Medir and Sampson cane

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Patrick O' Hare
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Medir and Sampson cane

Post by Patrick O' Hare » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:43 pm

Hi All

As you are all probably aware Medir ( the sorce of excellent Catalonian cane) now have an online store where you can buy your cane and pay instantly.

http://www.medir.cat/

I placed an order on Monday and recieved it today. As always the cane is excellent. One reed is singing already

It is a great service. For anyone who is really serious about reedmaking i would suggest they buy cane direct from the source and not through a third party vendor as sometimes this cane give an untrue reflection of the canes inherant quality. I cannot recommend highly enough Medir and Sampson cane. http://www.sampsoncane.com/

The reedmaking journey can be a long , lonely and frustrating one, however having great cane makes it easier, these guys provide both great cane and a very warm and friendly service

Well done Medir for your great service and excellent product and the latest aspect of your business, and to Joseph for making readily available the illustrious " gold"

Looking forward to my next batch already, ( although these 4 kilos may last a while )

Carles and Joseph you have saved my life and made me look good many times

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J-dub
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by J-dub » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:16 pm

Patrick, thanks for the update. I got Medir cane several years ago, and while I was very happy with the service and the fast shipping, I felt that some of the cane I got was way too hard for my liking. I got the impression that they were striving to please the uilleann crowd with softer cane than they normally would process for oboe/bassoons, maybe now they have figured it out? Just wondering how do you think the Medir compares with Joseph's California cane? I have had fantastic results with Sampson cane, it is amazingly springy, you can feel it even in the slip before it's gouged out. In contrast, the Medir I had was stiff as a board.

Makes me wish I had the time to sit down and make a cantilever beam stiffness measuring device for cane and reeds.

John

Patrick O' Hare
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by Patrick O' Hare » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:42 pm

Hi John

I find that they are both completetly different in how they behave and how the final reed is set up. I actually prefer the slightly stiffer cane as it can lend itself to the tone that i require for my pipes and certain others. The Californinan is lovely to work with and has such a bright warm powerful tone without excessive pressure. The Spanish requires ( i feel) less work to get it going but it can be harder to get that really really crisp reed. One of the big things i have noticed is that for my style of reed the californian cane will always require the bridle to be placed higher than a similar reed of spanish cane. ( i know a lot would disagree with me on that point) 99% of the time my spanish reeds will take the bridle just at the point of the binding ie as low as it can go.
With experience you begin to find the subtle differences in each individual material. For my style of reed I find that the californian will need to have a heavier scrape than the spanish cane. However this may only be due to my style and the recipe i use.
For example if you look at Benedict Koehler reeds, who uses californian quite alot you can see that there is a very light scrape with very little material removed

Having said that, as with all reedmaking, judgement of the piece of cane you are working will ultimatly determine what needs to be done to it.
With experience you will find that you can make a reed from just about any piece of cane hard or soft.

I once made a reed with one blade of Californian and one of spanish :lol:
It worked fine !!!!

Hope this has helped :mrgreen:

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J-dub
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by J-dub » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:48 pm

Thanks for the tips Patrick.

As you noted with Benedict's reeds made from California cane, the scrape is rather minimal. This has been my experience too following Benedict's method, and I attribute it to the ability to selectively thin the slip near the base of the scrape to get the 'right' feel to and flexibility. After a long and hard education in this method I am able to get some very bright and wonderful reeds for my concert pipes, and my C pipes, which I modeled after the Kenna set in the Sean Reid Society vol II. But recently I have been going back to the stiffer Madir cane to reed a set of B pipes by Brad Angus. The narrow throat and upper bore seem to place a lot of strain on the reed when playing the back D (and the C#) notes; in this case the California cane has been a bit more problematic getting a good thumb note that does not sink really badly.

John

Ted
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by Ted » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:08 pm

I supply Benedict with most of his Calif. cane. The"gold" is cane from one source that is no longer available. Calif. cane comes in a wide variety of hardness/softness, depending on the source. I am highly selective concerning sources. My cane is still $2.00 US per tube and drone cane is also available. Have seen some OK Medir cane lately but also a lot which is harder than the dickens. Nothing new there.

LiamO'Flynn
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by LiamO'Flynn » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:25 pm

I always thought that hard cane gives you crisp sounding reeds and sort cane gives softer sounding reeds .Is this always the case?

Liam
Liam O'Flynn the plumber not the piper .

Ted
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by Ted » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:19 pm

Hard cane yields bright sounding reeds while soft cane yields a darker more mellow tone. Benedict likes a softer cane and that is what I try to supply to him. Softer cane requires less scrape than hard cane and can be left thicker in the lips as well. A few reedmakers want a brighter tone and I try to supply the harder end of the Calif. cane spectrum for them. Most reedmakers who come to me want the softer cane for the mellower and greater tonal capabilities it gives. California cane is all over the hard to soft continuum. It is up to the suppliers quality control methods to select what he thinks is best for UP reeds. Medir says he is getting soft cane by supplying cane which has only grown one year. The cane is cut green and has a thin wall. They harvest two year old cane for wet reed makers. Sampson and I harvest cane which has died in the field, usually at three to four years old. I find the soft cane, like the gold, has fewer fibrovascular bundles, which carry the sap, and more pith than harder cane. Whether this is due to genetics or growing conditions I am not certain. The soft stuff usually has about a 45% sink by the dunk test. David Daye thinks this is too soft for UP reeds. He also is a GHB player and his ideas of tone I believe are influenced by that.

reedmaster
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by reedmaster » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:03 am

I boucht a batch of cane from Medir last year for GHP reeds. I thought the hardness was perfect for done reeds, however a lot of it was useless. I informed Carles Medir that 140 or so tubes, about 1/4 of the order were unsuitable to use for resale. They had leaf node tear out holes, were bent or too short. I have yet to hear back from him and don't expect to. I also thought what he charged for shipping and handling was a bit excessive. That being said, I have nearly made the total amount I paid him back and have plenty of reeds made up ready for sale.
Since I doubt I'll have any more dealings in Spain I was wondering if anyone has used any of the French cane grown in the Var regeon. I look back on my time spent in France with fondness and can at least understand the language somewhat.

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PJ
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by PJ » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:01 pm

reedmaster wrote:... I was wondering if anyone has used any of the French cane grown in the Var regeon.
I use French cane. I don't know what region it comes from. You'll have to ask Mike Hulme that questions because he supplied it to me.

I find the French cane to be excellent. I've make a number of very nice chanter, regulator and drone reeds with it.

One curious feature of the French cane that I noticed is that it is lighter than both the Spanish cane and Californian cane I have.
PJ

Mike Hulme
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Re: French Cane

Post by Mike Hulme » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:13 pm

The French cane we supply comes from the Camargue, the Voz region and a couple of other locations. Since we started collecting it we have been searching for areas of growth over different kinds of water table; i.e. the Camargue cane is growing over brackish water, especially close to the Med. We wanted to see if the different water sources had any effect on the way the cane behaved under the gouge. What we can say with certainty is that the French cane is softer than the Spanish, that it grows longer between the nodes and is considerably straighter. The hotter Spanish sun enables larger diameters* to be achieved in both growing seasons. On the other hand, the French stands supply superb quality drone cane, especially for tenor drones; the slightly longer growing time seems to admit of a stronger tube for a given diameter.

As Ted does, we harvest the dead standing cane; this reduces the drying and seasoning time considerably, but we still season and turn the cane for two years before it goes on the market.

* i.e. 25mm for Rowsome type reeds. As I only make Taylor style reeds for my pipes, I favour 20 - 22mm diameter for chanter reeds and 18 - 20mm for regulators.

LiamO'Flynn
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by LiamO'Flynn » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:46 am

Do I have this right? I get the impression that some cane suppliers harvest their cane from land that is not their own and is cane that is just growing wild.Where Medir is growing his cane on an plantation that is owned by him or his company ?

Liam
Liam O'Flynn the plumber not the piper .

Pipewort
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by Pipewort » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:13 pm

I prerfer cane that complies to the thumb nail test. Pressing the nail into the exposed end leaves a visible indentation. So far, no other supplier has come near this.

I have been very happy with the material supplied by Medir. I would like to have access to longer and bigger I/diameter drone cane. This seems to be a big problem, at the quality that is required, as far as I am concerned.

But, it horses for courses, and maybe I should adapt my style of reed making to acount for less soft cane.

Pwrt

reedmaster
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by reedmaster » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:52 am

I didnt think it was much cooler around Nimes or Avignon than it was in Figueres which is near Medir's cane fields and I was doing a lot of walking. In fact, I walked from Perpignan to Figueres and beyond.

Ted
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by Ted » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:33 pm

Pipewort wrote:I prerfer cane that complies to the thumb nail test. Pressing the nail into the exposed end leaves a visible indentation. So far, no other supplier has come near this.

I have been very happy with the material supplied by Medir. I would like to have access to longer and bigger I/diameter drone cane. This seems to be a big problem, at the quality that is required, as far as I am concerned.

But, it horses for courses, and maybe I should adapt my style of reed making to acount for less soft cane.

Pwrt
I have drone cane which is very long between nodes as well as larger diameters. This is because I do not rely on branches from larger tubes but harvest tubes of the diameters required from cane which is growing from the rhizome (root). The quality is excellent for drone reeds. If you were to let me know the diameters and minimum length required, I can let you know what I can supply. I can supply cane up to GHB bass drone sizes.

outofthebox
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Re: Medir and Sampson cane

Post by outofthebox » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:47 am

Would it be possible for someone to post two sound files of the same chanter fitted first with a Medir reed and then with a Sampson Reed, both made to the same reed model? This would allow us to hear how the sound of the Californian reed cane differs from the Spanish. This would help me, as a beginner reedmaker, make a choice based on the quality of sound I prefer.

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