Reeds Reed Question - From Vandoren To AN Other

Veggie Dave

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#1
I'm wondering if anyone who used to play Vandoren Java Green tenor reeds has found a new reed with the same free flowing feel of the Javas but which is slightly harder?

Yes, I could just buy Java Green 3.5 (instead of the 3s that I use at the moment) but when I used to use them I found that the difference in the resistance of the reeds in a single pack could be dramatic - from 'that's odd, this feels like a 3' to '*&^^$£!!! this is almost impossible to play!'

I really don't want to have to restart the whole Holy Grail of Reeds pilgrimage to find the One True Cane as the Green Java is nigh-on perfect ... except on stage, when playing altissimo where it can be just a tad too soft. So, if anyone has had the same issue and found a reed that's just a little harder without adding any extra resistance I'd love to hear from you.

If not, I'm sure I can find a way to play around the issue instead.
 
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#2
Dave, you may wish to try the V16 reeds (in the same strength) as these have a slightly sturdier middle - there was a diagram I recently came across which showed the subtle different cut/curvature from shoulder to tip of the Vandoren reeds but I can't place it. For me, this additional strength prevented the reed from closing when pushed hard in rock solos so maybe it'll help deliver the altissimo as well.
 

Veggie Dave

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#3
I did try the V16s not long after I first started and found them to have far too much resistance for me. That was two years ago, though, so I'll try them again.

Thanks.
 

David Roach

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#4
Or Java Red which come out a fraction more resistant? Or V21 in a 2.5 (they are a half strength harder than Javas and are a somewhat different vibe too)
Failing that have a shot at Lupifaro 3.5s or Rigotti in 3H or 3.5 S?
 
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#5
Last edited:

saxyjt

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#6
Then you can explore the reeds adjustment theme! >:)

You considered making your own mouthpiece, so that's nothing compared to it. ;)
 

Phil

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#8
I play the greens. I have not ventured to the reds. If java is your thing i think you wil not enjoy the 16s. I like java. I used to use the alexander superials and classiques. The vd 16 is about my most hated reed that is well made. they are designed to slap the facing...i spend my days avoiding that issue when making and designing mouthpieces. It is not something that i desirein a reed.
 

MikeMorrell

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#9
I needed a box of reeds fast a few weeks back and the nearest store (walking distance) stocks mainly VanDoren and Legere. I found this quick overview of the different VanDoren jazz reeds useful. I almost went for a Legere but finally decided on Java Reds which I'm happy with so far.
 

GCinCT

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#10
I needed a box of reeds fast a few weeks back and the nearest store (walking distance) stocks mainly VanDoren and Legere. I found this quick overview of the different VanDoren jazz reeds useful. I almost went for a Legere but finally decided on Java Reds which I'm happy with so far.
I love the Greens, I’ve been using them for a long time. Based on your recommendation in another thread, @MikeMorrell , I picked up a box of reds. I’ve been playing those and I really like them. A bit more rasp in the tone, just as you said. I like that kind of tone. Thanks!
 

Colin the Bear

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#11
Java green are american cut? I get mixed up. Try Vandoren Juno. Bog standard reed for beginners. They work great on an american lay mouthpiece. I'm using them on clarinet. D'Addario reserve are cut from the inter nodal cane. They're stiffer but softer at the same time. I've never got on with the javas and ZZ's and V16. They seem to go flabby to quickly. If you need volume Gonzales in a regular cut work great. They're not subtle but they produce a prodigious amount of effortless volume for me and as an added bonus they taste great.
 

GCinCT

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#12
Java green are american cut? I get mixed up. Try Vandoren Juno. Bog standard reed for beginners. They work great on an american lay mouthpiece. I'm using them on clarinet. D'Addario reserve are cut from the inter nodal cane. They're stiffer but softer at the same time. I've never got on with the javas and ZZ's and V16. They seem to go flabby to quickly. If you need volume Gonzales in a regular cut work great. They're not subtle but they produce a prodigious amount of effortless volume for me and as an added bonus they taste great.
Great taste is important, but how many calories?
 

David Roach

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#15
The only instance in which I have had good results with V16 reeds are using 2.5s on 5* alto mouthpieces. They give a good projection and are handily half-way between a Java 2.5 and a Java 3 - a Java 2.75 is often what I want :rolleyes: and can't get!
 

Phil

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#16
For a 2.75 break in the reed. Strap the reed on your mpc. Use the old thumb trick...push firmly 2 or 3 times in the center of the vamp. This softens it a touch and seems to make low end response easier.
 

Veggie Dave

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#17
Or Java Red which come out a fraction more resistant?
I've tried the Reds but couldn't get on with them.

Failing that have a shot at Lupifaro 3.5s or Rigotti in 3H or 3.5 S?
I really don't want to start going through all the different reeds again. I find the Java Greens to be perfect for 99% of my playing. It's only notes above high E and then, only when playing with a band that I have any problems with them.

Have you tried using a trimmer?
I haven't. It may be a little extreme for my problem, though. Oh, your link doesn't work unfortunately.

Then you can explore the reeds adjustment theme! >:)
I've modified reeds in the past, and reasonably successfully, too, but I'm far too lazy to bother with it. I'm very much a wet it then bang it on player.

I play the greens. If java is your thing i think you wil not enjoy the 16s.
I certainly didn't when I last tried them.

they are designed to slap the facing.
Why on earth would they do that?
 

Ivan

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#18
I really don't want to start going through all the different reeds again. I find the Java Greens to be perfect for 99% of my playing. It's only notes above high E and then, only when playing with a band that I have any problems with them.
Maybe investigate your embouchure and the arrangement of your intra-oral bits and pieces?

I have found life is easier after the move from reed to whatever Legere is made of. Much less angst about reed choice which allows me to explore other solutions to finding those elusive notes
 

David Roach

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#19
For a 2.75 break in the reed. Strap the reed on your mpc. Use the old thumb trick...push firmly 2 or 3 times in the center of the vamp. This softens it a touch and seems to make low end response easier.
Yes I know this trick, I also use the 'flicking' technique, but there's something about the balance of Java's that doesn't suit every mouthpiece. Sometimes I just can't get the right sound with them, so off to Select Jazz which seem to fill the gap for me.
 

Veggie Dave

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#20
Maybe investigate your embouchure and the arrangement of your intra-oral bits and pieces?
I was hoping to find a hardware solution because the playing solution requires a lot of concentration when you can't hear yourself too well (or at all ;) ) and up to now isn't 100% reliable, but I guess a little more practise will make it easier.
 
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