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Reeds Fake Rico Royal reeds?

PaulM

Member
Messages
143
Locality
West Berks
I know that reeds are a bit of a variable quantity, but I've a box of RR reeds and I have my suspicions about their provenance. Let me explain why. All the reeds in the box in question are:

  • far harder than the same strength RR reeds I've used before,
  • the reed surface that contacts the lower lip is rough; all previous ones have felt smooth,
  • they do not play as well as all the previous boxes I've used,
  • the box they're packed in is subtly different to all the other boxes I have.

The differences in this box are:


  • the bar code and item number are on the side of the box, not on the bottom like the others
  • the top doesn't have the yellow strip with Rico Royal printed on it
  • the strength chart on the rear isn't marked with the strength of the reeds in the box as the others are
  • the D'Addario symbol on the back is smaller than the symbol on the other boxes
  • there's no reference to Player's Points (whatever they are) on the back
  • the MADE IN USA printing is on the opposite side of the rear panel to all the others.

The reeds were purchased from a respectable online source who I'm sure wouldn't knowingly flog counterfeit stuff. Has anyone else noticed anything similar? Have I just got a poor box of reeds, or are they poor and fake?

Cheers, Paul
 
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C_Claudemonster

Formerly saxgirl22
Messages
399
Locality
England, UK
possibly a poor batch. We all know that when you buy a box of reeds that there is a chance that only 1 or 2 out of the 10 will be preferable and suitable whilst others are not so good and don't have the same feel to them. Although, you mentioned about the packaging - there is the possibility they could be counterfeit but there are so many on the market aimed at all budgets that I'd be unsure too :(
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,926
Locality
Just north of Munich
I'm not sure when you last bought reeds, but I've noticed a drop off in finish on rico reeds. Vandoren are much smoother.. But if it's a reputable on/-line supplier, it's unlikely to be counterfeit.
 

PaulM

Member
Messages
143
Locality
West Berks
Kev, you may well be right. The reeds are genuine. I appear to have been blessed with a box of particularly roughly finished ones.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,948
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
You can polish a reed on a sheet of glass. Both sides. If it's cut too thick a polish it down with some very fine (2000/3000) sand paper and finish again on glass.

I buy reeds a half strength down from where I want them , clip them up and then polish them.

I used to be a Rico fan but I've moved over to Vandoren classic blue.

I've recently had some success with Flying goose/White crane chinese reeds. £8 for 20. I found them to be slightly better than an orange rico. The only problem is they come in one size 2.5 , comparable to a rico rating, and so need polishing and clipping to get the right strength every time.
 

PaulM

Member
Messages
143
Locality
West Berks
If it's cut too thick a polish it down with some very fine (2000/3000) sand paper and finish again on glass.

Thanks Colin, curiously enough I was in the huge local B&Q the other day to get some DIY stuff. As I was passing the sandpaper display I stopped to see if they might have any suitable for reed work. They classify 320 grit as fine. OK, these terms are relative, but I may as well use a boulder as that stuff. So, where did you get yours from?

Cheers, Paul
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,020
Locality
Sunny Aberdeenshire
They classify 320 grit as fine. OK, these terms are relative, but I may as well use a boulder as that stuff. So, where did you get yours from?

Have a look on eBay if you don't have anywhere local who can supply it - should be reasonably inexpensive.

Cheers
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
1,050
Locality
SW of London Town
Hi, you should try Halfords or any car parts/body repair store.

Cheers,
M.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Locality
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Emery boards for finger nails do a great job on reeds. Use down the vamp towards the tip, but stop about 12mm from the tip.

John :):);}
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,968
Locality
Manchester, UK
Emery boards for finger nails do a great job on reeds. Use down the vamp towards the tip, but stop about 12mm from the tip.

John :):);}
HI John, nice to see you back. I know you're not going to like this, but...

I heard Rob Buckland give a talk last Sunday. He mentioned his reed weakening techniique. No scraping, no sanding, just put the reed curved side down on a flat surface, hold down the tip and give the base a flick upwards, on one side if the reed is unbalanced or in the middle if you just want to weaken it overall. That's all the reed preparation he does. Quite a decent player, too.

I've had a go at this and it works a treat. I can't believe I'd never seen it before.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Locality
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
HI John, nice to see you back. I know you're not going to like this, but...

I heard Rob Buckland give a talk last Sunday. He mentioned his reed weakening techniique. No scraping, no sanding, just put the reed curved side down on a flat surface, hold down the tip and give the base a flick upwards, on one side if the reed is unbalanced or in the middle if you just want to weaken it overall. That's all the reed preparation he does. Quite a decent player, too.

I've had a go at this and it works a treat. I can't believe I'd never seen it before.

Hi Martin,
No probs. with this or any other methods people use. Sanding a reed to match a m'piece was what my tutor taught me many years ago. :w00t:
One thing to think about though, is the impression of what is good (it might be better, but is it as good as it could be).
By sanding reeds (tuning to the m'piece), I am able to use an easily controlled (effortless) emboucher throughout the range of the sax, be it 'Rock' or 'Blues'. I don't see the need to have a strong emboucher and be able to use a reed stiffer than a 2.5, which after tuning is probably about a 2.
My current favorite setup on my Mk6 tenor, is a Metalite M7, with a Fibracell reed (I've used it for months now, and it's still as good as new!), adjusted to about a 2.
Have a look at Tom Ridenour's funny adds on You Tube. One thing is certain though, for me it's the best way!
I'm off to Sydney, Australia, in December for a few months (Hi Rikki), and will hire a sax while I'm there, but will be taking my Metalite and Fibracell with me :thumb:

John :):);}
 

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