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Discussion Starter #1
Currently, I'm looking for reeds that carry a full sound for my Selmer S80 C*. I just went through my reeds, and out of the pile, only a few Hemkes were hard enough. After blowing them a few minutes though, even they softened up.

So as I move up a reed strength, I'm also looking for a reed that gives a full sound. Nothing that is under 3, though. Right now I'm thinking Vandoren Trads, or Hemkes. But does anyone else have any other suggestions?

Edit: By thinking full, I mean full and dark.

No ZZ or V16 reeds though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Blue box 3.5s though? Currently, I'm only used to playing 3s, and I'm afraid that going up .5 might be too much of a step.

Which is why Hemkes are in there - apparently the 3.5 Hemke is around a 3.25 Vandoren. But other than that, I've had good experiences with Blue box Vandorens.
 

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Brancher Opera reeds are consistant, solid sounding reeds. I use 3 on a very lively .110 Morgan L. They give some body to a bright mpc. Great altissimo too. Double cut. WWBW, Weiners, 4 reeds per box.
 

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BryanQ. said:
Blue box 3.5s though? Currently, I'm only used to playing 3s, and I'm afraid that going up .5 might be too much of a step.

Which is why Hemkes are in there - apparently the 3.5 Hemke is around a 3.25 Vandoren. But other than that, I've had good experiences with Blue box Vandorens.
3.5's might be the ticket. Don't be afraid to make them 3.25's or so through sanding, reed rush, and or a reed knife. Larry Teal's "The Art of Saxophone Playing" has an excellent chapter on reed adjustment.

The new Rico Reserves show some promise. I have only been playing them for 2 days, but they are dark and responsive and fairly consistant. I want to see how they do over a longer span of time, however.

Steve
 

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Try a Fibracell - those are the only "reeds" that allow me to get anywhere near a full sound out of a C* (I have two C*'s, one a Soloist from the mid 1950's). I use a 1 1/2 (or soft under the old rating system for Fibracells). DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmm..Fibracells?

I find that Hemkes and Blue Box Vandorens already work well, just they're too soft.

That'd be an interesting choice though - I've been meaning to try another synthetic reed after trying the Legere Studio.
 

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I'm another big fan of the Vandoren Traditionals. I usually play a 3.5. A lot of my playing is Classical, however. I tend to lean towards a lighter Java for Jazz stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I know Vandoren Traditionals work really well for a dark, full sound, and Hemkes also work, just not as well. I'm kind of looking for a dark traditional jazz tone. And I already know that it can be achieved with a Vandoren Traditional.

Hmm I suppose it wouldn't be TOO big a step to go up to 3.5. Like I've said, all my reeds lately have been feeling too soft, even though most of them are around the size three mark.

Maybe I'll get a Fibracell and a box of Vandoren Trads.
 

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Bryan,

Look to the heart of the reed. In large measure that's the key to your question....along with having a reed made from high quality cane. A reed with a lot of "wood" in the heart helps to give one a fuller sound with a stronger tonal core. Anyway, that's been my experience. Thicker cut saxophone reeds are typically along classical lines. Besides Vandoren Traditional, I'd suggest Alexander Classique and Gonzales as they have a thicker cut and are made from especially high quality cane. Once you find the right strength I don't see how you can go wrong with either of them.

I'm getting excellent results with Legere regular cut saxophone reeds. They are based on Vandoren Traditional. However, synthetic reeds are not going to be for everyone. It took me a lot of work and experimentation with my set up to get to the point of being happy with Legere. But, now I get a wonderfully vibrant full dark sound with them and I'm actually happier then when I used my favorite cane reeds.

Good luck!

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When the school semester starts, I'll probably buy another Legere reeds. I don't quite want to give up on it yet!

While the studio cut wasn't for me, I hope the regular cut is. But thanks for the response. Alexander Classique is an interesting option - I haven't considered going for Alexander reeds.
 

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Bryan. Try Alexander DC reeds.

Check the web site (www.superial.com) for the recommended strength and don't forget to break them in as Tom Alexander recommends.
 

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You're going to think this sounds crazy, but have you tried Clarinet reeds? They work! Vandoren V12's have a meatier heart than traditional. Eb alto clarinet for Alto sax, Bass for Tenor, Contrabass for Bari. Sometimes they're priced lower than sax reeds.
 

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I'm assuming you're wanting to play jazz on your C*, as that's what everyone else is assuming. I use my S80 C* for classical. Here are the best results I've had, in no particular order:
1) The new Rico Reserves in 3.5.
2) Vandoren Traditional (Blue Box) 3s clipped.
3) Vandoren Traditional 3.5s sanded.

As you say, it seems the best strength for a C* is somewhere between a Traditional 3 & 3.5. But, if you're wanting to play jazz on it, I'd say stick with the 3s.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well yes, I'm attempting to get a dark jazzy tone. I'm mainly a jazz player, though I do some legit.

Those are good choices - I agree with you, gearaholic. And to gary, I've been looking for an excuse to try those Alexander Superial reeds :). Those are all excellent suggestions - to bandmommy, I've also wanted to experiment with tenor and clarinet reeds, but I think I'll wait until the school term starts.
 

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Bryan,

There's one more thing you might want to think about....

Different reed cuts will take you only so far in darkening your sound and making it bigger. If you're wanting a dark fat kind of sound you might need to try some mouthpieces with a larger chamber and lower baffle. I love a big dark sound on each of my horns. After a lot of experimentation I discovered that a large chamber mouthpiece and thick cut reeds really do it for me -- big dark vibrant sound and a strong tonal core. This kind of set up can take everything I can throw at it.

Roger
 
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