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Reeds What reeds?

breathless

Member
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270
Hi all, I'm using reco 2.0 that were given to me when I bought my sax, before I order a box of 10 I had a look on line and found a company internetreeds.com that are offering 10x 2.0 tenor reeds for £10.

Does anyone have knowledge of these? Are they going to be rubbish?

Lee.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,660
I would stick to name brand reeds at this point. If you are looking for reasonably priced reeds that are good quality a couple of people in this forum have had good success with Medir reeds out of Spain. Milandro is one and for the life of me can't recall the other.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
Rico Royals do it for me and I buy them from Just Flutes. I tried Internet Reeds and didn't like them. For the time being you will be safer with the Ricos.

Jim.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,947
Lee, one thing about saxes is that all reeds are not equal. Strengths vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even within different ranges from the same manufacturer. And the different ranges play differently. My experience of cheapo chinese reeds is that they're like planks. And quite a few of the others here have also siad there's a lot of variability in them.

Stick to what's working for you. But be prepared to move up from the 2s, expecially if you're using a narrowish mouthpiece like a 4C. Experiment later.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
Every now and then i will go to curlywoodwind and see what they have in stock and buy a few to try out, i'm torn between Rico jazz select 2M and Vandoren Jazz 2.
I wouldn't go buying a box of 10 until you know you are happy with the reed(s) you are testing
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Lee!

One of the challenging areas - which reeds to play! Here is a good chart of currently available reeds - highlighting their different strengths: http://www.saxophon-service.de/shop/z_57.htm The important thing is to get the strength right, and choose a reliable brand as some boxes may contain reeds which are difficult to get a decent sound out of. If we stick with Rico for a moment, most folks find Rico Royals play well enough and are safe to start. More folks rate the Rico Jazz Selects more highly and I would recommend them too. Probably a 2 or 2.5 (2S or 2M) strength should be fine - too soft and your reed may close too easily, too hard and you may have to really blow hard to get a note out of it.

Reeds have different cuts: I note 3 that seem in common useage.

1. French Cut/Filed. These go from thick in the middle of the reed to thin at the end. Ideal for Classical music, and mouthpieces which have a shorter window which curves more sharply to the mouthpiece tip - hence the flexible end.
2. American Cut/Filed. A reed which is not as thick in the middle and not as thin at the end. Ideal for Jazz, Blues & Rock, and designed for mouthpieces with a longer window and a more gradual curve to the mouthpiece tip.
2. So called Jazz reeds. These are more filed than the American Cut and play a little softer - almost between the other two cuts.

So it partly depends on what mouthpiece you play but I would think that the reason that Rico Jazz Selects are very popular is partly because it is higher quality cane, but also probably suits more different mouthpieces. Commonly most beginners start on Rico Royal or Vandoren Traditional Blue Box, both of which are French Cut and more suited to classical music and French design mouthpieces (such as the Selmer SA80 C* which was a common starter mouthpiece).

My recommendation would probably get some "Jazz" reeds at strength 2, or 2S if Rico Jazz Selects and prepare them as in http://www.superial.com/mainten_breakin.html .

Hope this helps, and makes sense!
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
As you are an absolute beginner you may find that Rico Orange Box will be just fine. £17.95 here. http://www.reeds-direct.co.uk/instrument/reeds/alto-saxophone.html

Jim.
 
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breathless

Member
Messages
270
Thanks everyone for so much information (I cant say how helpful it is when starting out to have so many people offer so much helpful information)!
Tom yet again tanks very much for a really great explanation and description, the charts very useful.

As a beginner I just need to find a reed thats reliable and works for me, I was given 5x loose Rico No2`s which as far as im concerned are ok but have no reference to compare by so simply have to accept that that is how they are, (if you know what I mean)?

quite happy to continue with these, but wondered if there was better that would in turn make life a little easier!

I may order a box of 10x and stay with those, I was just curious as to what the internet ones were like.

Ill stick with my life Mantra "Good things arn`t cheap, and cheap things arn`t good" !

thank you all once again.

Rgds Lee.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,660
Btw what mpce are you playing on. One of the things that I have found that can be particularly challenging for beginners is that a mpce that is not well made can make playing more difficult. The ubiquitous Yamaha 4 C is one of the best inexpensive mpces in that they seem to have their manufacturing tolerances pretty well sorted. That isn't the case with all.

A while back I had to teat play about 10 altos made in China. The saxes were all functioning properly and were good value for the money but there were a few mpces in the bunch that were difficult to play well due to uneven facings. Not sure why the distortion was there but passed it on to manufacturer.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
From memory Lee plays a Yani HR 6, which is one of the best stock mouthpieces IMO. Do have a try of the Bari Esprit II - It costs £14 in the UK and is possibly my favourite Alto mpc under £40 - available in Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone.

How is the Solstice going? I got hold of Phil's new Meridian Alto mpc on Tuesday - superb contemporary piece.
Kind regards
Tom
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,660
Totally agree on the Yani mpce.

I don't want to hijack but Tom my first impression was it is a good mpce. Once I got the reeds sorted for me it is I think going to be the perfect mpce. I pick up my Shadow alto in a few weeks and assuming the mpce works as well as on my sml I am finished my mpce search.

Definitely easy to get that west coast cool sound highs are rich and full and push it a bit and a really nice edge retaining the fullness. Not an r and b or rock mpce for sure but for me soooo sweet. If I need that raucous thing I got my old Selmer Jazz metal d that I refaced.

Glad the meridian works for you

Best Jay
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I mainly play Phil-Tone mouthpieces on Alto and Tenor, and love the Solstice for that west Coast sound - using it whilst working through my Dave Brubeck Aebersold book. For other stuff I play the Aurora but the Meridian is awesome for R&B< Rock, Funk, Pop and similar.

Anyway, which REEDS do you use with the Solstice? I mainly use Rigotti Gold 2.5's!
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,660
I use either Rigotti 3 medium or Gonzalez 2.75 and adjust them as Ray Reed's book. Reeds get a flat filed the rounded part which takes them from about .133" to about .110" with that and taking out the transverse warp over the first few break in sessions theylay a little lighter than standard.

Once I tried this and got the reeds to really sing which getting rid of all that excess deadwood helps immensely I was absolutely blown away by how good Phil's mouthpiece is.
 

Jack

Member
Messages
123
Looking for a good price. Great! Rico Royals or Rico Jazz Select. I recommend musicians friend. At least in this country free shipping and no sales tax.
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
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2,123
Back to the initial question. I'll offer a different point of view. All the above is good, but I would highly recommend that once you have your reed srength sorted you invest in a synthetic reed like a fibracell. This advice has nothing to do with sound quality or other aspects that more advanced players would discuss. The point is that you will have at least one thing that is standard which will allow you to concentrate on tone production, embouchere, and almost every other aspect without fighting the inherient variability of cane reeds. Most cane reed users will acknowledge that only a few reeds out of a box are good to excellent players. The others range form OK to difficult. As a beginner this is an unnecessary impediment as it's difficult to impossible for you to know if the problem is you or the reed. Cane reeds also have a rather short life span, so you will wind up playing somehting which may be past it's prime and compensating rather than developing a solid technique. Consisitency is (in my opinion) to be strived for in as many aspects as possible which will allow the student to concentrate on rapid development rather than unconsiously fighting problems that are not under your control, and, in most cases, you are unaware of.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Very interesting thoughts from Wade.

However, if I remember back to when I started off playing as a beginner most of the above did not occur to me, apart from reeds not lasting particularly long - usually about a month or so until I started soaking them and rotating them in a reed case. So I did not particularly have a sense of an "unnecessary impediment" or "unconsciously fighting problems" back i those days, playing Rico Royals, Vandoren Javas and ZZ's on my soprano sax with Berg mpc and Rovner Dark Lig.

Hence, I appreciate the concern expressed for beginners but cannot identify with it in my own experience - my teacher gave me a Plasticover reed to try - I hated it! Maybe it is not the norm - be interested in hearing from others on this.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Back to the initial question. I'll offer a different point of view. All the above is good, but I would highly recommend that once you have your reed srength sorted you invest in a synthetic reed like a fibracell. This advice has nothing to do with sound quality or other aspects that more advanced players would discuss. The point is that you will have at least one thing that is standard which will allow you to concentrate on tone production, embouchere, and almost every other aspect without fighting the inherient variability of cane reeds.
I must agree. The main effect of a synthetic reed is that it doesn't allow you to blame the reed. I used them on clarinet, when I picked it up recently. When I felt I was ready, I moved to wood.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hopefully the sax concerned does not have any defects - leaks, weak springs etc. Hopefully the mouthpiece is well made and has a flat table, good facing curves and the right tip opening. Hopefully the ligature fits well too, and then it should be safe only to blame the reed for not being synthetic..............................;}
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Hopefully the sax concerned does not have any defects - leaks, weak springs etc. Hopefully the mouthpiece is well made and has a flat table, good facing curves and the right tip opening. Hopefully the ligature fits well too, and then it should be safe only to blame the reed for not being synthetic..............................;}
I am assuming that the saxophone played well yesterday and hasn't been knocked. Please do not give wrong suggestions: I don't want any of my students to say "I think my mouthpiece does not have a flat table". They play wooden reeds though.:)
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I'd buy all my students some Marca Jazz reeds. Any problems, I'd get a synthetic student...................;}
 
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