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View Full Version : Ridge cut Vs Molded reeds


Randy McIntosh
02-14-2008, 05:25 AM
What is the real difference between the two type of reeds (Ridge cut & Molded). Besides the obvious look of them. Also not looking at any particular brand or make just in general.

Sorry not looking for comments on personal preference or what works best for you etc.

classicbagpipes
02-14-2008, 06:44 AM
I believe from my experience that the ridge cuts will give you instant tone, ie not near as much break in time. But on the down side I find that they don't last as long as the others.
Now the other style reed is usually harder to blow and break in and they have a definate break in time that is necessary for them to stabilize. But they tend to last much longer.
So take your pick.

Jim Sloan
02-14-2008, 06:51 AM
I have been having ridge cut reeds in the band split alot lately.

The very thin lips seem prone to this. Some came in split, some split after a week of playing.

Jim

Randy J. Homer
02-14-2008, 06:51 AM
In addition, I've also found that the ridge cut in general tend to give better projection from the high hand so that the volume is better balanced across the scale. And the molded reeds in general tend to produce a better Piob G.

nmpiper
02-14-2008, 07:20 AM
Ridge-cut reeds tend to have a more ballsy sound to them. They also need to be played "into" the reed, good steady firm pressure. The molded reeds can be played on the backside of the reed. The Ridge-cuts are more on off. hopefully that's understandable...

Randy McIntosh
02-14-2008, 07:24 AM
The molded reeds can be played on the backside of the reed. The Ridge-cuts are more on off. hopefully that's understandable...

Can you explain "backside" and "more on off" :confused:

scotchboiler
02-14-2008, 08:41 AM
I think what he means is that ridge-cut reeds are more sensitive to blowing pressure--there is a relatively sharp pressure threshold below which they will not sound. A molded reed, on the other hand, will tend to be more forgiving of variations in blowing pressure, and will tend to "trail off" quite a bit as pressure drops, before it goes silent.

highlandpiper21
02-14-2008, 08:49 AM
I experimented with both for awhile, and in my experience I've found ridge-cuts to run lower in strength than molded reeds as well as having a higher pitch.

I prefer a slightly flatter tone (A-474 is my personal target pitch), so I tend to prefer molded reeds. Not to say ridge-cuts are bad, though. I've had good results with both Ross and Williams reeds!

phyx
02-14-2008, 10:34 AM
Ross and Williams are ridge-cut reeds, if I'm not mistaken. The Troy/McAllister reeds and Gilmour (I believe) are examples of "molded" reeds.

Great topic, BTW. All I've played are ridgecuts--Williams, Ross, Warnock, and McCann. I'd love to get some Troy or Gilmours as I've heard nothing but good comments about those two. Any info I can get on molded reeds is good info.

Thanks to all who've answered thus far.

Randy J. Homer
02-14-2008, 11:25 AM
Playing "into" the reed or playing on it's "backside" has to do with your blowing pressure relative to the strengths at which the reed will work.

With every reed, there is an upper threshold, beyond which you are overblowing the reed. You are playing "into" the reed when you blow toward this upper threshold. All reeds are steadier and sound better when played to the upper end. But ridgecut reeds especially demand this in order to sound good at all. That's part of what makes them "ballsy." They're played where they would be biggest anyway.

And likewise, with every reed, there is a lower threshhold, below which the reed would play unsteady, sound thin, and eventually choke. Molded reeds are more forgiving of this lower theshhold and continue to play more steadily than ridgecut when blown on the "backside."

highlandpiper21
02-14-2008, 01:36 PM
Ross and Williams are ridge-cut reeds, if I'm not mistaken. The Troy/McAllister reeds and Gilmour (I believe) are examples of "molded" reeds.

Great topic, BTW. All I've played are ridgecuts--Williams, Ross, Warnock, and McCann. I'd love to get some Troy or Gilmours as I've heard nothing but good comments about those two. Any info I can get on molded reeds is good info.

Thanks to all who've answered thus far.

I know...I'm saying I've tried them in my chanter. I prefer the Apps G3 though, which is a molded reed. I apologize for the confusion.

PMT
02-14-2008, 09:13 PM
Ridgecut reeds are brighter, clearer and usually have a little more volume on the top hand. They tend to vary more when first picked up and played or put down for a few minutes.

Straight cut reeds are a little more stable and give a fuller richer tone. They last longer and have more possibility for modification, easing off etc.

In regard to splitting etc, cane has been a bit dodgey lately, I am told this is due to how quickly it grew and the El Ninyo weather effects. I am told this years harvest looks good, but it will not be ready for another two years.

phyx
02-15-2008, 05:32 AM
I know...I'm saying I've tried them in my chanter. I prefer the Apps G3 though, which is a molded reed. I apologize for the confusion.

Gotcha. I just read your post again and it makes sense now. Don't know what I was thinking the first time I read it. Thanks! :thumb:

Randy McIntosh
02-15-2008, 06:08 AM
So which one would be more forgiving or easier for someone learning about how to play with and set up reeds?

highlandpiper21
02-15-2008, 08:56 AM
Molded reeds definitely...you have much more room to scrape/sand on a molded reed without turning it into garbage.

Pretty much all you can do with a ridge-cut reed (from what I've heard) is pinch it. If you shave just a tiny amount off of it, from my understanding, it's gone.

dibble
02-15-2008, 09:45 AM
Pretty much all you can do with a ridge-cut reed (from what I've heard) is pinch it. If you shave just a tiny amount off of it, from my understanding, it's gone.

This is TOTALLY untrue.

Troy Jesse
02-15-2008, 09:56 AM
Not only untrue... but here is the proof...

Ross Reed Tips - Link from Toneczar (http://www.toneczar.com/docs/megros_tips.pdf)