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Author Topic: Trying out some different reeds today  (Read 144 times)

Offline LarryS

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Trying out some different reeds today
« on: June 29, 2018, 08:37:49 AM »
My usual reeds are Ricos, the latest ones being 2.5s. But it was suggested I try Vandorens, in strength 2, which is equivalent to Rico 2.5s and so I got a pack of 3.
First impressions are they are louder and more prone to squeak or growl. I find I have to be careful how much Mp I put in my mouth, and embouchure angle is critical. But they do sound more clarinet-like to me once you get the hang of them. Should new reeds be broken in before they are at their best? (I've only tried one from the pack so far).
And what reeds do you all use? My mp is a Yamaha 4C.

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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2018, 12:00:25 PM »
Yes, break 'em in Larry!  What do I use? Well, I don't have a favorite clarinet reed . . . yet. The search continues.  However, on tenor sax I became so disenchanted with cane reeds that I went to the 'not so local' music shop and scored a "BARI" branded plastic reed. I had my doubts and was ready to put the horn away.

Well, I got home and took the nicely crafted piece of plastic out of it's nice little hinged case and strapped to my Hite mouthpiece. Put some air thought the horn and could not believe what I was hearing - thick yet reedy tone - you know, like that "1 out of 20" cane reed that plays good for 2 weeks tops. I don't think I will ever give up real cane reeds but now I have confidence that synthetic materials may be great for tone production. Yes, I will be trying some for the little horn as well.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2018, 12:06:14 PM »
Yes I fancy trying one of those legere synthetic reeds in the future...they sound ideal.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2018, 04:44:44 PM »
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Offline DaveLeBlanc

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 08:40:31 AM »
I prefer Fibracell over Legere because they feel more natural
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Offline zigzigy7

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 10:14:57 AM »
you can always modify cane reeds to make them work better. premade reeds dont have much in the way of quality control in order to mass produce them, one simple way to help their performance is to sand them. take the flat side of your reed and place it on some sandpaper that is 600 grit or higher and rub it lightly until is is smooth. that allows it to fit more flush to the mouthpiece. you can also scrape the other side lightly with a razor to soften it as well as close the cane fibers, which in turn improve the reed more.

as for synthetic reeds i own one that i use for german mouthpieces which use a different cut reed. in my experience they are harder than cane reeds, meaning a legere 3.5 isnt quite the same as a vandoren 3.5 but is a bit stiffer. but the quality is much more controlled and they last much longer. i would recommend synthetic reeds to students because theyre not as varied and students dont have to fiddle with their mouthpieces and reeds in order to sound right. also worth noting for legere reeds, they dont come with a reed guard, so id advise taking the guard from an old reed you threw out and putting it in that
« Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 10:19:06 AM by zigzigy7 »

Offline windydankoff

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 12:09:28 PM »
I use synthetics because, simply, I live (more or less) in the 21st Century.

I have a jaw weakness that demands that I minimize blowing resistance. I was using 1.5 blue Vandoren or Java. I now get the same sound and feel with Fibracell, so I quit cane. Fibracell #1 is equiv. to Vandoren 1.5 because they make more grades so they have a different numbering. For my alto clarinet, I use 1.5 Fibracell.

I buy 3 reeds at a time, and rotate them. I occasionally get an early failure, but 3/4 last me for 6 months of rotation. Then they tend to fail suddenly.

I can't imagine going back to soaking, straightening, judging and selecting, and the other bother. I like to pick up a horn and just blow! I'm just a hard rubber and synth reed kind of guy. Learning clarinet has enough challenges!
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Offline Airflyte

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 02:02:58 PM »
I use synthetics because, simply, I live (more or less) in the 21st Century.

 Learning clarinet has enough challenges!

Agreed Windy!







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Offline LarryS

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 02:28:15 PM »
Here's the two reeds side by side
Vandoren Traditional 2 on the left, Rico Royal 2.5 on the right.
Slight size difference

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Offline BD

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 05:47:12 PM »
I also use van doren, besides a light sand initially I also like to "crush" the reed with thumb pressure on a flat surface- helps then for no air to escape through the reed. Occasionally a dud reed comes up, but I have been able to "save" many that are dud at the first play by allowing them to dry fully & giving another sand.

Offline LarryS

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 12:39:42 AM »
I haven't tried sanding them yet, knowing my luck I'd damage them. I've tried the paper trick but I couldn't notice any difference.
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 12:31:32 PM »
Well I could hardly get a good tone today. I'll try another reed tomorrow. There might be a tiny split in the tip of the first one.
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Offline TMHeimer

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 07:13:15 PM »
I have used VanDoren 2 1/2 reeds for decades with my VanDoren 5RV mouthpiece. I frequently play on a reed right out of the box, but usually break them in at least a little bit. I occasionally use my pen knife to shave the edges. Unlike myself, most professionals use a harder reed.
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Offline andybeals

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 08:28:10 AM »
Unlike myself, most professionals use a harder reed.

As near as I can tell, it's a (gender-free) machismo thing or rather, that's half the reason people do it.  The other half is that you do tend to get more consistent vibration out of it, once it starts vibrating.

On my bass, I've found:
  • Fibercell definitely gives me a more sax-like sound - raw and edgy
  • Bari reeds don't work for me (on any instrument)
  • Legere blue-label (regular) play nicely, but are missing a wooden reed tone
  • Legere black-label (Signature) are closer to the real thing

That said, I normally play Van Dorens, prefer V21, but will slide down to V.12, or blue box, depending on what's available for the clarinet I'm playing.  (eefer, beefer, alto, bass, contra alto) 

However, for outdoors use, it's Legere all the way.  A Legere 2.5 for our community band's performance of the anthem at the Royals (vs. Twins) game on the 13th. 
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Offline LarryS

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Re: Trying out some different reeds today
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2018, 07:51:51 AM »
Ok so I got the clarinet out today after a few weeks absence and I played 3 reeds side by side, soaking each in water beforehand. The Vandoren 2 (blue packet) just seems to require a lot more air to get a half decent sound. I still have one unopened (I binned the first one, it was terrible) but I get a decent tone out of a Rico 2.5 Royal. I have 2 of those, one I've marked with a tick, the other with 2 ticks. 2 ticks gets the vote, it sounds so much better and is less airy.
I still want to try a synthetic but they are so expensive, and our only music shop has closed down. So its internet only...
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