All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Reeds reed softness

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
I have a question about my reeds softening.
I am using rico royal 1-1/2 french file cut and I have been rotating 4 reeds for about 4 months.
I have noticed lately that I am getting alot of squarking with the reeds I have been rotating so I put in a brand new reed that hasn`t been used before and whalah my tone and squarking improved straight away.

Do reeds have a use by or life expectancy whereby they become softer with use or should I now throw out the old set and start a fresh new batch, or can I simply dry the current set out in the sun and start again.???????? cost is not an issue, this just one of those silly questions that I am asking!!!!:confused:
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Check your old reeds for flatness. They may be bending up, reducing tip clearance.

John.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Reeds do get softer as you play them, and they reach a point where they become unplayable. Some people get reed cutters to take off a little part of the tip, and they appear to manage to extend reed lives somewhat. I have never done it. There is probaly a thread on this site that explains things more clearly.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,024
Put four new reeds into your rotation and if that solves your problem dump the old ones. Playing on tired old reeds will hold you back. Keep em fresh.

Jim.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
check out this video from Pete - explains better than I can - more likely to be your problem (although softening over time will also occur)...

[video]http://www.youtube.com/user/tamingthesaxophone#p/u/14/nKM9wRIvYmk[/video]
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
There was a thread some time back, where someone with a particularly, shall we say wet mouth, wanted to know if there was anything that could be done to stop the reed becoming waterlogged. So I thought about it, and came up with the idea of sealing the fibres by rubbing a SMALL! amount of plastic adhesive into both sides of the reed. I emphasize small, because after application, you can only just see a slight sheen on the surfaces. The result proved very satisfactory, no moisture in the reed, and (to me) no tonal difference, and apparently no toxicity (I'm still here :thumb:) I've been using that reed now for about eight months.
Yes I did adjust the reed to suit the mouthpiece first ;}

John.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Your chops could be developing and you might need to step up a half strength. Just a thought! As for longevity of a reed, I've rarely gotten more than two / three weeks even with rotating 8 at a time!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Just stop the advance juggling technique and stick to learning piano ...........................................:shocked::w00t:;}
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
John thats unbelievable
thats amazing
you should sell em
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
... Just a thought! As for longevity of a reed, I've rarely gotten more than two / three weeks even with rotating 8 at a time!
Yes, but in one of your earlier posts you mentioned playing pretty much all day.:shocked: Every day. :w00t:

So if we multiply by 8 assuming the rest of us do 1hr per day, your 8 reeds are lasting the equivalent of 4-6 months for us mere mortals... :mrcool

How's the two voices going? Must be close to worn out by now >:)
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Thanks C9off
I checked this link out .
so then I had a look at my c4 mp
On examination the table or bed is slightly raised in the middle which would allow for a poor seal down the rails and thus leakage
on the sides.
Should I shave this flat the same way the reeds are done. or just get a new mp.????
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Thanks C9off
I checked this link out .
so then I had a look at my c4 mp
On examination the table or bed is slightly raised in the middle which would allow for a poor seal down the rails and thus leakage
on the sides.
Should I shave this flat the same way the reeds are done. or just get a new mp.????
Hi allansto,
Don't use a blade. Lay some fine sandpaper on a sheet glass, two or three strokes at a time, back and forth should do it. Apply downwards pressure from midway between the start of the lay/rail position and the far end of the table, taking care to remove material from the bump and not from one side

John.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
nb, as soon as you start sanding the mouthpiece, it's a one way trip. Possibly to better performance, probably to a new mouthpiece. May be better to buy a new one and sell this on ebay.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Two days ago I sanded two Rico Graftonites for a local guy, no probs, four strokes did it. The thing is, use almost no pressure, gently does it. It is normaly only a few thou. that needs to be removed and if it's a cheap 'piece, it's worth doing.
Of course if it was an expensive m'piece, you wouldn't do it. - Well I would, but my apprenticeship had me using hand tools, working to 0.001". So it would be easy for me.

John.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Two days ago I sanded two Rico Graftonites for a local guy, no probs, four strokes did it. The thing is, use almost no pressure, gently does it. It is normaly only a few thou. that needs to be removed and if it's a cheap 'piece, it's worth doing.
Of course if it was an expensive m'piece, you wouldn't do it. - Well I would, but my apprenticeship had me using hand tools, working to 0.001". So it would be easy for me.

John.
I'm not anti, just that many people can't sand something flat, let alone square...

What do you define as fine sandaper? Something like 600 wet & dry?
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
Already answered by John & Kev...

Keep an eye on the reed though, I've found this regularly just as Pete advises...

I've previously levelled the tables of a few mouthpieces, these have subsequently been adjusted by a proper refacer - the results varied from pretty good to awful. There lies the problem, I couldn't tell! Do have a go, don't sell on a known problem - that is just unfair; you could try applying a felt marker to the table to leave a witness of what you are removing - the ideal would be just the middle problem area removed (albeit unlikely).

Always worth buying another to give a comparison - just remeber to stop at half a dozen eh?!



Thanks C9off
I checked this link out .
so then I had a look at my c4 mp
On examination the table or bed is slightly raised in the middle which would allow for a poor seal down the rails and thus leakage
on the sides.
Should I shave this flat the same way the reeds are done. or just get a new mp.????
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
I'm not anti, just that many people can't sand something flat, let alone square...

What do you define as fine sandaper? Something like 600 wet & dry?
-

Kev ;}:thumb:

I just march into the shop and ask for fine sandpaper. As with reeds, after sanding I put some engineers blue onto the glass to check for high spots. That's a bit of overkill, but that's just me. You can just rub the sanded surface on the glass (circular motion), and that will show up any polished high spots.

John.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
...don't sell on a known problem - that is just unfair;
Good point. I was working under the assumption that the mouthpiece plays, not too well, but within normal production tolerances.
Not a good statemetn on my part, sorrry!
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
although not being asked to me, I use decent quality 800 then 1200 followed by 2000.
Yes overkill - & sanding flat/square, agree totally!

I'm not anti, just that many people can't sand something flat, let alone square...

What do you define as fine sandaper? Something like 600 wet & dry?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,029
I'm not anti, just that many people can't sand something flat, let alone square...

What do you define as fine sandaper? Something like 600 wet & dry?
600 is good for polishing, I don't think it will remove anything significantly enough to do any "flattening". It would work eventually, but need so many passes you'd need to keep replacing it as it gets clogged up and so increase the chances of flatness being somewhat less than flat.
 
Saxholder Pro

Members online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom