Topic: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

In making reeds, I usual make a collar 2-4/64th of an inch in fron of wire #1. Does anybody have suggestions on the function and relationship of collar width and the effect on the reed?

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Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

In my experience a shorter collar leads to more fundamental and an easier lower register. Mine is typically just shy of 2mm. Pretty short although not right on the first wire like I have seen. My collars used to be 4mm or so, but I made a shift to an overall shorter blade and taking the collar back was a part of that. Taking it back, in my case, lowered the overall pitch level as well. YMMV.

Tim McGovern blends the bark of the collar into the blade (i.e. no collar at all) over about 5mm. He says it gives him a darker sound, but I just find his reeds to stiff to play, especially with any free blowing quality in the bottom 5th.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

Experimenting while fixing some reeds I found the balance between both sides of the collar to be of extreme importance...if one side of the collar is a micro millimeter shorter or longer than the collar on the opposite blade it can be disastrous. In my experience...fixing those reeds that seemed to be ok but weren't working as expected lead to responsive, well balanced reeds.
I'm sure this isn't something new, but I just wanted to share it as it helped a lot in my reedmaking...I used to take little if any care about that aspect of reedmaking.

Last edited by Federico Sardi (2011-08-26 03:23:22)

Federico Sardi
Principal bassoon - Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo
Bassoonist - Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE
Studying with Prof. Ole K. Dahl

Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

I wanted to point out that the term you want isn't "how wide" in this case, it's "how long". The width of the collar is measured perpendicular against the grain of the reed. I think this goes for everything when talking about reeds:
Length = with the grain; width =  perpendicular to the grain.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

Of course, length not width is the correct term here, thanks for clarifying. Perhaps my real issue here is that I have always made my reeds from GSP purchaced cane, and I have used the same cane (ALBION GSP from Forrest's in CA) since about 1998, and suddenly in 2009 a batch came where the tube was stunningly short, < 1"", such that wire #1 (which I place at 1 1/16" from the base) could not be placed in the proper location, and I could not make a workable reed. Forrests no longer sells this cane, and I have not found it anywhere. I am almost out of my old supply, and have been experimenting with a number of new manufactuters, and have thus far failed to find GSP cane that suits my reed design. I am experimenting with all sorts of parameters I had settled on using the Albion GSP now that I am forced to "think outside the box". Most of the GSP cane I am trying has more cane left on the blade thrn I AM used to (such that I have to removed a great deal off as I finish the blank), and find it hard to do so symetrically enough to get good results. I am thinking about getting a tip profiling machine.

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Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

I used to use ALBION GSP from Forrest's when teaching beginners how to make reeds.  Stupid-easy cane that required little more than clipping tip to make it play.  Shoulder already cut in, tube length about 27mm, and already scored.  I've found the Forrest's GSP to be similar..I usually have to shorten the tube, and define shoulder with a file, but it's pretty close to finished after cutting tip.  Forrest's GSP does not have tube scribed already, and isn't quite as finished as I found the ALBION GSP.  Both ALBION and Forrest's GSP have well defined heart and tip areas, and the tip is quite a bit thinner (closer to finished thickness) than I produce on my Rieger Profiler. I use a Rieger Tip Profiler to get the tip close to finished thickness.

I don't normally measure the location of 1st wire..I simply place it 1.5-2mm from shoulder.  I do measure tube length and cut that to 27.5mm if needed..then place 2nd wire 6.5mm from 1st wire (6.5mm between wires-I use the width of a pair of pliers to measure this)..3rd wire is placed about 4mm from butt end of tube.  I find the distance between 1st and 2nd wires to be the most significant factor in wire placement..allows easy adjustment of tip shape and opening.

I, too, wish I could find my beginner reed makers GSP Cane that is (1) as inexpensive as ABION GSP (2) as close to finished as ALBION GSP.

Last edited by BassoonII (2011-03-29 13:15:41)

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Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

To BassoonII: are you aware of a sourse for Albion cane GSP?

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Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

I haven't found a source for ALBION GSP.  I recall being told that the guy retired who produced it for Forrest's.

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Re: Do you make a collar and if so how wide...

That explains the vaporization of Albion GSP.

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