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Due to high-demand the current lead time for reeds and processed cane is approximately 4-5 weeks.
oboe reed gouging machine with oboe reeds and oboe reed knives behind.
oboe reed gouging machine with oboe reeds and oboe reed knives behind.
oboe reed gouging machine with oboe reeds and oboe reed knives behind.

Custom oboe reeds

$120.00 USD

  • Custom oboe reeds are made to your specifications, I will make them have your specific physical dimensions, playing qualities, pitch specifications, thread color, staples (may be added cost)  Et cetera. Please contact me to let me know how I can help you. Custom reeds may have up to a 4 week lead time.

    • I would prefer new customers to contact me prior to ordering these reeds, so we can speak and understand what you are looking for, and whether I think I can help.
    • Returning customers can feel free to place an order here and I will contact you as needed.

    The custom oboe reeds are not meant to be perceived as simply the top of the line oboe reeds offered at A.Lakota Reeds. I have a few  intentions while selling custom oboe reeds

    1)  To help educate oboists hoping to explore different playing characteristics that may come from changing specific variables in the process.

    2) To help professional and high-level amateur oboists to have an oboe reed that is made to their specifications if they have no other outlet and have specific requests.  I have met many oboists who are not able to make oboe reeds due to some external setback whether that be a physical inability or lack of time and resources. I have heard "I would still play the oboe if I had a good reed source" many times. I enjoy being able to give many of these individuals another chance to play the oboe by providing them with oboe reeds.

    3) To learn more about my own oboe reed making craft by learning more about what other oboists find desirable in an oboe reed and learning to make reeds to better suit individual oboists. 

    One of my goals as an oboe reed maker is to provide as consistent a product as possible, but what is great for me, may not work so well for someone else. I have created my professional oboe reeds and student oboe reeds with quality and consistency in mind.  I hope to provide oboe reeds that can be relied on to play a certain way no matter the cane, season, or other factors, this in itself can be a challenge, but I work very hard to keep raising the bar for myself. A greater challenge is working to make a reed that is different than my style. 

    I have tried many different oboe reeds, I have spoken with many oboists, and I have made many reeds at this point.  I feel I have a decent, yet always improving, grasp of different qualities that oboe reeds possess and how to make reeds to suit different needs and individuals. I am always looking to grow my own skills and understanding of reed making, and I find looking at what other people find to be the ideal expands my own concept of what a "great reed" is and how that plays into my own concept of "great oboe playing".

    I would love for every customer to have access to a professional reed maker that can make custom reeds to their exact specifications. This is not truly affordable or feasible for most people, but it would likely make oboe playing significantly more enjoyable for many oboists. I invite you to contact me about what you are looking for, and I will give you an honest answer about whether I think I can help you.

  • Oboe reed sanitation against Corona Virus (Covid19).  

    Oboe reed sanitation is something that every reed maker must be familiar with when selling reeds to the public. Reed makers must try and adjust every oboe reed or English horn reed I made to ensure proper function.  I traditionally use Hydrogen Peroxide (HP) for a few reasons
    1. HP seems to be more gentle on the vascular bundles/cell integrity of the cane.
    2. Hydrogen Peroxide is made up of 2 atoms of hydrogen, and 2 atoms of oxygen (H2O2).Hydrogen Peroxide decomposes to become water (H2O) and oxygen which are non-reactive, and have no taste. 
    3. HP seems to be a great cleaner for older reeds that may need revitalization, making it a substance that all double reed players   should have on-hand. 
    Due to the recent covid-19 (corona virus) outbreak I have made a switch to using both Hydrogen peroxide along with Isopropyl Alcohol to disinfect oboe reeds and English horn reeds. Northampton MA has not yet had any cases of Covid-19, however I am approaching my sanitation process as though I have already been in contact with the virus.
     Disinfecting best practices from the Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-your-home.html

    My new disinfection process is as follows. 

    1. Wash hands thoroughly. 
    2. Soak reeds in alcohol for 30 seconds, remove from alcohol and let let the alcohol drain through the staple. 
    3. Let reeds sit for 3 minutes and then dip the reeds in fresh distilled water to rinse off alcohol. 
    4. Allow reeds to dry fully away from reedmaking station (4-12 hours). 
    5. Wash hands thoroughly.
    6. Place reeds in hydrogen peroxide for 30 seconds, remove from HP allow excess liquid to flow through the staple then shake excess moisture from the reed. Allow reeds to dry full
    7. Wash hands and insert reeds into their packages for shipping.

    The Covid-19 virus can survive on surfaces for 4-72 hours.

    https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces. As an added precaution I am allowing reeds at least 3 days to reach their destination after being packaged. This ensures that if the inside of the package was contaminated, the virus will spend enough time in the packaging to die. I will not expedite shipping until further notice, and packages expected to reach their destination within 1-2 days will be held 24-48 hours before being shipped. 

    Further precautions for oboe reed customers

    Packages being delivered may have been touched by many hands during transit. Customers wanting to take further precautions upon receipt of their oboe reeds may wish to take these steps.  
    1. Allow packages being delivered to sit for 72 hours before being handled. 
    2. Wash hands after opening your packages and before trying oboe or English horn reeds. Be careful not to touch the reeds directly after touching the outside of the shipping box. 
    3. Reeds can be sterilized again in a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution. 
    4. Avoid sharing reeds. 
    I am very appreciative for all the support that I have received from my customers over the years. I am grateful that we are able to help one another to play the instrument we love and be happy oboe-ing. 
    -Aaron Lakota 
  • The approximate current wait time is always listed on the front page of the website and along the top of each page on non-mobile devices. Please be sure to check the current wait time before placing an order. 

    Why is there a wait time? 

    I love making reeds and devote a very large part of my life to my profession as a reed maker. There are a lot of steps that go into making oboe reeds which can be read about here. I have worked very hard to develop efficient methods that allow me to craft hundreds of reeds each month to help my customers to enjoy playing the instrument we love so much. I love that I am able to help so many oboists of all levels! I ask my customers to understand that in the day of next day deliveries with large businesses, I am just one person working to improve my craft and desire to bring you the best oboe reeds. 

    Along with the crafting of each reed I am also solely responsible to answer any customer service questions, package and ship the orders, manage inventory, and do any other tasks that are needed to be done in the process of getting you high-quality oboe reeds. I currently devote 50-70 hours per week toward my business. When I have a lot of orders I devote a lot of time to making those reeds, but also more time towards answering questions and shipping those reeds. As demand gets high every part of the process becomes more laborious which adds time to the whole process. You can help to keep the wait down by noting the lead time before ordering and letting me know of any shipping delays outside of that timeframe, not within it.  Every customer email about when reeds will arrive is time away from making reeds. I will gladly help with orders that may have been lost in the mail, or have problems for some other reasons. I want to provide the best customer service possible. If the lead time is 2 weeks and you have not received your reeds after 4 weeks, please do email me and I will help to identify if there is a problem and prioritize solving it. When the wait is 4 weeks and I am emailed after 2 there is most likely not any problem with the order. 

    The current lead time is a fairly accurate estimate of how long it will take from the time of your order to when I will ship that order. The lead time can be anywhere from 5 days up to 3 months depending on demand. I really want to get you your reeds as soon as possible! I do not like to keep customers waiting, I realize how frustrating it can be to need to plan so far in advance. I really do everything I can to keep your wait as short as possible. 

    How can I be sure I have reeds when I need them?

    My suggestion is to order reeds when you still have plenty of working reeds in your reed case. I advise my students to always have at least 3 good reeds at a time. This means you should order oboe reeds long before you only have 3 working reeds. You or your oboist will be very disappointed if you wait until you have one working reed left when you place an order and realize it will be a month or more until you receive those reeds.  If you have an important recital or concert coming up be sure to place you order as soon as you know about the event. I take the responsibility of providing you the best oboe reeds  I can make, I hope you will take responsibility to plan ahead for all your oboe reed needs.