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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for reeds for my HR copy of an Otto Link Tenor Mouthpiece with a .100 opening. I have been playing on ZZ's 2.5 with a little wet sanding to make it a bit softer. I have 1 reed left and it's really quite thin and tinny sounding. I tried out some Red Box Javas and was impressed with them last week. I wanted to see if the forum had any other ideas of great sax reeds. I was thinking about fiberreed and maybe rigotti, but wanted to see if anyone knew a good set with my exact mouthpiece.
My tone that I like is more of a dark Coltrane. Like easy, somewhat airy low notes. Then up top I like to be able to blow hard without the reed fading out like some soft reeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
im also seeing Benz reeds as very good. The price is phenomenal, but it might be worth the money?
 

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If you don't have access to good Vintage cane, which i use, then the modern reeds Ive tried that have some cajones include the above mentioned Rigottis, also Roberto's Winds reeds are made from Rigotti cane, and recently had some absolutely fantastic Gonzales reeds for Soprano and Alto. Alexanders and Ponzols can be good too. Current Vandoren and Rico brands just dead ducks for me at this point in time.
 

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My tone that I like is more of a dark Coltrane. Like easy, somewhat airy low notes. Then up top I like to be able to blow hard without the reed fading out like some soft reeds.
Reeds don't "fade out", I think you mean it's the sound that fades out. This happens often with softer reeds if people use the reed too much rather than their embouchure and airstream.

In other words you could be relying on the resistance of the reed rather than breath support, so when a slightly softer reed is used, you bite it closed a bit too much.
 

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After hearing Sonny Rollins in Copenhagen recently and seeing on his website that he uses Rigotti reeds I acquired two boxes from the company in France. My first impression is very positive. Compared to my favourite RJS 3M the Rigotti Gold #3Medium feels the same strength but have a darker and fatter sound which I like.
I just ordered some Barre Reeds (also made by Rigotti) in order to compare.
BTW Francois Louis reeds come in identical type of packaging as Rigotti Gold, so they are probably also made by Rigotti. Any commets to this ?
 

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I'd suggest V16 reeds. Having tried many other brands, I keep coming back to the V16. I also like the Rigotti Gold, but in contrast to what Parerogping said above, I find them to be bright-- almost too bright. And almost too free-blowing. I say almost because some of them are just right. But overall the V16s seem to work best for me and they definitely last the longest. I'm talking about tenor reeds.
 

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I find Rigotti Golds to be very good, consistent, responsive, crisp. Perhaps the best value of the reeds I have tried. I found them to be a bit bright. Not JAVA bright but brighter than RJS, ZZs and V16. Still, I like the darker tone of the Vandoren V16 and ZZs better. They, however are a bit inconsistent although better in that department than the RJS that I have tried. So when I want consistency, a short breaking period, ease of play and responsiveness to be able to play difficult passages, I grab a Rigotti Gold. When I want a deeper tone, I go with Vandoren. I think I sound better on a good Vandoren than on a good Rigotti but of course this is all subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the tips all. I have Rigotti Golds in route to my house as we speak, so I will give them a try this weekend.
 

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I'd suggest V16 reeds. Having tried many other brands, I keep coming back to the V16. I also like the Rigotti Gold, but in contrast to what Parerogping said above, I find them to be bright-- almost too bright. And almost too free-blowing. I say almost because some of them are just right. But overall the V16s seem to work best for me and they definitely last the longest. I'm talking about tenor reeds.
Too bright? LOL Your reeds should be really bright, loud, big and punchy. If the reeds are too bright then try going from a 3S to A 3M, etc. That should fix the problem. Your mouthpiece is where the darkness should be located.
 

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I prefer the sound and response of Regal Queens (by Rigotti) over Rigotti Gold. The Golds are great reeds, for sure, but the Queens seem to have a different cut.

I also use Vintage/NOS Rico Orange Box and have had good luck with them too.

Best thing to do with any new reed: FLATTEN THE TABLE. I go further by smoothing & polishing the fibers as well.

If one doesn't flatten the table, they are asking for trouble and might throw away an otherwise perfectly good reed b/c it is a "dud."
 

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I've been going back and forth with a couple of Regal Queen reeds and Rigotti Golds. Golds seem to have a bit more edge to them, and the Queen reeds are a bit fatter sounding. I don't know if it's just me, but every Rigotti reed I've played has been incredible. Lots of volume, lots of presence, and they last a long time!
 

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Too bright? LOL Your reeds should be really bright, loud, big and punchy. If the reeds are too bright then try going from a 3S to A 3M, etc. That should fix the problem. Your mouthpiece is where the darkness should be located.
I'm talking in relative terms, from one reed brand to the next, on the same mpc. I do like loud, big, and punchy reeds. But I also like lots of body or depth. And yeah, maybe increasing the strength would help, but when a reed is too hard it gets kind of dead, just the opposite of 'big and punchy.' The V16 seems to be about perfect for me in terms of all these factors. Rigotti Gold is excellent and I could use them just fine, but for me they are a bit on the bright, edgy side.

Seems like I can maintain a better tone with the V16, while also getting plenty of punch & enought brightness. If that makes sense. We're all different. I have to go with what works for me. I do subscribe to the idea that you have to play through at least a box or two of a given brand of reed on several gigs in different situations to really make a valid evaluation. That's what I've done.

I don't think there are any 'shoulds' or 'should nots' in this. I like a large tip mpc with a med baffle, not dark, but not overly bright either. I see nothing wrong with balancing that with a reed that works for it.
 

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There is that narrow range, between slightly harder and slighty softer reeds, that work for you. Always start with slightly harder reeds, and if its really necessary, adjust the reed with a little square piece of 220 wetordry sandpaper. Move the front edge of the heart back to free up the tip to buzz a drop more, but do not sand the heart or tip directly. This will wake up those "slightly dead because they are too hard" reeds and you will wind up with a reed thats really in the zone. The Rigotti cane is way better that the Vandoren IMO.

I'm talking in relative terms, from one reed brand to the next, on the same mpc. I do like loud, big, and punchy reeds. But I also like lots of body or depth. And yeah, maybe increasing the strength would help, but when a reed is too hard it gets kind of dead, just the opposite of 'big and punchy.' The V16 seems to be about perfect for me in terms of all these factors. Rigotti Gold is excellent and I could use them just fine, but for me they are a bit on the bright, edgy side.

Seems like I can maintain a better tone with the V16, while also getting plenty of punch & enought brightness. If that makes sense. We're all different. I have to go with what works for me. I do subscribe to the idea that you have to play through at least a box or two of a given brand of reed on several gigs in different situations to really make a valid evaluation. That's what I've done.

I don't think there are any 'shoulds' or 'should nots' in this. I like a large tip mpc with a med baffle, not dark, but not overly bright either. I see nothing wrong with balancing that with a reed that works for it.
 

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There is that narrow range, between slightly harder and slighty softer reeds, that work for you. Always start with slightly harder reeds, and if its really necessary, adjust the reed with a little square piece of 220 wetordry sandpaper..
That's exactly what I do. I'm not having any issues with reed strenth (I said 'too hard' when referring to dead reeds, not 'slightly' too hard). I know exactly what I like in that regard. And I'm not knocking the Rigottis at all. I like them a lot and have used them on many gigs recently. But, in comparison, I get a better tone on the V16s, like how they play a bit better, and they definitely last longer for me. So, right now anyway, the V16 is the 'best' reed for me. I'm just trying to address the question posed by the OP.

And of course there's no such thing as the 'best reed ever' (aside from that occasional super great reed you might find in any box, any brand). Way too many factors to consider and everyone has their own personal favorite.
 
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