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For practice and as a backup I’m trying a Silverstein Alta 2.5+ This is for my alto. John Yoakum refaced Yanagisawa 9.

Not bad for altissimo. Similar to cane. A little too many higher partials for gigging imo but pretty good otherwise. Incredibly good at bell tones for some reason.

Not cheap at $40 but if you like synthetics I’d certainly recommend giving one a go.
 

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A few years later, I'm still finding that synthetic reeds help me with altissimo on tenor, but now prefer a Forestone Hinoki M over a Black Bamboo MH or Fibracell 2.5. I'm even planning to use the Hinoki at an upcoming gig, which will demand a lot of altissimo.

Cane reeds still rule for overall tone, response, and flexibility. But I can slap a dry Hinoki on almost any mouthpiece and hit A3 on the first try, which I can't do with any cane reed, at least not yet.
 

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Now that this thread has been revived:

Cane reeds still rule for overall tone, response, and flexibility. But I can slap a dry Hinoki on almost any mouthpiece and hit A3 on the first try, which I can't do with any cane reed, at least not yet.
I totally agree with your first sentence, that I underlined in the quote above, but I'm surprised you have more trouble hitting altissimo (especially A3, which I find to be one of the easiest) on a cane reed. I've never played a Hinoki, but the other synthetic reeds I've tried (Legere & Fibercell) were less responsive in the altissimo range than cane. For me at least.

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.
This was pretty much exactly my experience with Legere Signatures. They play easily and sound and respond beautifully in the lower register, especially the lowest notes, but from the middle register up, they aren't nearly as 'tonally flexible' as cane, and I found them unreliable in the altissimo range. I'm still sticking with Rigotti Gold cane reeds.
 

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I'm surprised you have more trouble hitting altissimo (especially A3, which I find to be one of the easiest) on a cane reed.
Well, remember that I'm a lousy player, and my altissimo's even worse. That said, yeah, the Hinoki opens it up for me clearly and reliably. For best results, I do for some reason find myself placing the lig way down at the heel of the reed regardless of the mouthpiece, so it might have something to do with how it interacts with the table.

Dunno really, but when it comes to top tones, this Hinoki is consistently much more reliable than any other reed of comparable strength that I've compared it to, including Rigotti Golds, Java Greens, ZZ's, (not bad), Ricos, Lupifaros (lovely in every other way), Plasticovers, a Black Bamboo (which is pretty close), and a Fibracell. And surprisingly, my best experience yet has been with a Chameleon, which doesn't have much baffle.
 

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Dunno really, but when it comes to top tones, this Hinoki is consistently much more reliable than any other reed of comparable strength that I've compared it to, including Rigotti Golds, Java Greens, ZZ's, (not bad), Ricos, Lupifaros (lovely in every other way), Plasticovers, a Black Bamboo (which is pretty close), and a Fibracell. And surprisingly, my best experience yet has been with a Chameleon, which doesn't have much baffle.
You got to use what works for you. Sounds like the Hinoki is doing the job. And there's nothing at all surprising the your best experience has been with the Chameleon. It's been, and still is, my best experience. A fantastic mpc. It actually has a fair amount of baffle, but it's a rollover baffle. By the way, unlike some of the mythology (IMO), a high baffle doesn't make altissimo easier. I've found altissimo to have little, if anything to do with the height of a baffle. The overall design of a mpc, including the facing, is certainly important, but a high baffle is not required. Try the Rigottis on your Chameleon, if you haven't done so already. I find them to be an excellent match to that mpc.
 

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the black bamboo is too dark and much harder than suggested for me. the hinoki is far better for sax than the black bamboo witch playes pretty good on clarinet
 

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the black bamboo is too dark and much harder than suggested for me. the hinoki is far better for sax than the black bamboo witch playes pretty good on clarinet
After spending an extensive amount of time with synthetic reeds I find that cane reeds allow me to play better altissimo and better overall. A Rico reed plays way better than any synthetic reed that I have tried. Fibracells Bari and Harry Hartman. Also legere. I am hesitant to buy other brands of synthetic reeds? I do have a first gen venn 2.5 but it is too stiff. Not interested in buying another venn.
 

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Sounds like the Hinoki is doing the job. And there's nothing at all surprising the your best experience has been with the Chameleon. It's been, and still is, my best experience. A fantastic mpc. It actually has a fair amount of baffle, but it's a rollover baffle.
Yes, good point, JL, I meant to say the Chameleon doesn't have as pronounced a baffle as my Berg or Vortex or Metalite. The opening on mine is also a bit wider than my other pieces, so I'm beginning to wonder if that isn't helping with altissimo. Even so, it's still easier with the Forestones than cane reeds, including Rigottis, which I otherwise really love.
 
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