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Reeds Synthetic reeds

Mack

Senior Member
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532
Location
Devon
Just before I shell out £25 odd quid on a synthetic reed can anyone give an informed opinion on them? I have read Pete's article on his site which recommends the Legere Signature, and says the Hahn reeds may well catch up soon, but I have no idea when this was written. I find that tenor cane reeds in particular are so inconsistent that I am willing to try a synthetic reed - or maybe a plasticover ? What does anyone think?
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
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4,984
Location
Surrey, UK
Plasticover are way cheaper and when you get a good one it's great. But being cane, they are just as inconsistent (in my experience).

I have played lots of synthetics (Bari, Bari*, Hahn, Hartmann, Legere, Legere Studio, Legere Signature, Fibracell). Out of that lot, my preferred ones are Legere Signature (still waiting for the alto version to be available from Reeds Direct in UK) and Fibracell.

Don't pay £25 for a Legere, Reeds Direct have them for about £18 with free P&P.

I still think that a good cane reed is better than the best synthetic I have yet experienced, but how many good cane reeds do you get and how long do they last ? So I have settled on Legere Signature 2.5 on tenor and Vandoren Java 3 on alto until the Signature is available. Plasticover 4 on baritone and RJS 3 on soprano.

Also, synthetics seem to work better on some mouthpieces than others - you have to do a lot of experimenting and that's expensive.

Rhys
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,678
Location
Betelgeuse
Also, synthetics seem to work better on some mouthpieces than others - you have to do a lot of experimenting and that's expensive.

Rhys

Very much my own experience. Legere Signature works great on my Brilhart Level Air, but is awful on my RPC, whereas the same good RJS 2H is great on both.
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
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4,984
Location
Surrey, UK
Very much my own experience. Legere Signature works great on my Brilhart Level Air, but is awful on my RPC, whereas the same good RJS 2H is great on both.

Is that the original Brilhart Level Aire or the new one with the plastic removable baffle ? I have originals from the 70s that I used to love playing on bari, alto and tenor and they were/are amazing. The internal design is so extreme you think they are going to be all screaming edge and no subtlety, but they are surprisingly flexible.

Rhys
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,678
Location
Betelgeuse
Is that the original Brilhart Level Aire or the new one with the plastic removable baffle ? I have originals from the 70s that I used to love playing on bari, alto and tenor and they were/are amazing. The internal design is so extreme you think they are going to be all screaming edge and no subtlety, but they are surprisingly flexible.

Rhys

This is the new one, which I bought from the US for $40 in as new condition. I was amazed at how well it plays, although I never use the removable baffle.

I've also had a couple of the 1970s ones for tenor, which I've since sold. One was really flexible, the other made a Dukoff sound subtle and understated. Not sure why the huge variation, as they looked pretty much identical.
 

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