I bought the medium reed from a third party website last week, and it arrived a couple of days ago. I’ve had a quick go, and I was absolutely blown away by how good it is! So much so I felt I should share the love by writing a review.
I did a lot of research before I bought this, including reading the patent (I have a chemistry/innovation background so can cope with scientific patents), many reviews and watching several YouTube videos. Most of the other reviews were by people used to American scrape, or professionals, but I am originally from the UK, now living in the Netherlands, and a fairly good amateur who is ok but not great at making reeds and would really rather not have to bother. Eventually my curiosity won and I decided I would just have to take the plunge and buy one. I hope this review might be useful for people like me struggling to find information that relates to them.
My first impression was that the reed makes a surprisingly nice sound for a plastic reed. I had expected something really harsh sounding but actually it was good. Many of the videos seemed to achieve a nice sound, but I didn’t quite believe it until I tried for myself.
Secondly it was very responsive. I could get the low notes out that will often not speak on the reeds I make, and the tonguing was easy with all the notes working. The high notes mostly worked well too, with only the top F needing some oomph. I think it is mostly a case of needing to get used to it, but it might also be worth mentioning that I don’t have a 3rd octave key, so perhaps this might not be a problem for other people.
As some of the videos I watched mentioned, you can see through the reed so I was surprised that there was so much condensation generated. I will probably try and get a small feather or something to clean it with, and I read somewhere you can wash it with mild detergent, though since it is plastic I guess it won’t harm it as much as with a cane reed. No wonder the cane reeds get worse over time!
I’ve not had chance to play it in a rehearsal yet, but I like the fact there is no need to soak it. I am now playing Cor Anglais too so it will be nice not to have to worry about it drying out the mean time. I had set my expectations low, with my worst case scenario being that I’d have a backup for playing the loud oom-pa bits in the band so I could save the reeds I make myself for orchestra where the oboe part is more noticeable, but actually I think I will be able to play nice solos on this in the orchestra which is a pleasant bonus result. I really can’t be bothered to make reeds, and the ones I make aren’t very consistent so I really like that I now know exactly what I will get, even if I have to buy a second or third in the future.
So- is it worth the money? My view is absolutely yes! My time is precious and this will save me having to waste time on making sub-standard reeds. If I had made a reed like this I’d have been over the moon so I am definitely converted. Probably professionals are much better at reed making than me, and are also more fussy about their sound, but for an amateur who wants to focus on playing rather than worry about their reeds I would definitely recommend this. Now I really want a Cor Anglais reed too!
This is my first time playing on your oboe reed. It really is incredible! It plays in tune and hits all the notes. The medium soft reed is a little hard to play but I may just need to break it in. Otherwise, it is great and I will be using it when practicing and maybe one day with rehearsals and maybe one day for a concert. Thank you for designing these reeds- remarkable!!
Medium soft oboe reed lasts a long time. Probably outlasts 5 cane reeds. It is ready to play almost instantly. The tone is not too bright, medium dark. Pitch is reliable, once you get used to it. You can get decent dynamic range. Even low notes can be played softly. Is it the best reed I ever played? Probably not. Is it the most reliable, longest lasting reed I ever played? Definitely yes! Now, all I need is a English horn reed! It was "coming soon" in 2014. PLEASE soon!
This synthetic oboe reed has been impressively reliable, durable, and responsive.
I was thrilled to find such a responsive, dependable reed that I can use for practice as well as for rehearsals where I may not be able to easily soak my reed. We play in a church that doesn’t allow beverages as they are afraid spilled water will damage the floor. This reed is perfect. It is not a compromise.
Now, if I can only persuade Légère to make reeds for my baroque oboe, too...