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Discussion Starter #1
Like the title says. How long are you all playing them for? I just got a new #3 as a backup because I chipped one. The new one felt unplayable at first because it felt so stiff. I stuck with it and it feels broken in now and sounds good but now I’m thinking the old one may actually be done. I only played it for a couple of months. Does that seem right?
 

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I find that they definitely do soften a little after a few months but remain playable well beyond that.
The bigger problem I’ve had lately is de-laminating on the face of the reed.
On two of my Baritone reeds this got so bad that they would no longer seal enough to be usable.
Still my favourite Baritone reed for consistency.
 

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I think that my Fibracell reed is about 20 years old. It is in the bottom of my gig bag along with the Rovner ligature that I never use. Never know when you might need one, but it hasn’t happened yet. I always seem to have enough real reeds to keep going.
 

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I had one for tenor that I’ve used for at least six months, and it was at the end of it’s life with that clear backing material starting to peel off.
I decided to take it off and see what would happen, and I have to tell you the reed plays so much better. The only problem is, the reed is so sticky underneath now that it glues itself to the mouthpiece.
 

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I had one for tenor that I’ve used for at least six months, and it was at the end of it’s life with that clear backing material starting to peel off.
I decided to take it off and see what would happen, and I have to tell you the reed plays so much better. The only problem is, the reed is so sticky underneath now that it glues itself to the mouthpiece.
That sounds like you’ve discovered a new product - the Emperor’s Ligature! The Un-Lig... Naked Lig... I’m sure you’ll come up with something. :bluewink:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool. Thanks for the info. I should peel the backing off, stick it on my favorite mouthpiece and I should be good for 20 years sans ligature. Nice!
 

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I get roughly 6 months out of each one. I haven't seen the delamination problem in the last three or four reeds. I buy from Musician's Friend. I just moved up, from 2.5's to 3.0's. It will be interesting to see if they last longer, or not. I don't expect they will.
 

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Right now the only Fibracell I'm using is the alto. I don't play that much alto, maybe three songs a gig, so I think maybe I've been using the same reed for about a year. Previously I used them on baritone and soprano - the baritone tended to get that de-lamination where the reed meets the table but they still lasted quite a while. I changed sopranos and mouthpieces so now I haven't found the synthetic reed I can use on it. Again, it only would get played two or three times a night and in my current groups, I'm not using the sop at all.
On baritone I'm playing a Brilhart Level Air 9* with a Hartmann Fibereed 'Hemp' Medium. This reed is incredible and very durable. I bought myself another one in case it takes a sudden dive, but every time I put it on for a gig it makes the whole show. I'm playing bari about 25% of the time on a gig and tenor about 65% so I still play cane on the tenor since I have no problem keeping it ready to play.

I take all reeds off the mouthpieces, wipe them and put them away in a secure holder that keeps them flat. Every few gigs I'll wash them and the holders in Hydrogen Peroxide.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just ordered another one. I was going to try a Fibereed but I’ve been happy with these and as a newer player it really makes things easier. One less thing to think about. I’ll have 3 that I can take turns using. Even if they only last 3 to 6 months it still seems worth it at this point.
 

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6 months to a year is about right depending on how much that horn gets played.
 

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Three weeks on tour for me.
#4 on alto. They seem to fail suddenly.
Does not break or look bad, just stops responding.
 

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Yes - they suddenly go dead, which is why I carry a new spare with any horn I use them on. Still, that's just a data point, not a condemnation. In fact, a gradual death like a cane reed would probably be worse for the player because the fact that the reed is dying sort of creeps up on you. Three weeks on tour for any reed is pretty good - its a lot less trouble to use one reed for three weeks than it is to juggle a box of five cane reeds for that same period, especially on the road. Plus, the repeatability of any synthetic reed compared to the variability of five cane reeds is an added plus.
Consistency is the greatest factor with the synthetics. If you can find one you like, and take care of it properly, your horn is going to respond exactly the same night after night. This is a tremendous advantage because you are not having to 'chase' the cane reed as it goes through changes through the night. Every time you pick up the horn you know exactly what you are going to get. Plus, you tune up at sound check, put the horn down and go to dinner, pick it up three hours later and play - just like it was when you put it down. I am loving this aspect of the syn reeds with my 'doubles' (alto and baritone).
 

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Yeah, I put a lot of air through the horn too.

Everything was grand. My first Fibracell even.
Really played well, very consistent.
And then one night, it was just useless.
Guess who didn't have a spare??
 

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How long do fibracells last? Three out of the last four ordered from two different suppliers did not play. There are a bunch of duds out there. Beware. Worse, the company refused to acknowledge a problem or even receive them back to check. AVOID! They are expensive and when 3 out of 4 don't play I may as well be using cane! You don't need to deal with a bad attitude rip-off company like that when there are other options.
 

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I have generally made it 2-5 months depending on frequency of playing and length of gigs. I still occasionally play cane but as I play alto in one band, bari in another, and tenor in a third, with some soprano mixed in, I use fibracells on all my horns, 80 pct of the time
 
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