GoBassoon Contrabassoon Reed Review

The following review is for GoBassoon reeds. Leigh Miller Munoz sent me two bassoon reeds and a contrabassoon reed for free in exchange for my blog review. All opinions are my own (or the unbiased opinions of my students).

My goal with these reeds reviews is to describe the reeds I feature as thoroughly as possible so that you, a bassoonist with a different instrument, elevation, embouchure, etc., can decide if these reeds are right for you.

I tested this reed on January 25, 2016 in Rexburg, Idaho (elevation 4,865 ft). The temperature inside was 70° F and humidity was 32%. I tried the reed on a Fox contrabassoon.

When I received my package from GoBassoon in the mail, I was very impressed by the presentation of my new GoBassoon contra reed. The graphic design and branding of these reeds is second to none. It came in this handy tin (that can also double as a terrific reed case once a few holes are drilled for ventilation).GoBassoon Reed Case

This reed fit snugly on the bocal. No reaming required. GoBassoon Contrabassoon Reed

This reed had good response. One of my students described it as “a bit stuffy” and another said “if you use a lot of air, it cracks.” I think these issues were due to the reed being a bit closed and the tip being a bit thick. Easy fixes that I think most reed makers expect a customer to be able to make.

2016-01-23 141952 NIKON D5100 0981 Master

Recording intonation on a contrabassoon is difficult due to the tuning slide. My students and I tried some reference pitches, and we all got similar results:

  • D in the staff: between 30 cents flat and perfectly in tune
  • A at the top of the staff: we all registered 30 cents sharp
  • Low F: we all registered 20 cents sharp

Had we used a longer bocal, I think this reed would have been fine. Also, once I take some cane off of it, I think the pitch will settle on the flatter side. (I’ll update with my results.)

My students liked this reed far better than the other contra reed we tried. The notes of the scale were far more stable, the sound was better overall, and it didn’t do unexpected things (like not play D in the staff). This reed could be played straight out of the box with good results. With minimal finishing work, this could be a fine reed. 2016-01-23 141939 NIKON D5100 0977 Master

GoBassoon reeds are available online at GoBassoon.com. The contra reeds cost $25-27 each. Shipping is free with a $100+ order. Check out their Resources page for reed care tips, a list of tools used to make GoBassoon reeds, and a list of useful reed making books.

Have you used GoBassoon contra reeds? What has your experience been like? Please comment below!

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