Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been playing Legere Signature reeds on my Alto and Soprano for a couple years but never found the right combination on clarinet. However, at a recent concert, someone was raving about the European Cut Clarinet Reeds so I gave one a try. Much better on my initial practice. They are a tad wider then a traditional clarinet reed (Weird I know) but overall play REALLY well.

Hopefully this is the answer to my clarinet reed situation.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
I've been hedging on trying the Legere's on saxophones but have been considering them on clarinet -- thanks for the report.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,435 Posts
Greene; do you think the reed is wide enough for soprano?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Greene; do you think the reed is wide enough for soprano?
It's exactly the same width as the Legere soprano sax reed, because it's based on the Legere soprano sax reed. It's longer, however, so the butt will hang over the end of your soprano mouthpiece (doesn't affect playability, in my experience).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,814 Posts
Thank you. Those threads are moving me ever closer in that direction .
Get on with it, man! Seriously..... I love 'em. I prefer the Classic cut, but that's just me. Tricky part is finding the strength that works for you and the mouthpiece. Once you're there, I don't think you'll look back.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
Get on with it, man! Seriously..... I love 'em. I prefer the Classic cut, but that's just me. Tricky part is finding the strength that works for you and the mouthpiece. Once you're there, I don't think you'll look back.
Thanks j !

Hey, I finally got ahold of an 'Eburnated Bar' Otto Link Slant Sig clary piece .. sounds great so far !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
Legere sop reeds are TOO wide for the Selmer Metal Classic piece. very uncomfortable. (only piece i had that trouble with.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
These are great. But take some time to figure out a good match with a mouthpiece. Not all combinations are perfect and not all mouthpieces will be forgiving enough to make the playing experience as effortless as it could be. There are also slight variations between legeres of same strenght and model, so make sure to try a few. Once you find one that works, you will keep it for oa long time, so it is worth the investment in time and money.

ALso, team up with friends and colleagues. Buy several reeds and try them together, also switching between the mouthpieces you have. Keep the reeds you like, trade or give away the ones you don't like, maybe that one is great for you friend. Often, you will find that having a dedicated mouthpiece to the Legere is the way to go!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,544 Posts
There are also slight variations between legeres of same strenght and model, so make sure to try a few.
I have not found this to be the case...I now play exclusively Legere reeds on Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Baritone sax, and for me one of the biggest benefits is the consistency. I can play them on different mouthpieces and they don't seem to take a 'set'. I can take one out of the box, and it immediately plays just like the others after about a one hour break-in period. I plan to switch to Legeres on Soprano, Alto, Tenor sax as I use up my cane stock.

Clarinet - I started out on the Classic on clarinet and found that it made my vintage Selmers (S9, CT) play like an R13 (resistive). I then tried the Signature and the European signature and settled on the Signature...the European signature were a little too bright for my taste. I use #3.

Bass Clarinet - I use #3.5 Signature reeds on a Fobes RR...just guessed that one and it works. Been playing the same reed for 1.5 years...bought a second as backup and tried it once...exactly the same performance.

Baritone Sax - This was the horn that led me to try the Legere's...my problem (and I don't know why) is that I always got a short life out of bari reeds. I play on (one of three) professionally-faced Bronze Berg pieces (0.108" - 0.112" tip opening) and the reeds would fail suddenly with a center split...both with Rico Jazz Select and Vandoren ZZ. I would get maybe 50 hours of play/practice time out of a box of 5. I use Legere Classic #3.25; I tried the Signature for a while and loved the response, but I get a better bari sound with better low register response from the Classic. I have been playing the same 2 reeds for over 2 years (big band 2X/week plus practice and shows incl R&R); I keep the Signature as a backup in my case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
The Legere European Signatures are excellent on clarinet! I bought a few after they came out, and after settling on the right match for my Gregory Smith mouthpiece (#4 European Signature) I played them on and off, before switching completely this past fall to using Legeres exclusively. As a woodwind doubler, its absolutely essential to have reeds you can rely on for consistent performance each time you pick up your instrument, and its a bonus that I've saved a great deal of time, energy, and money that would otherwise be spent working on cane reeds.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Quick follow-up. After playing the European Cut for a couple months, I find the pitch to be a bit flat compared to cane reeds but otherwise a great option when you just need a reed to work.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
Quick follow-up. After playing the European Cut for a couple months, I find the pitch to be a bit flat compared to cane reeds but otherwise a great option when you just need a reed to work.
I found the same thing. Try going up a 1/4 strength and give it a month
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,770 Posts
Rather than start a new thread, I'll revive this one.

After the majority of my life held hostage by Vandoren clarinet reeds (I know there are other brands, but I just haven't played one that I like more than a good V12 or blue box), I made the decision a couple of months ago that I was going to get serious about trying to find a way to make a synthetic reed work for me. These days, working full time, I only have an hour (two at most) on most weekdays to practice and I was just fed up with either wasting precious practice time finding, rotating and adjusting reeds or just playing on crappy reeds so that I didn't waste time. I figured if a synthetic could be 90% as good as a good cane reed, I'd be doing better on average.

I picked up some European Signatures in 2.75, 3.0, 3.25, 3.5 and 3.75. I found these to be about a quarter strength softer than the average (median?) V12 in a box and about a half to 3/4 strength softer than a blue box. Right off the bat, I was pleasantly surprised at the response and tone quality. They really handle the higher partials better than Legeres I have tried on clarinet in the past. To me, it's like a good blue box reed, but with a bit more of a focused sound. Setting aside the synthetic vs cane thing, I actually thought these reeds found a nice sweet spot in tone that I have been looking for for a while now! I found them to be pretty damn close right from the start.

What took getting used to was understanding how they respond when pushed hard. This has always been where synthetic reeds fall apart for me and start to feel like they are losing 'core' sound where cane reeds pick up edge more gradually and feel like they let you know a bit more before they get ugly. With synthetics, it always felt like there was more of a "step" there. I always suspected that this was just a calibration issue for me and I just needed to learn where that boundary was and live with it, but had never bothered doing. So I stuck with it, and definitely feel a) like I'm figuring out where that is with the Euro Sig and b) like the Euro Sig's boundary is in a much more comfortable place for me and the way I like to voice and move air.

I also found that they don't seem to get along with all mouthpieces and I can't quite tell what the pattern is. My Fobes 10k (4L) doesn't seem to get along with them for me. For whatever reason, the brightness of that mouthpiece that gives so much color with good cane reeds just comes off harsh when I play it with the Legeres. My Selmer Concept mouthpieces (one refaced by Bob Bernardo, one that was pretty good stock) play like an absolute dream with the Legeres. Clear and sweet and colorful, with a sound that feels "dense", to use a maybe completely useless adjective. That's just how it feels. Control is excellent and there is an even resistance level across the instrument that has me happier than I've been in years with my equipment, particularly with the one Bob refaced. Maybe happier, equipment-wise, than I've ever been in 20 years of playing the misery stick as my primary instrument.

Interestingly, my Fobes San Francisco CF (Zinner blank) plays great with the Euro Sig, in a #3.5 or #3.75. I'm not sure why those strengths play so well on that mouthpiece, since they are a bit softer than my strength conversion (based on other mouthpieces) would indicate I would normally be playing on that one (#4 V12 normally). I don't know why this one plays so well with a Legere, to be honest, but I'm happy to have that mouthpiece as an option again. Even though I have mostly moved on to more open and more resistant mouthpieces (this one is very free blowing), that mouthpiece has a tone color that always intrigues me.

I tried a few other synthetics (Hartmann, Forestone, Fibracell), mostly to make sure that I was doing my homework. For me, nothing else was even close.

I've also switched over to Legere Signatures on tenor, where I'm pretty happy with the sound and response. I ordered a 2.5 to try on my bari, but that's not as urgent, since I don't seem to have a hard time finding bari reeds.

I still haven't been able to get one to work on bass clarinet, though. I've tried the Legere tenor Studio Cut, bass clarinet Signature, bass clarinet Classic and tenor sax Signature. For me, it's back to the same issue I had with the clarinet reeds initially, but I can't seem to overcome it. They just seem to fall apart at higher volumes and, rather than pick up edge smoothly, there really is a dynamic where the sound gets "flabby" quickly, where it feels like the middle really falls out. The studio cut is probably the closest, but the higher-partial "buzz" feels like a bit more than I like.

I feel like a European Signature bass clarinet reed would be nice, but it doesn't sound like Legere has any interest in making one at this point. So far, I'm sticking with the blue box #2.5 there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
I tried a few other synthetics (Hartmann, Forestone, Fibracell), mostly to make sure that I was doing my homework. For me, nothing else was even close.
Which Forestone model did you try on clarinet? The Black Bamboo is pretty good; the other models are probably all too bright. Still, the Legere Sig European Cut is arguably the best clarinet reed in the world right now, regardless of material. Perhaps the best reed for any instrument, in terms of the range of players it can satisfy, and the degree of their satisfaction.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,770 Posts
Which Forestone model did you try on clarinet? The Black Bamboo is pretty good; the other models are probably all too bright. Still, the Legere Sig European Cut is arguably the best clarinet reed in the world right now, regardless of material. Perhaps the best reed for any instrument, in terms of the range of players it can satisfy, and the degree of their satisfaction.
I tried the traditional (brown). To me, the sound was totally anemic.

I would give the black bamboo a shot after being impressed with them on Bari, but at this point I've spent enough money confirming that I like the European Cut.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
Joined
·
4,983 Posts
A few years ago I tried Legere and played nothing but them for a few months. I really wanted to like them...
I had two major problems.
First, the overall sound was worse. Especially on Bb clarinet but also on bass. Not sure how to describe it but it felt like I was playing something like a B10 instead of my regular clarinet. It can still sound good, but it's not the same. This "weird" tone was especially in the upper clarinet around G to C area.
The main problem was that, for some reason that I could never find, the throat tone area had a slow response. The notes actually came out "late". From around E or F to Bb (especially from G to Bb). There was no resistance of a too hard reed, not choking of a too soft reed.
This was for the regular and Signature models.
I thought (and still suspect) it is a mouthpiece-reed mismatch, and mine just don't work with Legeres very well, at least not what Legeres were back then. Though my soprano and bass mouthpieces are very different makers and models.

Some players really like the European cut so I'll try them soon. I also understand they have improved in general and even some of the other reeds are better than they used to be.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,160 Posts
the Euro is based on a soprano reed like was said above and I found it fixed a lot of issues I had with their normal clarinet reeds. I also use tenor sax reeds on bass clarinet and have for a very long time *bari sax on contra clarinets too*, and I've been much happier with them. What's also weird with bass is I can't stand the Buffet style necks being as angled as they are. Was watching a Lowenstern video and he was showing how the Selmer necks put the bass at more of a sax like angle and the sound difference is quite noticeable. I find a pretty big difference when I play actual bass clarinet vs. tenor sax reeds and I can't stand the bass clarinet reeds *cane or synthetic*
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top