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Reeds Fibrocell v Hartmann

Messages
46
Location
Huddersfield West Yorkshire
I am a little confused and would appreciate any advice. I have been playing Fibrocell Reeds for at least three years, they are consistent and responsive and suit any environment.
I play professionally with Complete Madness and my horn really does get a lot of use/hammer/stick etc.
I find i develop tuning issues with the Fibrocell Reeds after around ten gigs, that equates to 15 hours plus playing. So basically i am using more than one reed a month.
I have recently purchased a Harry Hartmann Carbon Onyx ... it is a very smooth reed, a plastic feel... I have used it on four gigs, it is bang on tuning wise, just a little difficult to play at the moment.. a little less edgy than the Fibrocell...... I would just like some feedback from players out there that have used these reeds..... most player say that Fibrocell last months.... I find that mine do not..... why? What is the general opinion of Hartmann Reeds... I would like to try more however, they are expensive and could be an expensive piece of fun.
I am using a Vintage Lawton 8 Mouthpiece ........ thoughts please
 

Merryfisher

Member
Messages
256
Location
Hampshire
quite interested in this post - i have been on fibrocells for longer then i can remember. Recently out of curiousity i tried legere but like your experience with hartmann, i just found them less edgy, maybe even a little stuffy in comparison. I tried the black forestone synthetic reeds, they to me were a little thin sounding and a bit harsh. There seems to be such a variance in the reed strength comparisons, i have happily been on a fibracell 4 on my 9* jody giant garzone mpc which plays sweet as you like - it was a legere 3 i tried, and it just took so much effort to make anything half acceptable to my ears. But so many write ups just rave about them. It must be me.
 

guidocreo

Member
Messages
112
Location
anzio - Italy
After some test on Fibracell and Legere I play Harry Hartmann reeds since 2016; my preferred are the Fiberreed Carbon more than the Hemp.
 
OP
Willy the Pimp
Messages
46
Location
Huddersfield West Yorkshire
Well ... an update for those that may be interested
I have played four gigs on my Carbon Onyx, this reed cost me nineteen pounds.
On arrival at today's gig I was surprised to see a piece missing from the top.
Now I store my reeds after every gig, I have never to date damaged a reed in this way.
It is, in my opinion, a fault in the design or manufacture of these reeds
I will post a photo once I get the time.
Very disappointed, expensive reed for four gigs
 

Dave E

Member
Messages
130
Location
Leicester
I am a little confused and would appreciate any advice. I have been playing Fibrocell Reeds for at least three years, they are consistent and responsive and suit any environment.
I play professionally with Complete Madness and my horn really does get a lot of use/hammer/stick etc.
I find i develop tuning issues with the Fibrocell Reeds after around ten gigs, that equates to 15 hours plus playing. So basically i am using more than one reed a month.
One thing I've noticed with my Fibracell is that, looking at the flat side, they eventually start cracking lengthwise and they start to get a bit stuffy when a few cracks have formed; although they'll carry on being playable for a while longer. If I happen to do a lot of Altissimo work/practice, that seems to start the cracking off a tad sooner which I guess is just the nature of fatigue. On another note - what a cracking band to play with - let me know if you ever need a dep!!
 

SopJob

Member
Messages
77
Location
Stuttgart region, Germany
Hi Willy,

I am absolutely sure that my advice will not get you any further cause most of what's written here is opinion, and therefore subjective. However, let me tell you about my Harry Hartmann experience. I started ordering one of their reeds for soprano. The strength was OK, but the sound did not work out for me. So I returned it. Then returned a second. Then drove up to Harry's headquarters (they're just round the corner, in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, which is a suburb of Stuttgart).

I tested the whole range, and liked none. In my opinion, these reeds lack warmth, and the fact that artificial reeds in general hardly aborb any moisture just does not feel right for me. So I ended up buying a reed for tenor cause Harry is a nice guy, and I did not want to disappoint him too much. It's my emergency tenor reed and I can't remember having played it in the last two years.

Even though I am now strongly biassed against artificial reeds, I'd still like to give Légère a try.
 

Newjazz

New Member
Messages
21
I am a little confused and would appreciate any advice. I have been playing Fibrocell Reeds for at least three years, they are consistent and responsive and suit any environment.
I play professionally with Complete Madness and my horn really does get a lot of use/hammer/stick etc.
I find i develop tuning issues with the Fibrocell Reeds after around ten gigs, that equates to 15 hours plus playing. So basically i am using more than one reed a month.
I have recently purchased a Harry Hartmann Carbon Onyx ... it is a very smooth reed, a plastic feel... I have used it on four gigs, it is bang on tuning wise, just a little difficult to play at the moment.. a little less edgy than the Fibrocell...... I would just like some feedback from players out there that have used these reeds..... most player say that Fibrocell last months.... I find that mine do not..... why? What is the general opinion of Hartmann Reeds... I would like to try more however, they are expensive and could be an expensive piece of fun.
I am using a Vintage Lawton 8 Mouthpiece ........ thoughts please
Totally agree!..........I realized too that my reeds don’t last no where as long as other people suggest! From cane to légère sigs, I found out that the select jazz to v16s only give me a week worth of playing! However, the légères that claim to last months only give me 3 weeks! I don’t know, Maybe it comes down to being a power user!
Lately I am considering trying out the Hartmann carbon since even the onyx didn’t last me any longer than the légère!
 

Devon

New Member
Messages
12
Location
Klamath Falls, OR, United States
Fibracell fan here and thank you for the feedback on the alternatives. I am still going to try Legere, for fun and the fact they use 1/4 step hardness scale. I want to experiment (trim/sand/balance) the Fibracells but haven't had the cajones to sacrifice one yet. Will keep you posted if/when I do.
 
OP
Willy the Pimp
Messages
46
Location
Huddersfield West Yorkshire
Here we have an interesting up-date. I have got a 2nd Hartmann Carbon Onyx Medium. The first one i had broke, they need to be handled with care. Anyway, the reed is bang on, perfect tuning on stage..... lasted me ages, I have done 12 gigs with the Hartmann and will use it again this coming weekend. So slightly more expensive than Fibrocell however, much longer lasting.
 

Devon

New Member
Messages
12
Location
Klamath Falls, OR, United States
Update: used the Ridenour ATG system on a tenor reed (Fibracell). Yes, it did need balancing and, yes it did improve the playability. This is with no prior experience using the ATG. Don't know about "wearing out" a Fibracell - hasn't happened yet. Been playing a couple of them for years.
 

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
Subscriber
Messages
1,065
Location
Greenfield, Nova Scotia, Canada
.. it is a very smooth reed, a plastic feel... I have used it on four gigs, it is bang on tuning wise,
the reed is bang on, perfect tuning
I have always thought that tuning is a matter of mouthpiece position, and while the reed could affect the tone (edgy, dark, etc.) it did not affect the tuning which is a function of the length of the tube i.e. the distance between the mouthpiece and the tone hole.
 
OP
Willy the Pimp
Messages
46
Location
Huddersfield West Yorkshire
I have always thought that tuning is a matter of mouthpiece position, and while the reed could affect the tone (edgy, dark, etc.) it did not affect the tuning which is a function of the length of the tube i.e. the distance between the mouthpiece and the tone hole.
You are quite correct Rob however, if you use a reed on a number of occasions you may find the quality of the reed starts to deteriorate and in my experience tuning becomes an issue..... this is my experience of live work....
 
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