Reed Machines ‘The Cube’

Based in the Netherlands, Reed Machines pride themselves for being a company run ‘by musicians for musicians’ and cite their company’s successes on their attention to customer feedback. Reed Machines’ innovative technicians create products using the latest technological possibilities with the goal in mind that ‘only the best is good enough’. These prototypes are then tested by professional musicians and are subsequently developed based on the musicians’ input.

oboe cube reed making howarth of london

A unique design feature of Reed Machines products is that one machine can often be used to make/adjust multiple related reed types within an instrumental group. The Oboe Cube is designed to allow its user to easily change between reed types, having a plaque and staple holder which are suitable for use with both oboe and cor anglais reeds. A reed can be rotated 180 degrees without the necessity of removing the reed from the profiler to scrape the other side, consequently increasing reed-making efficiency and accuracy.

The Oboe Cube’s design has two main components, the ‘template set’, which holds the template, and the ‘carriage set’, which holds the blade and the ball which traces the template. A ‘connection set’ sits between these two parts to ensure that the template and reed make precisely the same movement.

Before beginning to profile a reed, its staple must be inserted into the middle of the staple holder. The reed tip should then be pushed onto the plaque so that it meets the front reference line whilst also being centred between the side reference lines. With the carriage set in ‘parking position’, the control wheel should be moved so that the ‘template set’ and ‘carriage set’ are brought into a central position.The reed can then be profiled by the machine’s length of scrape movement, controlled by the backwards and forwards motion of the ‘carriage set’, and the cross-movement, which is controlled by moving the control wheel on the ‘connection set’.

A significant design feature of the Oboe Cube is that many of the machine’s aspects can be altered and personalised. By far the most notable and unique aspect of the profiler that the thickness of the collar and the thickness of the tip can be independently adjusted, so many different types of vibration can be produced from the same template. Many other modifications are also possible, e.g. you can choose to profile only the tip of the reed, the shape of the collar (back of scrape) can be changed between a ‘V’ and a ‘W’, and the collar’s position can also be changed. Personalised templates are available to order.

Acknowledging that when making music ‘the smallest detail can make the biggest difference’, Reed Machines intensely focus on research and development to ensure the manufacture of long-lasting products. The high-quality materials and innovative techniques used during the production of the Oboe Cube can clearly be seen, such as in the use of a knife which is not only corrosion-resistant but round, meaning it can be rotated in increments to increase its lifespan to thousands of reeds. In addition to the Oboe Cube’s functional benefits, the machine’s compact dimensions (100mm³) and weight (1.4kg) make the profiler easy and practical to transport.

For more information about the Oboe Cube, please contact the Oboe Department at  A Bassoon Cube is also available.

Bethany Craft, Oboe Specialist – Howarth of London


About Howarth of London

Woodwind Specialists - Howarth are leading suppliers of oboes, bassoons, clarinets, saxophones and flutes. Makers of fine oboes, cors anglais & oboes d'amore.
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