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Reeds Ageing/strength variation of Legere reeds

PaulM

Member
Messages
143
Locality
West Berks
Hello everyone, a question for users of Legere Signature reeds.

I've been playing a 2.5 Legere signature reed on my tenor for what must be 9 or 10 months now. Even though the reed still plays fine, I thought I'd better get a replacement as the original is distinctly long in the tooth. The new 2.5 reed is noticeably softer than my first one (I'd say it plays getting on for half a strength softer). These are the only two Legere reeds I've ever had, so a couple of questions for players with more experience of them than myself:

- do you find they get harder rather than softer over time as you play them?
- in your experience, is the variation in strength I see just manufacturer variation and to be expected?

If you have any comments or similar experiences I'd be interested to hear them.

Cheers.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Used them a lot but they are not consistent. Forestone are better
 

PaulM

Member
Messages
143
Locality
West Berks
Used them a lot but they are not consistent. Forestone are better

I did wonder. Rather makes a mockery of having quarter step strengths available if your manufacturing variation is the best part of half a step.
 

Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,239
Locality
Austria
Hi,

I agree in preferring Forestones, especially the "new" Black Bamboos, which have a thicker tip.
But Forestones also not that consistent.

I didn't notice they get harder over time, but they do wear out, especially if you play them on larger tip openings I think.

Cheers,
Guenne
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Hi,

I agree in preferring Forestones, especially the "new" Black Bamboos, which have a thicker tip.
But Forestones also not that consistent.

I didn't notice they get harder over time, but they do wear out, especially if you play them on larger tip openings I think.

Cheers,
Guenne
I have found them to be very consistent and they age well. Only been using them for about six months though. Still very impressed and more reliable than Legere in my opinion
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
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5,171
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Surrey, UK
I find that the Legere Signature are surprisingly variable, reed to reed. Whilst I like the basic sound, they seem to suit some mouthpieces well and others not at all. Their tuning characteristics also seem a bit different to cane (less easy to play in tune with a reed that isn't too strong).

I'm still waiting for the Legere Signature to be available on baritone (it was promised about two years ago).

Forestone I quite like, but the sound doesn't seem to carry very well - I get drowned out at big band whereas a cane reed cuts through fine.

Black Forestone sound interesting - anyone got experience of their sound (e.g. what cane reed is similar) ?

Rhys
 

Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,239
Locality
Austria
Black Forestone sound interesting - anyone got experience of their sound (e.g. what cane reed is similar) ?

Rhys

Hi,
don't want to hijack this thread.
I could post some samples if you are interested.

Cheers,
Guenne
 
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rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
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5,171
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Surrey, UK
Hi,
don't want to hijack this thread.
I could post some samples if you are interested.

Cheers,
Guenne

A recorded sample and/or some subjective descriptions would be great.

Thanks

Rhys
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Peeblesshire
I can hear a similar effect with the Forestone that I get with Plasticover which I use in a band to get past amplified instruments
 
Last edited:

PaulM

Member
Messages
143
Locality
West Berks
Rhys, Guenne,

Thanks for the replies and clips. It's interesting to hear I'm not alone in observing unwanted strength variations. This is a shame as they're not bad reeds (not on my Pillinger NYT anyway) and they certainly last a long time. But just over £20 a time for a tenor reed is too much to pay for a game of pot luck on reed strength, no matter how long it lasts.

People have been playing our family of instruments for over 150 years using cane reeds, probably not without complaint, but certainly with success. Perhaps one day a synthetic alternative will become available that both sounds as good and is capable of being manufactured to a high degree of reproducibility. In the meantime we have these lumps of wood. At least they give us something to blame when our sound is less than perfect.
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
5,171
Locality
Surrey, UK
Hi,

I have recorded 2 samples with my two different Alto reeds for you.
UF is Unfiled 4,5. BB is Black Bamboo mediumhard.
MPC is a Woodstone Traditional Jazz 6, medium chamber.

Recorded dry :)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6518653/Saxophonforum.de/Ishi Alto/UF.mp3
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6518653/Saxophonforum.de/Ishi Alto/BB.mp3

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6518653/Saxophonforum.de/Ishi Alto/Cha Cha UF.mp3
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6518653/Saxophonforum.de/Ishi Alto/Cha Cha BB.mp3

As you can hear, the UF sounds "softer".
I am using the Forestones in ensemble playing with my students, and sometimes, when I know I have to double without playing to much solo :)

As said, the are working significantly different on different MPCs.

Cheers,
Guenne

Interesting and good playing with nice and clear recording. They both sound very musical, but the Black Bamboo is both brighter and louder with a bit more "ring" to the sound.

Can you tell us whether the Unfiled is the Forestone Unfiled reed ?

Thanks

Rhys
 
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Chazz Pratt

New Member
Messages
1
I've found the Légère Reeds to be pretty consistent most times, but not all. I do like the fact that they remain "Play-Ready" especially during a break in either practice time or during a break on a gig. No need to wet the reed to get it going again. I also don't mind paying more for a reed that remains consistent much longer and gives me the sound I want.

That said, here a couple of things that have also helped with Légère Reeds:

* The softer they get, I throw them in the freezer for a few days and they seem to harden a bit.

* I use a Tenor Reed on my Alto. The sound is fatter and the reed seems to last longer.

* The Signature series seem to last longer and produce a better sound.

I do also like the Forestone Reeds, but have not tried the new Black Reeds. I sometimes use the current line, but as mentioned before, I play a Tenor reed on Alto. For practicing Altissimo, a softer reed might make for a better experience as the reed will vibrate more if softer.

Hope this helps!

Chazz
 

Twistofer

New Member
Messages
18
I've played both Legere and Forestone. The feel of the Legere seems slippery and the edges sharp (knife-like). I tend to like the Forestone better
 

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