Grumps, I had exactly the same experience. I'm done with Rico now, and I'm on Vandoren's for SATB. I just find that the quality of cane and consistency is much better and (most importantly) I prefer the sound that I get with them.Grumps said:No. The current Rico Royal reeds are complete and utter garbage. I had loads of old boxes of them that I had hoarded and played them for decades, but when I ran out a couple of years ago I had to try their latest offerings. I was lucky to find one playable reed out of three boxes. Others who have played them for as long as I will tell you the same. Some trace the decline to the purchase of the company by D'Addario; a guitar string maker. I now use Alexander Superials and have had good experiences with them over the last year or so.