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 Shortening the Stable
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-06-09 06:00

Lately I've been experimenting with cutting off a bit of the cork end of the stable to see what happens to the intonation and stability of the Oboe. I started experimenting with this lately because of the cold weather and the difficulty in getting my Oboe to play with a CD recording at A440 although I suspect that CDs are recorded at a touch higher than A440 (more like A442/3)
I know that the general consensus is that you are not suppose to do this because of negative results. However in practice I can only detect perhaps a slight problem with stability. But it certain solves the problem of not getting up to A440 'concert' pitch. As for the slight instabiliy it's nothing that I can't handle. The amount of stable I remove is approximately 6/7 mm. Sure beats cutting off a bit of the cane and then trying to reshape the cane profile. Yes. and I know that when you do this you are actually removing a bit of the actual bore of the instrument.

Skyfacer

Post Edited (2017-06-09 06:03)

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Wes 
Date:   2017-06-10 07:17

We face the situation of too flat reeds, but we can't make them too short. I try to keep them 70 mm long or a bit more. To raise the pitch some, one can use a narrower shape, such as an RDG 1 instead of an RDG -2, which I normally use for a Loree reed. One can also slightly scrape the sides of the reed with a single edged razor blade from the thread on up to raise the pitch a bit.

To minimize the common instability or raised pitch of E2, one can scrape the windows longer or deeper, trying to keep the hump fairly thick. Thinning the hump can also make E2 more stable, but could lower the general pitch.

Since I usually reuse staples many times, I would rather not shorten them but you are apparently having some success in making them shorter. Good luck!

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-06-11 09:49

Barry, I would avoid doing it myself - for a start the staple is an extension of the bore of the instrument, so whacking some off this is going to fundamentally alter this and whilst you will get some notes in tune, others will not be so in tune. They are also expensive items..... I would try using a shorter staple if shortening the reed length does not work....this may help depending on your oboe. I generally use 47 mm staples as I find this gives me the best stability. I have noted in winter, getting reeds up to pitch is slightly more problematic so I use an overall reed length if 71 mm in winter as opposed to 71 .5 in summer. Check when you are making your reeds ( I know you make a short scrape) that you do not take too much out of the heart and back, as this will generally flatten the reed, and try not to make your tip too long, but it may need a little more off it overall. My open holed Louis generally plays fairly well in tune, but my open holed Triebert also of about the same vintage needs a slightly shorter reed. When you alter things in your reed style, make careful note as to what works and what does not, and try to alter only one thing at a time, otherwise it is difficult to know what is working or not. Of course, make sure your oboe is well warmed up before you play too. I put mine under my jumper for about 5 minutes before trying to play, and start off with low notes only at first. I also get the temperature of the room up to at least 18 or 19 degrees and open my oboe case for 1/2 hour before I play too. It works for me, so all the best for you. I have heard from someone who used to play with Sidney Sutcliffe ( who I was told also played on a Louis) used to cut his staples back to 42 mm in order to have a comfortable pitch, but I play on a different style of reed and have not needed to.

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-06-11 21:51

Most people I've met who shorten their staples shorten from top end as opposed to the bottom corked end... Shortening the cork end of the staple can change the bore path from the staple to the instrument bore. But shortening the staple from the top would be merely shortening the bore, rather than altering it.

Ckoboe

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-06-12 09:58

Hi Wes/Oboist2/ckoboe777. Thanks for the 'feed back' It's all been noted and much appreciated.

Skyfacer

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-06-13 02:12

The wide end of the staple is considerably wider than the bore at the base of the socket, so shortening the corked end will reduce the choke where the staple bore meets the instrument's bore.

What effect this may have can vary from player to player and from instrument to instrument. if it works and you feel no significant negative effects apart from the much sharper LH notes compared to the RH notes (which you'll have to lip down or up to pitch accordingly), then by all means experiment - you're only shortening the staple so there's no permanent changes done to the instrument itself (and you can always transplant the cane onto another reed or use a spacer in the socket).

I worked on an early '70s Buffet oboe that came from Hungary and it had been altered and retuned to play to around 444Hz. The reed socket was countersunk to around 5mm deeper than normal (and still had metal at the base!) and other tonehole work had been done to bring the overall pitch up uniformly. The player was using it in the UK, so they had trouble playing down to 440Hz.

I made a plastic spacer that fitted into the socket so the staple didn't go in as far and that helped to an extent, but as tuning and voicing work had been done, the tuning was all over the place so difficult to use even though it played nicely otherwise. The player found an older Howarth S5 which I had to remove the thumbplate and add a 3rd 8ve key to make it the standard conservatoire system she was used to, so she now has an oboe that will play at 440Hz with her reeds.

Chris.

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-06-13 04:15

Hi Chris. Yes your correct as usual. The pitch of the LH notes are raised but the RH notes not so much. However I seem to be able to pitch the lower notes up somewhat whilst playing along with a CD. To sum up. Cutting off a bit of the lower end of the stable (cork end) is not an ideal thing to do but I can manage to get up to A440 at least even though the CDs seem to be a smidgin higher in pitch (perhaps A442/3)
When I get another batch of stables I'm going to get the slightly shorter ones (46mm) instead of the 47mm.

Skyfacer

Post Edited (2017-06-13 04:17)

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2017-06-13 18:30

I bought one of the playalong CDs for Schumann's Fantasiest├╝cke for clarinet, so playing up to 443Hz on that was a challenge as I use a 67mm barrel on clarinet and had a Vandoren M15 "13" series mouthpiece which is a flat playing mouthpiece, so that took a lot of lipping up! I shortened the mouthpiece by 2mm as I don't want to shorten older Selmer barrels as they're increasingly hard to come by in their full length.

I did a performance of Vivaldi's Gloria a while back in a church where the organ was mostly tuned to 446Hz. Both myself and the piccolo trumpet player could get the higher notes up to that pitch, but the lower register was tricky. It's alright for string players as they can tune sharp, but fixed pitch instruments like woodwinds are limited due to the tonehole layout as you really need to move all the toneholes in relation to the lengths of the joints so the whole instrument is in tune with itself.

Chris.

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-25 04:23

Sorry, but as many times as I've read the title of this I can't stop seeing minature horses in a shortened stable. Maybe I'll get over it soon.

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-07-25 04:42

Oh yes. I just noticed this myself . Staple is what I meant.

Skyfacer

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-07-25 04:42



Skyfacer

Post Edited (2017-07-25 04:43)

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-25 07:45

I knew it was what you meant, but the mental picture kept getting me. Good laugh every time I came to the board.Not at all meaning to make fun, just have fun.

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 Re: Shortening the Stable
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-07-26 10:59

IMHO, shortening the staple from the cork end is the best way to approach this. 6-7 mm sounds a lot, however!

If you shorten from the narrow end, it changes the diameter of the staple at the most critical point - the point where the cane meets the staple. If the diameter here changes, your tie-on length changes too! Taking 1mm off the narrow end of the staple can shorten your overall blank length by 2 mm, since you need to tie-on shorter to compensate for the increased diameter of the staple.

Additionally, any variance in either oval shape or smoothness of the narrow end can cause your cane to crack as you tie-on - I once cracked three pieces of cane in a row on the same staple until I figured out the cause and threw it away.

J.

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