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I currently am in a debate between V16 and Vandoren ZZs as to which I like more for Jazz. I play some funk, and am big into ska, but jazz is my main genre. I was wondering if anyone else had good experiences with either of these, or would recommend another type of reed. Thanks guys! you are always a help!
 

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not one of your choices, but have you tried rico jazz select, i love em, i think they're great for jazz.
 

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I know not everyone agrees but I have had the best luck with La Voz or Rico Jazz Select on all of my saxes for over 20 years.
 

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kevvieg said:
I know not everyone agrees but I have had the best luck with La Voz or Rico Jazz Select on all of my saxes for over 20 years.
Those are what I use. No vandorens for me anymore. I've found the ricos (at least the la voz and RJS) to be a lot more consistent and they just work better on my pieces.
 

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ZZ"s have more of that jazz feel to it in my opinion and the V16's just project out a little more for soloing.
 

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danarsenault said:
The reed doesn't know what kind of music you are playing.
You beat me to it! "Jazz" reeds, "jazz" horns, "jazz" mpcs, etc: These are pretty meaningless terms. The best reed/horn/mpc/whatever for jazz is the one that works and responds best for you.

I like V16s mainly because they seem to last longer and have a bit more punch than the other reeds I've tried, no matter what type of music I'm playing.
 

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The cuts on both the ZZ and V16 are very similar. They both have thicker tips than the Java and the blue box... I find the V16s to have a great "pop" to the sound while the ZZs are a bit mushier. Of course, if you ask someone else, they'll tell you that the ZZ has a nice warm buzz compared with the V16's harshness. It's all in the mouth of the beholder!
 

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I like LaVoz mediums across the board (S-A-T-B) on mouthpieces with a medium-open facing (like a 7). That said, I've also used Vandoren ZZ's (2.5) for alto and V16's (2.5) for tenor. For whatever reason, I don't like the reverse set-up - i.e., ZZ for tenor and V16 for alto. Go figure.
 

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The best "Jazz Sounding" reed to me has always been a La Voz, I typically use the Medium Hard on my Meyer, which is around a 6 opening, gets great response and good note separation on runs. I also have been inching back towards liking the Hemke 3's. Though consistency is a problem with Hemke's i find.
 

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Never liked Hemkes. I think Rico reed strengths fit me better without having to alter them. Vandorens for me are all way too soft or way too hard.
 

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I like ZZs on alto. I have had an opposite experience from most people, tough. Most people need a half-strength harder than they are used to, but I need a alf strength softer. I play 31/2 Javasand 4 Platicovers on tenor and 3 ZZs on alto.
 

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Green Box Baby!!!

The best Jazz reed of all time is the Java!
It's a lavoz cut, with the great french Vandoren cane!!

They last forever, and get better with wear and tear.
Only reed on my tenor set-up

tenor Java 3.5 on a
Morgan Jazz HR 9M .110"
 

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pc1234 said:
I've also used Vandoren ZZ's (2.5) for alto and V16's (2.5) for tenor. For whatever reason, I don't like the reverse set-up - i.e., ZZ for tenor and V16 for alto. Go figure.
I had exactly the same experience!

I'm on V16's 2.5/3 on tenor, but I'm using Java 2.5/3's on alto now. Blue box on sop and ZZ on Bari. Works for me!
 

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I've always thought the ZZ read to be a bit brighter, warmer and smoother than the V16. Kind of like a brighter hemke.
But for punchy power and all around playing, my favorites are V16 and LaVoz.
It's like you can't kill a V16, they keep going and going and going.
 

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You can also try the Vandoren Traditional reeds. Sure, they are marketed for primarily classical venues, but if you want a thick, meaty sound, these reeds help tremendously!

I have tried many types of reeds and eventually stumbled upon the Hemkes. It gave a dark tone and had excellent response. Then, a few days ago, I tried the Vandoren Traditionals for the first time...

It has a "slightly" slower response compared to the Hemkes, but wow, it gives out such a full, dark and rich tone! Paired with a large chambered mouthpiece, this reed will give a close (even exact) sound of the big band era!
 

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V16s have always been too hard for me, both physically and tonally, ZZs are great for half an hour then they are dead mush. Javas are the Vandorens for me and satisfy on all counts except consistency, but what else is new. But put me in the same team as JL and danarsenault. Any reed is a jazz reed. A lot of the time I use Gonzalez, the manufacturers class it as their classical reed, and I'm sure it makes a lovely one, but it plays like a jazz reed for me.
 
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