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Discussion Starter #1
I use a standard tenor sax reed on my C melody mouthpiece for my C mel sax. Is this the right reed to be using? Thanks :)
 

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TooSaxy said:
I use a standard tenor sax reed on my C melody mouthpiece for my C mel sax. Is this the right reed to be using? Thanks :)
That depends. If you mouthpiece is a Beechler, Runyon, Morgan, or Babbit Cmel mpc, then yes a tenor reed is the correct reed to be using. If your Cmel mpc is an original one from the 20s or a modern Aquila, then no, you're using the wrong reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is the original one from the 20's, could you please link me to where I can get the right reed? Thanks :)
 

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TooSaxy said:
It is the original one from the 20's, could you please link me to where I can get the right reed? Thanks :)
You can try your luck finding original reeds from the 20s on eBay, but you're not likely to find anything more stiff than a 1.5, if you find any at all. I've heard of people using bass-clarinet reeds. They are NOT the same, but similar enough for some people to claim success.

The only modern C Melody reeds I'm aware of are from AquilaSax. You can find them at the top right of this link. I have never tried these reeds, so I can neither endorse nor recommend against them.
 

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Whatever gets you thru the night

Aquilasax reeds will work well for you. I've bought 2.5s and 3s. When you're playing an (antique) Cmel, reeds are the least of your troubles. I've cut off the (thick) end of tenor reeds, bass clarinet reeds and used alto reeds as well. It's all good.

MM
 

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Cannonball&CmelGuy said:
Could an alto clarinet reed work? My tech said it might?
I doubt it. Like I posted earlier, I've heard of bass clarinet reeds being used with some success, but I wouldn't bother with them.
 

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To each man his own choice - the main thing is "how does it play ?", not whether it says Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax, or C-mel on the box.

The first two (b-c and t-s) are often quite interchangeable, as dimensions and length of cut/machining can vary between manufacturers. When I checked out one of Steve's Aquilasax C-mel mouthpieces, I also used my tenor sax Rico Royals as well as the C-mel ones supplied.

Apart from a bit of overhang at the end of the table, the width and tip profile of the tenor Rico's seemed to match without slicing or pinching my tongue. And both the Aquilasax and Rico reeds played fine. It's mostly the length that makes modern tenor and bass-clari reeds look a bit daft on the old C-mel mouthpieces.

As long as you can get the lig far enough on (past the machined part of the reed) they all play..... Then it's just down to a personal choice of response and sound.
 

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I think the bass clarinet reeds come the closest. With a tenor reed, the heart of the reed (thicker portion) is too far up in the window (too close to the ligature). You may notice that where the cut starts, it is still over the table of the mouthpiece. On the Bass Clarinet, the idea is to have a shorter vamp to the reed (more like an alto) thus having the slope of the cut area of the reed better matching the opening of the window. Whew!!!
The Alto clarinet reed will not work as it is closer to an alto sax reed.
 

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markm said:
Aquilasax reeds will work well for you. I've bought 2.5s and 3s. When you're playing an (antique) Cmel, reeds are the least of your troubles. I've cut off the (thick) end of tenor reeds, bass clarinet reeds and used alto reeds as well. It's all good.

MM
exactly. I use alto reeds. sounds great, plays great.
 
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