Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,614 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi y'all,

I'm a long time pro player (since 1964) and a multi-instrumentalist (sax, flute, wind synth, guitar,, bass, drums, vocals) and for the first time I'm trying synthetic reeds.

I got a FIbracell and it's a bit too soft for me. It blows well except on the highest notes in the natural register (left palm keys) where it wants to close the tip opening.

It's a tenor reed.

Is there any way to trim them? If so, what is the best way to go about it?


Thanks,
Notes
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
If anyone has thoughts on this I would be interested also.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,420 Posts
I guess it depends on what kind of synthetic. I gather that a regular trimmer doesn't make a clean cut? How about placing one reed over the other with the tip just slightly behind the one you want to trim, then use a toenail clipper (has a flatter curve) to trace the back reed so you maintain the shape.
Personally, being a Fibracell player on sop, alt and bar, I would buy the next higher Fibracell and very lightly sand the vamp to bring it down to where it needs to be. I will be doing that for my baritone soon. I was doing okay with Fibracell 2 1/2 when I was playing a .120 but I changed to a .110 and the same reed is borderline soft. I happen to have a #3 that was too hard for the .120 so when the 2 1/2 starts to go soft I'll get that 3 and work on it some.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,840 Posts
Fibracell, you should be able to clip it with a normal clipper ( probably the same is possible of Hartmann’s) , legere and foreststone would be very difficult to clip they are too bendy.

My guess is that it is best to clip a fibracell that is not wet (unlike real cane) and that is cold (because is probably less bendy this way).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
Very difficult to trim a Fibracell. They are made of Kevlar-or a variation of- which is what bullet proof vests are made of!, also they are constructed in 'layers' ... Legere and Bari reeds can be worked on to degree quite reasonably. I have not tried the other brands.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,614 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks y'all for all the info.

Next time I'll try a harder one and sand until it's comfortable, but for now, I'm going to try to save this one.

The standard reed trimmer didn't work. Perhaps the toenail clipper???

Notes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Both Fibracell and Legere recommend against clipping their reeds. That doesn't mean you can't try it, but I wouldn't unless I'd already decided that the alternative was throwing the reed away.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
I tried to trim a Legere reed that had gone soft in the tip and it was not doable by me. The plastic is just hard enough and flexible enough, like vinyl, that the reed clipper can't make a clean cut. That seems to leave some kind of grainy textured rough edge when you cut it. I tried to sand that with ultra fine paper but couldn't get it smooth enough. I never tried with a Forestone for that reason because they seem to be the same material. I don't use Fibracell at all and Plasticovers are just reeds anyway, which means that the tips break down anyway and I don't try and clip and reuse cane reeds. Waste of time IMO. Frankly, I find that when the Legeres get soft in the tip the softness goes so far back that you'd end up with a reed that wouldn't play even if you could clip the tip cleanly. Just my own experience though, YMMV.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,614 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The Fibracell didn't get soft in the tip, I erred and bought one too soft to start with (and with no return policy).

It's useless as it is, so if I screw it up by trying to trim it, I've lost nothing at all but some time.

I think I learned a lesson, buy a little harder and sand it down if needed.

Notes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
Great info... saved me a lot of work experimenting. I use Fibracells on SATB & Clarinet, So with even only four reeds each horn @ $12 = $240!!! I hope the sanding works!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
I think I learned a lesson, buy a little harder and sand it down if needed.
NO, NO, NO.

Don't sand a Fibrecell. Once you cut into the fibers, it will feather forever. You'd have to recoat the resin and that will never work. You can sand and trim plastics like the BARI which has no fiber cloth.

Also, there is a very thin piece of tape on the back side of the reed. When you clip, it may peel off.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
NO, NO, NO.

Don't sand a Fibrecell. Once you cut into the fibers, it will feather forever. You'd have to recoat the resin coat and that will never work. You can sand and trim plastics like the BARI which has no fiber cloth.

Also, there is a very thin piece of tape on the back side of the reed. When you clip, it may peel off.
Just by looking at it I can see that the plastic of a BARI is different from that of a Legere and could be sanded successfully. Never have had to do that to mine, but nice to know.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
7,356 Posts
I've heard of people using toenail clippers over the years. But I don't get how you'd do it. I've got a pair of toe nail clippers here in my hand (the normal size not the small ones) and I just don't see how you'd be able to clip a reed with it without making a notch somewhere along the tip of the reed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,614 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
NO, NO, NO.

Don't sand a Fibrecell. Once you cut into the fibers, it will feather forever. You'd have to recoat the resin and that will never work. You can sand and trim plastics like the BARI which has no fiber cloth.

Also, there is a very thin piece of tape on the back side of the reed. When you clip, it may peel off.
Thanks, I guess I'm just SOL for the price of the reed :(

In the great scheme of things, it's minimal.

Notes
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,420 Posts
I sanded a soprano Fibracell and used a file to give it the French file cut. I've played it a few times since and haven't noticed any 'feathering'. BTW, it came out really well. Obviously when sanding a reed, you take light strokes from the bark toward the tip ONLY. I also like the little 'jewel case' they come in with the rubbery bump in the lid to hold the reed still. That's how I carry them since they don't warp and don't need to be in a Reed Guard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
I sanded a soprano Fibracell and used a file to give it the French file cut.
I've often wondered why Fibracell doesn't offer something like that already. To be in business for 25 years and have only one model of reed in the lineup is pretty absurd. One size doesn't fit all.

How did your modifications affect the way the reed played?
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top