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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not sure how new this is where you are but from the music shop I buy reeds from here in W.A, the Vandoren ZZ's have changed there packaging to a new ' flow pack ' which supposedly contains them in the same ' humidity controlled ' environment in which they were made in, in France. This is supposed to improve their consistency.

When I opened a box i wasn't sure whether to open one of the 5 individual packets inside or lay them at the table as an after dinner mint.

Also with it came an information leaflet that read like it belonged in a box of tampons- boasting ' A flow pack with out new factory fresh packaging, as fresh as if you picked it up from the factory '

Anyway I've gone through 2 boxes now with not one decent usable reed. I used to get 2 or 3 a box.

I'm thinking of trying a different reed if anyone has suggestions .:x
 

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This is worrying me as well. I just ran a search on "Vandoren Factory Fresh" and found your post. Luckily my local store still has some old stock Vandorens (I use JAVA for Alto & Tenor) so I've been buying those.

I don't want my reeds to be factory fresh. I'd prefer them to have been a little aged, so that they have a chance to reach humidity equilibrium (or something like that). I've noticed aged reeds tend to warp less.

Have you had any better luck with these factory fresh reeds since you originally posted this topic?

Agian, I'm worried. What will I do once the old stock is gone?
 

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Agian, I'm worried. What will I do once the old stock is gone?
You buy a different reed.

I find my barrier-packaged Vandoren Javas go soft more quickly but always play out of the box - where once, a reed would last me months, now it's weeks or maybe days. Maybe it's more the cane batch, rather than the packaging difference.
 

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This subject has come up in a couple of other threads. I still don't see how the new packaging would affect reeds differently from the old one in which the whole box was sealed.
I still get my Vandorens in the old packaging so I'll have to see for myself eventually.

Maybe if enough dissatisfied customers write to the company they'll come back to the old packaging....it worked with Coke.
 

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Personally, I prefer the old stock reeds a lot better without that "factory fresh" packaging. I think I actually receive more playable reeds out of the old stock, as well as the old stock playing better for me than the packaged ones. For traditionals, especially, the reeds that used to last several months now last a few weeks at most.
 

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I just got a box of ZZ bari last week, only tried one reed it plays well. Just FYI the amount of aging and drying time done to a Vandoren is like, what 4? 7? years before it is finally cut and boxed. I can't see how sealing it up after that time makes any difference that could be bad.
 

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I just got a box of ZZ bari last week, only tried one reed it plays well. Just FYI the amount of aging and drying time done to a Vandoren is like, what 4? 7? years before it is finally cut and boxed. I can't see how sealing it up after that time makes any difference that could be bad.

I have found the back of the reed to be flatter. The heart dosnt swell as much, thats just my experiece with them.

It has saved me lots of time adjusting them.
 

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After many years of using Vandoren exclusively, I switched because the reeds were inconsistent IMO. I get better luck with Alexander DCs for a brighter sound, or with Gonzalez reeds for a darker tone.
 

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Im trying to find an alternative to vandoren as well. I use Zondas on A and T. The work great. I just cant find anything for Soprano and Bari.
 

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I just got a box of ZZ bari last week, only tried one reed it plays well. Just FYI the amount of aging and drying time done to a Vandoren is like, what 4? 7? years before it is finally cut and boxed. I can't see how sealing it up after that time makes any difference that could be bad.


It's doubtful that Vandoren, or any reed company is actually drying their reeds the "proper" way anymore. They are all using ovens to quickly age them. My instructor says that could be one significant reason for the lack of quality in the later reeds. Global warming and other factors also help according to him...

But I would say that the oven would probably change the way the reeds play.
 

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new packaging is bad on so many levels...Vandoren has struck out with this one...
1. Box too large
2. Reeds are preserved too well and thus remain green(consequently none of them seem to play...)
3. Packaging is wasteful
4. Packaging is annoyingly cumbersome to open

There's probably more...

Vandoren aren't you listening here! It's not too late to pull this crappy packaging and own up to a loss to Rico...They had the idea first for preserving the reeds in a package first...give Rico it's rightful kudos--it beat you on this one...the rico vitalizer packs are way better--
 

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I just sent them an email. I suggest that anyone else who is unhappy with the new packaging do the same. We can complain on here until we're blue in the face, but telling them will have more of an effect.
 

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I just sent them an email. I suggest that anyone else who is unhappy with the new packaging do the same. We can complain on here until we're blue in the face, but telling them will have more of an effect.

What email address did you use to contact them?
 

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I've found that the reeds are about the same after several soakings, although they play like crap right out of the box. I'm not using ZZ's, they're Javas and regular ones.
 

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This whole dilemma with every brand of reeds I have tried is why I switched to Rico Reserves.

Every box of reeds is guaranteed to:
(1) All play
(2) Play nearly the same
(3) Perform better than any other reed you have tried.

Rico have been marketing this product for a while. Fortunately, the performance and quality of the Rico Reserves have more than lived up to their hype. All in all, they are quite simply the best reeds you are going to find in the market today.

Nitrosax also shows another point. The Reed Revitalizer that comes with every pack is very effective. It helps keep the reed tips straight and minimizes the wetting time of the reeds.

The only problem I see with the Rico Reserves is that they are only offered for the clarinet and alto saxophone. However, due to the rising demand for the Reserves, I am pretty sure we will see future offerings for tenor, baritone, etc and possibly different kinds of "cuts" for a different sound & response.
 

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I honestly don't mind them, my last two boxes of Javas have been exceptional. Some of the best reeds I've ever had came from them, plus all of the reeds did play well right out of the box.
 
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