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Discussion Starter #1
Just getting extremely upset about the quality differences you can find in one cane reed package. I do not think that I can stand throwing out two of five reeds due to quality concerns out of a (in Germany) 25 Euro reed pack.
So I am thinking about using synthetic reeds to avoid this waste of money (time and trouble).
I am very pleased and satisfied how the Plasticovers sound and for this reason I would like to know if anyone out there could be able to tell me which of the whole bunch of synthetic reeds should compare soundwise. Any advice about the strength I should use also is very appreciated ;)

My current setup:
SML Rev.D tenor
Saxscape SL .102 Prototype
Rico Plasticover strength 3

Thank you very much in advance!
 

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I've been there, done that. I tried Fibracell and Legere, different strengths and models, (Signature, etc.). The results: A whole bunch of synthetic reeds in a large box sitting unused. I've gone back to cane except for my bari and soprano.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re : Re: Is there a synthetic reed that plays like a Rico Plasticover?

Thank you Sandy....so for you it has been a bunch more waste of time and money by trying the synthetic ones....very unsatisfying indeed :(
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I use Legere Signature reeds now. I used to use plasticover but the Signatures sound as good. The one I have now I've been using for over a year. Sounds great.

There are some soundclips on my site.
 

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I've tried several different synthetics over the years and have settled on Fibracells for clarinet and alto. For soprano, I just can't seem to find a mouthpiece and Fibracell combo that does it as good as cane. I have a two Fibracell/mouthpiece set-ups for soprano that will do in a pinch, but not for a long public performance.

For me, the secret has been a long and tedious search for the right combo. I have many mouthpieces I've collected over the years and I had to go through all the boxes of mouthpieces on sop, alto, and clarinet to reach my situation today. Not all mouthpieces will accept synthetics. You just have to experiment until you find the right combo.

As far as Plasticovers go, I had some good experiences with them years ago, but then as I kept going through them, they became dull and unresponsive to the point where I gave up on them. The fact that the older ones (yet still good players) began to flake off those little black pieces of cover was the final straw. I gave up on those long ago.

I agree about the inconsistency of cane reeds. A box of ten will yield maybe two good players. But once I taught myself to adjust cane reeds, I've been able to make all reeds in a box play well. I realize there are others who bad-mouth reed adjusting saying they don't have the time nor the inclination to do it, but I do, so I do it, with great results. Could I afford to buy box after box in search of the two out of ten that plays well? Yes, but I won't do that. I'll buy one box, play them all, and use the unspent money for something important, like a jug of Jack Daniels. DAVE
 

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I use Legere Signature reeds now. I sued to use plasticover but the Signatures sound as good. The one I have now I've been using for over a year. Sounds great.

There are some soundclips on my site.
I have been contemplating Legere Sig reeds since hearing your clips. What is the strength to strength when compared to Plasticovers (which is what I play now)?

B
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I have been contemplating Legere Sig reeds since hearing your clips. What is the strength to strength when compared to Plasticovers (which is what I play now)?
Tricky one, I use 2.5 Plasticovers, but either 2 or 2.25 Legere.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thany you very much Pete and Dave for your answers!
So I may try the Légère Signature reed. Maybe I will sound like you if I will have my sixtieth reed (if they last one year or more) and I will exceed the first 100 of age :D.
What strength would you recommend? 2,25 according to a chart I found? This might be comparable to the 3 in Plasticovers.

Dave, I also tried out a whole lot of reeds until I stumbled upon the Plasticovers. Even if they flake out some of the plastic covering and really are dying very sudden becoming dull and hyperresistant (I think because they never really get that much moisture, they behave a little different and just die structually losing the cohaesive component of the wood (or something like that :)), I loved the tone.
The majority of the problems I do have with the cane reeds is, that if you do not have to break them in (sounding good right out of the box), they sound harsh after their "regular" break-in time. And the stuffier reeds sound great after the break-in and tend to last quite long. But unfortunately some of the reeds take the break-in literally and split.
So I am really not sure if working on the reed works in my "situation", because I can imagine how to correct a very stuffy reed, but if it is much too bright and doesn't have enough resistance after the break in, what can you do? Cut the tip a bit? Or is it just the part of the cane wood that's too weak?
I also thought about working on reeds but as you stated I am one of those who never really dared doing so.

Thank you very much for you comments and inspirations!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
so I should tend to take the 2,5 in Légère reeds (if the signature behave the way the normal Légères do)...thanks Pete. I hope it works out for me!
 

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I use both legere signature and the studio cut. I like them both a lot. I'm still trying to decide what to do with all the free time I have from not messing with / obsessing over reeds. :)
 

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I've been there, done that. I tried Fibracell and Legere, different strengths and models, (Signature, etc.). The results: A whole bunch of synthetic reeds in a large box sitting unused. I've gone back to cane except for my bari and soprano.
Apologies for spoiling the party, but my experience is diametrically opposite....Fibracell baritone reeds on a tenor mouthpiece. Nothing else gives me what I want.
Plus the fact that the Fibracells are remarkably consistent & last for months.
 

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I know a lot of saxophonist fellows who switched from Plasticovers to Hahns. I guess Hahn reeds have all the pros the Plasticovers aim to have but don't achieve and Hahn reeds don't have all the cons Plasticovers have (the black paint use to get off after some time, natural reed inconsistency, etc). So, my advice is to try a Hahn. You can buy them from here:
http://www.hahnreeds.com/store/
 

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I know a lot of saxophonist fellows who switched from Plasticovers to Hahns. I guess Hahn reeds have all the pros the Plasticovers aim to have but don't achieve and Hahn reeds don't have all the cons Plasticovers have (the black paint use to get off after some time, natural reed inconsistency, etc). So, my advice is to try a Hahn. You can buy them from here:
http://www.hahnreeds.com/store/
Y'know, I've been using Hahn reeds for a couple of years now and hadn't really thought about it, but they are (in my opinion) very similar to Plasticover reeds. Good call, Luis!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you guys for your great ideas! I just ordered a Légère Signature 2,75 and will let you know how it works for me and how it compares to the Plasticovers.

Thanks again!

And maybe I will give the Hahns a try later :)
 

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I find plasticovers significantly brighter then legere signatures, atleast this i my experience on tenor. I love my Legere on Alto but still haven't found one that gives me the same sound as my Plasticovers on tenor.
 

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Re: Re : Is there a synthetic reed that plays like a Rico Plasticover?

Thank you guys for your great ideas! I just ordered a Légère Signature 2,75 and will let you know how it works for me and how it compares to the Plasticovers.

Thanks again!

And maybe I will give the Hahns a try later :)
If the Légère Signature does what you need, rock & roll! If it proves to be too bright, try the Légère Studio cut Tenors in 2.75 or 3. I have used the Studios for 3 years both on the road and in the studio. I really feel like they have the best all around bang for the buck. I used them on my Guardala Super King, and I currently use them on my Theo Wanne Durga.

They're good stuff, dude!
Enjoy!
 

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I have Legere studio cuts, signatures and regulars. On tenor I play the regular version, whereas I play a fantastic signature reed on my alto. Reed strength is a little tricky, but I second Pete and think you should start at .25 lower than Plasticover strength. Anyway, you may return your reed to Legere and get another strength back for free within 3 (?) months after purchasing!
 

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Did you give Fiberreed a try ? www.fiberreed.com. They are in Germany somewhere south of Stuttgart I think. You can even have your reed made to your personal preference.
I switched to them an all horns. On tenor, I use a Carbon M (Selmer MK7, OL STM 8). They sound a bit buzzy and thin at the beginning, but you get used to them.
 
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