There is a myth that playing a single reed woodwind instrument or a double reed using a hard reed gives the player a good sound. It seems to be a very popular myth with oboe players in particular. A reed can't on its own produce a good sound, a good sound is made by the skill of the player. There are so many amateur oboists in the UK that I have come across that sound like power drills because they are playing on reeds that are too stiff for them to be able to control the sound. If you have someone in your community orchestra that makes a terrible noise on the oboe don't put up with it. Either suggest that they get some reeds that suit them better or ask them to leave. As long as they continue to play on reeds that are too stiff the sound will not improve.