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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen several threads about mouthpieces "wearing out", warping, etc. and would like some input along those same lines.

I have a Rousseau JDX6 (bari) that I use with ZZ 3.5 reeds and a Rovner ligature. I've been using this same setup now for over 10 years and have had a lot of success.

For the last 6 months or so, though, I just can't seem to find a new good reed. I have some that are old (like a year or so) and they still play pretty well despite their age, but I've gone through a couple boxes of new ZZs and cant seem to find one that's "good".

Which leads me to the conclusion, of course, that the reeds probably aren't at fault. It doesn't seem that they would have changed manufacturing process all of a sudden. And the boxes I've purchased and tried have been over a period of a couple months from different vendors, so it doesn't seem like just a bad batch. The old reeds still sound good, so I don't *think* it's me. And I've tried dropping back to a #3, just in case my chops have gotten lazy.

So what I'm wondering is, is it possible that somehow my mouthpiece has warped a little or gotten "out of flat" somehow? Does that seem likely? :?

I've been thinking about trying a new piece of the same model and specs, just to see if I can tell a difference. This is really the only mouthpiece I have for bari, so I'm reluctant to send it off anywhere ...

As always - Thanks!
 

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Unless you've abused your mouthpiece (like exposed it to excessive heat), I seriously doubt if it has "changed" in some way. I have pieces a lot older than that - they still play well.

I suspect the reeds - the quality of cane is inconsistent and varies with the seasons in which it is grown. Have you tried to break in the reeds properly? Have you tried to adjust your reeds by scraping them, with a knife, etc.? There are several recent threads in the REEDS section (and elsewhere, I recall) that discusses how to do it.

Also, you may want to buy a few Fibracell reeds - they are synthetic but play well - and consistently. Be sure to reduce the reed strength considerably when comparing cane to synthtic. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dave Dolson said:
<snip>
I suspect the reeds - the quality of cane is inconsistent and varies with the seasons in which it is grown. Have you tried to break in the reeds properly? Have you tried to adjust your reeds by scraping them, with a knife, etc.? There are several recent threads in the REEDS section (and elsewhere, I recall) that discusses how to do it.

Also, you may want to buy a few Fibracell reeds <snip>
I've tried using them straight out of the box, and also tried some of the "soaking and smoothing" methods. I suspect the best combination is beer and chap stick, really ... (hmmm, now that I think about it, I did change to a different brand of chapstick a year or 2 ago - *that* would be crazy, wouldn't it?)

I haven't purchased a new box real recently, so maybe I'll try that and may also try the Fibracell - probably haven't tried a synthetic reed since the 80's, so I'm sure they're much improved.

Your comment about cane inconsistency remindes me of a incident, this one time at band camp, in a Q&A session with Jerry B. Someone asked him if that year was, indeed, a "bad year for cane" and Jerry scoffed and smirked as diplomatically as possibly, and said "no". :)
 

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MoonPie said:
I've tried using them straight out of the box, and also tried some of the "soaking and smoothing" methods. I suspect the best combination is beer and chap stick, really ... (hmmm, now that I think about it, I did change to a different brand of chapstick a year or 2 ago - *that* would be crazy, wouldn't it?)
In my experience, beer doesn't result in good saxophoning. Maybe that's the problem?:D
 

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dirty said:
In my experience, beer doesn't result in good saxophoning. Maybe that's the problem?:D
Yeah, when you belch CO2 into the horn, the pitch changes. Yech.
 

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MoonPie,

You hit the jackpot man: Justified G.A.S.

You need a back-up baritone piece just
on principle and so you can send your
Rousseau off to one of our SOTW experts
for a check-up.

rabbit
 
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