Topic: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

Hi Everyone,
I have recently begun experimenting with my current 3 different oboe shaper tips again. I don't really have a great reason other than I want to see the differences for both myself and for my college students.

No one has ever specifically said what changing a certain aspect of the shaper tip will do --what I mean is by going from one shaper tip to another, whereas A is .1 mm wider in the belly than B, what will the noticeable result be? Same thing in the tips....and then we open up the can of what happens when one narrows the tip .1 mm but widens the belly .1 mm? I don't mean narrowing/widening yourself. I am referring to when one looks at two different shaper tips and sees dimensions, as on the Westwind Site.

http://www.westwinddoublereed.com/OboeE … ro-75.html

Ok -- let the can of worms be opened. I am less interested in what everyone uses and more interested in what will happen when one or more dimensions are changed minus or plus .1 or 2 or whatever mm.

Thanks
Shawn

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

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Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

Why don't you just get a real shaper tip from Rieger, Michael Kunibert or Reeds 'n Stuff (mashine version), forget about shapers and start making music?

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Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

Marinski wrote:

Why don't you just get a real shaper tip from Rieger, Michael Kunibert or Reeds 'n Stuff (mashine version), forget about shapers and start making music?

;-) Had a big laugh.

--

If you want to try some more shapers, here's an interesting list with oboists that use the shaper:
http://www.oboe-shop.de/fasson_oboe_all … igotti.php

www.oboe-shop.de

Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

I am sorry Oboehotty i did not mean it to sound in a bad way. I just think sometimes we are getting so much into reedmaking things that we forget our main goal as oboists and musicians that's all.

I really hope you find the best shaer for you! I seroulsy recommend you the shapers mentioned from me above.

All best

P.S. frogger1403, nice list!

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Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

I think that, as a college teacher with students and the desire to do research, this is a very valid question and certainly leads towards a better understanding of our instrument, which can only benefit us musically.

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: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

I am going to press further.....

As I go to the Westwind site (http://www.westwinddoublereed.com/compa … ps-27.html) and compare two of the shaper tips I use (Joshua +4 which is my preferred versus the Caleb -1) I see that there is only .2 difference in one area...the belly.

Perhaps I can be more specific: What affect on the finished reed will this .2 difference make from the belly measurement, if this is the only difference in the two shapes? Depth? Stability? Response? ...... Does anyone know? :-) I cannot figure it out. The Caleb -1 is ".2" narrower in the belly than the Joshua +4. Every other measurement is the same between the two tips.

I know this is minutiae, but I think its something we all wish we understood better so we could be more informed in making shaper tip decisions. 

Would love to see research on what manipulation of one specific area of the shaper tip affect is on the finished reed (other than the tip, which most of us know what will happen with a wider or narrower "tip"). Is there any such research?

Shawn

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

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Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

Shawn,

First, with regard to the published measurements on Mr. Hubbard's Westwind site (or any other comparable list of shaper measurements), you must remember that shaper tips are made/copied using extremely accurate processes these days, allowing for tolerances smaller than .001 mm.  The measurements posted are rounded off, to allow for quick comparisons and to protect the proprietary specs of the product.  When rounded to .1 mm, two tips may seem nearly identical, but could still have significant differences in how they perform.

Regarding performance characteristics of shapers in general, I have found the following to be true most of the time [insert "I am only an oboist" disclaimer here]:

-- Wide bellies offer more depth of tone and more overall flexibility, with less focus and pitch stability (esp. in upper register, since the neck and tip must be at least as wide as the belly).

-- Narrow necks/tips offer more stability/focus and better intonation between octaves, but limit pitch "wiggle room" and produce a shallower tone.

-- I think the "proper" search is for a tip that is wide enough in the belly to give you the tone you're after, and narrow enough toward the tip to give you the stability you need to play in tune. 

That having been established, it's possible to find tips within the same "family" of dimensions that give you different results in relation to the specific acoustical properties of your instrument.  For example, you may find two very similar tips that exhibit completely different behavior only on certain notes (like 2-finger C, or F#, or ...).  So, once you find a tip you like, I recommend you continue to try other similar tips until you find the "perfect match" for the rest of your setup.

NOTE: Don't forget about the staple!  Different staple dimensions can and will change the way any shape behaves, as will the tie-on length on the same staple.  Only mess with one variable at a time if you want "real" evidence of what's going on.  Only use staples that fit the mandrel perfectly, to maintain consistency (new staple type = new mandrel).

OR, you could just "learn to play what you've got."  I have an ever-growing collection of shaper tips, and sometimes wonder what would the result have been if I had simply stuck with the first tip I ever used, and be done with it!  For me, though, it's more about the journey, and I always enjoy finding new things that prove a better match for my "concept" of how playing the oboe should sound and feel. 

Good luck, my friend!

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

Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

Jonathan -- as always, your replies are extremely helpful and interesting. I know you make a LOT of reeds and so was hoping you would reply and have great info, which you always do! Thank you for taking the time to post. The middle portion was exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks also for your posts regarding my other inquiry (family/oboe/reedmaking). We seem much alike in our how we approach family/life and the oboe -- always refreshing to hear your perspectives!

All the Best,
Shawn

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

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Re: Oboe Shaper Tips AKA: Can of Worms :-)

Shawn,

Hello again, and no thanks required -- I just hope my experience/theories play out on your end for the better.

One very important aspect of the shape that I neglected to mention, as it could easily become its own "can of worms," is the gouge.  Typically, it makes sense to thicken the sides of your gouge when you go to a wider shape.  Otherwise, you could end up with a weaker seal and/or more closed reeds.  This is really only possible to do with a double radius gouger, where the center and side thicknesses are independently adjustable.  Otherwise, you will have to increase the overall thickness on a single-radius machine, or try a different blade/guide diameter (smaller diameter blade/guide will result in thicker sides -- available through some single radius machine makers, such as RDG and Dan Ross).

Just another 2 cents...

Best,

JM

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