Légère Synthetic Pro Oboe Reed - European-scrape
Légère Synthetic Pro Oboe Reed
AMERICAN-SCRAPE REED UPDATE: The American-scrape reed is getting closer to being finished. They had prototypes at the IDRS Conference that were tried by many and one was almost universally declared the best by everyone who tried it. They offered them again for people to try at the 2020 NAMM Show. At that they said they were having some trouble with narrowing the quality control margin enough and they wouldn't release it until they knew every one would work within a certain level.
Légère Pro oboe reeds are now available in three strengths, medium soft, medium, and medium hard. They are still made with the European scrape but the easier strengths make it easier for Americans to play.
Click here to read a helpful review of the medium hard reed by American oboist Aaron Lakota.
Designed by Guy Légère in a collaboration with Christoph Hartmann of the Berlin Philharmonic, these reeds will last for months with proper care, providing a beautiful tone with no pre-moistening required.
Top symphonic and jazz musicians have been using the Légère single reeds for more than a decade. From the principals of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, to jazz greats like Gerald Albright and Hamiet Bluiett, their reeds have been tested at the highest possible level. Now this same exceptional quality is available in a Légère oboe reed.
Like their single reeds, Légère oboe reeds have all the depth and warmth that elite players demand. Because they are made from their specially prepared synthetic material, they deliver all the advantages of a traditional Légère reed; consistency, durability and an instant response.
The Légère European Scrape Oboe reeds have been specifically designed to work for instruments and players that have used European scrape cane reeds in the past. Players accustomed to American scrape reeds may find their oboe reed to be too resistant or otherwise less than ideal. They are developing an American scrape reed in collaboration with some very prominent players in the US, but it is not ready for release, and they do not have a target date.
At present, they are making oboe reeds in three strengths; they do not recommend scraping or adjusting Légère reeds in any way. However, if one wants to try, the ReedGeek Bullet has been found to work well scraping the polymer.
They use an o-ring system to ensure a good fit between the reed and the well, but this system is a bit less flexible than conventional cork. Some players have had fit issues with older instruments, but their reeds should fit most oboe wells.
They recommend that you visit a shop in person to make sure that they reeds are right for you. Hodge Products will send a reed out on trial but if any adjusting has been done to it, it can't be returned.
Read a comparison of all our reed options in our oboe reed blog. "Oboe Reeds: "Which oboe reed should I buy?".
Légère oboe reeds are cut from their own unique polymer on 3-axis, computer controlled precision cutting machines. They can also measure their reeds with extreme precision using computer controlled equipment, and this allows them to maintain very tight quality control.
The reeds are cut in halves using their own customized profiles which are based on a mathematical description of a reed profile rather than a model or prototype. The halves are then bonded together again using a digitally controlled system. The result is a reed which is perfectly balanced in both blades, and has just the right combination of tip thickness, heart, and flexibility.
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I am a semi-professional oboe player and band director and have been making reeds for over 20 years. When I heard about this reed I was curious yet doubtful that it would sound resonant and dark, especially since it was a European scrape. I ordered a medium hard reed to start and upon the first crow- resulting in a perfect C I was immediately impressed. The reed sounded just like my cane reeds only more stable and consistent in pitch. The tone in my Loree was dark and mellow yet projected beautifully. It does loosen up a bit after a few hours of playing. I then ordered a medium and a medium soft for comparison. I love all the reeds but play the medium and medium soft most of the time. The medium soft has a bit more response in the low register with soft dynamics. I have always had trouble with high D and C sharp responding in tune and this reed get right to it. I have found myself practicing more often since I'm no longer occupied with adjusting cane reeds to match the tone quality I prefer. I reccomended them to my high school students as well and they really like them. They don't fit easily in some oboes but we found you can remove the bottom O ring and it fits and seals just fine. It is worth the money compared to all the cane reeds I go through in a single concert cycle. It has changed the way I feel about playing and relieved my performance anxiety. I can't say enough good things.
If you were to rate the best reed you've ever had/made as a 10, and all the ones with something lacking, but usable to practice on as an 8, --You'd rate this reed a 9. Several years ago, I got one of the first ones --but it was so stiff and inflexible that it was useless.. (unless you had to play one note for 15 seconds and no more--then it's ok) Anyway, this time I figured I'd opt for the green banded soft reed, and it is right on. It's not too soft --like soft to the point where the pitch sags.. It is so good that I was shocked. And another thing, -the timbre is not bad like you might think when they describe it as a ''European cut'' This reed does not have the thin tinselly sound of a 40s-50s era French oboist like Andre Lardrot. Oddly, the reed does not freely crow on a slightly sharp b, but almost. I'll whittle some windows a half inch down lower into the heart and see if that frees the depth.. The pitches, high and low on this reed lock in tight ...These reeds will revolutionize oboe playing. As disappointed as I was with the first Legere lack banded oboe reed (hideously hard and stiff) - that's how pleased I am with the green banded one I just got. I can hardly wait till they offer English horn reeds too.
The reed had bad tone quantities. I would not use it in public, practice at home only. Vibrato was almost impossible.