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The shaper tip is probably the most important piece of equipment that an oboist will purchase. To a great extent it is the shaper tip that controls pitch placement. The shape must produce reeds that hold up to pitch, while at the same time producing reeds with depth of tone.
In designing a shaper tip, the complex interaction and balancing of the many dimensions must be taken into account to achieve optimum performance. The Jeanne Standard tips for oboe, oboe d’amour and English horn were designed by Valarie Anderson in precisely the way a professional musician would go about designing a shaper tip: laboriously and systematically building countless prototypes and then playing on reeds made from those prototypes to determine how small changes in the dimensions and curvature of the shaper tip affect reed performance.
Every Jeanne shaper tip is individually machined from the finest grade of tool steel to tolerances of less than one ten-thousandth of an inch in a modern, climate-controlled plant using state-of-the-art computer-controlled Electronic Discharge Machines. With this process the material is hardened first, eliminating the problem of warping. We believe this is the only method that will give an exact replication.
Each tip is uniformly hardened to 61 Rockwell C; harder than reed knives and blades, yet not so hard as to be excessively brittle. This is an important consideration, to ensure a clean cut to the cane and to prevent the shape from changing over long years of reed making. And before each tip can have the Jeanne ‘J’ engraved on its stem, it must be inspected to confirm that all dimensions meet the design specifications; your assurance that the tip you buy will perform precisely the same as the tips now being used by so many of the world’s finest double-reed artists.