Tutorials

Reed preference..advice sought

Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Hi everyone..many of you might have causght me posting about Vintage saxes Martin Handcrafts in particular...I am new ti the group but it has been enormously helpful in all sorts of ways.

I have always used Rico Royals..only because my local music shop sold those or Vandoren and I found out early on I preferred the Ricos. But when i get my Handcraft back after its service I want to try something new (with an Otto Link 6* Super Tone Master mp)

Any suggestions...I can and will get them on line. I went into said music shop and they tried to sell me Rico Reserves at £15.00 each!!!!! I gulped and said no thanks I didnt think my playing warranted that standard of reed,quietly thinking does anyone pay that much for a reed.

Got home and hubbie said "That sounds unlikely" SO checked Internet and of course they are £15-16 a box of 5 elsewhere.I emailed the shoppointing out the assts error and got a humble apology.

SO I am a ballad player who likes the smooth, mellow vintage sound . I am NOT a jazz player, though I love listening to it.

I guess it is largely a matter of trial and error but what do you guys use? Best place for proce and choice?


Thanks Bunny
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hi Bunny, big big big can o worms this one. As a change form the Rico's, try Alexander Superials, check out their website which is quite comprehensive, that may point you in the right direction.
I am sure though that when others come on-line you will get more suggestions.
Rgds Phil
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hello Bunny,

I usually buy from Reeds Direct or Reeds Express.

But if you want to try a variety of reeds have a look at Sax.co.uk and their reed selection packs: Alto Tenor

Enjoy your Martin when you get it back and let us know how you get on.

Best wishes,

Chris
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Location
North Lancs
Hi, Bunny,
If you like the smooth, mellow sound try listening to Johnny Hodges, with or without Duke Ellington. He didn't use Martin but preferred Buescher until they were taken over by American Selmer. After that he went on to Vito saxes. Whatever he played he IMO was the ultimate in mellowness. His partner on alto in the Ellington section, Russell Procope , also played Buescher. I have a Buescher Aristocrat made in 1939 and have never considered changing, but Martin is probably the one I would consider if it came to it.
Incidentally, I tried an Otto Link 6* STM but find I get a more mellow sound from my Selmer Soloist D using Rico Royal 2/12 reeds.
Best wishes
O.T.R.
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
Location
Løten, Norway
Hi Bunny,
I use Rico and Vandoren reeds, but I can't say I heard much of a difference in the sound between them. I get a bigger change when switching between mouthpieces. The only reed I have that makes a distinct change in sound is when I use a Fibracell.

Best wishes
Rune
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,421
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Hi Bunny
Yes, you'll get as many views as there are people on the site! I've tried various, without going silly over the price. Vandorens never really work for me. I settled recently on Rico La Voz medium. They seem to play straight off, are quite warm and full, but really sing when pushed. That's with a Jody Jazz Classic 5 and Mauriat 67R alto.
YC
 
OP
B

Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Thanks for replying everyone..got the info I expected which is basically trail and error but found out lots of useful sites to buy them, and mixed packs etc. YC Iam interested that you don't like Vandorens, as I said I am a novice player, but right from the start when I knew nothing about anything to do with saxes, I got the impression Vandorens didnt work for me as well as Rico Royals...and asked someone if that was possibl and got the anser yes..so I have learned to trust my judgement when it comes to my playing, what suits me, suits me it doeesn't have to suit anyone else!

Thanks

Bunny
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,421
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
You're right Bunny, it's very much what you like in the end. I started on Rico Royals and there's nothing wrong with them. Just that as I progressed I found they weren't giving me the tone I wanted. To me Vandorens either didn't blow well or sounded a bit thin, both 2 and 2 1/2. A good player that I know suggested that Vandorens sound better on a Vandoren mpc. I found Rico Select Jazz quite nice for a while, but having changed mpcs recently I went back to La Voz which I had tried a few of previously.
You really need to go to a shop and try out as many as you can. Good shops will have selection. It's a bit like buying mpcs though. It can be a slippery slope....
Good Luck
YC
 
OP
B

Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Well when Steve has serviced my Martin I shall try it and se how much the playing has changed with that..(.havent played it for a long long time) I imagine it ill be a lot freer and the keys properly set up..so I will try it with my O.L mp and Rico Royals and see where i wasnt/need to go from there.

Ive got such an urge to play ..and I cant so I have had toput a reed in my old clarinet just to satisfy the urge to blow something!!!!But the fingering is all different and I CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO WORK IT OUT WITH A CHART!!!

Roll on Aug it should all be done by then!!! Lots of listening from now till then

Bunny
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
2 very high recommendations!

Alexander Superial DC's
Francois Louis Excellence's

I would suggest 2 strength reeds with the mouthpiece.
Alexander Superials are available in many places - who deliver them next day. FL reeds are available from Howarth's - and may be in the current sale. Both are easily found on Google. It is always subjective but i've yet tohave a duff reed from either manufacturer and they should both be able to handle "mellow" without lacking character, which I can find with some other reeds.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
Messages
396
Location
Wiltshire, UK.
I buy my reeds from Reeds Direct. Great place with lovely service, my tenor came from their shop in Cambridge.

My favourite reed on alto at the moment is also La Voz. They are so easy to play and the sound makes me smile. I also have some Hemkes, which give a darker sound, they are very nice too. My mouthpiece on alto is a Hite Premiere, I do have a Link STM but the tone is a little bright for me.

I think that some synthetic reeds can cost upwards of a tenner per reed, but that shop assistant was clearly slightly over-optimistic!
 

AlanU

Member
Messages
624
Location
Enfield, North London
Hi
On my Handcraft alto I use a metal Otto Link STM 5* and Rico Jazz Select from Reeds Direct.
I've gone through Vandoren, La Voz and more recently Rico Royals.

Have you thought about ligatures?

Are you ok with a Link 6*?
I only ask because I think it might be a bit too big for me.
I use a 2 1/2 reed.
What strength do you use?
 
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