Past makers of the Reedual have done a very good job providing a product that worked fairly well once you understood how to accommodate for it's weaknesses. What has been missing is direct input from an owner that uses and relies on the product himself. This is why I am so pleased to hear that John Weigand has recently acquired the Reedual company.
John is a very fine professional clarinetist who has used the Reedual for several decades to make his reeds for performances with the country's finest orchestras. He has an intimate knowledge of strengths and weaknesses of the Reedual and how these factors impact important aspects of playing an instrument such as tone quality, articulation and projection. Playing a wind instrument is a serious artistic endeavor and making really excellent clarinetist reeds is as much art as it is science. John will bring a high level of understanding of the mechanics as well as the artistic needs of the performer together for the first time.
There is nothing that provides more confidence than being able to easily provide yourself with truly great reeds for a fraction of the cost of commercial reeds. I am very excited by the results of his efforts and strongly suggest that you put the new and improved Reedual to work for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised by the consistency and the improvements to your sound quality, articulation, response, dynamic range and power of projection as well as the confidence you will attain from making your own hand made reeds.
In about three decades of Reedual use and lots of articles published and lecture/clinics on reedmaking given, many Reeduals and other reed duplication machines have gone through my hands. I have made virtually all of my own reeds with the Reedual for years, and have long required my university students to acquire some competence in the reed room. While the ideal would always be to have a machine that would simply duplicate the model reed without acquired finesse from the operator, there has always been a "learning curve," where one learns to compensate for variations from model to object reed, particularly at the tip and down the right side.
John Weigand's newest iteration of the venerable Reedual is light years beyond the machines produced from 1963 until now. With an appropriately-balanced model (i.e. working as a mirror image of the mouthpiece facing), my impression is that the only variable becomes the cane itself. It feels to me like one could successfully use the new machine blindfolded. While the mechanical principles and basic appearance remain the same as always, John and his excellent machinists have produced a ReeDual that is simpler and more accurate than ever before. Even the least mechanically-inclined among us should feel comfortable with the new machine in very short order.
I have been relying on the Reedual to make my own reeds through two graduate degrees in performance, a four-year enlistment in a military band, and an active teaching and freelance career. This newest version is even more dependable when it comes to rapidly turning out good reeds.
The Reedual is absolutely worth the initial cost of purchasing a machine. It pays for itself quickly by producing better quality longer lasting reeds at a fraction of the cost of commercial reeds.
Lecturer in Clarinet and Theory
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
I have made reeds on and off again for almost 30 years. I have always used a Reedual in this process. But the prior versions of the Reedual were notoriously difficult to produce consistent results.
The new version that John has created is light years beyond previous models: CNC-milled parts without wiggle and wobble, better sandpaper, better motor, and better table plastic. The result is a machine that accurately duplicates the shape of the model!
Adjunct Professor of Clarinet
Northern Kentucky University