Yesterday I started finishing three reeds that I made into blanks before Christmas, two Rigotti (R5 and R6), and the first one from the Chinese cane (G1). I'm constantly amazed how different reeds can sound that in principle ought to be identical: same batch of the same cane, same processing, same measurements; yet one sounds bright, and the other stuffy. And amazed as well at the symmetry differences between blades. They all came off the profiler with identical thicknesses, I assume anyway, so thickness is not the only determinant for the arch in the blade. Nothing to do but fix it by scraping, I guess. This evening I formed tubes on two more from the Chinese cane. Previously I'd been trying forming tubes with two wires on, figuring that the wires constitute a hard outer form to push against the hard inner form of the mandrel while forming the tube. Then I tried wires and string, so the string could cushion the tube while allowing pliers to crunch the tube, helping the forming. For these two, however, I skipped the wires entirely, using only string, which was how I learned originally. I found myself removing the wires later so I could flatten the formed tube anyway, so if I can avoid putting them on, it'll save a step.
Update (Fri): R6 is strong and bright, and could be interesting. The other two, R5 and G1, are more mellow, and I find myself tending to look for ways to brighten them. Taking wood out of the "hinge" seemed to help... which led to a rare feeling of success. I felt like McCoy in the Star Trek episode, Spock's Brain, where he has to reconnect Spock's brain to his body, with the help of some neural enhancement: It's so easy now. Just scrape the channels if it makes your lips tired, the hinge to get brighter, nuthin' to it.