All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Reeds Can just plain Rico reeds produce better sound than Javas and Jazz selects?

Tobes

Member
Messages
174
Hi there,

Just getting back into a lot of playing over the last 6 months. Over the past 4 to 5 months I have purchased about 10 Vandoren Javas and 10 Rico Jazz Selects on both alto and tenor. Getting to the end of them now, so I was looking through my old reed archive and I have found some old, hardly used plain Rico reeds that, much to my surprise / dismay (?) actually sound a lot richer / warmer - kind of a really 'smokey - dark' sound, which I prefer over a quite bright and punchy, maybe thinner, kind of sound, I was getting with the Java / Jazz Selects. The Ricos seem consistent also, all 5 of them I have tried that is. They have totally transformed the sound of my sax :)

Has anyone else found that just plain Rico reeds produce a more than adequate sound, if going for a rich, breathy, warm sound, or have I just stumbled across some really flukey Ricos? Obviously I am hoping that they won't just die on me after another couple hours of playing...!


It may be just due to the my setup, I am using custom ebonite mouthpieces (lay 7/8) with Rovner Light ligatures on both and very happy with the set-up.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
I settled on Rico Royal reeds a long time ago and prefer them to everything else I've tried. That includes Rice Jazz Selects and Vandoren Jazz. The Vandoren were nice, but the Jazz Selects just didn't last for me. It's what works for you, and good luck with your next box of Ricos.

A friend sold me a baritone and included two boxes of plain Rico reeds, with 25 reeds per box. I played those reeds for years and years with never a problem.

Jim.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
I'm pretty new to this game, but FWIW I recently went back from Javas to some Rico Royals
I had lyng around on tenor, and am really enjoying them. There's a kind of roughness there when I want it that I can't find with the Javas. Thay'll play smoothly too, although perhaps not as smoothly as the Javas. Better balance for me right now, though.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I would conclude two things thus far about reeds.......

1. Most of us have a certain sound concept that will lend itself to preferring certain reeds. I started off playing Rico Royals, Javas & V16's, but since playing Jazz Selects my sound concept has changed and prefer related type reeds, especially Marca Jazz & Alexander DC's. I listened to all these reeds on soprano recently and didn't really like the first 3.

2. Most of us may well produce very different sounds on different equipment even when we use the same reeds. I would describe the sound of Marca Jazz reeds as highly responsive. Other folks describe them as bright. Same with mouthpieces.

I therefore conclude that whatever works for you works for you. Also most reeds seem to have a not dissimilar price, hence its difficult to think of some as lower quality than others. Rico Orange is £17 for 10, Marca Jazz are £19 for 10, not very different after all.

Kind regards
Tom

I just wanted to add that the first three reeds sounded perfectly fine but just sounded a little more wooden and percussive than I prefer on soprano
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rikki

Member
Messages
205
Yep agree with Tom,

All depends on what type of sound you prefer and what goes well with your setup. So the rule is try a few and decide what works for you, myself I also found the bog standard Rico orange reeds work best for me as far as cane is concerned. However I have now firmly switched to the 'artificial' Legere signature reed the more I play it the more I like it
 

Tobes

Member
Messages
174
Good points. I think I have a naturally sounding bright set-up (on tenor) which means that Marca Jazz reeds (by my sound concept) would be too bright and punchy for me. With a different set-up (and person playing!) my Rico's may well sound too dull / dark, or just plain crap.

I think at some point I just got it into my head that the Rico orange were a kind of entry level, inferior reed, which was a misconception from the outset, hence my surprise! Always nice when some old disused reeds turn out to be just what you wanted :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The only reeds to avoid are the chinese ones, like Flying Goose.

Rico red box are OK, not for everyone, but... Whatever suits you.
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
Rico Orange box reeds are wonderful for baritone sax and I use them in preference to any other reed on bari, but I don't like them for any other purpose. Too buzzy and bright for my taste.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Rico reckon the Orange Box Reeds is the Worlds best selling, so I wouldn't call them entry level! Having said that I found that these reeds tended to be more variable in strength than other Rico Reeds. The #3 that I have played varied from too easy to too hard to play from the same box! They are very soft compared to others such as the Jazz Selects, La Voz, etc ...
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
The thing probably not focussed on in this discussion is that certain reeds are more suitable depending on the facing of the mouthpiece.
For longer (American) facings it is best to use American/Jazz cut reeds, which have a flatter and thicker profile and do not close when blown. For shorter (French) facings it is best to use French cut reeds, which have a thicker heart but a thinner tip. I guess with medium facings you either need a slightly harder French or slightly softer American cut reed.
Regarding Rico's the Rico Royal is French cut and the Rico Orange & RJS are American Cut.
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
I use a lot of different reeds, finding best at the mo Rico Orange. I didnt know what they were. I bought them cos they were cheap for a box of 10. The only thing identifying them is the orange box. It wasnt till I looked a bit further into reeds that I saw they are unfiled and so knew what they were. Also use Rico plasticised and Vandoren, all fine. Have some Australian unfiled reeds that are very hard work. If they werent so costly I would practice my ATG technique on them. I think you can find good stuff in any packet.
 

littleplum

Member
Messages
441
I use rico orange on Alto and Clarinet, they have a slightly thicker tip that the royals, which buzz very quickly. Plus you can get some good deals on ebay for the orange box especially in lareger quantities like boxes of 25 and 50.

Dave
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Hi there,

Just getting back into a lot of playing over the last 6 months. Over the past 4 to 5 months I have purchased about 10 Vandoren Javas and 10 Rico Jazz Selects on both alto and tenor. Getting to the end of them now, so I was looking through my old reed archive and I have found some old, hardly used plain Rico reeds that, much to my surprise / dismay (?) actually sound a lot richer / warmer - kind of a really 'smokey - dark' sound, which I prefer over a quite bright and punchy, maybe thinner, kind of sound, I was getting with the Java / Jazz Selects. The Ricos seem consistent also, all 5 of them I have tried that is. They have totally transformed the sound of my sax :)
A few things that could be going on, most of which have already been touched upon:

Reed cut could fit your mouthpiece curve better.
Reed cut could suit your sound concept better.
new reed vs. played out reed.
Some think aged cane is better. A really old box of Ricos may have improved.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
Vandoren dont go well with me.I think rico jazz select are the best reeds i have found.By far.
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Lot depends on the m/p. Warm and breathy is what I like....plus, you do have to do some work on a reed to get that final balance. Then you get it right, play one great number, stab it into your lip and its buggered! Bit like me really.
 
Saxholder Pro

Staff online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom