Topic: resistance and vibrato

There appears to me to be a correlation between the resistance in the staple or reed,  and the ease with which vibrato is produced.  In particular I am interested in the correlation between the opening of the staple and/or reed and the resistance to vibrato potentially created by a larger opening.  Has anyone identified a relationship?


Re: resistance and vibrato

I've recently made a change in staple that has resulted in a significant improvement in tone (more robust, "dark"), projection, response (esp. in low register), dynamic range (which, it seems, also includes the range of my vibrato) and stability. 

I was previously using Loree staples ("standard" bore, not "ak"), 47 mm, which have a pretty small bore.  I am now sold, 100%, on Mark Chudnow's "E" staples (the all-metal kind with rubber o-rings instead of cork).  The gold-plated version works well (gold is supposed to eliminate some of the higher overtones, thus producing a darker sound), but because I am attributing most of the benefits to the larger bore size (the gold plating thickens the walls of the staple a bit, resulting in a smaller bore) I have switched to the solid bronze version with fine results.

I also tried Mark's "S" staple (heavier/thicker metal, where the cork would have been).  I was not nearly as impressed with this model, compared to the "E."  While some of the benefits remain (the bore is the same size), the extra metal seems to constrict the vibrations a bit, taking away some of the projection and producing a less "warm" tone.

The thing that I like most about Mark's staples (as first demonstrated to me by Loree's) is the absolute consistency from one staple to the next.  Always a perfect fit on the mandrel.  Oh -- Mark's mandrel, which is made specifically for his staples, is pretty heavy (metal handle).  I only use it when I'm tying on a reed, then I switch to a lighter wood-handled mandrel for scraping.

My 2 cents!

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator

Re: resistance and vibrato

About resistance and vibrato, I have noticed that I can produce vibrato more easily when I am playing a bassoon that has some resistance. Conversly, if the instrument 'plays too freely' I cannot produce vibrato. Resistance also appears to affect my rapid single and double tonguing, both are easier to produce on an instrument that has some resistance.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University