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Oboe/second hand loree royal


QUESTION: Hi! I recently bought a approximately 10years old loree royal. It has had one crack in the top joint, on the back, left side of the octave keys where there is no tone holes. Said to be nicely fixed. Now, I noticed some lines on the inside of the bore that looks like small cracks or scratches. About the same place as the fixed crack. Do you think these will affect the sound in any way? Another question, all my reeds are flat and especially the middle E and high A (second octave) is out of tune. I currently use 47mm staples and tie at 75, short scrape. Should I make my reeds shorter as I think would help? And is there something I can do with the reeds that could help the intonation of E and A?

ANSWER: Veronica
Sorry to be late in replying to you. I have been away.
I think that your reeds are a little long at 75mm. I would try 74mm and see how that works for pitch.
You should try 45mm staples and leave the cane length 27 or 28mm from staple top to tip.
If this doesn't work try a longer scrape on an even shorter reed. Don't take too much off the east of the reed. Keep a spine too down the middle of the scrape.
A longer scrape - say 12-13mm - might stabilise the middle first octave notes - the E. don't take too much off!
The top A needs good air speed a d careful embouchure. Again a reed that vibrates too easily wlll be difficult to control in this register.
If the cane is soft then these symptoms occur  - of flatness and instability. Great low notes but poor octave ones.
The bore issue is probably scratching. If the split has gone through it would still leak. If the flatness has suddenly become apparent it might be that the wood has expanded around the weakness near the split and this could cause flatness. BUT I don't think this is very likely.
Hope this helps and again sorry to be late
Best wishes

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your answer! The top joint seals very well, so it seems like the scratches are just that. I will try making my reeds shorter, and tie on a shorter staple. I have already made some of my old reeds shorter, and it works quit good, only that the middle E and F sharp are still too sharp, and the F is a little on the flat side. It might be an adjustment problem, but the oboe was recently fully overhauled, so it should be good. I have heard that using narrower staples and also a narrower shape, could fit the loree better - and make the troublesome notes more in tune. I currently use shaped cane from Roseau chantant with rc13 and sometimes rc12 shape, and chiarugi staples (now I have bought some shorter loree staples as I have read is narrower and might fit the loree royal bore better)

I have also heard, that since my oboe haven't really been played much in four-five years, it will change and "adjust" to my playing after some months, and that even the intonation will change. Is this true, or only a myth? Some have also told me that if a crack have gone all the way through to the bore, the instrument is ruined and basically useless - but I have also spoken to many that have had dramatic cracks, all through the bore, and they still play the same oboe. It seems people have very different opinions about the matter. And oboes crack all the time here in Scandinavia.

Thank you again!


YOur oboe will change with playing and I think also that the Loree staples which have anarrower chimney will helptuning matters.
If you buy Chiarugi staples make sure they are No 2 which is more like Loree than their popular No 5 which is a Glotin copy.

If the tuning of the F# is still sharp after a while then a little tone hole work can bring down the pitch. Warch the top C# though which uses the same hole to produce its sound. Now that is ALWAYS a tricky note to get right.

The flat F is probably something for the embouchure to adjust too. If you open that hole up sometimes the note can become unstable and "fly"on the octave.

The RC12 is probably a good choice of shape, so try more reeds with that.
The RC13 might just be a little big. Lots depend on your embouchure and the way you blow.

Best of luck



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

LRAM, Cert Ed

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