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Reeds Synthetic Reeds,

saxyman

Member
Messages
267
Would welcome some views from perhaps the more experienced members on the use of synthetic reeds.

I have myself used a fibrecell one on my Tenor and it did appear to last ages. But I am a relative novice, so are they ok?

I notice also now that RICO are marketing their reeds with a plastic covering, again any first hand views?

OR... Are players who have been using normal reeds for years disinclined to accept what is a "new" innovation.

Be interested in opinions.
 

Merryfisher

Member
Messages
265
Would welcome some views from perhaps the more experienced members on the use of synthetic reeds.

I have myself used a fibrecell one on my Tenor and it did appear to last ages. But I am a relative novice, so are they ok?

I notice also now that RICO are marketing their reeds with a plastic covering, again any first hand views?

OR... Are players who have been using normal reeds for years disinclined to accept what is a "new" innovation.

Be interested in opinions.
used fibracells since mid '90s - to me they sound great. and last a long time. i don't miss the days of buying a box of natural reeds only to have to throw half of them out as rejects, and then watching them warp in a few days and assume that muffled stuffy sound of a dying reed. a baritone player with whom i have played in several bands with over the years only recently found out i used fibracells - all those years he assumed i was using natural ones. funny that.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
I've tried the Plasticover - didn't get on with it at all. Also tried a couple of the synthetic reeds from the Legere range, but after getting a couple of split lips from them (!), gave up. I now mainly use fibracells - happy as a pig in the proverbial! I occasionally revert to cane reeds, but still drift back to the reliability and sound of the fibracells.:sax:
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,128
I highly recommend synthetics for anyone learning as it will take out all of the inconsistencies allowing the player can concentrate on all the more important aspects of producing a good tone and playing. Once you think you have got those aspects down, then experiment with all sorts of reeds.

Another aspect is cost. Yes synthetics cost more per reed, but they last a long time which more than makes up for the lesser cost per unit of cane. My best estimate (for my use) per year is that synthetics cost about 1/4 of what cane would cost.

I still use fibracells most of the time and generally have compliments about my tone. Nobody has picked that it's a synthetic or said "your tone would be better if you used cane".

Reeds are a very personal thing, but beware that there is also some BS and snobbery about cane that you don't need to subscribe to in order to be a good player. Use what works for you, but if a beginner you'd be nuts to be fighting with the inconsistency of cane reeds when you don't need to.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Wade Cornell is right: reeds are a very personal thing. The only cane reed I ever liked was Rico Royal. For a long time now I have been using Legere and Legere Signature. I have got a strength in each I like, and I seem to alternate between them. But I have got to say that the new Signatures are very appealing.

One thing I have noticed is that, because they are so durable, it is possible that one plays them beyond their optimal time for use. When I threw out my last Legere after 160 hours (it still seemed to have some life in it), I noticed areal difference when I put on a new one.
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
A difficulty as a beginner might be knowing which strength of reed to get. They're quite expensive, although not hugely different from a box of 10 which might last about the same length of time.

I think I might have talked myself in to getting one...
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,663
I have had really good success with Legere Signature. Their site has a good strength equivalent chart.

Position on mpce is quite crtical to get the best response ...half a millimeter can make a very noticeable difference.


Some mouthpieces do not work well with them. On my Brilhart Personaline, mojobari Refaced Meyer, Powell refaced Selmer Elkhart and Yamaha 4c all work well with them. My PhilTone Solstice gets a harsh edginess that I fnd quite unpleasant with it. Otherwise I find them pretty close to a well adjusted cane reed.

I Play with a very loose embouchure, double lip really.nexcept my top teeth rest lightly on beak....those that play with more lip pressure may find that the mpce sensitivity to the Signature is not an issue.

i love the ability to park my sax on the stand and come back to it an hour later and just pick it up and play. I still use cane for critical performance playing as I hear the cane read to be just a wee bit fuller and richer. I cant compare the difference 10 feet away.
 
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jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,282
I have used synthetics now for around 8/9 years on all my horns.
i have gone back to Fibracell on tenor,alto and soprano but have used Legere Signature and Fiberreed as well.
i use EB clarinet Legeres on sopranino and i am happy with my sound,never really got on with Plasticover which for me had the same problems as cane that i wanted to get away from.

I like the fact that once you have got them right you are sorted for months.
 

Bigtwin

New Member
Messages
161
I've been using the Rico Plasticovers on my tenor for about 15 years now. I occasionally go back to plain canes, then realise that there's just no point - the plasticovers are just better - consistent and long lasting.

I tried a synthetic on my sop and didn't get on with it at all, I think because soft/medium/hard just doesn't give you enough variety, and they are expensive mistakes to make if you don't get it right.
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
Messages
2,362
I use Legere signature on alto and Fibracell on sop. I wouldn't go back to cane reeds now. Although the initial outlay is expensive, I think over the years I've probably spent the same as I would have on cane reeds as the synthetics last so much longer and (touch wood) I've never had a duff one. Good luck in your quest :)
 
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