oh my gosh!! i hate store bought reeds. I have to use them because i cant get any new reeds any time soon (too expensive my mum said) and they are horrible!!! i used to use la voz and they were just crap. now i use jones artist( apparently meant to be better, suggested to me by a professional oboist) and its disgustingly flat. i cant play from g to c (low) in tune unless i raise my eyebrows, and tighten my lips to get a sharper sound!! it sucks!!
Commercial reeds in general can't compare with handmade (or at the very least hand-scraped) reeds, but Jones Artist are definitely some of the better ones I've come across. They do tend to be flat, but if you're prepared to adjust them (which if you have to rely on commercial reeds is absolutely necessary!) it's not a big deal. I actually prefer reeds that are flat when I buy them because they're easy to adjust, just clip a little off the tip and then thin the tip a little to get better response.
Sharp commercial reeds are a pain. I'm not even sure that's it's possible to adjust them. I don't have a ton of experience with reed shaving, but I've never had success with a sharp reed.
I recently purchased an Jones Artist reed that was as was said, "disgustingly flat," but after I adjusted it, it was fine, and now I'm very happy with it.
This being said, it still doesn't compare to a reed I once purchased from Meg Cassell at the Good Tone Guild. We called it the "magic reed" because it was...awesome!
I have yet to encounter another reed like it, and so the search for the "perfect reed" continues.
I guess I agree that handmade reeds are better (usually...), but that doesn't mean that all commercial reeds (after necessary adjustments) suck.
I know what you mean. I've been playing oboe for just 3 months, so I can't make my own reeds, and my private tutor has had to trim up and cut the heck out of all my store-boughts. The only one he didn't trim was horrendously flat.. I use mediums and I use emerald I think...they seem to hold up better.
yeahh... store reeds are A NO NO. haha yeah. your private teacher should make his own reeds? i nkow my private teacher does and they are much better than store bought. i'm learning to make my own reeds.. but then again i can't even remember how to wrap the reed.
i've used hand made reeds for a long time now.. but the only thing that can be a pain is that they sometimes seem to wear down faster than store bought like Emerald and Jones(which both sucked for me). my teacher's hand made reeds are really good, so i don't have problems playing.