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Reeds Vandoren reeds, are they stiffer than other brands?

MikeM70

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needed some new clarinet reeds and for a change I thought I'd try some vandoren traditional out (I've been using rico royal since I got the clarinet as they were what JP sold me when I got it, always been happy).. Finally got round to putting on the reeds this evening and wow, could only just blow the thing, was really stiff and resistant. I thought mebbe it's me, maybe I've become a wuss overnight, so put the old reeds back on and they were fine. On a whim, I tried some rico 2.5's I had lying around (I normally use 2.0) and again, they were fine, a bit stiffer than the 2.00, but to be expected. So, put the vandoren's back on and still the same, unplayable.
Is this standard for vandoren reeds or have I got a duff batch?
 

Ne0Wolf7

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008_009_wwbw_page_2.jpg

This chart would say so, although not all charts say exactly the same thing.
Hmm doesn'tseem to like my picture, here's a link
 

kevgermany

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Try going down to a 1.5 on the VanDoren, or scraping the reed.
 

tatooandy67

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When I first started playing I used rico royal (orange box) 2’s and 2.5’s then I switched to vandoren (blue box) traditional I found them to be a tad stiffer/harder but once I got used to them I found them to be much better, having tried several different brands vandoren traditional 2’s are my go to choice, but yes to answer your question I believe vandoren traditional are a bit stiffer than rico royal of the same numbers
 

Justin Chune

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The Vandoren Blue Box are a Half strength harder than Rico. I'm enjoying Vandoren Juno clarinet reeds at the moment and these are numbered the same as Rico. The Juno reeds are also consistent in that they all play much the same. With Blue Box Vandoren I could never find two the same.

I've had a lifetime of success with Rico Royal 2 clarinet reeds. I get my reeds from Reeds Direct and they have a catalogue that has a strength chart that compares all the reeds they sell. Useful.
 

MikeM70

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thanks Colin, those charts (well, the ones I looked at anyways) seemed to tie in with my observations. Guess I'll have to keep working it, build up my clarinet muscles till I'm big enough for grown up reeds.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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The great classical clarinettist Jack Brymer apparently used to use 1.5 The reason I know this is my first sax teacher was also a clarinet player and he had lessons with Jack Brymer.
 

Colin the Bear

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We don't adapt our embouchure to the reed. We adjust the reed to our embouchure.

Nobody who could play ever said "That player was great. His reed was really hard"

Having said that discovering what some of the greats played is illuminating and fascinating.
 

Ivan

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I've found Vandoren harder than a hard thing, the few times I've tried them

But then I like it soft
 

MikeMorrell

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I only have experience with vandoren reeds for tenor sax. For many years, my experience was that the vandoren reeds I bought were initially stiffer than the equivalent Ricoh reeds. Compared to equivalent Ricoh reeds they took longer to 'break in', sometimes needed more adjustment to make them more easily playable but lasted longer (with a better tone). With sax reeds, my experience is that Ricoh reeds are relatively soft and are pretty much playable 'out of the box'. Vandoren reeds aren't. It takes time to break them in and perhaps adjust them.

I only recently discovered that I'd always bought the stiffest jazz reed for sax (because that''s what the local shop stocked). It turned out that there were many more Java reed types (each in different strengths) which were easier to play!

I've never played clarinet but just based on my sax experience, the vandoren video on ""which clarinet reed is right for you?" may be helpful. From what I've seen, the vandoren "classic" clarinet reed is the stiffest in the range (at whatever strength).

I guess (like for sax), it's a question of - in time - finding the best combination of reed type and strength.

The
 

MikeM70

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Aylesbury, UK
yeah, that would make sense, initially harder to play, but then last longer. I've put them away in a drawer for the moment, as I'm still too puny to blow them, but I'll go back to them when I've toughened up a tad.
 

kevgermany

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Reed strength is not about macho, it's about what works for you. Unless you're playing classical, the tendency is soft reeds, wider tips.
 

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