Oboe/Oboe questions


Hi Geoffrey here is what I want to ask you:

1. I want to buy an oboe reed profile machine and have enough money for any model between Rieger Reeds and Stuff and KG reed machine.What do you think which one should I buy and which will bring me the greatest benefits?
2.What brand of oboe reed profiling machine have Ramon Ortega and Ivan Podyomov and which template use each one of them for making their own reeds?
3.I want to make staples for oboe reeds on my own.What do you think who can help me or show me how to do it? Any recommendation and advice is welcome

Thank you very much and all the best!



Profilers are a very tricky area and most professional oboe players will try everything on the market to find the one that suits them best.
Most people tend to use the Rieger Profiler as a preference simply because it uses a blade that is very easily sharpened. If you go this route there is a toolmaker in the UK who will make a brass "mouse" to which you attach the blade and preserve the sharpening angle. This angle is absolutely critical as any deviation from it means that the blade will not scrape the cane without problems of digging in or skating over the top. A very tricky process which the mouse simplifies and makes very easy and everyday.
The next machine I would mention is the Reeds n Stuff which benefits from a huge number of profiles (schablone in German).This machine has  been developed over the last few years and is now very good. My early version gave me many problems which Udo Heng the designer eventually addressed. I have  a few profiles but confess to not using it very much. I bought a Marigaux profiler from RnS which is fine but I find that the carriage is too light and bouncy so need careful control. The blade has a curved shape which is not easily sharpened by the user. The customer service with the company though is very good and helpful.

Now the K Ge machine is very adjustable but needs a lot of patience to set up if you change from the factory default set up.
It has lots of facilities for adjusting the amounts taken off specific areas but these do mean you waste many reeds getting things right.
The blade in this machine is quite easily sharpened but very easily chipped in my experience. It does a very good job in finishing a reed and I often use the Rieger for the basic scrape and finish on the K Ge, which in fact does a better job than my knife does. Better as in more accurate. It is a well made machine and has quite a lot of weight in the blade carriage which stops the blade "chattering" on the cane surface.

Bear in mind that accuracy of thickness of the scrape is not the be all and end all. Sometimes a poorly scraped reed (examined under a magnifier) plays well and is ruined by carefully making things more accurate and symmetrical. So which to buy. The Rieger is favoured by lots of reed makers if you can afford just the one. It is strong, beautifully made and will last for years. Buy a mouse to sharpen the blade in the knowledge that your blade will always be in tip top shape if you use one. You do need  a very well sharpened blade in any of these machines. A soon as you have to force the carriage through the cane - forget it - the cane becomes compressed and does not vibrate as well.

Ramon I think uses more than one profiler but the Rieger is favoured along with the Michel profiler which some say is still the best if you can get hold of one. The blade is not easy to sharpen but lasts well and works like silk. I have no idea which template either of the guys use. Ramon's reeds look like they were made on the standard Rieger template with a bit of a bump behind the tip but not too much of a defined tip to bump junction. More smoothed over. Bear in mind that all players experiment all the time with cane, staples, shapes, profilers and gouging machines.

A never ending seeking after the Holy Grail of reeds.

Best wishes


PS Sorry I don't know who to turn to to help with staple making. If I find something I will let you know in a supplementary answer.


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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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