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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just opened a new box of RSJ (3S unfiled, tenor) last night and was surprised by the different cut. I've been using these for about ten years and have never seen this before - the vamp cut is slightly longer and more pointed. Just by feel, the raised 'heart' that flattens out near the tip seemed to be less pronounced on the new ones. More significant is the uncut 'bark' extending farther forward toward the tip, indicating a flatter, less-rounded vamp cut. This is a major change if it's not an accident. I prepared four of them for the gig and found them all to be 'harder' and 'thinner'-sounding than what I'm used to. I had to fall back on some older reeds for the gig. I'm just wondering if anybody else has noticed a change. If not, maybe I got a bad batch from a reed-cutter gone amuck. I'll see if I can post a pic if my picture-hosting site is working today. The new on is top, the old one bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Good news - Rico says there has been no design change, and they will examine the reeds to determine what happened. Turns out that both new boxes I had were that way. I did have one new box of the 'old' ones, so everything's cool for now.
 

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I've seen a bit of variation in RJS reeds. Some definitely have the longer "rails" of bark extending on the sides. I attributed it to natural variation and quality control issues.
 

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i noticed the same, the first rico selects i tried had quite an acute angle of the curve where the cut starts, but now it seems more obtuse
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had never seen such a variation in the years I've been using them. In fact, I had never seen a reed where the cut came almost to a point. Obviously there will be variation when using a natural product as raw material, but I was shocked when I opened the box. If RICO can't control their process any better than this, they need to stop calling these reeds 'Select' and lower the price. Most of us are willing to pay for a select reed, but it really has to be select.
 

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I have just looked at 3 new 2Ss and there are quite obvious variations..... but I don't mind how they look, if they play OK, and most of mine do...within the limtations of my abilities, anyway :)
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not talking about variations within the envelope, I mean looking at a different reed. Unfortunately I sent them all back to Rico for study. I could take different pictures and show you better what I mean if I still had them. It was like they had come off a different reed cutter. The vamp was longer and straighter down to the tip and was flatter across it. I held a new one and an old one up and looked at them pressed flat-to-flat with the tips and butts even. from this angle the profile of the vamp was markedly different and very easy to see. I'm looking forward to hearing from them on this, but don't really expect them to divulge how it happened or how many reeds were affected. Of course, the main problem was the playing, and they played like a 3H instead of a 3S. I play open mouthpieces and can't accomodate a sudden change like that. I was looking at being out $25 and didn't like that one bit.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Discussion Starter #10
I just received the new reeds they sent, and they're all of the correct cut. Something bad must have happened when they made those others. I haven't heard anything from them concerning what exactly happened, and I don't expect too. They made it right, and that's good enough.
 

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1saxman said:
If RICO can't control their process any better than this, they need to stop calling these reeds 'Select' and lower the price.
D'Addario needs to stop calling them Ricos. Their product today is an affront to a great company that once was.
 

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I bought a box of 2M and 3S Jazz Select filed style a few weeks ago. The 2Ms have the wider (older) cut(albeit uneven on each one- the right side being closer to the cut mark) and the 3Ss have the pointier look as in the original picture. I find all of them mostly playable before adjusting a bit. I think I prefer the Vandoren ZZs.They seem to play a bit easier and are more responsive for me, at least initially. I've noticed the 3Ss are sounding more responsive the more I play them but the 2Ms died out rather quickly.
 

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One difference I noticed recently is that the strengths are indicated in brown instead of blue. I'm not sure if that makes any difference or a different company makes them.
 
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