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got a 25 box unopened for 10$ on ebay for alto clarinet. wow! aged to perfection. they play better tan any ricos i have ever played. one avantage to playing alto clarinet is no one want this stuff.
I have a couple boxes of Rico brown box alto reeds, 3 1/2, I bought in 1983, they were probably pretty new then. I think the switch to the orange box was a couple years after that, but the reeds were the same. At the time I played lead alto in a casino showroom orchetra, and that was the only reed brand I had played for about 10 years. I went through about 3 boxes a year at that time. I have some tenor and soprano reeds from then too. Most of the players I knew then used Ricos, and most of those who didn’t used LaVoz, which were exactly the same reed.

In 1987 I switched careers, and didn’t play as much. From time to time I would buy some new reeds, these old boxes languished t the back of the drawer. I noticed that the Ricos of the ‘90s and later were not as vibrant as I remembered the Ricos in the ‘70s and ‘80s to be. I thought it could just be me remembering the ‘good old days’, but starting around 2002 I went on a serious reed hunt, eventually years later settling on Rigotti, but I played Select Jazz for quite a while before that. They were noticeably better than the current Ricos.

Last year I bought a new alto mouthpiece (10MFan’s incredible Alto Madness), I hadn’t been playing much alto, mostly tenor, and tried a bunch of reeds. Including some of the old Rico 3 1/2s….Wow! What great reeds. Just like I remembered, vibrant, rich and beautiful sounding.

@super20dan - Rico reeds from the 1970s up until sometime in the ‘90s were really something special. I know they changed their manufacturing process a couple times starting around then, but man I wish they still made reeds like that. On alto, BSS come the closest, for me, with Rigotti ‘The Blue One’ coming in a close second (makes sense), but those old Ricos are still the best. Nice find!
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