Copyright 2012 David C. Daye - all rights reserved
Our reeds finish up in a range of qualities. The test for whether we can sell one as our long-time standard budget priced reed is easy play and decent tuning in the buyer's home climate, because so many of our buyers are new players who have a primary need for operational ease and reliability. We are able to accommodate any climate, strength and loudness requirements at the budget price, although our Apartment Chanter is specifically biased for quieter sound levels.
Because of a recent improvement in our basic method, we're finally ready to offer a performance quality reed for a higher price, selected from the better specimens of our routine production. For these reeds we will select only the better responsiveness and appealing tone quality. We've once again got the two octaves tuning well in Penny-Chanter as my original cane supply did for us for many years, with a minimum of rushes and hole taping. We can also accommodate a base pitch ranging from slightly flat to slightly sharp.
We're using cane from 2 sources with slightly different characters, and buyers may choose their variety. The differences are slight and there is overlap between some good reeds of one type with some of the other, but the trend is as follows:
Wild California cane can be a bit more vibrant in feel with a slightly woodier, reedier in tone particularly in the 1st octave. Some makers reserve it for dry climates. While we agree that the California cane will probably have its longest reed life in conditions that don't vary between extremes in moisture, at this time we're willing to offer them to consistently humid climates as well as consistently dry to very dry climates.
French contrabassoon cane trends toward a slightly sweeter and smoother tone, and can handle climates from either extreme as well as highly variable circumstances.
Of course we need to finish each reed specifically for its intended climate needs.
We don't particularly recommend the extra expense for the Performance Quality Reed for learners because the standard budget reed is easier for us to produce in quantity to keep the queue moving, and we do guarantee it to play well for you when it first arrives, backing that with support and potential replacement. After a few months' experience the learner will begin to become an informed shopper, and it makes more sense at that point to consider either spare reeds or a Performance Quality Reed.
When ordering a Performance Quality Reed, be sure to specify your climate if it's not obvious from your location. For example while we can be sure that Utah will have dry weather, Texas could be anything from dry to humid. Many overseas climates are unfamiliar to us, and pipers who often travel won't have needs we can guess from shipping destination. Also feel free to provide strength, loudness and tone preferences if you have any.
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