GoBassoon 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.

When I received my package from GoBassoon in the mail, I was very impressed by the presentation of my new GoBassoon reeds. The graphic design and branding of these reeds is second to none. They 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

Both reeds fit perfectly on my bocal. I also fit them on two Fox *CVX* bocals, another Heckel bocal, and my student’s bocals, and the reeds fit wonderfully on all of them. No reaming required.GoBassoon Yellow Reed

The first reed (aka “orange reed”), had good response. Notes came out easily in all of the registers, particularly in the extreme high register (C, D, Eb, E). The overall sound was very bright, bordering on abrasive, but I like this in a new reed. The intonation was good. I recorded readings for three notes:

  • D in the staff: 5 cents flat
  • A at the top of the staff: perfectly in tune
  • Low F: perfectly in tune

The reed had a good, complex crow. After I had played the reed for a while, I did notice that my embouchure was getting fatigued far faster than I expected. This is most likely due to my attempts to control the vibrancy of the reed with my embouchure (a no-no).

I don’t think I could play this reed as-is in rehearsal or performance for very long. I would have to tone down the vibrancy first. Fortunately, these are easy fixes. The tip of this reed is too thick for my liking. I would definitely thin it down. This picture shows the tip thickness pretty well. I would also adjust the wires and perhaps take down the rails a little bit. 2016-01-23 142055 NIKON D5100 0990 Master

2016-01-23 142043 NIKON D5100 0986 Master


Interestingly, the other reed (aka “green reed”) I got from GoBassoon had none of these vibrancy issues. In fact, I couldn’t even get a complex crow out of it right away. I know that crow isn’t everything; this reed actually turned out to be the favorite of two of my students.2016-01-23 141837 NIKON D5100 0966 Master

Green reed fit on all of the bocals perfectly. The response of this green reed was good, but not quite as good as on orange reed. Green reed had a better overall sound than orange reed. The reed’s overall pitch was a little higher, and my test pitches came out like this:

  • D in the staff: 5 cents sharp
  • A at the top of the staff: 10 cents sharp
  • Low F: 5 cents sharp

It is my opinion that once a few tweaks are made to this reed, the pitch will drop and settle right where it needs to be. The tip was thicker than I like on this reed as well. 2016-01-23 141906 NIKON D5100 0972 Master

Overall, I think these reeds from GoBassoon are good quality reeds. As is to be expected, each reed is different and will need different finishing touches. I will update this blog post with the finishing touches I do on these reeds at a later date.

GoBassoon reeds are available online at GoBassoon.com. The reeds cost $19-20 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 reeds? What has your experience been like? Please comment below!

I tested these reeds on January 23, 2016 in Provo, Utah (elevation 4,551 ft). The temperature inside was 74° F, humidity 38%, and the barometer was steady. I played them on a Fox 201 bassoon with a Heckel CD 1 XL bocal.

2 thoughts on “GoBassoon Reed Review

  1. Reply
    Paul - March 30, 2016

    I am currently working with two of these reeds and haven’t completely decided whether I like them or not. There is that vibrancy, and I am getting a few odd harmonics on a couple of notes. I need to continue working with them and then update later. Incidently, other reeds that I have tried include Dale Clarks (like, especially the red style A, but expensive), Carlson (really like, but have trouble getting them delivered) and most recently, Bel Canto.

    1. Reply
      Jessi Vandagriff - March 30, 2016

      That is interesting. I find that with some work, the GoBassoon reeds are good for middle and high school players. My students like them. I am currently working on a Bel Canto reed review. Which kind did you get? The premium or the regular? I really like one of the two Bel Canto reeds I have. The other is ok. One of my university students uses Dale Clark reeds. She loves them, but I think they sound a little buzzy. Thank you for your comment!

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