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Since the birth of time I have used Fibracells. The first octave of altissimo (without front F) is automatic and effortless.
I tried an equivalent strength Rico Royal & was impressed by the thick sound......however, my altissimo has disappeared into a series of squeaks, all except F#, which is solid.
Is this usual?
Perhaps, if I persist, it will return....does anyone know? :(
 

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Hello Captain Beeflat,

Eflat here. I think you just have to work at it. I play a BARI plastic (hard) and i used to think it was too stiff especially when I couldn't get the 3rd octave 'G' (concert Bb) to speak. 2 years later, it pops out no problem. Its sounds like your embouchure likes the resistance of the fibracell in the altissimo range, and since the Rico Royal is cut differently, it speaks in the low/mid/upper register but not in the altissimo.
 

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Hello Eb.
Many thanks for your reply; I guessed that this was the answer....simply work at it.
It is just that the difference is so dramatic....slap on the Fibracell & an extra octave simply pops out with no effort.
Hopefully, if I persist with the Rico Royals, this will be the same with cane.
 

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I know this is an old thread but I have a similar question.

Beeflat, I was wondering if you now find that you have no problem, on the non-synthetic reeds and altissimo?

I was thinking about giving a synthetic Fibracell reed a try specifically to see if it had a positive affect on my altissimo, which is OK but could be more consistent. My current setup is a Vandoren 2.5 and Rico Metallite M5. Automic and effortless' sounds real nice ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know this is an old thread but I have a similar question.

Beeflat, I was wondering if you now find that you have no problem, on the non-synthetic reeds and altissimo?

I was thinking about giving a synthetic Fibracell reed a try specifically to see if it had a positive affect on my altissimo, which is OK but could be more consistent. My current setup is a Vandoren 2.5 and Rico Metallite M5. Automic and effortless' sounds real nice ;-)
I now have no problem on cane reeds because I went scurrying back to Fibracell when I realised how inconsistent cane is....all that fiddling & farting about, ditching three from a box of ten with the remaining seven behaving & sounding different from each other, & most requiring some procedure.
As Eb (post No. 2 above) says....it could be that my embouchure is used to the resistance of Fibracells.
Best of luck....my experience of altissimo is that F# is the easiest & the following G, the most difficult.
In my experience, Fibracells work very well with Metalites.....my M9 tenor piece with #3.5 Fibracells allows very easy altissimo
 

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Thanks for that.

I don't have problems with F# and G but find A and Bb my 'inconsistent' notes. If I stick with my M5 and a reed I've broken in I am usually OK. Changing mouthpieces has a more significant effect.

I'd noticed that from day to day my ability could change and I suspected the reed since they dry out, especially with our ridiculous weather lately (45C/113F in Adelaide yesterday, low humidity). A Fibracell presumably would not have such a problem and I could eliminate that as a possible cause.

If I am using a Vandoren 2.5, which Fibracell would you suggest? Are there other synthetic reeds worth considering?

Cheers
 

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Fibracell have a strength comparison chart here: http://www.fibracelldirect.com/compchart.htm

I don't play tenor, but for what it's worth I used to use VanDoren 2.5's on alto, and switched to Fibracells almost 2 years ago. I found the 2.5 was a bit too soft, but the 3 has been working perfectly for me. However, I'm playing a Meyer 5M, which is smaller tip than the Metalite 5M - your results may vary using the Metalite.

I also switched from a Gonzalez 2.75 to a Fibracell 2.5 on baritone, with a Metalite M5. I'm pretty happy with it, but it also can close up on the palm keys if I try to push too much air through. I'm waiting on a Fibracell 3.0 to be delivered, so hopefully that will resolve the issue.
 

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If you need it this week, you're probably best off going local - express shipping from the US will eat up any savings. I've found the cheaper prices from ordering from overseas is somewhat offset by having to order in advance.

I was ordering from http://1stopclarinet.stores.yahoo.net/. They were the cheapest that I found, but they took a long time to ship (about 5 weeks the last time I ordered about a year ago).

Nowadays, I used "Mum's Packaging Express" - I'm originally from New York and my family still lives there. As I have a 2-year old daughter, I generally order reeds from Amazon and have them delivered to my parents' house to be included in the next care package for my parents only granddaughter. :)

You may want to search these threads - many people in this forum have their favourite online retailer, and many of them will ship reeds to Australia. Even with shipping, you'll probably pay bout $10-$15 + $10 shipping for a Fibracell tenor reed, compared to $30 buying it locally. If you can get a few friends together and order a bunch of reeds, it should be even cheaper as the shipping cost won't really change.

To get a big order together, maybe try a new thread asking for local Adelaide musos in need of supplies?
 

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Those are good ideas.

Yes I've bought through US suppliers and have a number of US connections myself (lived in Iowa for a couple of years plus company I work with has reps there).

Problem is the urgency so I will have a shop around in Adelaide today.
 

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Stay with your known reed.

Now, synthetics, when I tried them, worked very good, but I experienced something with them at altissimo I haven't found on any other reed. If an altissimo note was to work, it worked or nothing at all. It was kind of funny, but that was my experience. I reached up to E4 and that was it, because F4 would not even try to speak... nothing, nada.

Actually playing with my long time Plasticovers number 3. Best for me.

JI
 

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Lately I've been playing Fibracell 3's on my Berg 100/0 and TH&C tenor, which is a pretty great setup for altissmo. I'm considering trying out a Forestone Black Bamboo M or MH to see if it mightn't be even better.

Has anyone had any luck in the altissimo register with these or other new synthetics? And if so, what's your setup? Many seem to like Legeres, but I don't.

Obviously, practising overtones and voicing is the real solution, and it's already helping me hit new heights. But I'm always open to affordable gear that'll make things easier.
 

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Lately I've been playing Fibracell 3's on my Berg 100/0 and TH&C tenor, which is a pretty great setup for altissmo. I'm considering trying out a Forestone Black Bamboo M or MH to see if it mightn't be even better.

Has anyone had any luck in the altissimo register with these or other new synthetics? And if so, what's your setup? Many seem to like Legeres, but I don't.

Obviously, practising overtones and voicing is the real solution, and it's already helping me hit new heights. But I'm always open to affordable gear that'll make things easier.
I've never found a synthetic that responds better than Cane in the altissimo range. Plasticovers are too easy so the notes get overshot and Legere's are too resistant. I could never make fibracells work but only because they were much too hard or much too soft.
 

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Yeah, I'm not loving Plasticovers at the moment, though I have in the past, so that could always change. I usually prefer Rigottis or Lupifaros, but Fibracells are the only reeds that don't chirp on my Berg, which I put down fully to my own inexperience.

Luckily, that combo not only sounds pretty good (the Berg's high baffle seems to tame the Fibracell's buzz), but also makes altissimo accessible to me (hit my first B3 today!). So I'll stick with it unless a better synthetic reed comes along.
 

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I've never found a synthetic that responds better than Cane in the altissimo range. Plasticovers are too easy so the notes get overshot and Legere's are too resistant.
That's been my experience also. Years ago a I tried a Fibracell and kind of liked it at first, but I definitely had trouble getting the altissimo range to speak and eventually I also didn't like the tone quality. The Legeres I tried more recently were better but still kind of resistant in the altissimo and less 'tonally flexible' overall than cane.

I'm sticking with cane reeds.
 

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I respect that, ittlewailer & JL, and with any luck, will eventually learn to tame this Berg with cane. But my upcoming gig demands a bit of altissimo, so I'm focused on nailing it however I can, which currently means Fibracells or some equivalent.

Luckily, this particular rock band is so loud that I have to wear ear protection, so tonal subtleties won't matter as much as hitting that A3. Plus I kinda like the raw, edgy sound of the Fibracell with high-baffle pieces.
 

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I've been using a fibracell 2.5 with my Buescher Bari with a Caravan mouthpiece and love it. Hard to explain why but feels better in my mouth and feels like less resistance. I like that I can just slap it on and play. A little "buzzy" down low though but not necessarily a problem, just different. I haven't been playing Bari for long so haven't tried many (Rico 2.5 and Vandoren 2.5). Bari reeds aren't cheap and money is tight at the moment.
 

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But my upcoming gig demands a bit of altissimo, so I'm focused on nailing it however I can, which currently means Fibracells or some equivalent.
Makes perfect sense. You have to use what works for you. I'm just kind of surprised you find it easier to hit altissimo notes on a Fibracell than on a cane reed, given I have had the opposite experience. I'm guessing it's whatever reed you really get used to playing.
 

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Lately I've been playing Fibracell 3's on my Berg 100/0 and TH&C tenor, which is a pretty great setup for altissmo. I'm considering trying out a Forestone Black Bamboo M or MH to see if it mightn't be even better.

Has anyone had any luck in the altissimo register with these or other new synthetics? And if so, what's your setup? Many seem to like Legeres, but I don't.
Black Bamboos are good for altissimo. Since they tend to run a little soft, probably the harder you go, the better. Whether they are better than any particular cane reed I can't say, since I rarely play cane and have no current basis for a comparison. I haven't played Fibracells for a while either. Maybe I should try one again.

I agree that Legeres (including the Signatures, or perhaps I should say especially the Signatures, since I dropped other Legere models long ago) are poor for altissimo and upper palm key response. In fact, they are awful in this department, at least for me. Too bad, because they are good to excellent in every other performance category.
 
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