All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Reeds Cane vs synthetic

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,630
@Pete Effamy years ago, when I was playing and practicing many hours a day I tried using the same Signature 3 without swapping out. After about 3 months it Was about a 2 1/2 or maybe a bit less.

vinyl was used in records because the needle would reshape the tiny grooves a bit and over the next few hours it would recover. Wish I’d known that when I was young as Iplayed the grooves out of a number of records playing them over and over
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,281
@Pete Effamy years ago, when I was playing and practicing many hours a day I tried using the same Signature 3 without swapping out. After about 3 months it Was about a 2 1/2 or maybe a bit less.

vinyl was used in records because the needle would reshape the tiny grooves a bit and over the next few hours it would recover. Wish I’d known that when I was young as Iplayed the grooves out of a number of records playing them over and over
Thanks. I think it’s going to end up being a suck it and see..
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,892
Some cane reeds over time begin to develop a curve toward the mouthpiece from the constant upward pressure of the embouchure---even more so when the player is "biting". A simple diagnostic test when a reed no longer responds as it did is to insert a business card between the reed and mouthpiece as far as it will go and leave it there for about a minute. If when the card is removed, it suddenly plays much better it means it was curved.

I don't know if this effect happens with Legere Signature reeds or not. I store mine in Rico Reed Guards just in case even though it is not necessary to keep the tip of the reed flat as it dries like cane reeds.

Typically with cane reeds when the reed is moved out a bit past the tip of the mouthpiece it plays a bit "harder". I have noticed on both tenor and bari that when I do this with my Legere reed, it actually plays a bit "softer". Has anyone else had a similar experience?
 
OP
saxyjt

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,859
Typically with cane reeds when the reed is moved out a bit past the tip of the mouthpiece it plays a bit "harder". I have noticed on both tenor and bari that when I do this with my Legere reed, it actually plays a bit "softer". Has anyone else had a similar experience?
I have not, but I will give it a try! That could prove useful. Légère can be very sensitive to minor change in position. More so, I think than cane.
 

mpj.brennan

Persistent Pensioner
Subscriber
Messages
177
Could never get away with Legere reeds - they always sounded “buzzy”. Maybe it’s my embouchure?
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
84
Some cane reeds over time begin to develop a curve toward the mouthpiece from the constant upward pressure of the embouchure---even more so when the player is "biting". A simple diagnostic test when a reed no longer responds as it did is to insert a business card between the reed and mouthpiece as far as it will go and leave it there for about a minute. If when the card is removed, it suddenly plays much better it means it was curved.

I don't know if this effect happens with Legere Signature reeds or not. I store mine in Rico Reed Guards just in case even though it is not necessary to keep the tip of the reed flat as it dries like cane reeds.

Typically with cane reeds when the reed is moved out a bit past the tip of the mouthpiece it plays a bit "harder". I have noticed on both tenor and bari that when I do this with my Legere reed, it actually plays a bit "softer". Has anyone else had a similar experience?
This is why I don't leave the reed on the mouthpiece any more when finished playing. It always goes on a flat surface, and it just occurred to me that I've probably developed a kind of reed-specific-tic in that I think I always sort of smooth it down onto that flat surface before leaving it in its "pen" for the night.

Something I meant to mention in my last post: the big advantage Rigotti have over Alexander, for me personally, other than a slightly higher percentage of good/decent reeds per count: they don't require as much care/prep as Alexander and do not have any of the issues with dying quickly. You can just put one on and go, and trust it to last -- at least this is my finding thus far, after about 6 months, post-switch. I did find that for Alexander to last with any consistency you have to "break them in" as directed by users and the company literature. You don't have to do that with Rigotti, at least I don't find it necessary.

Still not as convenient as synthetic in that regard, but closer than other cane reeds -- i.e., more consistent, longer lasting. I would take the "response curves" (how the low notes play relative to the mid range relative to the high notes) with Rigotti cane over any synthetic I tried, but you all have a lot more experience with synthetic than me.
 

Janosax

Member
Messages
270
This is why I don't leave the reed on the mouthpiece any more when finished playing. It always goes on a flat surface, and it just occurred to me that I've probably developed a kind of reed-specific-tic in that I think I always sort of smooth it down onto that flat surface before leaving it in its "pen" for the night.

Something I meant to mention in my last post: the big advantage Rigotti have over Alexander, for me personally, other than a slightly higher percentage of good/decent reeds per count: they don't require as much care/prep as Alexander and do not have any of the issues with dying quickly. You can just put one on and go, and trust it to last -- at least this is my finding thus far, after about 6 months, post-switch. I did find that for Alexander to last with any consistency you have to "break them in" as directed by users and the company literature. You don't have to do that with Rigotti, at least I don't find it necessary.

Still not as convenient as synthetic in that regard, but closer than other cane reeds -- i.e., more consistent, longer lasting. I would take the "response curves" (how the low notes play relative to the mid range relative to the high notes) with Rigotti cane over any synthetic I tried, but you all have a lot more experience with synthetic than me.
In your experience, what is the Rigotti Gold Jazz strength equivalent to Legere Signature 2.25 tenor?
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
84
In your experience, what is the Rigotti Gold Jazz strength equivalent to Legere Signature 2.25 tenor?
I think I have a Legere for tenor around somewhere...will see if I can come up with its equivalent in Queen. May take me a day or two
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,047
Look here for stengths


Interesting that Legere are happy to compare their reeds to many cane sorts, but won't compare themselves or make others aware of those other synthetic reed manufacturers. Gives you an idea of where they see the real competition is...and it's not cane!

Compare to:
Reed Strength Chart - Harry Hartmann’s Fiberreed

This is fiberreed's comparison chart which includes Legere which is probably the only real competition for fiberreed but IMHO fiberreed has little to fear from the comparison. The only aspect of Legere that is superior is that they have up to 14 different strengths with various cuts compared to fiberred's 5. The lower priced/grades of Legere are vastly inferior to their "signature" line. All of the fiberreeds are top quality using various materials to give different styles of tone/response. It still comes down to what your tone concept is as to what works best for you, and there will always be a demand for cane reeds where a player thinks they give them the tone they want.

From my point of view I'd like to see/hear players doing less endorsement where they have not actually tried various synthetics. "Brand loyalty" isn't the same a being loyal to a friend. It's allowing yourself to swallow a maker's hype without a real basis of comparison. Once you've tried all those various synthetics then you can come back and say on the basis of your style of playing and experience which is best ...for you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,047
@Wade Cornell For me in Canada paying 42 or more Cdn for a Fibrecell plus shipping as opposed to 30 for my Signatures, I will wait to try em out
It's a bit confusing. NOT fibercell (is there such a thing?). There is a fibracell, which I certainly don't recommend as they don't stand behind their product and it's deteriorated with duds now being sold. The one I mentioned is Fiberreed. You can check them out here:
FIBERREED | The Wedge Distribution | United States
I think their "onyx" (which is one I find very good) sells for $23.

There may be a difference for you being in Canada, but Legere signature reeds are VERY expensive purchased in other parts of the world as we pay shipping, taxes, import duties, etc. The discussion is about what's out there and may be good, not what's cheap for you wherever you are or how few synthetics one may have tried on the basis of what's cheap for you. There is (IMHO) something of a duty we have here to present something other than endorsements based on limited experience. It may be that the Legere is the best reed for you, but you won't know that for sure unless you have tested it against others.

Legere have been very successful in promoting their reeds and also very responsive to purchasers wishing to change to other strengths. They are a top company in terms of PR. Fibracell is the opposite. Does this make Legere the world's best synthetic reed? Once again nobody can say unless they have tried the others and even then it's just your preference. In the meanwhile I'd recommend encouraging those interested to try as many of the supposedly better synthetics as they can afford. It's a decision that can influence your playing and spending for many many years/hears.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,228
Comparing the Legere with Fiberreed, both are good, the price is sort of similar in uk, Carbon, Carbon Classic and Hemp are all around the same as Legere Signatures around £30 but the Onyx is about £10 cheaper and is a good reed.

It's worth noting that although Legere signatures strengths are in 1/4 increments they can be as much as + or - 1/8 of a strength out, this might not seem a lot but if you order a 2.5 and its on the minus side your next one might be on the plus side then you have the difference of a full 1/4 strength out, the difference is noticeable when you play the reeds which were both supposed to be the same strength plus Legeres are not as easy to work on as Fiberreeds.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,859
Does anyone know who sells Fibrereeds in the UK?
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,630
@Wade Cornell ...apologies...I meant to write Fibrereed.

Upon further research ithe prices on their site are VAT in so I have written to ask if they will ship to Canada Ex VAT. Will try a Carbon and an Onyx Though even VAT out the Carbon would still be quite a bit more than a Signature.
 
OP
saxyjt

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,859
I received my Fiberreeds today and just managed to try the Onyx tenor M.

Let's say it's not just black and white:

IMG_20200619_185740076.jpg


It sings differently on the Kanee Florida than on my Brilhart Tonalin. It sounded and felt better on the Tonalin that's not as open.

But it's too early to say much really.

I also had a very quick go with an Onyx soprano M, but I was not convinced. It sounded very bright. But then again, far too limited experiment to be conclusive.

I had to blow off some steam after a tough week, but no time to do it well.

So I'm still all steamed up!*

*Can you even say that?
 
Last edited:

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,047
@Wade Cornell ...apologies...I meant to write Fibrereed.

Upon further research ithe prices on their site are VAT in so I have written to ask if they will ship to Canada Ex VAT. Will try a Carbon and an Onyx Though even VAT out the Carbon would still be quite a bit more than a Signature.
I think if you visit the site I posted FIBERREED | The Wedge Distribution | United States it's in the USA and will cost less if including shipping and doesn't include VAT. Open it and at the top hit go to the store. You'll find it in there. Wishing you all the best and it would be interesting to hear your opinion.
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
84
In your experience, what is the Rigotti Gold Jazz strength equivalent to Legere Signature 2.25 tenor?
Ok...with apologies, I'm not going to be of much help on this one: (1) I couldn't find the Legere, or for that matter the Bari (synthetic) that I thought I had, (2) I did order and play through a bunch of Queen, but I'm mostly playing the blue. I am pretty detailed in exposure with the blue, not as exposed to the Queen.

That said, I did find a Fibracell (SOFT). It's on the horn in my lap right now. I normally play (on Ponzol ii-V-I .110) either 2.0 or 2.5 in Alexander, sometimes some straggling 3's will be good. I'm on the light side of 2.5 with Alexander. Vandoren is fairly similar range, but mostly I end up with 2's when I play through ZZ and check what made made cut (far fewer 2's do, with ZZ, than 2.5s with Alexander). But again the ZZ's will last and the Alexanders will often die quickly if not "broken in," and sometimes even if broken in.

At first blow, the soft Fibracell was actually pleasant, tonally, but I'm on a fairly bright Taiwan tenor with a custom neck. I actually liked the color and tone of the core right away. Until I discovered that even though the tone is on point and low notes feel about right, it's no go.

I basically can't play above F2 because the reed closes off. I can play F2 just fine, but no G2. No way, no how. The reed closes off against the table and doesn't beat (does not happen with too-soft Alexander or Vandoren).

Anyway, all of that said for me in the blue I'm usually on 2.0 soft or 2.0 medium. Best I can do at the moment.
 
Saxholder Pro

Members OnlineStatistics

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom