Thoughts and concepts about various aspects of English Horn playing
From Mark Chudnow: a truly innovative new English Horn reedmaking product
At the 2011 International Double Reed Society’s annual conference held in Tempe, Arizona, Mark Chudnow introduced his innovative new English Horn staples. His design solves the age-old problem of keeping the reed securely on the bocal without compromising vibrations, which is the case when using aquarium tubing or some other material on the staple.
Mr. Chudnow’s description from his own website (Mark Chudnow Woodwinds) states:
“Another unique design by Mark Chudnow. Utilizing a rubber o-ring inside the bottom of the staple, this revolutionary concept eliminates the need for any vibration reducing Teflon tape or aquarium tubing. The bottom collar screws off for ease of reedmaking and possible future replacement of the o-ring.” Please see the photo below.
I have noticed a significant difference between the way in which my reeds vibrate (more freely) when made on these staples, as opposed to reeds made with the combination of a regular staple and 5 mm of silicone or plastic tubing applied to the end. The resulting tone seems warmer because it retains the "lows" in the timbre, but without the added resistance created by the use of aquarium tubing.
Without the collar, these staples measure the standard 27 mm, but the collar adds about 1 mm to the overall length. For this reason, I recommend scraping the reed with the collar removed from the staple. When getting very close to finishing the reed, screw the collar back onto the staple to make the final adjustments to the reed.
These staples are an interesting and viable alternative to standard staples. It's worth taking the time and effort to experiment with them to see whether they work well for you and your own style of reedmaking.
Mark Chudnow's new English Horn staples