My A.Lakota professional oboe reeds are made with a focus on function first and then finished to have a full resonant sound. I make all professional oboe reeds by hand, using traditional methods. I make reeds that play comfortable for me, so the Medium is what works well for me, soft is a little less resistant than what I may play myself and the hard is more resistant than what I would like. I aim to make very comfortable playing professional oboe reeds for myself and hope customers will benefit from my journey to find what works well.
Comparatively, to other reeds on the market, I find my professional oboe reeds to be slightly less resistant with a thinner tip and more removed from the windows just behind the heart. I aim to get as complex of a tone as possible with overtones throughout the sound. I like reeds to vibrate freely without controlling them too much with my embouchure.
Hard reeds are less finished in my opinion so if you have a particular way you like to finish your reeds you may consider trying the hard professional oboe reeds.
If every oboe reed you buy seems very hard to play you may try the medium or soft professional oboe reeds. I suggest starting with the Medium if you are a new customer.
I try to be as consistent with my classifications of the hardness, but I do not have a tool to measure to the qualities. It should also be noted that I am making reeds in Massachuessets where the climate changes regularly, and with that reeds can act differently in different climates. I welcome your feedback about how the reeds are working in any given season when you receive them so if things seem to change with the reeds you receive from season to season please let me know. I aim to make a great products no matter where my customers live, and this information allows me to be a better oboe reed maker.