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 Trialing oboes with the same reeds
Author: Oboe? 
Date:   2019-01-05 04:45

Quickly, as this is my first posting, I'm an amateur oboist who hasn't played with any consistency for 17 years. Started in the 7th grade, took a 4 year break during the Navy, picked it back up for University, and that was 17 years go.

I've been playing again on my trusty 1989 Renard Fox Artist model, lol. My teacher recently passed, and his memorial service got me thinking about the oboe again, and I want to pick it back up, only maybe I'd like to pick up a different one.

Reading these boards and various blogs about the different makers and the vastly different impressions players have over these makers, coupled with the understanding I've come to have via these same boards/blogs regarding how specific instruments have specific reed needs, I had a wondering, which I wanted to ask about before I start any oboe trials myself.

From what I gather reading around, which is something I didn't even think about before now, but it makes sense, is that a reed that sounds amazing on one instrument won't quite work for another. Since I don't make my own reeds, despite my teacher's best efforts when I was younger, I'll be relying on the reeds made by others, for the time being, at least.

To get to the point, I'm worried that whatever reeds I have at the time I get in the trial oboes will end up deciding which oboe I choose, and I don't want that. So, how can I avoid that situation? I don't want to choose a Loree Royal just because the reeds I happen to have at the time happen to be better suited for that oboe than say the Laubin or Howarth I'm trying, when if I had a reed suitably matched for each oboe, I would choose something different.

Is this a real concern I'm having, or am I making something more difficult than it is? Surely wouldn't be the first time, says my wife.

Post Edited (2019-01-05 04:47)

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 Re: Trialing oboes with the same reeds
Author: mschmidt 
Date:   2019-01-05 10:04

Find another teacher player who is willing to try out the instruments, and pay them if necessary. I did that when I was getting back into playing more and I'm glad I did. I was used to sounding like I did on my previous oboes--which wasn't necessarily where I needed to go. It's not just about the reeds. More experienced players--pros if you can find them--can sense an instruments possibilities better than amateurs just picking up the instrument after an hiatus.

(That said, I was able to pick out a pretty good English horn on my own, even though I hadn't played English horn before. I could tell what the not-so-great ones were, and the Lorée I ended up with turned out to be about as good as I could have hoped for. I was, perhaps, lucky.)


Still an Amateur, but not really middle-aged anymore

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 Re: Trialing oboes with the same reeds
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2019-01-07 22:31

"his memorial service got me thinking about the oboe again, and I want to pick it back up, only maybe I'd like to pick up a different one."

My question is why do you want a new instrument? Are you dissatisfied with how the Renard plays or sounds? If so, maybe your reeds are the problem rather than the instrument. Maybe you should have a pro play your Renard and tell you what they think. Maybe you will like how it sounds when played by a good player with good reeds.

Maybe you need to try new reeds from different reed makers. There are dozens of different styles available.

If you want to get a new horn just to get one or for a change of pace, then that is up to you. But if you are now dissatisfied with your Renard when you never used to be, maybe it's the fault of your current reeds.

The other thing you might consider is to take lessons on how to adjust the reeds that you buy. My students almost never get perfectly playable reeds from reedmakers, and all their reeds need to be adjusted by me to play at their best.

Bay Area, California

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 Re: Trialing oboes with the same reeds
Author: Oboe? 
Date:   2019-01-07 22:51

Mschmidt/Hotboy, thanks for those replies.

I definitely think having someone other than me try out the one's I'm considering with instrument-specific adjusted reeds is a great idea.

As for why I'm looking for a different oboe, there are several reasons. My son (9 years old) has shown some interest, and I think having the option of passing down my first to him makes sense, plus I'm fortunate to be in a financial position now to pick out something myself, and the process is an exciting and entertaining one, so far.

I, indeed, plan on learning reed-making/adjusting, as best as the time I have to give it allows.

I did just get word today that the wife of my late teacher has quite a bit of Oboe-related items for which she needs to find home (reed tools, etc.), including his Loree Royal oboe, so I'm certainly going to see about that this week, but I still want to try a Howarth, Laubin, and maybe a Rigoutat (my english horn is a Rigoutat from 1970 in wonderful condition).

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