Daði Kolbeinsson

Principal Oboe

 Iceland Symphony Orchestra

E-Mail received   31.3.2006

 Hi Eddie,

Iīm in Seattle and just finished our tour. The Superpads are marvellous, very airtight and reassuring. Thank you for your help. I'll write more with my thoughts on their use on oboes.

Best wishes, Daði.

E-Mail received  22.4.2006

Hi Eddie, I said Iīd give you my thoughts on your pads after some time -here goes! First, I am very pleased with them as they do what I wanted them to do ie.stay airtight. Although this is only after seven weeks of playing, being of synthetic materials, I am pretty confident the condition will not change in the future despite temperature and humidity changes. My only regret is that I didnīt get you to change one more, the third octave pad; that was just careless on my part. There are however differences in the padsī characteristics that could prove troublesome on an oboe particularly with its substantially more sensitive areas of potential problems. I refer here to the different ring on the pad compared to skin, leather or cork pads. It took me a few weeks to get the C# and D# pads correctly adjusted, not for airtightness, but for tuning. The C# was always a problem before, as I had to have the adjustment screw too loose to tune C# correctly, but then the pad did not seal unless I pressed hard on the B natural key; now itīs fine. The D# however was perfect before, now far too sharp with the screw correctly adjusted for airtightness, so a little wax in the hole and now itīs great - but not everyone does their own tuning. To sum up, a Superpad replacing a "normal" pad on an articulated oboe key will sharpen the note. This might not be a problem if both the open and closed pads were changed, but changing an open-key pad opens also another can of worms with more tuning variables. (Hence my reluctance to let you touch any of those!) One benefit of Superpads however is that their inherent softness means that there is a little more flexibility, allowing some tuning by adjustment screw on articulated keys without compromising airtightness. I was also caught out by how long the pad on the little C-D trill took to settle. There was plenty free play when you changed it, but a fortnight later it was all gone, so I had to sandpaper some cork away to get more play. Anyway I am most pleased with my decision, have fewer worries, better bottom notes; you must however watch for these potential tuning problems.Hope all goes well with Rúnarīs bass - itīs a pity he canīt get over to try it.

Best wishes,         Daði Kolbeinsson

 Superpads

 

An innovation discovered & perfected by EDDIE ASHTON
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