the definitive single reed micrometer
Clarinetists are unendingly frustrated by a lack of consistency in mass produced reeds and the time and money spent searching for a performance-worthy reed. Most clarinetists buy commercial reeds from large companies. In a box of ten commercial reeds, it is fortunate to find even two that would be suitable for performance. A good reed is symmetrical from side to side and maintains a certain slope and proportion towards the center of the reed. When a reed is unbalanced, clarinetists can manually adjust the reed to make it symmetrical to produce a clear and beautiful tone. In order to identify what areas of the reed require adjustment, clarinetists need to measure the reed’s thickness. These measurements are taken with a single reed micrometer, a precision gauge that measures small distances or thicknesses.
There are two other single reed micrometers available in the United States, but these tools have numerous design flaws which make it impossible to achieve accurate and consistent results. When users cannot take accurate measurements of their reeds, they are prevented from being able to make necessary adjustments to poorly performing reeds. Clearly, a new tool had to be invented to solve this market problem. I set out to invent an improved tool which would correct the flaws found in commercial single reed micrometers. After developing a series of prototypes, I invented the manual Reed Mapper—known as Mr. Mapper—to serve this market need. The Reed Mapper was tested by ten individuals, and the data collected from these tests proves that Mr. Mapper has measurement consistency of 97%, making it the most accurate and reliable single reed micrometer available in the United States.
of All Sizes
Eb clarinet, soprano saxophone
Tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Make Symmetrical Reeds
Identify where your reed isn't perfectly symmetrical using the Reed Mapper, and make sanding adjustments for an improved tone and in-tune sound
Collect data on your favorite reeds to map out your ideal proportions, then apply these changes to all of your reeds for a consistent feel and sound
The manual Reed Mapper—known as Mr. Mapper—was invented by clarinetists Robert DiLutis and Natalie Groom to correct all of the flaws found in other commercial single reed micrometers. The new and improved tool measures reeds of all sizes and ensures the user can expect reliable readings and repeatable results.
The Reed Mapper is a micrometer designed to measure the thickness of single reeds (clarinet and saxophone) of any size. This user-friendly precision tool helps you improve reeds by identifying areas which need adjustment. Mr. Mapper uses a digital dial indicator, two planes of motion, and a set of pins to allow different areas of the reed to be measured and compared.
The ideal reed should be symmetrical from the center, but commercial reeds often fail the player in this regard. Use Mr. Mapper to identify points lacking symmetry, and adjust the reed for a purer tone, snappier response, and improved intonation. Mr. Mapper can be used to reproduce reeds to identical dimensions of your favorite reed. Empower yourself to get more life out of a box of reeds by making more of them playable.