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Reeds Reeds wearing out

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,561
I know... an eteranal question and one of personal preference, but...

I have now been playing for almost 2 years. At the beginning I played a Rico Royal 1.5, but now play a Rico Royal 2.5. Recently I bought a new pack of 3, and prepared them as per advice here - soaking and rubbing on a smooth surface etc.
However, in the space of 3 weeks I have had to change the reed twice (ie am now on my 3rd) because they seem to be going soft - sometimes I seem to be able to close the hole at the tip of the mouthpiece completely as the reeds seem so soft they are flexing enough to close the gap.

Is it me?
Am I just a very soggy player, or should I move up to 3s?

I play typically 3 times a day for about 30-40 minutes, so the reeds do get some use, but a lifespan of a week seems a little short to me.

Any thoughts?
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,048
I know... an eteranal question and one of personal preference, but...

I have now been playing for almost 2 years. At the beginning I played a Rico Royal 1.5, but now play a Rico Royal 2.5. Recently I bought a new pack of 3, and prepared them as per advice here - soaking and rubbing on a smooth surface etc.
However, in the space of 3 weeks I have had to change the reed twice (ie am now on my 3rd) because they seem to be going soft - sometimes I seem to be able to close the hole at the tip of the mouthpiece completely as the reeds seem so soft they are flexing enough to close the gap.

Is it me?
Am I just a very soggy player, or should I move up to 3s?

I play typically 3 times a day for about 30-40 minutes, so the reeds do get some use, but a lifespan of a week seems a little short to me.

Any thoughts?

get yourself a fibracell reed or a legere signature - itll last a lot longer! Ive had a fibracell on my baritone for nearly a year now.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,045
I've been playing Rico Royal no2 reeds for years now and I'm not having any trouble with them. I don't prepare them in any way either. All I do is rinse them under the tap and that's it, unless they require attention. These days they seldom do. My reeds last and last. Maybe you should stay with the 2.5s.

Jim.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I keep four on the go and use them in rotation. I'm bad, I play them until they split. Even if they get a it soft. They last months that way.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
I find that Rico Royals tend to last for weeks, and I play for at least as long as you do. It is BTW a respectable effort in my view. I now use mainly Legere and Fibracell. The seem to last forever. I mentioned on another thread a long time ago that I got something like 300 hours out of a baritone reed. The one I am using now seems to go very well also.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,695
Absolutely! after faffing about with cane, and going through the scraping, wetting, only so many out of each box are any good ritual, i now use fibracell, you just put it on and play, but more importantly you forget about constently dicking about with reeds!

or, if you're too purist to go fully synthetc, rico plasticovers are a good half measure
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I am always amazed at people having bad experiences of cane - I use Marca Jazz and Francois Louis Excellence reeds after a brief initial prep I simply soak them in mouthwash for about 60 secs each time I play them. When I have finished I just stroke them once to remove extra moisture and put them back in the case. The average time they last is over 1 year.

I also have a bit of a laugh when I hear of people who are too busy to do any prep of a reed, like wetting it I am surprised they don't also play saxes without separate mouthpieces and necks. Kids today, they have no patience ................
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,421
I also have a bit of a laugh when I hear of people who are too busy to do any prep of a reed

Guilty as charged - but I've tried the meticulous preparation rituals and, for me, they do nothing for playability or durability - in fact they reduce both.

Rip a new Java out the packet, give it a good suck, clamp it on and a brisk blast through the lower octave, and job done. Not saying that will be the same for everyone but it works (almost) every time for me.
:)
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,924
I know... an eteranal question and one of personal preference, but...

I have now been playing for almost 2 years. At the beginning I played a Rico Royal 1.5, but now play a Rico Royal 2.5. Recently I bought a new pack of 3, and prepared them as per advice here - soaking and rubbing on a smooth surface etc.
However, in the space of 3 weeks I have had to change the reed twice (ie am now on my 3rd) because they seem to be going soft - sometimes I seem to be able to close the hole at the tip of the mouthpiece completely as the reeds seem so soft they are flexing enough to close the gap.

Is it me?
Am I just a very soggy player, or should I move up to 3s?

I play typically 3 times a day for about 30-40 minutes, so the reeds do get some use, but a lifespan of a week seems a little short to me.

Any thoughts?

To avoid closing the hole at the tip of the mouthpiece you can try to place the reed just below the tip of the mouthpiece, less than one mm. You should be able to see the tip of the mouthpiece.

Try #3 and even #3½. I use to put in a harder reed when I'm playing/practising so I don't get used to the comfort of a "safe old" reed. I think it's good to play dynamic even when it comes to reeds. I'm playing Rico Plasticover (a Rico Royal that is plasticovered) #4 most of the time but sometimes I'm on #5. Depends on how much I'm playing. I can start on #5 and switch to #4 at the end of the "seance". Or when I'm practising I can play a harder reed when I'm doing workouts (scales, licks, patterns .... ). Works for me.

Thomas
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Guilty as charged - but I've tried the meticulous preparation rituals and, for me, they do nothing for playability or durability - in fact they reduce both.

Rip a new Java out the packet, give it a good suck, clamp it on and a brisk blast through the lower octave, and job done. Not saying that will be the same for everyone but it works (almost) every time for me.
:)

Java reeds...........there's quaint;} At least you have an effective system! What is this "meticulous" preparation....? Soak reeds, press/stroke on flat surface, play at moderate volume, press/stroke reed, put in case. Exhausting work, especially when you can just play the reed for the next year or so........:shocked:;}.

Kind regards, excuse the provocation.....
Tom:cool:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Just that they were developed in 1983 and are no longer "cool"! Unless you play the Red Java's which seem a lot more highly rated on SOTW....................................;}

Kind regards
Tom
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Soggy reeds.

I came up with an idea the other day. To use waterproof PVA adhesive, rubbed into the reed fibers to seal it (no more soggy reeds).
I checked it out for toxicity, and it appears to be O.K. (they paint it on cheese to prevent mildew). You don't need much just a little blob and rub well in.

John.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Hi Rob.

I have found it to be a big improvement. It has to be a water resistant PVA like Evo-Stik Resin "W".
I only used a small amount per reed, rubbed well in, and left a couple of hours before trying.

John.
 
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