Would like to hear what wire gauges people use for their bassoon reeds and why. I used to use all 22 gauge soft brass, but recently went to 23 gauge (smaller diameter) for the first wire thinking it would be less constrictive and enable more vibration. Thanks.
Mel, I use #21 wire for the butt and middle wires, #22 for the blade wire. All best, Chris Weait
22 all around for me. I find the tightness and if you apply them wet or if you apply them dry makes a much bigger difference than going one gauge up or down.
For contrabassoon reeds I use the same wire but just wrap it around once more for a little added support.
Mel, I’ve bought a few German-made reeds in the past that have 23-gauge wire on top. It does seem to make reeds a little freer-blowing. I wonder if that is a common German / European thing to do? -Thom
I have used 23 gauge for the 1st and 2nd wires and the “normal” 22 gauge for the third wire on my reeds for close to 20 years now. I like the thinner gauge because I feel I have more control over wrapping and tensioning the wires during the blank-making process; that is, I don’t over-tighten with the thinner wire, as was my tendency with the 22 gauge. Charles McCracken