Performance · Quality · Consistency

San Francisco, California

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A blend of tradition and technology, innovative ideas meet the finest materials. Cullen Blain Bassoon provides performance-ready and reliable solutions so you can spend your time playing.


Last updated on Oct 12, 2021

*** Free Shipping on most items and orders of $35 or more.***
A blend of tradition and technology, innovative ideas meet the finest materials. Cullen Blain Bassoon provides performance-ready and reliable solutions so you can spend your time playing.


Cullen B

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Cullen B


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About CullenBlainBassoon

Sales 743
On Etsy since 2012

Reeds. Research. Repeat.

Well, it's pretty simple, I started making tools and micrometers for my friends and colleagues during my master's degree, but I had this crazy idea that the performance of a reed is scientifically measurable before spending all this time processing the cane, making a blank, or finishing a reed. I knew what needed to happen ( had no idea if it would work), but I needed reed cane and a lot of it. So, I decided to bootstrap my research funding and purchase cane with the revenue I generated making reeds for others.

After spending about four years in an aerospace laboratory, I generated enough data to infer the Material Performance of a reed.

Material Performance is the ability to interact with a reed or instrument in performance with a positive and expected response.

Material Performance is different than a “good” finishing scrape or balancing a reed; this is the measure of efficiency, the interaction of multiple mechanical and material properties dovetailed with performance expectations. Performing musicians, instrument makers, and reed makers all need materials that are consistently master grade, workable, cost-effective, repeatable, sustainable, and climate-friendly.

The outcome of my research was beyond my expectations:
1. Identifies what makes a great instrument or reed, both mechanical and material properties.
2. Integrates artistic considerations and expectations, material performance leads to expressive freedom and playability.
3. Developed an effective “drop-in” quality management system that promotes sustainability and limits waste.

My next steps are to further collaborate with a robust research community creating computer-based models to implement quality management from cultivation to performance, mapping yearly harvest, streamline manufacturing processes, and developing further climate-friendly technologies.

Cullen Blain developed a patent-pending Integrated Quality Management System for the manufacturing of Musical Instruments, Reeds, and Accessories. This system has been implemented with the Cincinnati-based startup Queen City Reed Company, in part with the UC Linder College of Business Centers for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, and SCORE Greater Cincinnati.

Cullen Blain is a 2017 Winner of the Fealy Bearcat Bridge Fund.

Shop members

  • Cullen Blain

    Owner, Reed Maker

    Cullen is an innovative performing bassoonist with a passion for chamber music, teaching, and music research.

Production partners

  • original equipment manufacturer

    Austin, TX

    This production partner creates the reed cases we use.

Shop policies

Last updated on January 20, 2020
Welcome! All of our reeds are made using select cane and crafted by hand from start to finish. The cane and blanks are stored at a stable temperature in a humidity controlled environment anywhere from 3 to 8 months to ensure quality and consistency. This ensures a stable and long-lasting reed.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns, exchanges, and cancellations
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
Request a cancellation within: 12 hours of purchase
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
  • Items on sale
Questions about your order?
Please if you have any problems with your order.
Returns and exchange details
Reeds cannot be returned for obvious reasons, please contact us if you need assistance with an order.
No personal or e-checks.
Orders are processed and shipped in 1 to 3 days. During peak sales periods orders can take up to 2 weeks to be processed and shipped.