The verdict is in.
I have officially put in all I am willing to input for a blank to become a functioning, stage ready reed. We all have our breaking point, and sometimes the product just isn't worth the resources. For your reference, here are a few examples of ones that are "worth it" in my mind - asymmetry that responds to a single scrape (image one) - and ones that aren't - persistent sideslipping (image two) and separated blades (image three).
After another one or two sessions on each reed, adjusting according to my priorities:
I subjected each reed to my final checklist:
As you can see, 13/15 constitutes a passing score for me - generally suitable for other humans to hear. This is a B+ reed that is functional for the average situation. If a reed is destined for the stage, it must (MUST) score a 100% and sound beautiful. Here are the scores for the remaining blanks from each batch:
Seam Aligned "Side" Wire Placement:
- 2... yikes
Standard Wire Placement:
- and... two 15s!
The bright blue wrapped, standard wire placement formed unicorn made its stage debut on my fall faculty recital, and its rainbow wrapped compatriot hopped in the mail to a student of mine to live on through the Iowa All State audition process.
Hear one of theme in this teaser of the lovely second movement of Jenni Brandon 's Colored Stones, then check out the full recital through the link above!
Much like some reeds being potential products that are not worth the process, I find myself reflecting on methods in the same manner, and with this set of cane, in these circumstances, for these purposes I think I will be leaving my formation process just as it is.
... until the next experiment comes along.