Tutorials

Reeds Getting my first synthetic reed, Advice appreciated :D

Messages
74
Going to try out my first synthetic reed and was wondering what brand i should get. I play No. 3 Vandorens so what hardness should I get in the specific brand you recommend?

All advice is appreciated ;}

Thanks
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
You'll find lots of views on what brand to get. I use Legeres (Signature and standard) and Fibracells. Look up a good reed comparison chart, and you'll find it easier to make a decision.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Urgent plea to all posters: If you are using Vandoren Traditional (Blue Box) Reeds, please say so. There are also ZZ, Red Java, Green Java V12 and V16 Reeds, and it saves KevvyG a lot of unnecessary posts clarifying the issue. Sometimes he can't even find time to actually play a saxophone as a result.

so, IF YOU ARE USING VANDOREN TRADITIONALS, SAY SO! Rant over..................:w00t:

Good luck with finding a Synthetic Reed, by the way!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The trouble with Vandoren is that the blue box reeds are stiffer than their other types - so a blue box 2 is stiffer than a V16 2...
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
Alto saxer here. I use Vandoren Blue box 2.5 if I'm reeding it - best match to me and my mouthpiece (Vandoren Optimum AL4), and I currently play on Legere Signatures #2.5.

My experience on synthetics:
- Plasticovers: Affordable, loud, bright. I sound relatively thin and do not get much body/core with them though.
- Fibracell Premier: Too dark for my tastes. Plays very well though!
- Forestone: Can't play it at all.
- Legere Signature: best fit of them, managed the 3rd overtone for Bb1 yesterday, woot! :D Very costly though.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
www.saxophone-service.de/shop/z_57.html is a good comparison chart which highlights the different strengths of Legere and other reeds. It is the best that I have found so far and is not just focussing on Rico and Vandoren reeds to the exclusion of all the others available.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
One question... Why are you wanting synthetics?
If it's just for a long lasting straight swap for cane reeds I would say Legere Signature, since I can't really tell the difference in playing technique or sound. From Vandoren V16 3.5's I use a Signature 2.75 on alto.
If you want synthetics to get a different sound, Hahn reeds are great for power and punch, but don't sound much like cane! I use 3.5's for real raw sounds, though I don't like the way they wear since they seem to go ragged pretty quickly. This isn't really a problem since it doesn't really affect the way they sound too much, just feels a bit weird to play on.

Nick
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,300
I switched to synthetics several years ago,was mainly on Fibracell but have changed now to Legere signature on all saxes,if you go for Legere signature the alto runs a 1/2 strength hard,so if you use a 3 cane order a 2 1/2 legere,have not notice any such strength problems on tenor or soprano.
Hahn's do play bright and powerful if that is what you are after.
Reeds-direct of cambridge stock most of the synthetics.

Brian
 
Messages
74
Thanks guys, I went for some ricoplasticovers and have to say I REALLY like them. I'm sure legere are a million times better but ill stick with the ricos for now :D
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
764
On the general advice about legere Signature being about a half strength softer than most, I bought a #2 ..... Iliked the sound, apart from the 'unwanted vibrato' which my notes had suddenly acquired, which I eventually figgered was due to the reed's being too soft :(

Anyone want a lightly-used, washable(!) Signature #2 for Alto ? (25 quid's worth of useless .... to me... translucent plastic!!)
I have gone back to a Fibracell Premier 2, and, occasionally, a Hahn ('Soft', I think), which was too hard, for me, until I sanded it quite a bit.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
On the general advice about legere Signature being about a half strength softer than most, I bought a #2 ..... Iliked the sound, apart from the 'unwanted vibrato' which my notes had suddenly acquired, which I eventually figgered was due to the reed's being too soft :(]

Finding the right Legere reed is not necessarily easy. According to the Legere comparison chart, a tenor Rico #2.5 or Vandoren #2 equates to a standard Legere #2 or a Signature or Studio Cut between 2.25 and 2.5. I think the signatures are worth the money since they last for ages, but at the going prices you wouldn't want to experiment too much.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
On the general advice about legere Signature being about a half strength softer than most, I bought a #2 ..... Iliked the sound, apart from the 'unwanted vibrato' which my notes had suddenly acquired, which I eventually figgered was due to the reed's being too soft :(

Anyone want a lightly-used, washable(!) Signature #2 for Alto ? (25 quid's worth of useless .... to me... translucent plastic!!)
I have gone back to a Fibracell Premier 2, and, occasionally, a Hahn ('Soft', I think), which was too hard, for me, until I sanded it quite a bit.

I read that you could exchange the Legeres if the strength was wrong. Even from Spain, it's worth trying.
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
764
I think it's a bit late now, Kev, but thanks for the thought ....and they don't seem to advertise that service, now, as they did when I bought a Studio Cut.
 
Top Bottom