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Reeds How many good reeds in a box?

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
Location
worcester england
Hi All, is there an average percentage of 'duff' reeds in a box? do they have to be sorted? I have just recieved 6 diffent reeds to try and test but if you can get 'duff ones' in a box how do I know if the test is fair, my 6 may be all duff or all mixed? If there are reeds we cannot use, why cant we send them back for a refund? Can a good player just take a reed from the box and get on with it, are the duff ones really that bad?:confused:

P.S. I have just found this link on the forums relating to my questions.


http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?10826-Half-of-reeds-no-good
 
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Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,992
Location
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
I think it depends on what brand of reed you use, for instance some boxes of RJS will have maybe 2 or 3 not so good (I did find a real dip in quality 2 or 3 years ago, but it seems to have improved again, although this may be coincidence), Rico Royals which I have used at times seem to be ok, maybe not the best reeds but pretty good and fairly consistent, some of the Van Doren reeds like Java, V16 and Jazz are generally ok, a bit variable in tone but usually only one or two not good in a box. As I've said elsewhere, and others have said it too, the Alexander superials are consistent, you may get one or two not so good in a tin but they can be coaxed into playability.

If you are trying a new brand of reed, it's probably best to buy a few (3 or 4) as they can be variable, and if you only buy one it's bound to be the runt of the litter.

I'm not a great one for doctoring reeds, maybe a bit of a scrape, so I can't really say if the totally duff reeds in a box can be made playable, but usually the ones that are borderline can be scraped into life without too much trouble, although my approach to this is probably a bit random.
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
Location
worcester england
I think it depends on what brand of reed you use, for instance some boxes of RJS will have maybe 2 or 3 not so good (I did find a real dip in quality 2 or 3 years ago, but it seems to have improved again, although this may be coincidence), Rico Royals which I have used at times seem to be ok, maybe not the best reeds but pretty good and fairly consistent, some of the Van Doren reeds like Java, V16 and Jazz are generally ok, a bit variable in tone but usually only one or two not good in a box. As I've said elsewhere, and others have said it too, the Alexander superials are consistent, you may get one or two not so good in a tin but they can be coaxed into playability.

If you are trying a new brand of reed, it's probably best to buy a few (3 or 4) as they can be variable, and if you only buy one it's bound to be the runt of the litter.

I'm not a great one for doctoring reeds, maybe a bit of a scrape, so I can't really say if the totally duff reeds in a box can be made playable, but usually the ones that are borderline can be scraped into life without too much trouble, although my approach to this is probably a bit random.

thanks for the info Bobby G, this will sound like a beginers question but.... what is acualy wrong with the particular 'duff' reed? is it too hard/soft or is there more that can be wrong?
thanks..
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,988
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
If you hold a reed up to the light you can see the veins spreading towards the tip. Theory says they should be evenly spaced and symmetrically placed and reach the tip.

Like all things that grow there can be subtle anomalies and inconsistencies that affect the substance of the reed and so its performance.

Having said that, if you could tell by looking there wouldn't be a problem.

The more adaptable you make your embouchure the less duff reeds you find.
 

Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,992
Location
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
thanks for the info Bobby G, this will sound like a beginers question but.... what is acualy wrong with the particular 'duff' reed? is it too hard/soft or is there more that can be wrong?
thanks..

I second what Colin says, but some duff reeds can just feel like they are really hard work to blow, or are unresponsive or generally dull/stuffy in tone especially if you are not so experienced as to be able to compensate by making micro-adjustments to your embouchure.

Has anyone else noticed that sometimes the reeds that appear to have been cut slightly asymmetrical are the best in the box? Character, I call it ;}
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
The dreaded word of sax players .....REEDSSSSSSSSSSSS. It can be easy at times with reeds then it can be total hell !!!!!
Had most out there and RJS reeds are by far the best,consistant and best sounding I've ever had.In a box of 5 I get about 4 good 1's which is great.Me and Vandorens are a deffo NO NO.
 

Merryfisher

Member
Messages
266
Location
Hampshire
Hi All, is there an average percentage of 'duff' reeds in a box? do they have to be sorted? I have just recieved 6 diffent reeds to try and test but if you can get 'duff ones' in a box how do I know if the test is fair, my 6 may be all duff or all mixed? If there are reeds we cannot use, why cant we send them back for a refund? Can a good player just take a reed from the box and get on with it, are the duff ones really that bad?:confused:

P.S. I have just found this link on the forums relating to my questions.


http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?10826-Half-of-reeds-no-good

the very reason I started using fibracells a good while back - has saved me a lot of time, money & frustration.
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,687
the very reason I started using fibracells a good while back - has saved me a lot of time, money & frustration.
fibracells are awful for me on tenor, worst reeds i ever played, but on my alto they are ok, strange huh..
RJS are very consistent, i was on la voz for years but they really changed so i switched over to RJS and i usually make sure to have 3 or 4 (boxes) at a time as i am playing a hell of a lot.
 

Merryfisher

Member
Messages
266
Location
Hampshire
fibracells are awful for me on tenor, worst reeds i ever played, but on my alto they are ok, strange huh..
RJS are very consistent, i was on la voz for years but they really changed so i switched over to RJS and i usually make sure to have 3 or 4 (boxes) at a time as i am playing a hell of a lot.

I find the position of the fibracell on the mpc all important - the minutest of adjustment of the reed position makes a whole lot of difference - and once the sweet spot is found - bright, free blowing, lots of 'attack' - good times
 

B Flat

Senior Member
Messages
444
Location
Melbourne Australia
I think it's pretty random how many good and not so good reeds in a box of any brand.
I don't particularly find any brand better than the next in this regard, but have been luckier lately at least with La Voz.
 

NigelMcGill

New Member
Messages
10
Location
Denby Dale, UK
Reeds can be a nightmare - but I really recommend getting some basic reed adjusting skills together so you can get more working for you. The Vandoren reed resurfacer and reed stick kits are a good starting point. Dead simple. Most of the time there are two problems with a duff reed - either the flat back of the reed is warped, or the reed is too thick. Bosh your reed on the resurfacer and give it a few wipes back and forth to sort any warping. Use the stick around the tip of the reed to thin it out and make it easier to blow. You could also grab a clipper to tidy up a reed that's too thin or too easy to blow. With a bit of practice you'll be making nearly all your reeds work and saving yourself some money in the process!
 

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