But they are not meant to sound GREAT, and they are not 100% conistent, and they are certainly not meant for an advancing player to make beautiful, nuanced music on.
The ideal answer is to make your own reeds, or work with a good teacher who can help you by supplying reeds at the appropriate strength or by working on what you have - but there are plenty of scenarios in which you might find yourself holding a store-bought reed AND possessing high oboe standards, and wanting to make the one thing match the other. Maybe you ARE a teacher, and your big-eyed student has just brought one of these in. Maybe you are desperate because your last good reed just cracked down the middle and the only reed in miles comes from your local Q and F. Maybe you have no better source, but you want to sound better.
In this video I analyze and repair a random assortment of reeds from MY local Q and F, and offer advice and suggestions.
Here's the YouTube playlist with all of my other Five Minute Reedmaker videos. You could subscribe right there if you wanted to - I've finished dropping weekly videos but there are a few more in the pipeline, and I'll keep making them as relevant questions keep occurring to me!
Here's my website, where you can order reeds or cane or ask me questions. Questions will keep these videos flowing!
Here's how you can send me your own reeds to analyze and improve on video for your learning pleasure!