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Just came across a brand of reeds from an Argentinian company called Gonzales. Seems they have strengths in quarter-sizes (3-1/4, 3-3/4, etc) in addition to the usual. Any thoughts?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I once bought a pack of Gonzales Tenor Reeds. They were harder than I imagined for a 2 strength reed, and had a lollipop like consistency which produced a very dull sound. I complained to the maufacturer, and have not bought any further.

It may just have been a dud batch but have never had such a pack from any other reed manufacturer. I have stuck with my favourite reeds - Marca Jazz, Alexander NY, DC & Superials, Rigotti Gold, Francois Louis Excellence and Rico Jazz Select, and am happy as Larry!

Give some a go and see what you think. You may do better for all I know. I'm also cautious about reeds not made of French Cane.

Just found a Sax On The Web discussion on said subject: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?164746-Gonzalez-Reeds
Having read it I will give the soprano reeds a go - probably 2.5 or similar (on Joe Giardullo's recommendation).

In fact I have ordered the soprano reeds from Dawkes (10 reeds for £10.95) as well as some Gonzalez Local 627 Jazz reeds 2.25 (£14.95 for 10). I'll report back when I have given them a go.
Kind regards
Tom
 
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zannad

Member
Messages
410
I bought my first packet of Gonzalez while I was abroad - the shopkeeper didn't sell other brands, so I had no choice...in the end it turned out to be a positive experience - these sounded a bit like the Vandoren blue, only a bit harder and maybe a bit richer. Their texture appears to be very compact and consistent. Looks and feel/sounded good, so I went back to the shop and bought several more packets (the alto were at such bargain price).
Now, back in the UK, I still look for them...right now Gonzalez are among my preferred brands.
In my opinion Gonzalez with their neat/clinical/projected sound complement well with other more "grainy" brands Rico Jazz Select, Java or the "grungy" Plasticover.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
My new Gonzalez Local 627 Jazz Cut alto reeds have just arrived so will be giving them a prep and play shortly.
I note that the cost of Gonzalez reeds is very cheap - 10 Soprano reeds @ £10.95, 10 Alto reeds at £14.95, 5 Tenor reeds @ £10.95.

Just given a blow to my 2.25 Jazz Cut reed (supposed to be same strength as a Green Java) and it sounds very heavy, lacking in resonance - either much harder, more like a 3 reed or not well made. Certainly the densest jazz cut I've tried - sounded more like a V16 reed. Only first thought so will try over the next few days and see if it settles down.
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
I´ve tried the Gonzales Local 627 as well.

They are pretty consistent and play really dark, but they lack harmonics and tonal richness.

They´re about half step harder than the Ricos. So, if you use Rico 2.5, go to Gonzales 2.

Ricos Jazz Select are much better reeds in my opinion.

Cheers,

Raf.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,219
Second go and better results. I soaked the reed for about 20 mins in my gin/water combo and then gave it a serious massage. The reed did play slightly softer and the massage seemed to tighten the fibres such that there was a much more resonant sound and more harmonics too.

Raf, it sounds like you mean that they are 0.5 harder than a Rico. I have bought 2.25 strength and they feel like a Rico Jazz Select 2H.

Kind regards
Tom
 

RMorgan

Member
Messages
110
Yes Tom, sorry!

They are 0.5 harder than Rico Reeds (just fixed the post).

My Gonzales Jazz are 2.0 and are comparable to Rico 2.5 and Rico Jazz Select 2M.

Anyway, I didn´t like them as much as I´d like to. They´re cheap, long lasting, consistent, have a great body, are very percussive, but still sound more like a classical music reed.

I really like the harmonic content of the Rico Reeds and the Gonzales sound dead compared to them, in my opinion.

Cheers,

Raf.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
They certainly don't present like a normal Jazz Cut - more percussive, as you describe. I cancelled my soprano reed order - perhaps I'm not cut out to play non French cane, or Argentinian Jazz is just not as subtle as its French counterpart...

Hwyl
Tom.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
IMO when one is commenting on reeds one should say which mpce or a facing length and opening as Having spent a whole lot of time measuring with a dial gauge and adjusting reeds to a consistent shape, there is some difference due to the cane but I believe much of the success or lack of same is due to facing curve and opening matching up with the cut of the reed and ones embouchure.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
Ps I have worked on alexanders, vandorens, rigottis ricos, hemkes gonzalez and once the shape is pretty much the same they play fairly close. The difference left other than my own variations in tolerance is due to cane... Not nearly as significant as an extra thousandth of an inch in the upper blade of the reed.
 
Messages
46
All amazingly salient points, as usual. The Gonzalez seems a touch stuffy, but I was also curious as to the need to manufacture 1/4-strengths. Any thoughts?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Gimmick? But the Rico Jazz Selects are in 1/3 measures (Soft, Medium and Hard), and Legere are in 1/4 measures.

Virtually all my Jazz Cut reeds play very similarly (Alexander DC, Francois Louis, Rico Jazz Select, Rigotti Gold & Marca Jazz), which seem very comfortable with a medium alto facing mouthpiece - between 0.076" - 0.080" (Phil-Tone Aurora, Solstice & Meridian, Mouthpiece Cafe NYC Bros & Espresso),
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Yes Tom, sorry!

They are 0.5 harder than Rico Reeds (just fixed the post).

My Gonzales Jazz are 2.0 and are comparable to Rico 2.5 and Rico Jazz Select 2M.

Anyway, I didn´t like them as much as I´d like to. They´re cheap, long lasting, consistent, have a great body, are very percussive, but still sound more like a classical music reed.

I really like the harmonic content of the Rico Reeds and the Gonzales sound dead compared to them, in my opinion.

Cheers,

Raf.
I've never try the Gonzalez Jazz...surely the originals (brown box) are a direct competitor to the Vandoren blue - as such these are a good choice for classical music...then, as Jazzaferri said, one has to take into account the rest of the setup.
In my case, Vandoren blue and Gonzalez, do a good job in "controlling" certain mouthpieces like the Metalite or the ROC - both very bright. On the other end, the plasticover does a useful job in lightening up certain dull vintage stock mouthpieces...
 
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