The Idea
In 1997, Alex Lubell, a woodwind and brass technician from The Saxophone Shop in Chicago wrote an article in the Journal of the International Double Reed Society
. In this article he presented some thoughts and the investigation he had done, concerning the possible impact the cork on an oboe staple (or tube) has on resonance and vibration.

oboeWhile browsing the internet one spring afternoon in 1999, looking for interesting tips or techniques for oboists, I came across this article by Mr. Lubell. The title: "The Superstaple: The Future of the Oboe" made me suspicious: yeah right! - just another fancy idea impossible to implement or extremely expensive or both. How can anything really help us oboists in our fight with this instrument and the ever-changing challenge with cane and reeds?

Reading the article though, changed my skepticism to curiosity. Maybe this guy had a point. In the article various experiments with, at first solid brass and then plastic were described. Alex Klein, principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the time, tested the superstaple by actually playing the solid brass tubes in a public performance. Fun, but too trumpet-like he thought. The plastic version sounded much better (same plastic used in the Nissen Tube). Alex Lubell's theories were verified.

You can read the entire article online which was presented in International Double Reed Society, VOL. 20, NO. 2, 1997. You have to be a member of IDRS to do so

Trying it
The staples from Lubell were quite expensive compared to any cork tubes I could buy here in Copenhagen, so before spending a fortune, I called Mr. Alex Klein one early morning to find out if this 'Super Staple' really was something special, or just a funny idea you would dislike after a while. After all - almost two years had passed since the article was written. He told me that the Super Staple was all he used ...!

OK, there was no way around it: I had to give it a try. If it is good enough for Alex Klein, it might be good enough for me!

The staples arrived a month later. The first thing I did was transfer a finished reed from a normal cork staple to the Super Staple. I felt the difference immediately, and it was a positive one. The whole range and sound quality from top to bottom seemed more even and focused, more together, tighter and present. More on this in What is it like?

I had some ideas for design changes of the Super Staple, to optimize stability in the reed socket, permit adjustment to different socket diameters, using standard rubber rings etc. I wanted to make it 'easy' to mass-produce, thus keeping costs down. The 'Nissen Tube' is the result of this work.

Returning customers - both amateurs and professionals from the US, Europe and Asia - are proof that this work is appreciated, you can read a couple of the 'reviews' from satisfied customers.