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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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Discussion Starter #1
Just did a concert with a local big band....first 40 minutes or so on alto, then doubled on soprano...in rehearsal, cane wasn’t working, kept drying out...so I pulled out the synths I had in the case....nothing seemed to work until I pulled out the legere...there seems to be a big difference in sound and response depending on where it sits on the mouthpiece...finally figured out the right placement, and it worked...anyone else have a similar experience?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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5,160 Posts
I started using Legere reeds on Soprano a couple years ago. Not so much for gigs but I found myself waiting in the car a lot when picking up my kids so I started bringing a soprano and practiced in the car. I needed something that would work instantly. I can say that placement can be a issue as well as consistency. Legere reeds are much more consistent then cane but they are certainly never exactly the same which you would expect from synthetic material.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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All reeds react to changes in position relative to the tip - its one of the tricks in our bag to make quick adjustments to our playing when we don't have time to change reeds. A little forward makes it harder but might squeak, and a little aft makes it softer but also 'tubby' (more 'fuzzy' and indistinct). So which way did you go and what was the result?
I tried a Fibereed 'Hemp' on soprano after a year of using one on baritone, and it was so bright it was unusable. It really gets expensive quick finding the right synthetic for a particular application.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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Discussion Starter #4
All reeds react to changes in position relative to the tip - its one of the tricks in our bag to make quick adjustments to our playing when we don't have time to change reeds. A little forward makes it harder but might squeak, and a little aft makes it softer but also 'tubby' (more 'fuzzy' and indistinct). So which way did you go and what was the result?
I tried a Fibereed 'Hemp' on soprano after a year of using one on baritone, and it was so bright it was unusable. It really gets expensive quick finding the right synthetic for a particular application.
I’ve moved cane up and down slightly in the past, it usually works well....if the legere was not perfectly lined up with the tip of the mouthpiece it was awful...it would be so much easier if the reed color was the same as cane....and I still prefer cane unless I’m doubling...
 

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Legere reeds are much more consistent then cane but they are certainly never exactly the same which you would expect from synthetic material.
I don't think I would expect absolutely perfect consistency from any manufactured product unless the tolerances were far smaller than could be achieved on something as cheap as a synthetic reed.
 

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This past summer I used nothing but synthetic reeds on soprano, 'coz cane reeds were drying out between one tune & the next in a set.

Legere Sigs seem reliable & consistent from one session to another. For me they sound good, altho never as controllable or tonally complex as the best cane. I wish Legeres had a bit more surface texture; I miss the tactile feedback my lip gets from cane or Fibracell.

I could also quibble with the accuracy of Legere's strength grading. Comparing 2.25 with 2.5, the 2.5 feels way-y-y stiffer. (In fairness, I've had similar issues with Fibracells & some brands of cane.)

I bought a Hartmann Fiberreed Hemp; regretted my purchase from the first minute, as it yielded a buzzy motorboat noise more like a harmonica than a sax. Strangely, after I spent some time breaking it in (or was it breaking me in?), it began to emit more of a vintage jazz vibe in the Bechet wheelhouse, which suits me fine. I still prefer cane.

Tried a Fiberreed Carbon, hated it. Passed it along to another player; he hated it too. I swear, that reed was trying to slice my tongue. It might be useful for chopping carrots.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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Discussion Starter #7
I tried a forestone black bamboo, really didn’t sound good no matter it was placed...I’m not sure if the legere broke in as I played it or I just got used to playing it....
 

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I finally found a Legere/mouthpiece combo on soprano that actually worked for me . . . a Legere Signature 2 on my Selmer Concept mouthpiece. I also have the Legere Classic 2 in reserve. I played it quite a bit at home but last weekend when I played three sets at a memorial jam session in Suisun City (CA), I took of the Legere Signature after the first set and replaced it with a cane reed to finish the afternoon. The Legere was weak in an ensemble of three cornets and an over-amplified electric keyboard.

This week at home, I went back to the Legere Signature, but soon replaced it with the Classic 2, which was a lot stronger, yet played equally as easily. I don't know if the Signature was "going south" on me or if it was just too soft after having been played for a while.

So, I thought I'd buy more of them to see if a slight increase in strength (say going up to a 2.25 or 2.5) would prove to be more substantial yet easy to play. But that idea came to a quick end when I checked the discount pricing listed on Amazon, WW&BW, and Wieners. Thirty dollars a reed makes no sense to me.

Can I afford that? Sure, but I don't see the value at that price range. The last two I bought (mentioned above) were something like $22 or so. The price increases seem much higher than inflation. Cane works just fine. DAVE
 
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