Topic: Bassoon Profiler for University use

Hi all,
I am interested in finding out what profilers people are using for university read room use. My students currently have available a Rieger profiler and an MD profiler for their use. I find that the Rieger profiler seems to go out of adjustment rather quickly even though no one seems to be touching any of the adjustments and the MD either is too heavy or, when set lower, tears apart cane at the tip of the reed with no happy in-between setting. I like both machines but can't seem to get good long-term results with multiple students using these machines. Does anyone have any similar experiences and, if so, what have you done to remedy those problems?

Many thanks,
Laura Najarian


Re: Bassoon Profiler for University use

I saw this message has no replies, so I thought I could say something that may be helpful, or just some long winded blather. I am not a university professor, but my dad was, ( now retired and is currently a professional reed maker). I own 3 profilers, a brand new Udo Heng machine, a Pfeifer double barrel and an old Berdon. First, I use a dial indicator to double check all of my blanks, gouged and profiled. My Heng machine seems quite consistent, I could see it being delicate for university use, but the dial is fantastic. The two slope adjustments could be tricky, if the students messed with it too much, but the second slope distance is has marks to vary distance of the tip slope. I make two styles of reeds with it, one is with the normal barrel, ( which has what I would call an "elliptical profile", thinner sides). The other style is with the normal barrel with an added flat spot, for a very dark reed. I make a lot of reeds for students and three other family members, but I am the only person using the machine, maybe it is a little delicate for many users?
Here is the point of my message, and just about any old single barrel profiler will do. Since you already have two, from what it sounds like, new machines, maybe an older used one might be the way to go. My two older machines are perfect for and were used in a University situation, they were both pretty worn and beat up. I have had my Berdon profiler for over 30+ years and it was my brothers before that and my dads before him. The Berdon could be 40-50 years old. I think my dad shared it with his students. With my Berdon single barrel profiler, I have 6 different measured packs of washers. 2 for the tip 4 for the back of the reed I have each pack and combinations marked for the style of reed I want to make. Unless you move the blade for sharpening, the washers will not change. Using a dial indicator you could give each student a pack of washers for their style and they could vary the thickness with their pack if washers. You need to make sure you have a base setting for when you sharpen the blade.
My other machine, a Pfeifer double barrel is also quite an antique, my dad had it in his bassoon studio for years. I sharpened the blades with a jig and have made some excellent reeds with it. The Pfeifer is adjusted by moving the template barrel and knife height. I have less experience with the Pfeifer because it was a recent gift. I have two barrels for the Pfeifer and I prefer the one marked "old pro", it removes more wood from the sides of the reed than the other template. I moved the template forward for a longer tube and thicker, shorter tip and the reeds are excellent. I think that when my dads students wanted a thicker reed, they would simply put tape on the barrel. The only downside with both machines is there is a bit of play with the barrel, about 2mm, but I simply push the Berdon barrel forward against the post and the Pfeifer I pull back while I profile, that seems to give each stick of cane the same profile "window". I could have it fixed on both machines, but the technique seem to get consistent results on both machines. Set your two current machines at a good general setting for your reed style, one thick and one thin? And, maybe an old, used, low tech machine for the students to use and personalize? Good luck-Steve

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