Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 109 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A couple months ago I made the switch to Forestone Black Bamboo. I absolutely love the sound, and altissimo pops right out, even if the reeds are too soft. However, they seem to go limp after about 20 minutes of playing, after which I have to swap in a new reed. After resting a while the "limp" reed is rejuvenated and plays for another 20 minutes or so. I especially notice this on tenor, but it happens on the smaller horns as well.

Has anyone else noticed this? Do the other Forestone cuts suffer this same problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
I got a Black Bamboo MH for Clarinet yesterday, and it fits very well with my Vandoren B45. Very even and easy response, plays like a doublers dream. I didn't have the feeling yet, that it get's soft - but I will watch this.
I ordered it, because on the legere signature, the upper register was hard to control (but has a nicer bottom end). Much easier on this Black Bamboo (Perhaps the legere problems would be solved with a slightly harder reed, but it's too expensive to check out every possibility with plastic reeds).
On classical Tenor (Vandoren T7), I have a White Bamboo 3, which is way to soft. I think I'll try a harder BB there too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
All the Forestone reeds have very thin tips. I spent a while experimenting with them but concluded that I couldn't get the control out of them that I wanted. I never felt them go limp though, even after an hour or so of playing (though I mostly tried it on alto).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
All the Forestone reeds have very thin tips. I spent a while experimenting with them but concluded that I couldn't get the control out of them that I wanted. I never felt them go limp though, even after an hour or so of playing (though I mostly tried it on alto).
I thought the tips seemed thin as well. I've had better luck taking more mouthpiece into my mouth (feels like I'm swallowing my tenor pieces!), but that really only extends the playing time by a few minutes.

I really like the tone I get with the BBs; I'd hate to have to start my search all over again. Fortunately I mostly play for my own benefit/enjoyment, and occasionally for church, so I'm not relying on them for long gigs, but still, your gear shouldn't limit you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Like many synthetic reeds, Black Bamboos do soften slightly after a period of playing, but I've never had one "go limp." You might try moving up a half-strength. I've found that because of Forestones' ultra-responsive thin tips, it's possible to use two or three different strengths of reed with the same mouthpiece and get good results with all of them. The difference will be the amount of resistance and the brightness/darkness of the tone. On alto, I use a BB 3.5 for straight classical and a 3.0 for concert band. On tenor, I like a 3.0 best, but a 2.5 works if I want a brighter, slightly looser sound.

The Black Bamboo model definitely runs firmer than the other Forestones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
I bought a Black Bamboo and couldn't get it to work at all on four different mouthpieces. I have no idea how anyone could use something so worthless. I regularly play Fibracell 2.5's without trouble, and don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to try something else? Never again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I bought a Black Bamboo and couldn't get it to work at all on four different mouthpieces. I have no idea how anyone could use something so worthless. I regularly play Fibracell 2.5's without trouble, and don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to try something else? Never again!
I've had the good fortune of having multiple strengths work for the same mouthpiece, as LostConn observed above, and I really do like the sound. I'm warming back up to Fibracells, but they are quite a bit brighter and buzzier on my Metalites. The Forestones give me a nice "Blue Note" type of sound.

I generally put the thin end over the tip of the mouthpiece. :)
Maybe if I put the thick end toward the tip they wouldn't go limp on me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
However, they seem to go limp after about 20 minutes of playing, after which I have to swap in a new reed. After resting a while the "limp" reed is rejuvenated and plays for another 20 minutes or so. I especially notice this on tenor, but it happens on the smaller horns as well.

Has anyone else noticed this? Do the other Forestone cuts suffer this same problem?
I, too, find that the Forestones go limp. Then, in my case, the sound totally chokes off. I've found this with both the Traditional and Black Bamboo. I also purchased the White and the Hinoki, but they are too soft for me to play on at all. I also found that these reeds chirp a lot unless I use a mpc with a longer facing. They seem a bit narrow. I wish they'd work out, because they "feel right".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Re: Forestone Black Bamboo -- for clarinet

I considered posting this follow-up in the Clarinet subforum, but I think the specific constituency is probably too small to warrant a whole new thread. Anyway, because I've been pleased with the Forestone Black Bamboo reeds on alto and soprano saxophones (tenor is still under review), I tried one of these reeds on Bb clarinet. I wanted to buy a 3.5, but for some reason all the clarinet BBs I could find were graded on the letter scale. I chose an MH, which turned out to be a very good match for my Reserve X5 mouthpiece. It seems just a tiny bit harder, and a bit darker in tone as well, than my Legere European Signature 3.25. The Black Bamboo plays easily and sounds very nice, making it another fine synth reed option for clarinet.

A bonus feature of the Black Bamboos is their significantly lower price. If you shop around, you should be able to find them for between $15 and $20. eBay is a good source. It's not hard to save $10 per reed compared to the Signatures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
I tried the black bamboo reed and did not work for me. The reed strength is not marked. Just states soft. I'll stick with legere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
These days there are so many synthetics to try with hit and miss results at a high cost that it's starting to cost as much as replacing cane reeds. But when I find a mouthpiece- synthetic reed combination that works it's usually worth it. Think I might try the Black Bamboo to see if I like them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Im a long time user of of both the Rico plasticover and Fibracell reeds on my bari. Older Mark VI low A
Depending on wether Im playing big band or R & B, R & B I found the Rico's worked best as they really are aggressive.
But for most uses I Like the Fibracell and have been using them them for about 10 years.
That being said, I thought I would buy a couple of Legere, both Classic and Signature, for me, big mistake, really didn't like the plastic in my mouth feel and the
playability sucked on both of them.
Now for the Forestone, I was excited to get and try the black bambo so I bought a couple, Although they are usable and I will get my money out of them, I did not like the buzz on either strength.
The black look was very cool and they certainly played right out of the box, but the response was no where near as good or as accurate as the Fibracell. So for me, not changing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
..any updates on this for the BB?

Its amazing that unlike cane reeds, you can have one person give it a F for fail... no way/its terrible and another say it works well (B+) (enough) for them!?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Yeah, theses are odd ones. I bought some for about half-price on a very famous auction site, and discovered some definite weirdness.
Yes, very thin tips. I got an alto, tenor, and bari. My experience so far:
Alto Medium reed doesn't completely like any of my mouthpieces (Selmer S80 C*, Selmer Concept, Otto Link HR). I usually play a Fibracell medium hard, but am revisiting cane via all sorts of brands at... 3 or medium, or around there, but still like that Fibracell.
Tenor 3 reed doesn't jibe with my Selmer S80, but is awesome with my Otto Link HR. Rico 3 is my go-to. (Have a Fibracell as a backup, but don't particularly like the tone on tenor.) I will try it with my new Selmer Concept, but don't expect much.
Baritone 3 reed doesn't like my mouthpiece (Otto Link HR). Usually play a Rico 2.5/3. (Have a Fibracell as a backup, but find the tone to be a bit whiney.)

Generally, I feel these are numbered a little "high" - go up a strength from what you usually use, and you may have a better experience than I did, at least on alto and baritone.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
3,095 Posts
A couple months ago I made the switch to Forestone Black Bamboo. I absolutely love the sound, and altissimo pops right out, even if the reeds are too soft. However, they seem to go limp after about 20 minutes of playing, after which I have to swap in a new reed. After resting a while the "limp" reed is rejuvenated and plays for another 20 minutes or so. I especially notice this on tenor, but it happens on the smaller horns as well.

Has anyone else noticed this? Do the other Forestone cuts suffer this same problem?
Exactly same experience, already 5 years ago, on baritone sax. Didn’t go any further. It will need ways more to switch me away from the Fiberreeds I’ve been using for soon 2 decades now. Unpredictability is the least thing you want from a synth reed. Cane is better at that anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
Tenor 3 reed doesn't jibe with my Selmer S80, but is awesome with my Otto Link HR.
Can you see how the facings on these two mouthpieces are shaped? Is one more "radial" and the other more "elliptical" - know what I mean by that, the elliptical curve is a little steeper towards the front? Was just wondering if the thin tip is a match for that ... probably too obvious to be real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,797 Posts
I usually play a Fibracell medium hard, but am revisiting cane via all sorts of brands at... 3 or medium, or around there, but still like that Fibracell.. . . Generally, I feel these are numbered a little "high" - go up a strength from what you usually use, and you may have a better experience than I did, at least on alto and baritone.
I've lately been playing a Fibracell 2.5 or 3 tenor on my Berg .105 offset M, mainly because it's the only reed that doesn't squeak. The Fibracell is okay when playing with a loud R&R band, but is too buzzy for other styles. Altissimo, however, is easier than on any other reed I've tried. Fibracells seem to like high-baffle pieces--and they don't squeak.

I've tried a Forestone Hinoki alto, which was ok but a bit dull--maybe too strong for my chops, but too pricey to try another strength. I'm curious to try a Black Bamboo tenor to see if it'll make my Berg squeak. Do you think an M or MH would be the best choice?
 
1 - 20 of 109 Posts
Top