Topic: Differences in Oboe Gougers

Hi Everyone,
We as oboists spend so much time making reeds that we become very close with our reed making products. For some of us, that means our gouging machines.

While we all know there are various different makers of gouging machines out there, and I'm sure many of us have our preferences, what are the major differences that might make one gouging machine better than another?

I will start off by saying that I am aware of single radius versus double radius machines. If my understanding is correct, double radius gouge allows the user the freedom to customize side to center gouge thickness relationship.

What then, makes one gouging machine better than another? I would also welcome private comments if you wish to not post publicly. I have one machine and am considering moving to a different brand, which is what is prompting this discussion.

Cheers,
Shawn

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)

Share

Re: Differences in Oboe Gougers

I don't have an opinion (or a gouger, yet), but I'd be interested in the results/discussion. Maintenance issues/cost/frequency/complexity might be one thing I'd like to know, among other things.-kby

Share

Re: Differences in Oboe Gougers

My 2 cents:

Single radius machines are easier to use and require less maintenance, and produce very consistent results.  If you don't like the resulting gouge, however, it means changing the blade/guide/bed (if that is an option from the maker), trying different shaper tips, or getting a different machine altogether.  Single radius machines that I have tried and would recommend include the RDG machine and the ones made by Dan Ross (Dan is very knowledgeable and can help you make appropriate changes if you're not happy with your initial results).

Personally, I MUCH prefer the flexibility afforded by a double radius machine, as the center vs. side thickness ratio can be adjusted to compensate for the needs of different shaper tips.  These machines require more knowledge and "hands on" attention, but the results are, ultimately, more ideal for the avid reed maker, in my opinion.  Making and maintaining the required adjustments is sometimes a challenge, to say the least.  I have used several different Graf machines over the years, each one "set up" by a different specialist (i.e. David Weber, Robert Sorton).  The problem again, though, is in acquiring consistency, as the blade and guide must be of a specific shape that is hard to reproduce. 

My current machine, and the one I plan on using for the rest of my career, is the "Opus 1" machine made by Robin Driscoll.  He has solved all the issues of consistency and ease of use by using computer-aided manufacturing techniques that allow him to make exact copies of the blade (and/or any other part on the machine).  The adjustments are user-friendly in the extreme, and can just as easily be REVERSED if you take things a step too far in any direction.  This machine has allowed me to tinker around with different shaper tips, as I can easily customize the gouge to match any shape's particular needs.

I hope this helps!  Please let me know if I can help further.

Best,

Jonathan

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Differences in Oboe Gougers

The flexibility you mentioned makes me think of a stupid question (as a gouger pre-newbie). With the double radius machine, how much leeway is there for different types of reeds? Would you need entirely different and separate machines for oboe/ODA/EH/baritone cane? Or would it be some parts change, or would it be "just a few adjustments". And, if one of the latter two,
how difficult would the changeover be (assuming you already knew what you wanted once)? I'm assuming for ODA you want to use "real" ODA cane and not just oboe-sized cane with a short shape like the DAS shape, and for baritone you might actually want to use baritone tubes (14mm) even though they're the same length as EH. Related question: what's required to deal with different diameter tubes within the sizes normally used (e.g. EH might normally use 11.5/12 or 12/12.5; what's the effort to switch between those two or anything else like that)? Thanks in advance.-kby

Share

Re: Differences in Oboe Gougers

Jonathan,
I wonder if you might give some more detail in what you speak of above. You mention that the Opus1 has allowed you to tinker and experiment with different shaper tips. Obviously, this refers to the thickness of center versus side, correct? If you would be willing, I love to have further explanations of this stuff as I am doing some of the same tinkering and trying to find the best match.

Narrower shaper=thicker or thinner sides? Etc. (these types of changes are to what you are referring, correct?)

If you would rather not post on here, you can email me (if you are willing) Reynshaw@gmail.com

Hope you are staying dry out there!

Shawn

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)

Share