Topic: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Hi All,

I may soon have permission to get a tip profiler for my school. 

I don't have experience with any of them but I know those who own them love them whichever they have, Rieger, Reeds N Stuff or the Ultimate.

Has anyone been able to compare 2 or 3 of these and do you like one better than the other.   I have a feeling any of these would be good though I am a little reluctant to get the Ultimate.  I doubt I could go wrong with either the Rieger or Reeds N Stuff but thought I would see what thoughts are out there these days.

Thanks, Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

I have been using Miller's Ultimate Reed Tip Profiler made by Rimpl for a few years now, and I preferred the results that I got when I compared it to the Rieger profiler. It covers much more of the blade and I think the big benefit it has is a curved blade, which allows it to get a much more precise profile. You can get different templates to match your current reed, however I have been using one of the templates that came with my profiler and it has worked great (don't ask me which one it is, I bought mine used and the owner didn't specify).

Hope this helps!

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks for your feedback SSeguin.  It does help.  The Ultimate sounds great but I do worry that if a student doesn't want a reed with the available profile then they wouldn't be able to use it at all.  On the other hand for those who would like it, it would sure save a lot of time and produce consistent results.  Can this machine be adjusted to scrape less than the whole reed.  For example just the tip like the Rieger?  Or do you just not scrape as much then.  I am trying to find the machine that would be best for most or all of the students. 

I think Trent also likes his Ultimate over a Rieger and if there are enough who do I may just try it.

Thanks again, Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Barry Stees really likes his too but it looks like it might need a custom template to be really good.  Maybe Barry should sell his template smile

http://steesbassoon.blogspot.com/2013/0 … chine.html

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Another option is the tip profiler by Giorgio Versiglia.  The easily interchanged templates are very affordable plus he has many templates to choose from. Website is: www.andanterondo.com

I like the versatility of the Rieger machine if several people are finishing reeds. Would machines that custom finish the entire reed be "easily" adjustable for reeds with different blade lengths?

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks very much, Dale.  You make a very good point about the machine needing to be easily adjustable.  I'll take a look at the Versiglia.  I think I read that the Reeds N Stuff one is easily adjustable too.  So much to consider and I don't want to make a regrettable decision.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

I have a TA tipper that I really love, I think the end result is similar to the ultimate tipper. My TA like the Miller machine will tip a larger amount of the reed than the Rieger, which I like. With my TA the only complaint people have had about the longer scrape is if you have a very round tube, with a lot if arch, the tipper will take more out if the back of the reed. I make a fairly fat, and flat tube and make sure I close my reeds before tipping them to prevent gouging the reed and rarely have any problems. I have a template that leaves a spine, which was a standard. Miller has one like it and another (even? ), scrape. I think he was selling both with the machine at the idrs in Ohio. TA seems to be inactive and had long wait periods with customers when they were active, Miller on the other hand is quite reliable. The other company looks good too, andanterondo, I am curious as to what percent the tipper scrapes, it seem that they have many templates. Reeds and stuff and Rieger both make quality tools, I do not think you can go wrong with any machine. Good luck! Steve

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Crusty Curmudgeon writing here: If you are purchasing a tip profiler (or other precise reed machine for use at a school) consider one that is hardy enough to withstand use by students with different reed-making and manual abilities. A delicate machine or one requiring careful re-setting may not be the best choice.

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

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Good point Chris! Whatever you get, make sure you purchase extra blades and have an extensive tutorial for each student. Each machine has it's own slight difference in technique. My machine will tear off the corners of the reeds if they are dry or if you are pressing too hard or start from the sides.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks Steve and Chris!  Tough decisions for me, but anything will be better than what we have now.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

I agree with Chris about this and want to add that sharpening and changing the blade becomes a bigger issue
when you have several people using one machine. A machine like the Rieger makes this easier but it always
requires patience to get this right. I prefer the blade that has the slot and screw adjustment like the Rieger.

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks Dale.  The Rieger does sound like a safe bet.  Do you know if the blades are carbide like some regular profilers or do the blades require regular sharpening.  Then I wonder how easy that is to do yourself or do you send it off.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

The simple way to do it is just to sharpen the back (flat side, no bevel) when it starts to leave a little roughness to the surface of the reed tip. If you know of a good local machinist, get it sharpened with a surface grinder when the blade is really dull. There are some small jigs available for sharpening these types of blades by hand but you can't get the accuracy of a surface grinder with them. I do, however, like the Richard Kell honing guide for small blades when the blade just needs a touch-up sharpening.

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Kent Moore wrote:

Thanks for your feedback SSeguin.  It does help.  The Ultimate sounds great but I do worry that if a student doesn't want a reed with the available profile then they wouldn't be able to use it at all.  On the other hand for those who would like it, it would sure save a lot of time and produce consistent results.  Can this machine be adjusted to scrape less than the whole reed.  For example just the tip like the Rieger?  Or do you just not scrape as much then.  I am trying to find the machine that would be best for most or all of the students. 

I think Trent also likes his Ultimate over a Rieger and if there are enough who do I may just try it.

Thanks again, Kent


Kent,

The machine is very customizable. You can have the machine scrape as little or as much on the reed as you like. I typically leave a little room right at the back and finish that myself as I find the first wire tends to interfere. I could always mess with the first wire, but I find it's much easier just to hand scrape back there. As far as templates go, last I talked to Trent he is using one of the standard templates that came with the machine. They are really nice templates.

I tend to agree with everyone though, you really can't go wrong with any tip profiler. Hope this helps!

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks for your advice, Dale. 

SSeguin, this is such a hard decision for me.  Yes each would be nice to have.  I sure wish I could try them all but even then ideally you would have to work with each for some time to get a good feel for it and try out the adjustments.  I don't have to make an immediate decision and it is not even final that I will get one.  If you know how universities and budgets are, in the end I might get nothing smile

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Maybe see what Justin Miller would charge to tip some of your blanks. Send him a good finished reed as a reference and ask for a tip from each machine and/or variation available. He might not offer it, but it might be worth asking. - Steve

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Steve, not a bad idea there.  Would be time consuming (very low on blanks at the moment) but it would show me the different scrapes among the various setups.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

I've been using the same Rieger tip profiler for over 30 years.  I think I've sharpened the blade on it three times and it keeps on working.  This is a "custom" machine made with some of my reeds used as patterns for the profile.  Rieger is a tried and true company and makes very strong, well made, long lasting machines.  I can't recommend them enough.

Bob Williams

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Dear Kent,
I have been using a Rieger Tip profiler (which I bought from Bob Williams!) for at least 20 years and I love it. I initially used their standard pattern block for a while and customized the profile by using tape to increase the spine area thickness. Eventually I had Rieger make a new pattern block for me with a more radical spine and thinner channels, based on sending them a finished reed to copy.

You asked a question about limiting the distance that the machine cuts which I'm not sure anyone has answered it yet. You can add spacers to limit the travel of the blade carriage (or for that matter remove spacers to allow the machine to cut further into the blade if you want). On my Rieger (I would imagine you could do the same thing on any tip profiler) you would add the spacers on the right side of the rod in front of the leather washers. I use Grolsch type rubber washers (from Grolsch ale), but anything to add space will do. I cut the washers so I can slip them on or off without dismantling the machine. By having 5 or six of these washers you can limit the machine even to only a fine adjustment to the last mm at the tip if you want (or anywhere in between). Additionally you can push the reed slightly beyond the index mark to take slightly more cane from the very tip area since the taper continues slightly past the index line.

The beauty of these machines is that you can have several types of pattern blocks for different reed styles. From my experience on the Rieger, you can swap out the pattern blocks in a few minutes.

Let me know if you want to me send you a photo of what I'm taking about concerning the washers and limiting the blade travel. The Rieger is an amazingly flexible machine which can be customized with different pattern blocks or by modifying the blocks with tape or expanding or limiting the area it treats by adding or subtracting the leather or rubber washers. I have found a really amazing tape to customize the patterns which is made of thin 5/1000" aluminum which is used for taping ductwork together and works wonderfully. You can get it at a good hardware store.

I hope this helps,
All best,
Eric Arbiter
Associate Principal Bassoon, Houston Symphony

Share

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks very much, Eric.  That is very helpful.  I sure hope I will get a tip profiler.  Our director in the School of Music has finally found a space for a reed room after many years and while not perfect it is a start.  He is also willing to buy some tools for the room but we will see if he follows through.  It is a lot of money for a school that doesn't have a lot.  Thanks again for all of your advice.  I am thinking the Rieger is probably the safest one to get, though probably all of them would be great to have.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Which Bassoon Reed Tip Profiler

Thanks Bob.  These machines last a long time and that is perfect for a school of music.  I will have to instruct them to take care of it though.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University