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Reeds Forestone Synthetic Reed free trial.

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Folks!

Today I received some Alto and Tenor reeds from Forestone-Japan (pronounced "forest tone") which are available to Cafe Sax members on loan - for a week or so. I have 2.5 and 3 strength Alto and 2.5 and 3 strength Tenor (they are seen as softer than the equivalent cane reeds). They actually look very like cane and I am quite impressed with the sound, especially as I am one of those who dislikes synthetic reeds. I would say that they are more like 2 and 2.5 strength reeds, having played them.

The only place in the UK that they are available is Howarth's of London, and they cost £18 each.
If anyone wants to try one out please PM me and I will send them out asap.

For further details on Forestone Reeds please try here: http://www.forestone-japan.com/
Kind regards
Tom :thumb:
 
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koumou

Member
Messages
168
Hello Tom,
About a month ago I bought a Forestone F3 for my alto. I love the sound and response I get from it. I use either a Selmer Soloist D or my Phil Tone Meyer 6. Cane reeds of strength 2.5-3 played well with these mouthpieces. I find that the F3 Forestone is slightly soft so I bought an F3.5 which is better. I also bought an F3 anf F3.5 for my tenor. I've only tried the F3.5 with my Phil Tone Tone Edge .90'' and with my Warburton LA 7. It responds and plays very well. I tried these reeds with my Vandoren M/O ligatures and noticed that the reeds are not completely flat. I sanded them slightly and they play even better. IMG_5232.jpg . Compared to the Legere Signatures (2.25 & 2.5 alto and 2.75 & 3 tenor) they produce a sound closer to cane. I am happy with either of them, it's just a matter of getting the right strength.It' s very hot and humid here in the summer and this affects cane reeds real badly.
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,118
I tried these around two years ago and had others in New Zealand give them a go as well. They were (at that time) way harder than anything else e.g. a 2 = 3.5 - 4. I gave feedback to the company in Japan, this (along with other feedback?) may have had some impact. The resulting tone was also a bit pinched and not as good (in my opinion) as standard (and much cheaper) fibracells. Hopefully they have fixed these problems, and from what you say they have, and possibly gone slightly softer as well. The character of the material fit better (at that time) with mellower (large chamber) mouthpieces and sounded awful on bright high baffle mouthpieces. Maybe this has changed as well?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
So far I have tried the Alto 3 on my Phil-Tone Solstice and Mouthpiece Cafe Espresso. I will try with my Phil-Tone Meridian and Barkley Pop (both brighter pieces) and feedback. The former sounded very good.

On Tenor I have played my Berg 95/1 Stainless Steel, and Mouthpiece Cafe House Blend - again a very good sound to my ear. I will try on my Saxscape Live and Phil-Tone Equinox (both brighter) and feedback.

I certainly think that they are now 0.5 softer than the average cane reed I play (Marca Jazz, Rigotti Gold, Francois Louis Excellence).
Kind regards
Tom :thumb:
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,367
I've tried Forestone on baritone and tenor. First impressions were very good, as the sound is fine and they blow easily (may have something to do with running softer than the numbers suggest). Probably as good for me as Legere Signature reeds.

After playing them over a few weeks I think that they have a couple of characteristics that mean I won't switch to Forestone from cane reeds.
  1. On baritone I find that the first regiser is great but in the second register (i.e. with octave key) the sound lacks body and doesn't really carry.
  2. On my BW M2S tenor I found that G2 and G#2 tend to squeal with Forestone when they don't with cane reeds.
I wonder whether both of these effects are symptoms that the Forestone reed vibrates in a slightly different way to cane - maybe vibrations aren't damped as much as they are with the natural material.

Overall I think Forestone are better than most synthetic reeds I have tried, but still not quite the answer. Back to RJS for me.

Rhys
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,281
A big thanks to Tom,the reed arrived today,IMHO this 3 alto forestone plays like a 2 from most of the reeds i have and tried,the tone is better than the forestone i bought a few years ago and the strength issue has turned on its head as the older reeds were too hard

Brian
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I've been trying the Forestone Tenor 3 on a 0.110" mouthpiece and it is just like a 2 strength reed - almost need a 4 to get more resistance. In comparison to my Marca Jazz 2 the Firestone just lacks the degree of depth of sound.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,268
Arrive today (thanks Tom) haven't tried it yet, will give it a go tommorow and all next week to get a feel for it, let you know how it goes. :)
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
Blew the 2.5 forstone yesterday and agree they play softer than most 2.5 cane reeds.Tom thought i should try the 3 reed and he was right.It suits my Ted Klum more than my PPT but will do further testing.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I have been using the Forestone Tenor 3 on my Saxscape Live 0.115" and it feels just right. The loweer notes just sound a little lacking in resonance comparede to my cane reeds, but otherwise is quite a decent sound.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
I have been using the Forestone Tenor 3 on my Saxscape Live 0.115" and it feels just right. The loweer notes just sound a little lacking in resonance comparede to my cane reeds, but otherwise is quite a decent sound.
I find theres no sound like cane on tenor,alto and soprano.But i like synthetic reeds on my bari more than cane.I agree there something missing on the bottom notes on tenor.Still as i fast back up there great.
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
I received my reed today, thanks Tom.
It's an alto 3 and I tried it with my Lamberson Fm7 .85tip mouthpiece. I usually use a V16 '2 on this mouthpiece and found that the forestone played about the same strength.
The m/p gives me a fairly dark, but intense sound with the v16 with good lows and strong high notes. With the forestone the middle register was full, with less edge - I quite liked it, but the lows were'nt as strong and the highs ( with the octave key) were thinner.
I tried it on my RPC and a vandoren A35 too and I think it played best on the A35, giving quite an even tone up and down the registers.
To me it lacked something and left me feeling a bit flat, didn't give me that 'zing' in my playing.
All this probably doesn't make much sense, and I'm returning to playing after a long break, so not in a position to give a comprehensive trial, but I've never used a synthetic reed, so I'm grateful for the opportunity, thank you.
 

TimC

Member
Messages
50
I've borrowed a 2,5 Forestone alto reed from Tom and have been using it for a little over a week now. I got my Jupiter 769 three months ago, which is my first sax ever, and as a beginner there's a lot to take in and work at as I'm sure all of you already know. Something I've been struggling with are the reeds and how inconsistent one reed is to another even from the same box. That led me to considering a synthethic at least for a couple of months while I'm trying to get a decent embouchure without having to worry about getting used to every new reed.

The Forestone 2,5 alto is a bit softer than a Rico Royal of the same grading as Tom pointed out, it's pretty close to a 2, maybe slightly harder. To me it sounds quite close to the better reeds I've had. Not quite up there with the best one (La Voz MS) but a lot better than a majority of cane reeds I've used that vary from mediocre to really bad. Most of all I find it's quite easy to play whether low or high notes, probably the most easy to use reed I've had. So good sounding and the consistency and no maintenance need is what really convinced me to order one myself. You just put it on and start playing without having to worry whether the reed has swelled and starting leaking etc. It just sounds good from one day to the next, which is more than I can say about most canes I've had. As a sax beginner I can fully recommend getting a Forestone reed for beginners, as soon as you know which reed strength suits you.
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
Hi Tom,
Now I've got my tenor, I just wondered if I could try a tenor forestone reed? If I'm too late, no problem. :D
I'm thinking of going this route as reeds are so expensive for tenor ( having only played alto, I never realised that there was such a big difference in price for the tenor reeds) and if I like the synthetics it may be more economically viable.
Thanks.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Di!

Should be fine. I have a 2.5 and a 3 reed - let me know which one you'd like to try and I'll get it off to you asap! What is the tip, opening of your mouthpiece? Remember that they are softer than the cane dequivalent by about 0.5.

Kind regards
Tom
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Hi Tom,
Now I've got my tenor, I just wondered if I could try a tenor forestone reed? If I'm too late, no problem. :D
I'm thinking of going this route as reeds are so expensive for tenor ( having only played alto, I never realised that there was such a big difference in price for the tenor reeds) and if I like the synthetics it may be more economically viable.
Thanks.
If it's any consolation, the larger reeds seem to me to last longer (I haven't tested this scientifically though)
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
Hi Tom, would it be possible to try both, if that's not being too cheeky?
I only have two mouthpieces, a meyer 6 and a selmer s80 'E', so it would be interesting to try both reeds on both mouthpieces to see which is more suitable.
I'm not overly keen on either mouthpiece, and at the moment I only have some of my o/h's old reeds (rico 21/2 and rico royal 31/2) to try them with, so if the synthetic don't work, I'm going to have to go on the reed trail - not looking forward to that at all. Then of course I may have to try different mouthpieces..................... I realise that most of all, I need to get lots of practice in!!
Luckily, I'm pretty settled with my alto mouthpiece now, and I'm not looking forward to going through the whole process with the tenor.....
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi there!

Will get them both out asap - I have your address already!
Kind regards
Tom

I can also send some cane tenor reeds that I don't use if that is helpful.
 
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