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So I just broke in a new box of Hemke 3 Tenor reeds and they're all already splitting either on the left or the right side. This happened with the last box as well.
Do you guys have similar experiences?
By the way I bought them from 1stopclarinet.
 

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What's wrong with Hemkes is THEY'RE TOO #%!!ING SOFT.
 

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I used to play Hemke on tenor a while back. Yes, they are softer than others of the same number. I found that they don't last very long. A "break in" period was never really needed though. They just seemed to play for a little while, then very suddenly die.

I switched to rjs for a while, then java, and now rigotti (about 2 years now). All three are much better quality imho, and definitely last a lot longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all your input guys.

I switched to rjs for a while, then java, and now rigotti (about 2 years now). All three are much better quality imho, and definitely last a lot longer.
Which one do you think is the closest to the Hemke in terms of sound and response?
 

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I believe Hemke is a Rico product (?)...Maybe start with the Rico Jazz Select. Since you said the 3 was too soft, I would check out a reed comparison chart and get whatever is closest to a Hemke 3.5. If it is a little firm, you can always shave off a bit.

As for the Java's and Rigotti's: They are both good, but the Rigotti's are MUCH more consistently playable without adjustment for me...and a lot cheaper!
 

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I didn't say they were too soft. In fact they're perfect once I find a good one.
Where do you get Rigottis?
 

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I used to play Hemke on tenor a while back. Yes, they are softer than others of the same number. I found that they don't last very long. A "break in" period was never really needed though. They just seemed to play for a little while, then very suddenly die.
Harvey Pittel used to say that any reed that plays right out of the box should be thrown out.
 

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So I just broke in a new box of Hemke 3 Tenor reeds and they're all already splitting either on the left or the right side. This happened with the last box as well.
Do you guys have similar experiences?
By the way I bought them from 1stopclarinet.
Sounds like they're dry. FWIW, my experience with Hemkes is same as the others' -- tried a box and I don't think a single one of them lasted more than 2 sets.
 

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Sounds like they're dry. FWIW, my experience with Hemkes is same as the others' -- tried a box and I don't think a single one of them lasted more than 2 sets.
I soaked them for about 10min and then play tested them and each one was spliting either after or even before testing. Maybe they were old stock? I just opened the box by the way.
 

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I didn't say they were too soft. In fact they're perfect once I find a good one.
Where do you get Rigottis?
Musician's friend usually has them for 26.99 with free shipping (10 per box).

Harvey Pittel used to say that any reed that plays right out of the box should be thrown out.
Forgive me for not knowing who Mr Pittel is, but when I used to spend time breaking in reeds, it seemed like it was all I did...soak, play softly, etc. By the time the box was "broken in," I would play them 3-4 more times each and they would be dead. Now I keep three reeds in a rotation right out of the box at all times and a box of ten lasts me about 10 weeks. I practice 5-6 days a week for anywhere between 45 minutes to 2.5 hours, and have a gig or rehearsal 1-2 days a week...I try to at least play something every day.

As for whoever said something about them being "dry..." I keep no less than 6 boxes of reeds open on my window sill. I am quite sure they are dry when I pull one out. There are a lot of people who spend good money on old/ vintage reeds that have been "drying" for 30 or more years.
 
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