New Reed Case

Contrabassoon Reed Case

A few years ago I made my first Contraforte reed case out of tupperware, that case is a little beat up now so I made a new one. This is made from an acrylic box from The Container Store, some thick foam and duco cement. I drilled holes on both sides for air circulation, but I mostly keep my reed cases open when at home.

This case is for Contraforte reeds, but now I’m thinking about making a bassoon reed case. All together this was almost $15 which is still cheaper than the commercially available options.

Bassoon Reed Case

Bassoon GSP

bassoon GSP

King Bassoon Reeds is now offering GSP for bassoon. The bassoon gouged, shaped, and profiled cane sells very fast and so is hard to keep supplying, but now with the school year out (less orders) we have more time to process cane.

 This cane is made using traditional Herzberg measurements and the Herzberg shape. This is all made with California cane which has a medium hard density.

Herzberg Shaper

Herzberg Shaper

I have been experimenting with different versions of the Herzberg shape and I recently found an original for comparison. So I took some photos of how the Herzberg lines up with the Bell shaper and the Rieger #14.

Bell

I shaped onto some paper and held them together in the light to get and idea of the two shapes. The Herzberg is in green and the Bell is in red.

Bell Shaper

As far as I can tell the Bell H shape is an exact copy of a Herzberg shape without any differences.

Bell Herzberg

Rieger #14

The Rieger 14 shape is supposed to be the Rieger copy of the Herzberg shape. Here the Bell shape is in green and the Rieger in black. The blade of the Rieger is nearly exactly the same as the original Herzberg but the tube of the reed is narrower, the tube is straight with no flare. Part of the Herberg reed style is in the bevel, and the flare at the butt of the tube has a relationship with the tip opening. So the #14 is a very similar shape but will create reed with a different tip opening.

I know Fox make a few shapes that are similar to the Herzberg, their Michael Dicker shape is close to the Rieger #14 as well. If you want the Herzberg shape I would really suggest the Bell H shape which is an exact copy. The only advantage of an original Herzberg shaper would be the pin indents which precisely position the cane. And that would only be an advantage for people with a Herzberg profiler.

Bassoon Reed Finishing (David McGill style)

Bassoonist John Campbell made and posted an excellent video series last fall of his reed making process. The videos show his equipment, many of them are no longer made; and custom made tools, like his tip filing jig. John’s tip finishing is along the lines of what David McGill does, I have never seen or known the tip measurements for this style of reed, so I suggest giving it a watch!