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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had the best time and happy gigging lately playing reeds I had given up on months/years before. This happy situation came about because of a sax overhaul and neck change which instantly made my regular reeds (Rico 2.5, tenor) feel way too soft. The sax simply had tremendous resistance before, now is blowing like it should. Usually I would keep these open boxes and put the tried reeds back in their holders because I just couldn't throw them away. Now I'm glad I didn't! Last night I played the gig on some of those old Rico Royal 2.5 that previously were too stuffy. It's great to finally get my money's worth out of them. Others are Rico and D'Addario Select Jazz, 3S, unfiled and Rico and D'Addario Reserve 2.0 - these really are strong for their rating).
Unfortunately while I was having the resistance problem without knowing it, I made a number of comments about how the new reeds were no good, yadda, yadda. Whatever, the point is not to keep old used-up reeds but definitely keep new and 'tried-only' reeds because you never know if things are going to change and you might just want them again.
 

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I kept some reeds I thought I had "grown out of", that were on the soft side and the other day I turned back to them at the end if a longish session. The slightly softer reed allowed me to practice a phrase just that bit more and get the fingering right. So another good reason to hang on to reeds.

I also had an improvement in my D'Addario Select Jazz 2H reeds that I thought were on the edge of the strength I needed. I recently had my sax overhauled (YAS-23) and a number of pads replaced and things tightened up. Since then I reckon the DSJ 2H better suits the nature of the tidied up sax. The significance of this was not fully appreciated until your post, thanks for that.

Before the sax overhaul, I was considering going on the reed-strength-quest once again, but I can now settle for a while and just practice.
 

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IMG_1443.JPG Hi Mr. 1saxman
I do keep very old reeds from years that i have been playing.
Sometimes,I do like to go throigh some very old,but like i did nt use much,cause they were hard to play,,,etc
Here is a pics of them..lol
Regards
Saxobari
 

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1saxman, I don't know what your normal routine is with reeds, but I have found that keeping reeds for a year or more after I buy them improves them quite a bit. I try to keep reeds I buy now in the back of the drawer, moving them forward as I buy new ones, so by the time I open a box, it's a year or two old. This may be a factor in your new-found love for your older reeds, I don't know if that's the case, but just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
View attachment 230402 Hi Mr. 1saxman
I do keep very old reeds from years that i have been playing.
Sometimes,I do like to go throigh some very old,but like i did nt use much,cause they were hard to play,,,etc
Here is a pics of them..lol
Regards
Saxobari
I love that! What a great reed collection! I have reeds around here in various places that I really should (and will) throw away as we get on with our 'de-cluttering' project but my reed drawer is much smaller than yours.
BTW, I think I see among the loose reeds some 'Vic Olivieri'. I never found one of those that would play for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1saxman, I don't know what your normal routine is with reeds, but I have found that keeping reeds for a year or more after I buy them improves them quite a bit. I try to keep reeds I buy now in the back of the drawer, moving them forward as I buy new ones, so by the time I open a box, it's a year or two old. This may be a factor in your new-found love for your older reeds, I don't know if that's the case, but just a thought...
I have never noticed a great improvement in reeds even when kept in ideal conditions for many years. Seems like a good idea but in reality I think is somewhat elusive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had two great gigs this weekend mainly because I gave up on the Rico/D'Addario Reserve reeds and just took four regular Rico 2 1/2 and four Rico Royal 2 1/2 to the gigs. This is where I belong. I guess my taste in reeds is somewhat pedestrian, but hey, my playing is very 'blue-collar' so I guess it figures. The gigs were totally different. Both with the same group, 8-piece R&B/Motown show. The first gig was an outdoor concert, the season opener for this particular one. It was our first time at this venue and everyone including the management was astounded at the turnout which we all think was at least 2500, totally filling the allotted space and spilling out. Its a dance/party band and the crowd filled the 'dance lawn' the whole night. You can imagine the volume and the energy/excitement on-stage and this calls for high-performance set-ups on all the saxes, particularly the tenor. Think of King Curtis which is how I like to try to play in this environment. Turned out the Rico Royal, being a tad stiffer than the regular Rico, got the nod and was great for the whole show. The next night was completely different - inside a ballroom with about 250 celebrants of very varied interests. We basically do the same show everywhere but in this case it was on our own smaller PA and much lower volume. The crowd wasn't very energetic but they enjoyed it. I was tired but enjoyed it myself mainly because I sounded so good and because the horns could all hear what was going on, we all (3) made a lot of corrections in our parts - as we are prone to say, it was a 'paid rehearsal'.

The D'Addario Royals had not played for me before the overhaul and neck change but now are borderline soft - an amazing development. I guess my real point is, all my life, since I started playing sax in school in 1957, I tended toward more open mouthpieces with softer reeds. My recent experiment with the much more resistant Rico Reserve ultimately became unsatisfying - I just kept looking for a certain tone and flexibility and it wouldn't happen. Going back to my old friends made me very happy and my playing reflected that.
 

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I love that! What a great reed collection! I have reeds around here in various places that I really should (and will) throw away as we get on with our 'de-cluttering' project but my reed drawer is much smaller than yours.
BTW, I think I see among the loose reeds some 'Vic Olivieri'. I never found one of those that would play for me.
ISaxman
Those Olivien ones were bari saxe reeds,don t remember if they were good.
In those boxes,some are still never used,lol
My wife has told me a few times,that I was crazy to keep all of those reeds,I keep telling her,they don t bother anyone here :)
I still go through some of those and find all the time very good reeds.
All the best
Mario
 

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I’m not the only one then! I’ve kept many reeds going back 20 years now, unless they really die on a gig. I’ve been going back through and sorting through them, there are reeds I bought and got frustrated trying to break in and letting them sit sometimes helps.
I can go back through old reeds and find some sometimes that will work better on a gig than trying to get something new working. So I’m glad to have kept them around. But also trying to get them organized to keep them handy. Having a giant box of cast aside reeds of every horn and strength isn’t much help when you’re looking for a reed last minute!
Another thing is a lot of my reeds I have kept I haven’t adjusted, so with some balancing I think I can get some working again.
 

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Hi
Reviving this thread as I was looking for old threads about reed life and specifically experiences with reeds that are tested or played a few times and put aside. Some of these when picked up again months later seem to play ok. Others seem to have somehow died of old age in the meantime and aren't revivable.
I suppose that a lot depends on what condition you put them away in and where. If they go direct from mouth to holder to storage do bacteria destroy them? Does anyone have a system ( not too expensive or requiring advanced chemistry or biology degree) to rinse and lay up reeds that don't suck and might be worth returning to in the future? Thanks for ideas.
 

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Gosh, I just don't have the time to save reeds and coax them into playing. Very stuffy reed, out of the box. So, I passed the entire reed across 600-grit sandpaper, did some light sanding on either side of the heart, to lose excess "meat". Placed it back on my mouthpiece, and EUREKA ... it played very nicely ... open and responsive ... for about 6 minutes. Then, I'm fighting the reed again! I don't have time in my life for this! So, I took the reed off, bit it hard across the heart, mashed it into the wall, and deposited the broken, twisted carcass next to the open box for all the other reeds to see. "Next?"
 

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I have a plastic box with 16 drawers filled with reeds that didn't work at the time. whenever I try a new mouthpiece I use old reeds to test rather than crank out new ones. I also have some 35 boxes of unused reeds that I pull from . K
 

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This whole fussing with cane is why I went to Legere Signatures.

I LOVE your point about getting the horn worked on and suddenly using different reeds. The truth is that most people play on leaky horns and don't even know it.

I'm about to go through this when I get my tenor back from its overhaul. Have a bunch of cane and Legeres ready to do proper testing.

- Saxaholic
 

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I gave a friend a box of Vandoren V16 alto a few years back, as I didn't like them.

last month we did a Reed swap and Yes I got them back with a few other reeds.....after 3yrs plus ,the V16s play great.....Never throw "so so" reeds away , duffers maybe ,but hard ones No....they season nicely over the years ....

the Manufactures tell us they leave the cane for 2/3 yrs before cutting as Sax Reeds.....But does market demand force them to use "Green cane" before it's seasoned and aged properly...I wonder
 

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1saxman,

I hate throwing reeds away, I always hang on to ones that are not right at the time. Eventually I will come back to them and wonder why I have not used them sooner. As reeds are quite a bit of money nowadays I keep a look out for discounted reeds, NOS, Closing down sales and buy them from fellow players who have changed brands. I picked up two boxes of Vandoren Blue 3's and 4's Baritone reeds for £15.00 in June.

Peter.
 

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View attachment 230402 Hi Mr. 1saxman
I do keep very old reeds from years that i have been playing.
Sometimes,I do like to go throigh some very old,but like i did nt use much,cause they were hard to play,,,etc
Here is a pics of them..lol
Regards
Saxobari

I'm pretty much like you. I have plastic Tupperware containers with my old reeds in them all organized by SATB and the hardness range. I've been doing it for years. Waste not want not because reeds do seem to come back to life and at the very least you can have fun trying them as part of your practice. I thought I was a freak doing this until I went to see David Murray play here about 4 years ago. I sat in the front row through both sets and aside from having a super time listening to his incredible tenor playing and chatting with him about a mutual drummer friend I watched as a couple of times during the sets he crouched down on the front of the stage to rummage through about three ziplock bags filled with already played reeds each in their plastic holder. A giant lightbulb lit up in my head and I had an epiphany.

images.jpeg

I realized that if David Murray was doing the same thing, I was definitely on the right path. Besides which he played a SS Berg Scoopbill just like mine. Too bad I don't play and sound like him though.
 

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Been saving reeds for years too. Last 4 years I've played mostly plasticover so I have plenty to choose from. Use to play a selmer plastic mpc and would play 3 1/2s.
Switched to a link tone master and went to 2 1/2s. Just now I put a (2/3 yrs old) 3 1/2 reed on my link and it sounds as good or better than a new reed. Keep your reeds!
 
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