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Legere synthetic reed.

breathless

Member
Messages
270
Hi all, I've decided to order and try a Legere Synthetic signature reed.
I currently use Rico Royal N02 and Marco jazz N02 (which are equivalent to Rico 2.75) and I actually prefer the Marco jazz reeds.

I've read that there can be a difference between cane and synthetic reeds and wondered if anyone has any advise they can offer.
I'm thinking along the lines of a Legere 2.5.

Rgds
Lee.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
If you look up the Legere reed comparison chart you will find that a Legere Signature 2.5 for tenor is somewhere between a Rico or Rico Royal #2.5 and a #3. In my experience Legere offers quite accurate comparisons.

I now only use Legeres. They seem to be highly consistent and they satisfy may sound requirements.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
I just got a 2 1/2 signature and am quite liking it. I find it plays very similar in strength to the Rigotti 3M which is my usual reed (very close to the traditional 2 1/2 rating). I find it on the darkish side of the reed spectrum but with an intersting edginess at the same time that can really come on when pushed.

I also find it more stable on the palm notes but that could be in part because I play with a very loose embouchure and the material is more homogenous than cane.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
In another thread I did mention that I have some Forestone synthetic reeds which are available for a free trial. On Tenor I have 2.5 and 3 strength reeds - they play softer than the numbers - much more like a 2 and 2.5 respectively. If you would like to borrow the 2.5 (2) for a free trial you would be very welcome. I don't play synthetic reeds, but if I did then a Forestone would be the most likely.
Daveysaxboy recently tried it on tenor and thought it was worth getting.

For further info look here:http://www.forestone-japan.com/index.php/saxophone-reeds/

They are only available in the UK at Howarth of London @ £18.
Kind regards
Tom
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
Good to see that Legere have finally come up with a sensible reed - a few years ago I bought a 2.5 Legere original alto reed and it was stiff as a board, certainly a lot harder than their strength chart would suggest. Then I got a 2 Legere Studio Cut and it was the softest reed I'd ever played - like a Rico 1 (or a Rizla Blue?) - a lot softer than their reed comparison chart indicates - I like a flexible reed, but this was ridiculous. So I gave up on Legere and went on to Fibracells. If I'd found the right strength I'd've stuck with Legere.
I'm tempted to give a 2.25 Signature a go, although those Forestones also look interesting

I've tried a few synthetic reeds -
Bari plastic S - very V shaped cut and very bright - ok if you want to sound like John Zorn. My first one was cut off-centre, I emailed Bari and they sent me 4 replacements, all of which were cut slightly differently - full marks for customer service, low marks for consistency and quality control. They're made out of quite a hard plastic, so you can file them down with a bit of effort. Not tried the Bari Star reeds

Hahn - I've had several of these - 2, 2 1/2 and 3, responsive and bright with lots of zing, but the fibres tended to delaminate and stick in my lip and the tips went all tatty which made tongueing a bit awkward. The stick on rubber pad serves no useful purpose. The 3 was too hard and didn't get much use. In general I think synthetics are better for people who like softer reeds - they don't go all soggy like cane

Not tried the Hartmann - heard good things, but a bit put off carbon fibre after the Hahn - I saw Evan Parker using one on soprano a few years ago, so they must have something going for them

Fibracell Soft - the transparent film on the flat side of the reed tends to bubble and peel off and after about 8 months they tend to go very soft and die on you without much warning, but other than that the best so far. You have to be careful not to damage the tip, or it's £14 down the drain

I think the Legere Signatures will be good - they're made from tough durable plastic rather than laminated fibres, so won't have some of the problems mentioned above and will probably last longer than the Fibracells.
They've certainly had positive reports from a lot of people who aren't normally fans of synthetics - you wouldn't expect orchestral clarinetists to be seen dead with a plastic reed, but there's plenty of them endorsing them on Legeres website. Mats Gustafsson previously used Fibracells before he moved on to Legere, which makes me wonder if they're better for the kind of noises I make.
I'm just a bit reluctant to spend 20 quid on a reed and it might not be the right strength - previous experience has made me wary of their reed comparison charts, so I'd value the opinion of any alto players who use Legere Signatures as to how they compare strength-wise to normal Ricos and Vandorens
 

breathless

Member
Messages
270
In another thread I did mention that I have some Forestone synthetic reeds which are available for a free trial. On Tenor I have 2.5 and 3 strength reeds - they play softer than the numbers - much more like a 2 and 2.5 respectively. If you would like to borrow the 2.5 (2) for a free trial you would be very welcome. I don't play synthetic reeds, but if I did then a Forestone would be the most likely.
Daveysaxboy recently tried it on tenor and thought it was worth getting.

For further info look here:http://www.forestone-japan.com/index.php/saxophone-reeds/

They are only available in the UK at Howarth of London @ £18.
Kind regards
Tom
Thanks Tom, i remembered a reference somewhere in a previous discussion.
id very much like to try one of the synthetics.
how do I get hold of one from you Tom? cheers, Lee.

Altissimo, thanks for your post lots of interesting stuff there thats given me something to think about.

Id very much like to try one of the Legere sigs but as you rightly state at nearly £30 there not cheap and compared to cane in the last 6 months ive gone threw 10 reeds but you have to consider thats from having never played a sax before to now so I probably killed the first few prematurely, but thats £30 worth of cane so if a legere lasted longer than 6 months it would be worth it!

rgds Lee.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Not tried the Hartmann - heard good things, but a bit put off carbon fibre after the Hahn - I saw Evan Parker using one on soprano a few years ago, so they must have something going for them
I have Harry Hartmann tenor M which, according to his conversion chart, is about the same a standard Legere #2. I find it much harder. The only way I can play it with some ease is with a Yamaha 4CM. This is not a comment on the reed itself, but maybe they are generally on the harder side.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
there are a few other threads about Legere Signature reeds, I didn't pay much attention to them 'cos the Signatures were only available for tenor, now they're doing them for alto, I'm getting interested
here's the other threads -
http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?3622-Still-Loving-the-Legere-Signature-Reed
http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-synthetic-reeds.html
http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?7324-L%E9g%E8re-Signature-Reed-Profile
http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?3671-Legere-Signature-alto-sax-reed-Advice-please
http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?2723-Legere-Signature-Reeds

some of the common issues include -
difficulty finding the right strength compared to cane reeds - the range from 1.75 to 2.5 seems popular, with a few brave souls going up to 2.75 or 3
Legeres seem to go gradually softer, so when you get a new one it seems harder than the old one
some folks have found that some mouthpieces don't get on with Legeres
a number of people have gone back to using cane reeds
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
One point on the legeres - if you get the wrong strength, they'll swap it for you.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Lee!

If you could just PM me your addressI will send one off to you straight away! Simples............
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
I'm a rank beginner, having owned a tenor for less than two months, but of all the reeds I've tried the Legere Standard 2.5 is my favorite so far. Their product descriptions say it's meant for classical music (unlike the Studio and Signature series), but I find it just right for my taste (which is mostly prog rock, jazz fusion, and a bit of classical). Rico Jazzes, Plasticovers etc. sound a bit too "buzzy" for me.

For a beginner it's also great to have a reed you know will play well, because at first it was very hard to know whether a cane reed was bad or if it was just me. Another thing, probably only relevant to a beginner, is that the Legere collects a lot of moisture underneath it, leading to this "sizzling bacon" sound after a while. I suppose this will go away as my playing technique improves, and I salivate less into the mouthpiece. The cane reeds don't seem to suffer from this effect much - I guess they just absorb the moisture. But other than that, I have no complaints about the Legere reed.

Cheers,
Jori
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
For what it's worth i tried the tenor signature in a 2.25 and a 2.5, hated both and went back to using fibracell premier...well i guess different strokes for different folks.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Another thing, probably only relevant to a beginner, is that the Legere collects a lot of moisture underneath it, leading to this "sizzling bacon" sound after a while. I suppose this will go away as my playing technique improves, and I salivate less into the mouthpiece. The cane reeds don't seem to suffer from this effect much - I guess they just absorb the moisture.
I have also found that drainage on cane reeds seems to be better. Yes, I think things will improve. When it gets too bad, I simply stop to clean the mouthpiece and the reed. I doubt that cane reeds absorb much moisture. OTH, Legeres don't absorb any.
 
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