Topic: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

Hi all
I am doing some baroque bassooning again soon and have for years been experimenting with (and being frustrated by) reeds and finally got around to posting questions on this forum.
I am playing on a Stanesby Junior by Philip Levin and own a Rieger B5 shaper and using GP cane from Rieger.

A couple of questions:
1 Is the B5 a compatible shape for this instrument?
2 Are there some good "starting point" or general micrometer blade measurements I can rely on?

Thanks!
Mike Roemhildt

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Re: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

I don't have any direct experience with the Phil Levin Stanesby, but in general I would say that at 17mm wide, the B5 tip is a bit too narrow. Why don't you start by trying the B3 tip (HKICW), the one that a lot of people use?

As for 'micrometer blade measurements', if you use 136mm profiled Rieger baroque cane, you don't have to worry about trying to hit a bunch of thicknesses. It has a pretty good profile to start with.

Christopher Brodersen
Maker of Historical Keyboard Instruments
Reviewer/contributor - Fanfare Magazine
Amateur bassoonist, baroque oboist, baroque bassoonist

Re: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

Hello Mike,

any progress on your baroque reeds? I obtained a Stanesby Junior by Levin recently. Made some reeds from Medir cane for baroque bassoon and Rieger B2; a2 and in particular b2 flat are very unstable. I could improve by removing most of the "buzzyness", but this is not the sound I want.
My best reeds until now I made without a micrometer, only scraping (1) the back for lows, (2) making the tip gradually thinner and (3) the rails to make the higher note speak. I use sandpaper between the blades to make the sound less "buzzy".

I now did order a B5 shaper in the hope it will produce better reeds.

Bert van Leeuwen

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Re: Baroque Bassoon Reeds

Hi Bert,

I was recently working with an amateur player here in Basel who had a Levin Stanesby. He had me make a series of reeds based on one he got from somewhere. It wasn't something I would come up with myself (the first wire and second wire were way below the collar), but he said they worked well in the end. He never gave me his instrument, so I don't really know how well-matched they were to my taste.

The shape was a Reeds n Stuff Baroque shape.

Best wishes,

Andrew

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