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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

sometimes a reed gets soft but still plays nice. I think I could clip the tip a bit to get a longer use time. What device can you recommend?

Thanks for your advice, TSax80.
 

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Cordier is the classic trimmer. They are a bit pricey but can be found used oretty easily.

Ive never liked the response I get from trimmed reeds but I also use java reeds that are soft in the tip.

It may have less impact on other cuts and honesty I didnt spend time sanding the back of the reed which may have thinned the tip a little somdont let me disuade you. A lot of guys have good luck with them. Id avoid cheap copies...if they are not well made they can tear rather than making clean cuts.

there may be new and more advanced systems but this is an old industry standard.
 

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If lots of people were wildly successful with reed clipping there would be more than 1-2 good trimmers and a few crappy knockoffs, no?
I share Phils experience that a clipped reed has never worked for me. You're moving the heart closer to the tip and unless you adjust for that, you're changing the blow and response completely:adjust the slightest bit too much and you have to clip again because it's too soft. Not worth it one bit IMVHO.
 

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Cordier and other brands like Prestini or Brillhardt work well ( it’s really all in the quality of the steel). There are many Chinese ones too.

I do clip my reeds when they are too soft. Yes, in doing so you change the reed’s profile and have a thicker tip as a result but I haven’t found this to be a very big problem and occasionally i do even touch up tips with a whetstone ( I can see many brows rising) to increase the buzz, if I fee that it is too little.

There are several discussions like this https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?210006-Cordier-Reed-clipper-Bari-also-good-for-tenor . I have been clipping my tenor reeds with a baritone reed clipper lately and have noticed that, yes, positioning may be a little tricky but you get better results (at least I think so).

I always clip wet reeds. Dry the reed clipper after use. It will otherwise rust.

These are two of the most expensive ones ( I have always found mine in old saxofoon cases)

http://www.thereedmachine.net/store/p19/Reed_Clipper.html



While browsing the images to provide you with information, I found this very nice thing. They are meant for clarinet but I suppose that you can use the Bas clarinet version for tenor, very nice design
clipper6turntable.51.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi everybody and thanks for the replies. I´ll go for the Cordier. BR from Tschoermenny!
 

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Good luck!
 

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If lots of people were wildly successful with reed clipping there would be more than 1-2 good trimmers and a few crappy knockoffs, no?
I share Phils experience that a clipped reed has never worked for me. You're moving the heart closer to the tip and unless you adjust for that, you're changing the blow and response completely:adjust the slightest bit too much and you have to clip again because it's too soft. Not worth it one bit IMVHO.
In the past (talking about 30 ~ 40 years ago) reed clippers were pretty common. Maybe reeds have become more affordable for most people nowadays?
 

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I don’t know whether they were relatively more expensive back then or if we are more into a less thrifty lifestyle now but if I can extend the useful life of a reed that costs me almost €4 each (I tend to scour the market for offers) I am all for it.

I have at least 4 playing reeds in a rotation and another 4 older ones for daily practice purposes. Typically I switch them from the first to the second set after clipping.
 

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I personally prefer the Corbier reed cutter to the Pisoni one. It's more expensive, but seems to work better.
I tried a couple of the cheap reed trimmer from eBay and they were a complete waste of money.
 

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there was someone in a former thread whom proposed to burn the end

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?661-Burning-A-Reed-Instead-Of-Clipping-It-!

Hmmm.....
It seems to have worked! I had to carefully sand the bit between the millimeter of ash and the untouched reed tip. After I sanded the chared bit off, I sanded the side rails and the tip curve. A U.S. half dollar works great for Tenor. Now, All I have to do is play it, but I suspect it'll respond like a clipped reed...
Still wondering if anyone can give me feedback on this procedure.....
There was a guy who posted on the old SOTW site that he had a device for sale (around $60) that would cleanly burn the tips for you & he claimed that burning the tip sealed the cane in a way that made it last a long time & provided better response. Another guy posted that you could make the same device yourself just by cutting a frame to match your reeds with thin tin or aluminum.
I followed the 2nd guys advice and made a little flap of tin cut to the shape of the reed and I do think it works better than cutting a reed. It gives it a brighter response too so maybe there was something to what they said. I don't know that its better than a good reed though. Never tried the half dollar route.
It can give me more life out of a reed though and make a soft reed play good.
 

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there was someone in a former thread whom proposed to burn the end
I'm of the generation where "reed clipping" for a clarinet reed was accomplished using a quarter and a cigarette lighter. You cleaned up the charred end a bit with sandpaper and were good to go. As long as you remove the right amount of cane it doesn't matter how it is done.
 

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some folks held the reed between two coins and burned off a sliver

whoops, should read before posting
 

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I've been using the Cordier trimmers on sop, alto and tenor for at least 30 yrs. Obviously, I feel they work well and I use them to simply make a reed that plays too "soft" for me to more resistance/harder. The only and best piece of advice I can give you would actually be two-fold:
1. Make sure the reed is centered on the trimmer as good as you can possibly get it.
2. Treat clipping a reed like you would a fingernail. Once you take it off, you can't put it back on! Go a VERY small amount at a time. Maybe .5 mm until you get a better idea of eyeballing how much you should remove to get closer to your desired result(s).
 

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I am still using the Cordier alto reed clipper that I bought in 1965. I have them for all my saxes and clarinet. They last forever with no sharpening so well worth the price. Amazingly, they show up on eBay and I rarely see bids. I used to stick the end of the reed over the edge of a 50 cent piece and burn it down with a match in college. That is, until I caught my best reed on fire just before a lesson! Clipped reeds work fine if you clip only a thin pencil line. Rarely works if you clip second time.
 
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