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RDG-Mack Oboe Shaper Tips

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Westwind developed these contemporary oboe shaper tips for John Mack in partnership with Bob Gilbert, the founder of RDG Woodwinds. Available in three sizes; M, M+, and M++; these popular tips can be purchased from RDG Woodwinds, Forrests, or Charles Double Reed. The suggested retail price is $225 and includes a $30 gift to the Mack estate.


John Mack used the M+ tip for his own reeds, but he also liked the M and M++ and wanted to give his oboe students some options to choose from. The + and ++ tips are respectively, .001 in. and .002 in. wider than the "M" model. All three RDG/Mack tips have a narrower tip than the original Pfieffer/Mack tips, reflecting a refinement in Mr. Mack's definition of his ideal tip later in his career.


Westwind shaper tips—the best shapes made better. Unlike shaper tips made using traditional machining techniques, Westwind shaper tips use state of the art production techniques to ensure unsurpassed consistency, durability, and symmetry.

  • Our precision production techniques ensure consistency. If you ever break or lose your tip, you can get another one exactly like it.
  • Our tips are made of the highest-grade tool steel and the ears get a special treatment to improve durability. If your tip ever breaks, simply return it and we’ll send you a new one. No questions asked!  
  • All of our shaper tips are perfectly symmetrical across the centerline in order to reduce the risk of leakage on one side of the reed.
  • A 30-day trial is available for this shaper tip.


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About John Mack

John Mack was appointed to the principal oboe chair at the Cleveland Orchestra by George Szell in 1965; during his tenure, which lasted until 2001, he also played under music directors Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi and, Franz Welser-Möst. In his later years, Mack served as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra board of directors until his death in 2006.


Mack was born in Somerville, New Jersey, where he received his early musical training, studying with Bruno Labate and Marcel Tabuteau in high school. Friends urged him to study science or physics, but he was determined to continue with music, and went on to train at the Juilliard School with Harold Gomberg and with Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.


His professional orchestral career began in the Sadler's Wells Ballet Orchestra in1951 and was followed by eleven seasons (from 1952-63) as first oboist with the New Orleans Symphony. He then had a brief stint with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. Mack was also a founding member of the Plymouth Trio and a regular chamber music performer.


A renowned teacher, Mack was chairman of the woodwind division at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1965. Many of his former students hold positions with major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He was also a faculty member of the Kent/Blossom Music program since its founding in 1968, and beginning in 1976, he taught and performed at the John Mack Oboe Camp in North Carolina.


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