I can put up with, and I have plenty of opportunities on horn and tuba.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2022-12-21 01:18

Congratulations on finding something that works for you! If you like the sound they make, then that is great.

I have not found a British short scrape reed to provide the American sound that I want my students to develop, but the price certainly seems unbeatable.

Dane
Bay Area, California

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Jeltsin 
Date:   2022-12-22 02:29

The Howarth Academy reeds (and the Wiggins reads) are a little different from other short scrape reeds because they are made with "long U-scrape".

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Saaz 
Date:   2023-01-22 08:16

I tried the latest version of Ambipoly reed and they were very very stuffy compared to my regular cane reeds. I had to use a lot of energy to make a sound. Half of the reed was covered with plastic, not sure if that was the reason. Also the "tying" process is using some wire (like on a bassoon reed) and then using some heat shrink tubing type polymer for making it leakproof, but it broke when I was trying to remove the reed from my oboe. Not as good as traditional thread tying. Also, they say you can scrape the reed, but I am not an expert reed maker and I don't want to do anything destructive on a 145 dollar reed! I had to return it too.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2023-10-13 20:30

I just got an Ambipoly Pro MS reed today (short European U scrape) and it plays very nicely with no surprises. Tone, pitching/tuning and response are all spot on.

For me anyway, it plays every bit as well as the Legere reeds I've been using since they were first launched straight from the box - once I finally managed to get the box open that is as it was like getting into Fort Knox!

I did a vacuum test on this reed and it seals absolutely bottle tight and holds a vacuum for aeons, so that's excellent news for response.

And again - it's still a waiting game for any company to get a synthetic cor reed on the market.

Chris.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2023-10-15 18:42

I now *finally* have a source of reeds that work for me, and I have developed some skill at adjusting them, but nothing lasts forever; where did you get this? My experience with two Legeres has been that they sound nasty and are extremely unstable, almost the worst I have ever played on, definitely not worth any money at all and unreturnable to boot. I would only try an Ambipoly if it were returnable. So where did you get this one, and is it returnable?

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2023-10-17 18:40

Some reeds suit some people, others don't.

I played the Ambipoly reed at a rehearsal the other day in the same hall as the concert which has very dry and dead acoustics and I felt it didn't project all that well, so I'll give it another go tomorrow in our usual rehearsal hall which has far more lively acoustics. I was still happy with the tone, tuning and response though.

I just want an easy life and if that means reeds that work in any situation and won't constantly change with the weather (and I live on the south coast of the UK where the weather changes all the time), then that's one hurdle overcome.

If only sax system oboes were a thing and oboists weren't so hung up with 'tradition' (likewise with cane vs. synthetic reeds which really divides opinion) then that would be another hurdle overcome as Boehm system derived keywork systems are far better than what has evolved over time, although that's another topic I have and will still argue about at length in another thread.

Chris.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2023-10-19 17:15

Ok - I played the Ambipoly reed at last night's rehearsal and even with low attendance numbers due to the storm we had, I found it hard work to play at any volume level above mf. Maybe it's more suitable for small ensemble playing.

I had no trouble with my Legeres at all volume levels from pp through to ff, so that's what I'll be sticking with for the duration. I'll keep the Ambipoly reed for workshop use as not all oboes have the same diameter reed socket, so having the corked staple will make that aspect better as the Legere's O rings don't fit in some narrow reed sockets (and the risk of damaging the reed on removal is much greater).

Chris.

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 Re: Ambipoly reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2023-11-26 22:06

Chris, what strength of Legere do you play on? Possibly my "extreme bad luck" is because I go for what I'd need here at some altitude in a cane reed, which is light compared to ones made to play at sea level. So I got a light legere, which upon thinking about it is going to act like a light reed would at sea level, which would be way too light for me if I were playing at sea level. Although I now have a USA source of cane reeds that work, I played a legere medium hard bassoon reed a week or so ago, and I am not a bassoon player, but it was the right strength for me anyway. So -- what Legere do you play on that works for you? Since they don't change, apparently, with altitude or humidity. (Very dry, 2650 feet up.)

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