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using legere 1.5 studio, java red 2 and 2.5, forestone ms and s
mouthpieces 6 and 9 gap
prefer forestone s on the 6 gap. which gives me very easy high notes and resonant lows.
all these combinations work for me except the leger 1.5 on the 6 gap.
going softer I lost nothing that I consider worthwhile and I just dont work as hard.
Not working as hard seems to improve my control. Tone has not suffered.
No interest in altissimo. I dont like the higher pitched sounds.
anyone else play soft reeds by preference?
I can play a vandoren 5 on my yamaha 4c (barely) but I hate the sound
 

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I have been playing #2 Vandoren V16's and #2M Rico Jazz Select on tenor for many years. My tip openings run between .105 and .110.
 

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Yes. Always played open mouthpieces and reeds on the softer side; ex. Berg 130/0, Rico #2 1/2 (Tenor). A set-up like this is fundamentally different than the 'norm' (#7 Link with #3 reed) and produces more projection and a more 'liquid' tone. However, a #6 mouthpiece with a soft reed does not fit in that category and I would term it a beginner's set-up which with more experience will begin to 'close-up' on you because of a stronger embouchure and the ability to put more air through the horn. If you liked the mouthpiece you wouldn't necessarily change it at this point but just slip up to the next higher reed strength.
Finally, a reed is not necessarily 'soft' because it has a low number. You quote a variety of reeds that have a wide range of hardness. For example, a Java #2 1/2 is pretty much a #3 on the Rico scale and synthetics generally tend to be stuffy and resistant. Now if you played a Rico #1 1/2 on a #6 mouthpiece (Brilhart/Link equivalent), that would be a beginner's set-up. I couldn't play it effectively at all - the reed would just close up and shut off the air. The thing is, if I'm reading you correctly, that you switch between #6 and a #9 mouthpieces? Each one would require a different reed set-up. You really should stabilize on one mouthpiece, find the reed you like on it and stick with that set-up until you feel the need to go harder.
 

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I've favored soft reeds with open-tip mouthpieces on soprano for YEARS. Big sound, no need to blow tastelessly into microphones, etc. Even now, after aging quite a bit, I'm enjoying a small-tip Selmer S-80D (balanced by SopranoPlanet) but with a Fibracell synthetic reed at 1 1/2 strength - plays great.

I recently tried some cane reeds on the S-80D and the ones I liked best were slightly adjusted Vandoren blue-box #2 - almost equal to the Fibracell in playing results. These were the same Vandoren reeds I'd been using on an S-80J. I know that seems counter to the common wisdom of needing to increase/decrease reed-strength when changing tip-openings, but that was my experience. DAVE
 

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How's the pitch with the softer reeds?
 

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How's the pitch with the softer reeds?
I play flat with a too-soft reed. Tenor is all flat and soprano is flat on the high notes. To me, a 2 1/2 on a .130 mouthpiece isn't a soft reed. It's all relative.
 

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I play flat with a too-soft reed. Tenor is all flat and soprano is flat on the high notes. To me, a 2 1/2 on a .130 mouthpiece isn't a soft reed. It's all relative.
I agree - This seems like a fairly average reed combo. But a 2 1/2 on a .085-.090 Tenor piece might be on the soft side.
 

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I do not suffer pitch-issues with soft reeds. I suspect it is a combination of matching reed-strength/tip-opening/personal embouchure that affects pitch (and of course, mouthpiece placement on the cork). DAVE
 

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I like soft reeds as well. 2.0's and 2.5's on medium-tip openings (.079-.095ish), I never go harder than that. For me, on a horn in good tack, there's no reason to make myself have to work harder on harder reeds.
 

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I'm not much of a player, and maybe that's why, but I too like 2.0 (Vandoren blue box). Seems to always work best for me, on any mouthpiece I have (all small to medium tip openings)
 

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personally I'm in the small tip/hard reed camp. On soprano I play an original buescher mpc with blue box 4. On alto, selmer soloist C* with v12 3 - 3.5, tenor rascher with v12 3.5, and bari rascher with blue box 4.
 

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It's all I can do not to make a crude joke on this thread, but that wouldn't lady like!:whistle:
 

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I like soft reeds and an open tip mouthpiece because it gives me a wider range of tonal colors than a hard reed close tip does. But that could be just me.

Notes
 

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I'd actually like harder reeds than I'm using, but Legere doesn't make their signature series past 3.5.
 

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I like the tone and ease of play I get from a softer reed, but I have to use a 3 on my 7* or the reed closes up when I go for those high notes at performing volume.
 

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I currently play 2 size reeds on a 10* Link and like it. Used harder reeds in the past (La Voz medium), but I now only play once week and then the 2 works better. Intonation can be tricky, especially when playing very loud.
 

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on soprano right now, I play a .085 tip and # 1 1/2 Marca reeds.
While I enjoy playing closed tips/ hard reeds also, for performance, this setup gives me maximum freedom.

I would mention that, in my opinion, soft reeds require MORE chops than hard reeds. It is much easier to sound good on a hard reed/ closed tip piece than to control a sofeter reed on any tip opening.

But, we need what we need to get what we want to get.

Also- there are a lot of reeds brands and cuts that are very suspect, imo, for a performer.
 
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