All profit supporting   special needs music

Saxophones Sometimes you get what you pay for...

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
282
Locality
Helsinki, Finland
At a whim, I decided to try out those £4 a box of 10 reeds they peddle on eBay. Ri Yin was the brand. Link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251362407924?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649. I imagined the QC would be a bit iffy, but if two out of ten played fine, I'd have my money's worth.

They were packed in cardboard sleeves instead of plastic reed protectors, but all of them were intact regardless... well, kind of. Here's a photo of five of them, picked randomly:
IMG_4908.JPG (click for full size).

I don't believe I need to point out the multitude of things that were wrong with them. Just look at the color: more or less the same as our parquet floor. Never seen a reed colored like that.
As you can better see in the next photo, they're not even close to being symmetrical. Might not be obvious from the photo, but the bark continues to the very tip on the right hand side. Needless to say, this reed did not play at all.
IMG_4911.JPG

Not even close to being symmetrical this way either:
IMG_4914.JPG

The cut is very coarse. Like sandpaper on your bottom lip. Need to sand the surface before playing. I have no idea what that discoloration in the tip and in the heart is.
IMG_4916.JPG
Two out of three were like this: the grain doesn't run straight.
IMG_4918.JPG

How many were playable? One, and not exactly well. The rest of the reeds seemed generally quite hard for a 2.5 strength, but the one that did actually play in the whole range of my sax felt like a 1 or 1½. The 2nd best one I could get to play after putting in a couple of minutes with a sharp knife. Half of them did not play at all - something I've never encountered before. The rest gave squeaks, didn't play in the bottom range, or just hissed a lot, probably because half the air was escaping between the table of the mouthpiece and the warped reed.

I have to wonder, how many boxes of Ri Yin reeds did they have to go through to get the two good-looking reeds pictured in the eBay listing? o_O
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,680
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Ri yin aren't very good in my experience, Flying goose are better and White crane are quite good. I think they were both cheaper tha Ri yin.
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
405
Locality
Sydney, Australia
I appreciate the review of these bargain basement reeds. Better you than me! ;)

Gonzalez come in a paper sleeve and they're far from this shoddy tat so I don't go too much in for packaging as any sort of quality indicator as such. However, I do believe I'll stick to the big brands (Vandoren, Rico etc.) Gonzalez, I thought, were coarser grained than French cane and a little dead - but no more than orange box Ricos and better than Rico Royals IMO.

V
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
1,078
Locality
SW of London Town
Well, the perfect opportunity to see if you can make them playable as Ads suggested: I did the same with some cheap mouthpieces I bought a while ago. They are not well finished, if I can get one working decently then I will have learnt a new skill!
Cheers,
M.
 

Ads

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,316
Locality
North West UK
I`ve just received a box of "J-Michael" 2.5 Alto reeds from a UK Supplier - £4 + £1 Postage.. they look better than the Chinese tenor reeds I got and a lot better than the Ri-Yin samples above ...... I`ll post again after trying them, the one I pulled out to take the pic was even quite well "shaved" for even-ness . all these el-cheapo reeds are interesting to play around with at worst ...... "J-Michael" also badge saxes of chinese origin

Pic of a random sample pulled from the box



Link ......

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=181042940426&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160
Reeds-JMichael.JPG
 

Ads

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,316
Locality
North West UK
I gave a J-Michael reed a good play out of the box and it`s darker / woolier / less engaging than a Rico Orange and softer too, more like a 2 than a 2.5 . like the other chinese reeds, the accuracy of the cut varies from reed to reed (some are lopsided a bit too) I`ll shave one and see if it impoves . they`ll make usable fallbacks or if I want a softer sound if not ...
 

Popular Discussions

Top Bottom