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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I assume there is no way to "work on it" to make it a hair softer right? So yep, wasted $30.
FWIW, you can work on them according the FAQ here:
  • Can the VENN reeds be filed, sanded or otherwise modified?
    We encourage you to experience VENN as designed before sanding or attempting modifications. However, VENN can successfully be sanded at the musician’s discretion. While typical cane reed modifications may be helpful for VENN, musicians should anticipate differences in how the reed responds to changes made by hand.
 

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@mmichel I don’t think sanding will do much, these things are slick and given my lackluster success with trying to modify reel cane I don’t think that is a road I’ll go down.
@lydian I have looked and don’t find a thing about an exchange program.
 

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I have been playing a Venn2 #2 for a couple of days and am not sure it’s right for me.
I have been playing Fibrecell 2 1/2 from when they first came out and have had pretty good luck with them but for my birthday I decided to ask for the Venn2. I am 81 and have playing a Selmer metal jazz D mouthpiece for 55 years so I’m not inclined to change. My question is will dipping this reed in boiling water for 1 second soften it?
thanks
 

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@mmichel I don’t think sanding will do much, these things are slick and given my lackluster success with trying to modify reel cane I don’t think that is a road I’ll go down.
@lydian I have looked and don’t find a thing about an exchange program.
It's well hidden, but I found it:

And here's a post from an employee announcing it:
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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Hey, that's good to know.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I just got Venn G2 reeds for clarinet and alto sax. So far, I'm really impressed with both of them.

They both seem to respond more like cane reeds than the Legere's, though somewhat more resistant at "equivalent" strengths.
  • On clarinet, I play a largish tip opening (Morgan J6 @ 1.35mm). So I normally play softer reeds: a Legere Euro Cut 2.75, or a D'Addario Reserve Classic 2.5. Based on their strength comparison chart I chose the closest corresponding strength (erring low), which was a 2.0. This seems to be perfect.
  • On alto, (where I normally play on tip openings of ~0.80"), I usually use a Rigotti 3M or a D'Addario Jazz Select 3S and, accordingly, I selected the corresponding strength of 2.5. This also seems about perfect.
Based on their profiles and tip shapes, the clarinet reed seems to be based roughly on the Reserve Classic and the alto reed seems to be based on the Select Jazz cane reeds. One thing I don't understand is why they don't just label them with the corresponding cane reed-equivalent strength numbering.

I haven't spent too much time on them yet but the two things I've noticed so far is that they are both louder and a little more resistant than cane reeds at their corresponding strengths. By more resistant, I don't mean quite the same thing as going up a reed strength (which generally makes the sound duller and/or airier as well), but just that they seem increase the blowing resistance somewhat without otherwise altering the timbre or response.

Also, I wish they had these for soprano sax. I have a Drake New Era mouthpiece that I love, but that is just too free-blowing. I'd be curious to see how it would feel/respond with one of these reeds.

I'll update with my impressions after I've had a chance to spend more time on them.
 

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@buddy lee Sorry to hear that the G2 2.5 doesn't work for you. I was really bummed out when I found the split because the sound was closer to what I'm after. D'Addario has quite a good customer service so you should be able to exchange the reed without any issue/hassle.
 

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@buddy lee Sorry to hear that the G2 2.5 doesn't work for you. I was really bummed out when I found the split because the sound was closer to what I'm after. D'Addario has quite a good customer service so you should be able to exchange the reed without any issue/hassle.
I am actually exchanging it for a 2 with the shop I bought it from. I fully expect the 2 to be way too soft though but let’s see.
 

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Okay, follow up:

After a few days on these, my initial enthusiasm has cooled.

On clarinet, one thing I've noticed (in addition to the increased blowing pressure I mentioned above) is that the Venn reeds play really flat in the altissimo register. While Legeres also have a little bit of a tendency to play flat up there, it's much less noticeable both because the effect is much more slight and because altissimo comes out much more easily on the Legeres, so it's relatively easy to "humor" it back to pitch. The Venns make it really difficult to play altissimo in tune without biting.

On alto, the reed is playing and responding fine (though it also has a tendency to go flat in the altissimo), but it's severely irritating my bottom lip where it touches the edges of the reed. I might try sanding the edges of the reed to see if that helps, but as it is, it's pretty unworkable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
I bought a 2 and a 2,5 for tenor when these first came out in April. The 2.5 was too hard for me but the 2 was really nice. Very responsive but slightly darker and rounder than the Fibracells (2.5-3), Fiberreed Carbons (medium) and occasional Legere AC (2.25) I have previously been using. My only niggle is that the tip seems to split very easily but I guess one just have to be careful.

A couple of weeks ago (when I found out about it, thank you @lydian ), I mailed D`Addario and asked for a replacement for the 2.5 via their alternate strength programme. Today they mailed me back, confirming that they would send me 2.0. Now, that´s great customer service, especially considering it was more than two months since my original purchase!

/Saxray
 

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I have a size 2 inbound to me now, due here Monday. I'll update you all when I receive it. My general thought is that it is going to be too soft, and I'll wish they made 1/4 sizes like Legere does...
 

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Ok I played the size 2 for a few hours and while it’s not too soft I’m not thrilled with how it plays compared to a good cane reed. Is it useable if I needed to? Yes. It’s one of the better synthetics I’ve played. I’d say Legere American Cut then this.
 

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Ok I played the size 2 for a few hours and while it’s not too soft I’m not thrilled with how it plays compared to a good cane reed. Is it useable if I needed to? Yes. It’s one of the better synthetics I’ve played. I’d say Legere American Cut then this.
How are the palm keys and altissimo on it?

I haven't tried one on tenor, but my experience on clarinet and alto suggest that using a strength that's about right (i.e., not too hard) leads to very flat high notes. I thought it might just be me, but then I saw the video below, where a professional clarinetist plays the Venn reeds vs. cane (Reserve Classic, I think) and you can hear her go way flat in the altissimo on the Venns. She also suggests that the next strength up was essentially unplayable for her.

 

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How are the palm keys and altissimo on it?

I haven't tried one on tenor, but my experience on clarinet and alto suggest that using a strength that's about right (i.e., not too hard) leads to very flat high notes. I thought it might just be me, but then I saw the video below, where a professional clarinetist plays the Venn reeds vs. cane (Reserve Classic, I think) and you can hear her go way flat in the altissimo on the Venns. She also suggests that the next strength up was essentially unplayable for her.

Yes the upper register was flat to where I had to voice them up to get them in tune. I noticed it right off while playing a front F, super flat.
I got used to it to where I could make it work but it took adjustment.
 

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I bought a 2 and a 2,5 for tenor when these first came out in April. The 2.5 was too hard for me but the 2 was really nice. Very responsive but slightly darker and rounder than the Fibracells (2.5-3), Fiberreed Carbons (medium) and occasional Legere AC (2.25) I have previously been using. My only niggle is that the tip seems to split very easily but I guess one just have to be careful.
/Saxray
Thanks for your opinion. Are you still glad after two months? I'm thinking about tenor 2 (2,5 would be probably too hard) but I still hesitate a bit. Are tips in your reeds still OK? Doesn't split?
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Thanks for your opinion. Are you still glad after two months? I'm thinking about tenor 2 (2,5 would be probably too hard) but I still hesitate a bit. Are tips in your reeds still OK? Doesn't split?
To be honest, I have actually gone back to the Hartmanns, at least for the moment. The Venns play really well but for me, they are a bit too dark and I´m missing that extra bit of sparkle that the Hartmanns give me.
 

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I've not been on SOTW for a good while, but thought I'd see what the consensus was re. the new Venn 2.0, and add my own thoughts.

Backgroud, pro player for nearly 30 years.

I've only had it for a few days (tenor version, a "2" grading).... Best synthetic reed I've played, having tried them all over the years, and never gigged with any due to none of them being close to what I need/like compared to traditional reeds. Hope to use it this week on a few gigs.


Only negative is that altissimo and multiphonics aren't as immediate. I'll have to adjust either the altissimo/multiphonic fingerings or embouchure. Works better (currently on my Vandoren V16 T8 than my Guardala MBII).

First time I've enjoyed playing a synthetic reed. YMMV.
 

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I haven't tried one on tenor, but my experience on clarinet and alto suggest that using a strength that's about right (i.e., not too hard) leads to very flat high notes. I thought it might just be me, but then I saw the video below, where a professional clarinetist plays the Venn reeds vs. cane (Reserve Classic, I think) and you can hear her go way flat in the altissimo on the Venns. She also suggests that the next strength up was essentially unplayable for her.
I've now tried a second-gen Venn on clarinet, so I figured I'd add another data point here. I tested a Venn 3.0 on both a Vandoren Masters CL4 and a Backun-Hawkins Vocalise G, with a Rovner Dark ligature. The CL4 is my backup mouthpiece; the Vocalise may be my new primary mouthpiece. My previous primary mouthpiece, a D'Addario Reserve X5, lost its cork after repeated use on the tighter barrel of my new clarinet. It's on the shelf until I get it recorked. But the Vocalise is pretty similar in feel to the Reserve, so I didn't have a great deal of mouthpiece adjusting to do.

I have mixed feelings about the Venn. Its tone is pretty good; perhaps a little brighter than a Legere Euro Cut's, but also, as many players seem to observe, slightly more canelike. And it's clear that D'Addario was trying to replicate the qualities of a classical reed; the clarinet Venn is no honker. Resistance and feel: also pretty good, for most of the range. But a big drawback is poor altissimo performance, which surprises me because I've found the Venn for alto sax to have good high-register response. The clarinet Venn basically craps out for me at high E, on both mouthpieces. It's very weird -- I have to change my embouchure to compensate and keep moving up the scale. Such an adjustment is not required for me with a Euro Cut (3.25 or 3.5), cane (Reserve 3.0), or Forestone Black Bamboo (MH). In fact, it's never really been required before; typically, going from high D to high E is sort of automatic. I suppose I could get used to having to finesse the reed at this point, but it would be annoying not to be able to play the way I always have.

I have not tried a Venn 3.5, so I can't say whether its performance would be similar.
 
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