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 Howarth Academy reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2023-04-16 20:01

I think the question is mainly for Chris, who I think recommended the Howarth Academy student reeds.
I got some med-soft ones (I'm at 2600' and have to have what would be considered soft at sea level) and they were too hard, and I didn't know how to adjust a Euro shaped reed, but would have had I known.
Then I got some soft ones, and they were better but collapsed easily. (Too far the other direction.)
Recently I tried three more soft ones, two of them had closed tips and are unplayable, and one is perfect after I did a very, very small amount of scraping on the edges at the tip. So the three were quite different from each other.

First question is, there is a LOT out there on how to adjust American scrape reeds, but I have simply never found anything on how to adjust Euro reeds. Are there videos out there on this?

Second question, if the tip on the soft reeds is closed here, it must also be closed at sea level, so I don't see how anyone can play on those. They don't seem to be "redeemable" to be playable anywhere. The ones I got previously that were labeled soft, were very unstable although the tips weren't closed.

Seems to me much easier to use Euro reeds if I can find out how to adjust them, because the structure is simpler.

I rattled on here, similar to how many of my reeds crow.

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 Re: Howarth Academy reeds
Author: Jeltsin 
Date:   2023-04-17 09:25

You can find some advise at regencyreeds.com

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 Re: Howarth Academy reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2023-04-18 19:06

Thank you.

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 Re: Howarth Academy reeds
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2023-04-18 19:52

I hardly use cane reeds now - only on cor as Legere cor reeds aren't on the market as of yet, so I've not had to adjust anything when Legere reeds play straight from the box for me.

If your reeds are wired, you can use the wire to adjust the aperture by squeezing the sides to open it up or squeeze it on the front and back (where the twist is) to close down the aperture if it's opened up too much. Scraping the top 2mm of the reed tip and down the sides will brighten and ease things up without affecting the pitch, whereas scraping at the base of the scrape will ease up the lower notes and sacrifice the tuning up top. That's just the most basic scraping you can carry out on the fly as and when you need to, although like everything, there's a lot more involved in it than just those basic steps.

I'm not affiliated nor even have this book, but you should consider ordering Graham Salter's book 'Understanding the Oboe Reed' as that covers all types of oboe reeds and how to adjust them in far more detail. Also see if there are any YouTube videos of European scrape players demonstrating how they adjust them for any given situation.

Personally I'd rather not make any suggestions that could ultimately do more harm than good and what with the ultra picky nature of oboe reeds where removing a mere speck of reed dust in the wrong place will make the difference between the reed working at 90% to your liking to suddenly not working at all.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: Howarth Academy reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2023-04-21 00:35

Thanks Chris. I have tried two Legere reeds and perhaps it is my altitude, but they were totally uncontrollable and sounded like ducks in pain. Glad they work for you.
I'll look into the book. I have Weber's book for American scrape reeds, and am going to intricately follow his directions a few times and see how they turn out, since he lived just a couple hours from here in a very similar climate.

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 Re: Howarth Academy reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2023-04-21 20:08

David Weber was in Chandler at 1200 feet...I thought you were much higher than that. I was in Mesa last year visiting Hannah Selznick (The Oboe Fairy) and my reeds played normally, and she's at 1300 feet.

I don't notice any difference in reed playability between sea level and 1500 feet.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: Howarth Academy reeds
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2023-04-22 03:49

I'm at 2600 feet. I have sometimes bought reeds made in Phoenix that work here, but I was at the shop trying them out and choosing. I'm actually going to try again from that shop (She was Weber's assistant for quite a while,( because a local player is using them and sounding very good. We'll see, but my hope is that I can develop my reed making intelligence to the point where all this is moot. I kind of enjoy the reed-making process but not yet the results. It helps to be retired and have the time.

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