PPT mouthpieces

Reeds Reed Cutter anyone ?


Senior Member
on the edge of Dartmoor
I recently bought a new box of Alexander DC's. I love these Reeds as they are usually consistent and have the tone that I like. Not this box though, they were all very bright to the point of making you scared to blow the mouthpiece. I tried altering the lig, soaking, rubbing, positioning on the mouthpiece,etc. No change.

My teacher however sorted it in a few seconds. He clipped off a small amount from the tip using special a Reed Cutter. He says that he manages to prolong the life of his reeds considerably by using this thing, so that when they go soft through use he just clips the end.I hadn't seen one of these things although I have read about them in Larry Teal's book.

So, does anybody on this site use them, and are they to be recommended in our age of much improved Reeds? Or are they a throwback to a time when technology wasn't so good, and Reeds really were a hit and miss job ?

They looked easy to use, but maybe that was in the hands of an expert
I have one which I use from time to time - just to trim the end if I snag one or if they get too soft - I ws given it so don't know costs or if I would have bought one? I do find it a useful thing in the drawer, however i know someone who uses a lit match to do the same thing!
MMMnn. Not sure about using a lit match. How on earth do you get the precision cut reed that all Reed manufacturers wax lyrical about when advertising the superior qualities of their particular product with a flame ???

Could add a certain Flare to the playing though !
I used to sue a reed cutter or a lighter (you just hold a two bob bit or half crpwn against the reed for precision).

The problem with this is it is not so good for prolonging the lfe, by the time a reed has got so much softer you need to clip it, it will have formed a bit of a bend probably and also deteriorated a bit anyway. At best it's a very short term fix: How to Choose and Work on Cane Saxophone Reeds

It can work for new reeds though if you need them a little but harder.
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I play on Vandoren java reeds. On Tenor i use an old 7* Link stm. When I get a box I Grade them into 2 lots ...gig reeds & practice reeds. with the tenor I use number 4s ...without messing with them.

With my Alto I use a Brilhart 6* with Java 3 1/2 . But for the most part I find the 3 1/2 a tadd too soft, so i just take a very small bit from the tip with a very nice Vandoren Cutter & for me, that works.
I have had Alto 4s but they are a tadd too hard/harsh.

If you buy a cutter, I would try to find the Vandoren model. I have had 2 other cheaper one's, but they can,t cut as well as the Vandoren.


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