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Discussion Starter #1
Dear SOTW People

I'm opening this thread as I observed a problem with my legere signature bari reeds. But let me start at the beginning.

I bought my first legere reed a while ago (Signature, Baritone-Sax 2.25). Stunned by the first notes that came out very easily with a nice focused bright sound, I though I'll give it a try in concert band and it went really really well. After a while the reed was done, so I needed replacement. Having played a while on these reeds, I ordered 3 new pieces: 2x 2.25 and 1x 2.5 (to try a harder one). Unfortunately I needed to go into my military service and couldn't play after receiving the new reeds. So 2 months later (few weeks ago) I startet playing on them and noticed that the 2 new 2.25 ones were very stiff and I couldnt bring out any note on them. I first thought that might be from not playing a while. So I didnt mind it. Now after trying to break in the 2 new softer reeds, I tried the 2.5. Et voila plays nice and smoothly. The next thing that came to my mind was trying out the two 2.25 to see if there was any difference (I was playing on my older 2.25 only until then). And again, no decent tone. There is something coming out and it is getting easier using a mouthpiece with a smaller tipopening but I dont know anymore if this is caused by me or the reed itself.

So I am seeking advice here. Maybe you could help me ?

Thank you for your help in advance guys!
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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The only thing I can infer from this is the reeds were mis-marked. Can you return them for replacements? I use Fibracells and they seem to be very consistent so it seems the more-expensive Legeres should be too.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
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Talk to Legere customer service, they are very responsive to strength issues.
 

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I've never had an issue like this before, but I've also never played Legere Signatures on bari. I hope it gets sorted out.
 

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I play on 2.25 tenor sigs and every one of the several I own has a different strength. The first 2.25 I ever purchased played more like a 2 and the other five I have play somewhere between 2.5 and 3 depending on the reed. I did return one of the stronger 2.25s once but the one they sent in exchange was no softer. They seem to have some issues regarding strength consistency. That said, I still prefer them to anything else.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I played eight different tenor Legere’s, a couple bari brand, and a few more fibracells at shop last weekend. Strength markings on the Legere’s are arbitrary and went 0/8 on the pleasing tone spectrum. As much as cane is a pain in my ***, I just can’t get down with plastic a single bit.
 

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Another thought: maybe the softer reeds are less accurate strength-wise? I've only played 3 and above and they've always been right on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Short update: Didnt receive any mail from legere so far. Going to wait until tomorrow evening and try again.....
 

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Short update: Didnt receive any mail from legere so far. Going to wait until tomorrow evening and try again.....
Back in May when I exchanged they were having issues with their web form delivery, although to be honest I dont recall how long it took to get a reply (I did at least get a reply)

They also gave me a customer service telephone number if that helps you? Office hours are Mon-Fri 8-4.30 EST
1-705-735-1559 ext. 100
 

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It is telling that several here have experienced high variability in strengths from reed-to-reed. Sounds like Legere has to knuckle down and improve their strength determination process. Fibracells have their problems (mainly structural integrity) but I have been using them on soprano, alto and baritone for about two years, and I finally broke down and ordered a tenor the other day. They have a coating on the flat side that tends to break down but usually it happens about the time the reed is played out anyway so its not a deal-breaker for me. Otherwise you can pretty much expect to get two reeds in a row of about the same strength and response. I don't know, maybe its all perception because they do look like cane, but I haven't found another synthetic at any price that I will use.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015-2017
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I have had no problems with Legere strength markings.
2 1/4 ... 3 1/2 strengths on clarinet, alto, tenor.

dsm
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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It is telling that several here have experienced high variability in strengths from reed-to-reed. Sounds like Legere has to knuckle down and improve their strength determination process. Fibracells have their problems (mainly structural integrity) but I have been using them on soprano, alto and baritone for about two years, and I finally broke down and ordered a tenor the other day. They have a coating on the flat side that tends to break down but usually it happens about the time the reed is played out anyway so its not a deal-breaker for me. Otherwise you can pretty much expect to get two reeds in a row of about the same strength and response. I don't know, maybe its all perception because they do look like cane, but I haven't found another synthetic at any price that I will use.
I don’t like them personally, but yes, fibracells are by far the most consistent and playable of the synthetics.
Ever try the Hartmann’s? I used them on bari for a minute until I got two in a row with burrs so bad they drew blood on my lips and tongue. Soft and bright a f***
The only reason I’m my mind to switch to synthetic is consistency, and so far they’re all terrible. Legere being the worst and the company from whom I’ve tried the most examples. My line up of 8 was pretty telling.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: Just received an email from legere.
They're going to exchange my reeds, however they also mentioned that it could be
that a mixup had happened somewerhe but this should be a one time only experience.
I'll send them my reeds and hope that the new ones will work better for me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In the email they wrote me the following:

"Strength is measured using a unique machine precisely designed to apply a load to the tip of the reed causing the tip to flex. This motion mirrors what happens when the reed is played at a significantly slower rate. This process was scientifically created to increase accuracy and constancy, especially compared to traditional cane reeds. However, there is a minor margin of error, as in any procedure, which can cause two identical reeds (assigned the same strength, and the same cut) to behave slightly different during play."
 

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what exacty do you mean ?
I believe he is asking you to elaborate on this statement:
"Unfortunately I needed to go into my military service and couldn't play after receiving the new reeds. So 2 months later (few weeks ago) I startet playing on them...."
 

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Hi.

I've posted a few times about the Legere inconsistencies. I've played only synthetics for 3 years, and can't ever, ever, see myself go back to cane. Although I've found Legere Sigs and now Classics to be the best for me, I'm still experimenting with other brands, largely because of this Legere problem with strength consistency. You never know what you're going to get. That may be OK for chocolates but I spend hundreds every year on Legeres and I expect better.

I agree with 1saxman that it simply may be a labelling mistake sometimes. Or the slight testing variation problem as Legere responded. But I have found # 2s that are harder than 2 3/4 in Sigs, and recently bought a Classic 1 3/4 that's harder than than my last few 2s. I've also noticed some other changes in the Classic line such as colour of the plastic and texture patterns on the vamp. I should also mention to anyone here thinking of trying the Classics that they do require a fairly long break-in period. I've always found I have to play them for a total of 8 - 16 hours before they feel to be the right strength and really start singing. On the plus side they do last quite a long time.

And remember - for whatever reason - the Classics are much harder than Sigs or other cane and synthetics. 1 3/4 plays like a 2 1/2 Sig. A 2 plays like 2 3/4 - 3 Sig. I really don't know why Legere (and other reed companies) don't standardize the strength across all their brands and cuts. I know they have their reasons, but I think they're wrong-minded.

I know what some of the players here like about Fibracells - they are lively, ballsy and can play like some of the best reeds you ever played. But I find they don't last nearly as long as Legeres, and their strength labelling is nuts. The latest 3 1/2 Fibracell I've tried is too soft - so 4 and 4 1/2 will be next. (Like everything else sax-related in Toronto, they're not easy to get and you usually have to wait a couple of weeks for them - from the one store that bothers to offer them!!)

So from settling on 1 3/4 - 2 on Legere Classic to 4 - 4 1/2 on Fibracell, you spend a lot of time, money and frustration on these synthetics. Hmmm - sounds like cane???

I feel for players trying synthetics for the first time. There is way more 'hit n miss' than you'd expect. And Legere is one of the better companies.

OK - end of rant. But...

... it gets weirder. This week I found an old (at least 14 -15 years) BARI synthetic tenor reed (Medium) on one of my old Bergs. I remember that I hated it then. Just for a laugh I strapped it on my Theo Durga and this thing just smoked! Holy Schnikes! It's too hard for me, but this BARI has some good stuff that Legere and Fibracell and Fiberreed don't. So I've ordered a Medium Soft and a Soft (of course in Toronto - you can't go to a music store and just buy find BARI reeds either ......) and I'll report back. Should be interesting - and I'm dying to know if any 2 of them, marked as the same strength, will play the same.

All for now. - I've been away from SOTW for a while - time to catch up. Nice to be back.

Sonny
 
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