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We waited anxiously for my daughter's first set of reeds for her oboe - she had won 1 of 4 spots with beginning band...unopened, she brought them into class to show her band director and learn how to soak them properly before setting them in the instrument, only to have him point out to her that all but 1 of the 5 in the set were cracked! I will go to our local music shop and gladly spend twice the money if it means dependable quality!