Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So long story short, I've playing Alexander reeds for quite a while, used to play DC's but after trying NY's found that I liked them better (especially on tenor), a little darker and fuller sounding. However, as it seems pretty much every saxophonist on Earth has agreed, about 75% of them are unplayable, 20% are decent, and 5% play better than any other reed out there, and seems like the percentages and quality control (unevenness, inconsistent thickness, etc) have been getting worse and worse over the past few years.
I know this is the hugest can of worms there is, because all reeds are inconsistent, all reeds are different, mouthpiece pairings can affect things (I play an NY STM on tenor), etc, but to try to get to the heart of the matter: What is the closest thing out there tone-wise to Alexander NY's?
I've tried tons and tons of reeds over the past several years, and it seems like the closest things I've found to the best Alexanders are V16 and La Voz, and sometimes a good Hemke, but even the best of those are not quite there with the best NY.

Thoughts???
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,016 Posts
I don't know if they are close to the Alexander NY reeds, but you should try Rigotti Golds. With Rigottis, I'd reverse your percentage numbers to 75% playing very good to great, 20% decent, 5% unplayable. Ok, those are estimates with a pretty wide margin of error, but the point is the Rigottis are fairly consistent and mostly very good, once you settle on a size that suits you. I also like V16 reeds, but not as much as the Rigottis, which seem more resonate & responsive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
If you have "tried tons of reeds", but still like the Alexander NY the best - then you got your answer. Stay with them. None of the other brands are better or worse. They are reeds. They all kind of suck.... I have done the same. Tried tons. And are now back on plain cheap "student" tenor reeds - Orange Rico 3.5. Great reeds. Very flexible, warm and crisp sounding, and just as inconsistent as other brands. ;)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
The Alexander NY is designed to be a jazz... for "darker" sounds.
Thick tip and thick vamp.

Alternatives? Reeds with similar features so LaVoz and Marca American Vintage (fashion purple box).


Note: the fact the reed has a thick tip (which leads to cut some higher partials) doesn't mean you can use for bright sounds.
You just have to move down with the strenght of the reed... like did Michael Brecker (---> LaVoz "Medium").
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
I don't know if they are close to the Alexander NY reeds, but you should try Rigotti Golds. With Rigottis, I'd reverse your percentage numbers to 75% playing very good to great, 20% decent, 5% unplayable. Ok, those are estimates with a pretty wide margin of error, but the point is the Rigottis are fairly consistent and mostly very good, once you settle on a size that suits you. I also like V16 reeds, but not as much as the Rigottis, which seem more resonate & responsive.
I used to play Alexander NY’s in a 2.5, and loved them, but got fed up with the increasingly poor quality, and availability. A tenor player I know recommended Rigotti Gold, so I got a box, tried the first 4 reeds out of the box, they all played and sounded really good, so I’ve switched.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top