Still Pondering the Gouge

June 29, 2011

Well, I’ve probably made close to 50 reeds on the new gouge and still am not really happy. It doesn’t have the warmth and roundness that I wish it had, and forces me to scrape in extra warmth by scraping just inside the rails in the heart area, re-balancing the reed so I scrape a hair more out behind the heart and a hair less in the corner of the tip/heart integration line, and I have to thin the sides of the tip. All this is fine and dandy, and doable, but ultimately the more can you are scraping off, the weaker the reed becomes, and the shorter it will last. I have about 50 pieces from the previous gouge and I scraped two reeds up on that, and the reed immediately fell into place, just as I wanted it to, so it confirmed the fact that my current issues are with the new gouge, not my scrape.

One way to get a “warmer” sound in the reed is to thin the side of the gouge. This however can flatten the stability in the upper register, and close down the opening a bit, both of which I’m not entirely sure I want to do. Some 15 reeds ago, I was struggling with a flat upper register. I began making shorter and shorter reeds to compensate and get a more compact product, but the shorter I went, the less resonance and body I began to get so I had to find an alternative solution. I began continuously thickened the sides until I achieved stability. Thinning the sides again seems like I’m going backwards.

So at this point, I have limited options:

  1. I can settle for what I have, and just continue to rebalance the scrape to achieve more warmth.
  2. I can minutely begin to thin the sides again in hope for a warmer sound, and pray that the stability won’t drop on me.
  3. I can begin changing shaper tips, and perhaps use a Weber 1-C is narrower than the Pfeiffer Mack and might give me a more stable register.
  4. Pull the blade, go for a more oval shape rather than round shape, and get more warmth in the tone that way.

I have some different cane soaked up. Some 1984 Alliaud from Covey that might have different effects so I’ll make my decision if nothing changes after this cane.

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