Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Forum Contributor 2016-17
Joined
·
318 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Always trying to find the holly grail of reeds and mouthpieces, I took a chance and bought a Fiberreed Onyx.
Based on strength charts I opted for the M which is roughly equivalent to a Legere Signature 2.5, which is the strength I feel most comfortable playing. After playing it for several days, my initial reaction is a positive one.

Please keep in mind that I am not a professional. But these are my impressions:

1. Response throughout the range of the horn is great.
2. Down low is very good and equivalent to the Legere Signature, which is one of its strengths.
3. Up in the altissimo range is as good as down low. These is where I find the Legere to falter. But please keep in mind that I can just reach E altissimo (11 tones above the normal range of the horn).
4. What I did notice is that the Onyx tends to soften a bit more and perhaps earlier than the Legere with continuous playing. For the same reason and to check the consistency from reed to reed I decided to order 2 more.
5. Both strength and response were very consistent with just one of them being a tiny little bit softer.
6. Almost imperceptible and not out of proportion to inconsistencies between individual synthetic reeds. As a matter of fact with other brands I have found that the difference seems to be greater.
7. On the plus side, I adjusted it by just filing the tip with sand paper at 90 degrees (like filing a nail) and it worked.
8. Of note, while I have been able to adjust cane reeds without problems this is the first time that I have been successful in adjusting a synthetic reed without ruin it.

I hope this helps anyone who is considering trying these reeds as I don't see too many reviews in the internet except for the one posted by saxophonist Johnny Ferreira in youtube.
If anyone else have tried these, please feel more than free to share your experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
interesting...I'm always on the lookout for decent reeds. what mouthpiece are you using it with? Did you find the tone comparable to a nice cane reed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
I have been thinking of getting a Onyx. I am currently using a Hemp Fiberreed. A few years ago I also tried the carbon fibre reed'. When I first started playing with the Hemp reed I imagined that it sounded like plastic vibrating. I got over that and now it just sounds like a cane reed. After playing the Hartmann reeds for awhile, when I go to play a cane reed it sounds so much better, to my ear at least. The synthetic reeds are great because they are always ready to go. If you show up late to a gig and did not prepare with a wet reed, not to worry. Just pop in the synth reed. Another good thing about the synthetic reeds is their consistency. Unlike cane reed... ''Momma always told me life is like a new box of reeds. Ya never know what you're gonna get.''
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016-17
Joined
·
318 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
interesting...I'm always on the lookout for decent reeds. what mouthpiece are you using it with? Did you find the tone comparable to a nice cane reed?
My main piece is a Robusto 7*. I also tried them with a Ben Allen TD and Sakshama Custom Z, both of which I own. Results were the same.
My main cane reeds are Rigotti Gold 2.5 either Light or Medium. As an alternative when they are not available I most commonly use Vandoren V16 or Vandoren Jazz, both in 2.5, with the former being a bit harder.
Tone would be comparable to cane as much as good synthetics now a days can compare. This of course is very subjective but I would have to say that while I like the Onyx' tone very much and have been using them exclusively for the past 2-3 weeks, I could understand cane reed fans disagreeing.
Perhaps it would be better to compare the Onyx to a Legere Signature which I believe is one, if not the most popular synthetic in this community.
Compared to the Legere, the Onyx has a bit more "bite". I would describe it as maybe slightly brighter but I am afraid to use the term as I don't find it bright at all.
By the same token somebody else would characterize it as "less stuffy" than the Legere. Another term I would not use as I don't find the Legere stuffy at all.
Then again, keep in mind that I do like Rigottis which are brighter than Vandoren Classics or Hemke's for example.
Back to the cane comparison and predominantly being a cane player but having experimented with several synthetics I would say the following:

1. A perfect cane reed will give you that great response and tone that you are familiar with and like so much.
2. At least in my case, even slightly less than perfect cane reeds can be worked on and 90-95%, of the time you will get a very good, more than capable cane reed. The rest of them will remain so so but usable for some time, depending on your tolerance.
3. These however won't necessarily last too long by synthetics standards and would be more unpredictable under different environments (weather, temperature).
4. The Onyx for me is as responsive, if not more, throughout the horn as your best cane reed provided that you can find the strength that best matches you.
5. So, in my subjective opinion I think that they compare favorably in tone to very good cane reeds and that the overall response is as good, if not better.
6. Now, there are still questions to be answered. One of them is their longevity, as I have been using them for 2-3 weeks and have been rotating them because, as I stated above, they tend to soften earlier.
7. Also, keep in mind that I am still in the honeymoon period. So who knows, maybe I will go back to playing cane reeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Have you compared the Onyx to the other models of Fiberreed? The two I've tried change my tenor tone to that of a kazoo.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016-17
Joined
·
318 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Have you compared the Onyx to the other models of Fiberreed? The two I've tried change my tenor tone to that of a kazoo.
No. The Onyx is the first Fiberreed that I have tried. I had been hesitant to try any of the others because, based on reviews and youtube videos, I felt that I would not like the tone.
I don't think that the Onyx sound "kazooish". The reason I have compared it to the Legere Signature is because I have a couple and it is fairly popular synthetic, if not the most popular in this community.

I again played the Onyx against the Legere plus a nice Rigotti Gold 2.5 light that I have adjusted to my liking and a Vandoren V16 2.5 that is totally dry from not being played in 2-3 weeks and needs to be worked on & sanded a bit more.

Again I would like to reiterate that the Onyx sounds as good as a synthetic can sound against cane. Response up and down is superb and predictable until it starts to soften after some time playing, at which time one should switch to another Onyx.

The small sample of 3 reeds that I have are very consistent from one to another with one feeling a tiny little bit softer which I was able to adjust by sanding the tip carefully at 90 degrees as suggested on Harry Hartman's Fiberreed site.

In my opinion, I don't see die hard cane reed fans switching to the Onyx anytime soon, although I could be wrong.
For fellows who dig the Legere Signature but would like a better response in the altissimo register or more "punch", the Onyx could be the answer.
The fact that the Onyx is also cheaper than other synthetics is the icing on the cake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
No. The Onyx is the first Fiberreed that I have tried. I had been hesitant to try any of the others because, based on reviews and youtube videos, I felt that I would not like the tone.
I don't think that the Onyx sound "kazooish". The reason I have compared it to the Legere Signature is because I have a couple and it is fairly popular synthetic, if not the most popular in this community.

I again played the Onyx against the Legere plus a nice Rigotti Gold 2.5 light that I have adjusted to my liking and a Vandoren V16 2.5 that is totally dry from not being played in 2-3 weeks and needs to be worked on & sanded a bit more.

Again I would like to reiterate that the Onyx sounds as good as a synthetic can sound against cane. Response up and down is superb and predictable until it starts to soften after some time playing, at which time one should switch to another Onyx.

The small sample of 3 reeds that I have are very consistent from one to another with one feeling a tiny little bit softer which I was able to adjust by sanding the tip carefully at 90 degrees as suggested on Harry Hartman's Fiberreed site.

In my opinion, I don't see die hard cane reed fans switching to the Onyx anytime soon, although I could be wrong.
For fellows who dig the Legere Signature but would like a better response in the altissimo register or more "punch", the Onyx could be the answer.
The fact that the Onyx is also cheaper than other synthetics is the icing on the cake.
And it is cheaper! Interesting that it's so much less than their other models.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2016
Joined
·
13,424 Posts
I've found the Onyx to soften after a few weeks of use. The Hartman Carbon Fibre reed is much more durable. Also more expensive, but I think it's got a good solid tone. And of course you can work on them to get them just right. As far as sounding like a Kazoo, I don't think they do at all. I get a really good tone from my ss Berg with the Hartman Fibre reed.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
15,587 Posts
My main piece is a Robusto 7*. I also tried them with a Ben Allen TD and Sakshama Custom Z, both of which I own. Results were the same.
My main cane reeds are Rigotti Gold 2.5 either Light or Medium. As an alternative when they are not available I most commonly use Vandoren V16 or Vandoren Jazz, both in 2.5, with the former being a bit harder.
Tone would be comparable to cane as much as good synthetics now a days can compare. This of course is very subjective but I would have to say that while I like the Onyx' tone very much and have been using them exclusively for the past 2-3 weeks, I could understand cane reed fans disagreeing.
Perhaps it would be better to compare the Onyx to a Legere Signature which I believe is one, if not the most popular synthetic in this community.
Compared to the Legere, the Onyx has a bit more "bite". I would describe it as maybe slightly brighter but I am afraid to use the term as I don't find it bright at all.
By the same token somebody else would characterize it as "less stuffy" than the Legere. Another term I would not use as I don't find the Legere stuffy at all.
Then again, keep in mind that I do like Rigottis which are brighter than Vandoren Classics or Hemke's for example.
Back to the cane comparison and predominantly being a cane player but having experimented with several synthetics I would say the following:

1. A perfect cane reed will give you that great response and tone that you are familiar with and like so much.
2. At least in my case, even slightly less than perfect cane reeds can be worked on and 90-95%, of the time you will get a very good, more than capable cane reed. The rest of them will remain so so but usable for some time, depending on your tolerance.
3. These however won't necessarily last too long by synthetics standards and would be more unpredictable under different environments (weather, temperature).
4. The Onyx for me is as responsive, if not more, throughout the horn as your best cane reed provided that you can find the strength that best matches you.
5. So, in my subjective opinion I think that they compare favorably in tone to very good cane reeds and that the overall response is as good, if not better.
6. Now, there are still questions to be answered. One of them is their longevity, as I have been using them for 2-3 weeks and have been rotating them because, as I stated above, they tend to soften earlier.
7. Also, keep in mind that I am still in the honeymoon period. So who knows, maybe I will go back to playing cane reeds.


Glad you are enjoying your Robusto! I also play synthetics, but have wanted to go less buzzy these days, so Im not enjoying my Legeres like I used to.
I put on a Fibercell a month ago, and it has really warmed up the sound a lot and taken almost all the buzz out of there. I'll be experimenting with more synthetics over the next couple months. I'll keep you updated with my findings too.
I'd like a reed that lasts as long as the Signature series does for me, but takes away all the buzz. The Legere Studios were not to my liking. Way too buzzy and out of control pitch-wise up high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I think you've sold it to me Fitenor! I have tried a leg ere signature, but did find it a bit dull and stuffy (it was possibly a little bit on the hard side though). I'll try one of these out.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,853 Posts
I have wanted to like any of the synthetic reeds and although some are better than others, especially in the upper and lower registers, I find that they all have the same dull tubbiness or Kazoo tone quality in the middle register. Of course what I think I sound like is different to what others hear in my playing and no one has any idea what I'm talking about when I ask if they notice the Kazoo like sound. I have yet to try the Onyx and I will give that a shot.
 

·
SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
Thanks for a good thread, I'm switching away from Legere and want to try a Hartmann on my tenor. From all I have read I think I'll start with a Carbon.

I wondered about the Onyx, but the Onyx sounds fragile, going soft quickly etc. On tenor I use my 8* HR Black Widow or my silver Vigilante NY studio.

I may start out on the Hartmanns' softer side 1.5-2.0's, my tenor tips are both fairly wide. I am also sticking with my Fibracells at this point, I don't like the back peeling but they play pretty well and last quite a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Thanks for a good thread, I'm switching away from Legere and want to try a Hartmann on my tenor. From all I have read I think I'll start with a Carbon.

I wondered about the Onyx, but the Onyx sounds fragile, going soft quickly etc. On tenor I use my 8* HR Black Widow or my silver Vigilante NY studio.

I may start out on the Hartmanns' softer side 1.5-2.0's, my tenor tips are both fairly wide. I am also sticking with my Fibracells at this point, I don't like the back peeling but they play pretty well and last quite a while.
I like the carbon classic. The carbon was too squeaky. The hemp was stuffy. The classic is just right. They don't number them. Soft, med soft. Med.. etc I play a link *7 mp.. Conn 10m
 

·
SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
Thank you I see they don't number the Hartmanns, I think a med-soft on a .113-.115 tip tenor mpc should be a good starting point. Easy to go either way if needed.

I see they have a range of choices. The carbon classic sounds good. I see they also have a brown reed color reed as well. I read a good review of that one too.

I am playing softer gigs these days and easy response with a fat sound is my goal. My tenor is a silver '68 VI
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Thank you I see they don't number the Hartmanns, I think a med-soft on a .113-.115 tip tenor mpc should be a good starting point. Easy to go either way if needed.

I see they have a range of choices. The carbon classic sounds good. I see they also have a brown reed color reed as well. I read a good review of that one too.

I am playing softer gigs these days and easy response with a fat sound is my goal. My tenor is a silver '68 VI
I was playing Java red box on my previous mouthpiece, which has a small tip opening. I had to use #2 with my Link 7 tip. The med soft is right for me. It might be too soft soon though, or not. The synthetic reeds don't go softer as you play them like cane. The brown one you spoke of must be the hemp reed. I don't care for it as much as the carbon. Good luck.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Is anyone in the US carrying these? I did a search but only found buying direct from HH, or some European dealers.
 

·
SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
I was playing Java red box on my previous mouthpiece, which has a small tip opening. I had to use #2 with my Link 7 tip. The med soft is right for me. It might be too soft soon though, or not. The synthetic reeds don't go softer as you play them like cane. The brown one you spoke of must be the hemp reed. I don't care for it as much as the carbon. Good luck.
I mis-spoke , the brown/reedish color reed I saw is a Forestone on eBay..I looked at the Hartmann Hemps too, but I'd start with a carbon I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top