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Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-10 21:42

As you reed makers out there may know, different staple makes have different pitch tendencies... I play on a Loree AK Royale that is pretty low in pitch, and I am looking for recommendations for a "sharper" (47mm) staple.


Post Edited (2017-07-10 21:42)

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 Re: Staples
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-15 00:19

Well, I know basically nothing, but would it help to go to a 46mm staple? and make your reed 1 mm shorter than usual? Do your reeds crow a C? Would it matter if they crowed a bit sharp? Like I said, I know nothing....maybe I can learn something too.

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 Re: Staples
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-07-16 01:30

> Well, I know basically nothing, but would it help to go to a
> 46mm staple? and make your reed 1 mm shorter than usual?

I could, but that would have consequences to current reed set-up. A shorter 46mm staple of one make would have a wider top than a 47mm staple of the same make. And the wideness of a staple can change the shape cane bends into when tied.

Clipping the reed 1mm can have huge effects on the balance of the reed. Personally, I find it that clipping the reed to a preplanned length never works out well- I just make my reeds relative to how much I feel they need to be worked on.

> Would it matter if they crowed a bit sharp?

I personally tune my reeds to a c#. Some oboes are inherently flatter or sharper than others and need to to be compensated for. Reeds should be made to match the individual and his/her instrument. I sometimes feel like I am working extra to get it to this pitch, and a sharper staple could help.


Post Edited (2017-07-16 01:31)

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 Re: Staples
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-07-16 02:52

Hi CKoboe. Scroll down the list and read my post "Shortening the Stable" and the resulting comments.


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 Re: Staples
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2017-07-16 03:42

Speaking as a practitioner of the American reed style, I would say this:

I am of the opinion that neither the length of the staple nor the pitch at which a reed crows has as much bearing on the pitch as the width of the cane, the reed opening, or how the reed is scraped. The first two you can't do much with at the time of adjustment. If the tip is too thick, the reed will be flat. If the pitch is too sharp, it can be brought down by thinning the sides of the heart. Too much out of the heart or the back and it will never come up to pitch.

I had a teacher who thought that a more steeper blend between the heart and the tip also brought the pitch up; in practice, however, I find that is functionally equivalent to making the tip thinner. How are you going to get a steeper transition without making the tip thinner?

My best reeds typically crow at B flat, but even then I have to be very careful not to pinch with my embouchre, lest I play sharp.

I once accidentally ordered 45 mm staples (Guercio d12s) from Germany. They didn't help me make sharper reeds from my wider-shaped cane. I just learned not to use the wider-shaped cane.


Middle-Aged Amateur

Post Edited (2017-07-16 03:44)

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 Re: Staples
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-16 06:15

If your reeds crow a Bb and still work, why are we all taught to make a reed that crows a C?

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 Re: Staples
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-07-16 09:20

Probably because if you get them to crow comfortably at a C, that is optimal for most people using a long scrape, I find if mine crow a B or B flat, then my reed is likely to be flat - but there are a lot of interesting theories I am sure. I find a C is the sweet spot, but sometimes I dont get it, and invariably my reeds will be a little flat. Ultimately, what ever works best for you is the right thing.

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 Re: Staples
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-07-16 11:37

I use 46 mm staples for precisely this reason. They have the same dimensions at the top as my old 47 mm staples did.

I also find that a narrower shape can raise pitch, if you want to try that.

Here are a couple of unconventional ways to raise pitch:

1. Tie on shorter (leave a mm or two of staple projecting inside the reed)
2. Increase overlap - I know a great pro player who does this as a matter of course and then hand-removes the overlap with his flat wedge knife after he has scraped the reed almost to completion. (A flat wedge, not a concave wedge).
3. Narrow the reed at the tip (Evelyn Rothwell reed-making guide has instructions - it works, but looks horrible)
4. Shorten your tip. I'm a big fan of short tips. They may not sound as mellifluous as a long, gently sloping tip but they are quick, responsive and spritely. And if you are really careful they can sound just as gorgeous as their longer, more languid counterparts.

Good luck!

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 Re: Staples
Author: tgenns 
Date:   2017-07-16 18:05

If you are having problems with playing on the low side, I recommend sticking with the standard solutions:

1) Shorter reed -- either via the scrape or tube length or both.
2) Narrower shape.

If these do not fix it, you may need to experiment with modifying your scrape. I realize this is not an easy change, but it may be necessary if the above do not work.

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 Re: Staples
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2017-07-17 01:41

I would guess that as long as every other part of the reed is made according to some arbitrary standard, getting a reed to crow a C indicates that the tip is thin enough and short enough. (Some book I read--I think Weber and Capps--pretty much explicitly says this is the point of getting the crow up to a C). However, if the rest of the reed is not made to that arbitrary standard, one might have a tip that is thin enough and short enough while still crowing at B or B flat. My most recent instructor--someone who plays in a major professional symphony orchestra--told me her reeds don't usually crow where they are "supposed to" either. My reed making has been influenced by hers, with more taken out of the sides of tip--which, in my experience, is the primary reason for the lower-pitched crow.

I could try to explain with hand-waving physics why a reed that crows at B flat still manages to play in tune, but I don't feel obligated to do so. As far as I know, nobody has a good physical explanation why a reed that crows at C is ideal. It's a empirical correlation that some people have noted, and works well for them, but there seem to be other people who have different experiences. It is very nice to have some rules of thumb that allow one to head towards a reed that sounds good and plays in tune, but we shouldn't pretend that anyone really understands (in terms of verifiable physics) how reeds and instruments interact to influence pitch and timbre.

As far as I know, European-scrape reeds do not crow at a C, and yet people manage to play in tune on them. The American style evolved out of the older European styles, and some oboists like Allan Vogel have come up with reed styles that are intermediate between the American and European styles. Do these crow at C? I dunno; Allan showed me his reeds once, but I didn't get to crow them.


Middle-Aged Amateur

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 Re: Staples
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2017-07-17 21:31 teacher also took quite a bit out of the sides of the tip, to get more frequencies in the crow without it's turning into a quack. Light blow, high C, slightly more air, the next C down. Weber's reed book says you should also be able to get a middle C out of a crow with even more air pressure, but I have personally never had access to a reed that crowed more than octave Cs, and some that worked fine (for me) only crowed the higher pitch. Sometimes not an exact C, but my teacher's reeds were always an exact C. Doesn't mean anything other than his reeds were extremely consistent, and that was what worked for him.

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 Re: Staples
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2017-07-18 01:02

Ooops--I meant the sides of the heart! Taking out of the sides of the tip doesn't, in my experience, have such a big effect on the crow.


Middle-Aged Amateur

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