Q & A
What is your guarantee policy?
Your satisfaction is very important to us. If you receive reeds that are damaged (leaks or cracks) or do not meet your expectations, we will fix or replace. If you have a teacher, we encourage you to use this resource for minor adjustments. Please contact us within 5 days of receipt of your reed to discuss your situation. Oboe cane is not eligible for return.
What is your expected turnaround?
Typically, our turnaround time for reeds is less than a week, and supplies are 2-3 days. If the turnaround times for reeds exceed 1 week, this will be posted on the order page. If you have not received your order in two weeks, please contact us.
Why are your reeds more expensive than some others?
Magic Reeds are made with premium materials and are truly handmade. While they are priced a little higher than some on-line handmade reeds (and all mass produced machined reeds) they are very competitively priced to similar privately sold reeds by top professionals. Only you can decide whether the price differential is a good personal investment. I would suggest a couple of things to ask yourself. 1) Can a lower cost reed meet my needs? 2) What are my objectives, and how important is it to play on a reed that promotes growth? 3) Can I hear the difference when I play on a higher quality reed? 4) Can I afford to buy 2-3 reeds per month at this price. Since you have clearly been studying this site very carefully, I would be that you are highly motivated to identify a great reed to take you to the next level. I would suggest an initial sampling of two reeds to determine if we are the best choice for you.
Are there things I can do to get the best possible results from your reeds?
Reed care is extremely important in getting the best results from your Magic Reeds, and this is why we include instructions right inside our reed cases. Since there isn't room for a dissertation in your reed case, this is a good place to fill in the details. The two things you can control with your reed preparation are 1) the size of the aperture, and 2) the softness of the reed. Generally, reeds play better when they soften over time, if they do not start out too soft. This is why most good reeds often require a break-in period. Reeds soften when they are exposed to moisture- the moisture you can control is in your mouth and in your water. Warmer water will soften reeds more than cooler water, so if you need to soften your reed, consider this. When you take your reed out of your reed case, check out the aperture. If it is too open for you, soak in cooler water for 10-15 seconds and sit to taste. If it is too closed, soak in warmer water for 10-15 seconds and sit to taste. As you break in your reed, you will need to adjust this regimen. If you find that your reed is too hard or too open, also consider pinching the tip closed for 5-15 seconds. If this is not enough, move to the base of the back and press firmly for 10-15 seconds and repeat as necessary. This protocol is not unusual for well functioning reeds. If these steps do not help you, give us a call.
How long do your reeds last?
Forever if you don't play them (but not really). Our bolder structure means that our reeds last longer than those of most of our competitors. Reeds that are too light or soft will collapse in a few minutes and are not worth the money, even if they cost 5 cents. Our customers often remark that the increased lifespan of our reeds more than compensates for the additional $1-2 they pay for our reeds.
Why am I playing flat on your reeds?
There could be many reasons why you might be playing flat.
1) The reed is too strong for you, and you don't have the wind speed and embouchure to handle it. If this is the case for you, I would suggest that you work with your teacher to lighten the reed, and choose a lighter reed in your second order. I would also encourage you to work on your production skills to be able to get better results from a somewhat stronger reed. Nobody should be ashamed of trading to a lighter reed. They are identified by grade more for Google search purposes than for their quality. There are many fine oboists who adore our student and intermediate reeds because of their strength.
2) The reed is defective. Reeds can crack and leak on rare occasions, and if this is the case for you, contact me within 5 days of receipt of your reed for a replacement.