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72% is high for wood, anyway, even assuming that somehow the "cigar humidity thing" somehow magically is able to control to 72%, which it can't, not unless it has a wee little refrigeration system or desiccant and a wee little humidifier and some means to measure humidity and switch between dehumidification and humidification (in other words, a humidity control system twice as big as your sax case, which is not what you have).

I don't know what's the desirable value for cigars.

Reeds aren't exactly wood, though closely related.

The purpose of humidifying guitars is to reduce shrinkage and expansion of pieces of wood that are constrained into a box assembly, which will result in cracks. And it's recommended to hold more around 40%. And reeds aren't guitars.

Seriously, in all the discussion about keeping reeds wet/damp/humidified, I have NEVER heard a convincing reason WHY except "oh, warpage" which seems to mean "the tip will be wavy for a few seconds when you first start using the thing".
 

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Funny, I’ve been thinking my reed size is too stiff too so I went through that same process. I’m gonna go back down to 3’s from my 3.5s after I order a new box. It requires so much humility to admit you were wrong to yourself. I get a nice sound out of 3.5s but I do worse in ballad big band tunes (that warm feeling) because playing soft low notes is challenging.
As a bari specialist for the last 35+ years, I'd suggest less concern about stiff reeds, and more work on blowing through the thing, rather than at it. I have used softer and softer reeds through the years with no loss of volume, by using the concept that the AIR does the work and the embouchure just STEERS the reed.

My standard story on this subject was told by Andrew N White:

He's got a new student, a young woman, and right off the bat he notices she seems to not have good flexibility. So he hands her his horn and has her play it - she is absolutely floored by how easy it is to get a full rich and flexible tone. He summarizes:

"OK, let's see what we have here. You're 20 years old, 5 feet 5 inches, 110 lbs, you've been playing saxophone for 10 years, and you're using #4 reeds on a #8 mouthpiece. I am 60 years old, 6 feet tall, 190 lbs, I've been playing saxophone for 50 years, and I'm using #2 reeds on a #5 mouthpiece. Why do you think you need to work so hard?"
 

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Since reeds suffer no permanent damage or changes from wet/dry cycles, unlike guitars and voilins, there's no reason to keep them wet all the time. Simple as that. Since it takes time to assemble your instrument, I don't even buy the argument that reeds have to be instantly playable. On gigs where I want my backup reeds to be instantly playable, I just keep them wet for the duration of the gig.

Yes, there are a handful of famous players who have complex reed rituals. But there are also famous people who believe in ghosts, Scientology, lucky charms/clothing, you name it. Just because a famous person does something irrational doesn't make it rational.
 

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On gigs with lots of reed doubles, what I do is this:

Get a napkin from the bar, along with a glass of water.
Tear off some of the napkin, get it wet, shove it down into your mouthpiece cap(s).

Now you've got a little cap-sized humidifier that'll keep the reed damp all through the gig. When you're packing up, just rap the mouthpiece cap smartly on the floor and the little wad of wet paper will drop out; pick it up and throw it away.

Try it, it works great, and it's free.
 

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Funny, I’ve been thinking my reed size is too stiff too so I went through that same process. I’m gonna go back down to 3’s from my 3.5s after I order a new box. It requires so much humility to admit you were wrong to yourself. I get a nice sound out of 3.5s but I do worse in ballad big band tunes (that warm feeling) because playing soft low notes is challenging.
Yes man, just get what responds well on your setup. As someone said above There are some famous players who have complex reed rituals. The truth is age or name doesn’t equal common sense. When you see a guy that gets one reed out front a box and the rest need to broken in for more than a week or kept inside Vodka or whatever else. That’s just doing “ el macho” . Doesn’t matter if it’s me ( a regular guy) or Seamus Blake. That’s just biting too hard or an unnecessarily tight embouchure. Look at the players face turning red and wrinkled. Not to mention the lower register sounding tight and squeezed like farting on a chair. Some people simply get used to it. But what’s the point..
 

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Hi, I have a stern feeling y’all are gonna trash on me for this one 😭
So I know for a fact that reeds are very humidity sensitive. I keep about 5-7 reeds at a time (3.5 str BSS Baritone Sax reeds) in a humidity sealed heavy bag with one of those cigar two way humidity things at 72%.
Despite my precautions my reeds still get moldy, specifically on the butt ends of the reeds that you can see on the back end of the mouthpiece. I do put sharpie on the butts of these reeds to label them if that’s a problem. Only slightly moldy in the reed itself. It’s only very slight though, and they still play okay, It’s just gross… Im kind of a spitty breathy person and I get bad allergies which might make things worse.
What do I need to change in my reed storage and reed care to keep this from happening? Do I need to use a lower percentage of humidity because of how much they get used? Is there a way to clean them after use? Do I need to not use that sharpie? Maybe I need to let them air out sometimes? I don’t wanna be yucky but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong
 

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Wow, alright then. All the people I’ve told wrong now… thank you so much
I should add, there are some situations where they could be useful. If you're in music school, playing in different ensembles every hour, or if you're on a gig and need backup reeds ready to play, then having a few in a bag with a humidity pack could be really helpful. But the point of that is for the reeds to be ready to play when needed, already moist. So it's helpful in that short window when you need a reed ready to slap on and play, but not a good idea for storage, or you end up with moldy reeds. I ended up throwing away at least 20 reeds for the same reason.
 

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On gigs with lots of reed doubles, what I do is this:

Get a napkin from the bar, along with a glass of water.
Tear off some of the napkin, get it wet, shove it down into your mouthpiece cap(s).

Now you've got a little cap-sized humidifier that'll keep the reed damp all through the gig. When you're packing up, just rap the mouthpiece cap smartly on the floor and the little wad of wet paper will drop out; pick it up and throw it away.

Try it, it works great, and it's free.
I lived and worked for many years in Lake Tahoe, where winter is dry and cold and summer is hot and somewhat humid. Playing shows with a minimum of clarinet and flute doubles and often a second saxophone, I soon figured out that a hole in the top of the reed cap was a bad idea (TM). I put a piece of leather up there with contact cement, and in the winter I’d often put a few drops of water on the leather. Reeds didn’t dry out even between shows.
 

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...if you're on a gig and need backup reeds ready to play, then having a few in a bag with a humidity pack could be really helpful. But the point of that is for the reeds to be ready to play when needed, already moist. So it's helpful in that short window when you need a reed ready to slap on and play, but not a good idea for storage, or you end up with moldy reeds.
Good point. However, I've got to mention the fact that looking back over more than 30 years of playing gigs, jam sessions, etc., I can't think of a single time I've needed to instantly, in the middle of a set, toss a reed and slap on a new one. On occasion, I've had a reed start to die on me and then have to put a new one on during a break. But in that case, it was no problem moistening the reed for a minute or so in a glass of water. But overall, I almost always can get through a gig with the reed I started on, even if I do have 3 backups in a reed holder. It's a simple matter to use a good reed that's got enough life left in it whenever playing a gig.

Ironically, I was debating whether or not to use a great reed that is starting to show signs of dying out on a 4-hr gig I have coming up this Saturday night. Instead, I'll just use another less used, but still great reed I have in rotation for that gig!
 

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Don't do it. Do not start a show with an old reed that you know is on its last legs. I have done that and regretted it many times. I'm one of these on-the-fly reed changers :) I always have a 4X Reed Guard for tenor within reach at any time. All of these reeds are known to be good but I think we all know how reeds will be different every time, so you never know what kind of mood they're going to be in. I'm pretty fast with a change, and I won't use a ligature that makes it difficult - another reason to use Rovners. My favorite saying when I put one on that makes me smile; 'Hey baby, I've been looking for you!'. :)
 

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looking back over more than 30 years of playing gigs, jam sessions, etc., I can't think of a single time I've needed to instantly, in the middle of a set, toss a reed and slap on a new one.
I remember having to do it once during a set but I honestly can't remember how in the world it happened. Something managed to hit my reed just right to split it... Your point is taken though, that's a super rare thing to be concerned about.
 

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Don't do it.
No worries. I won't. :cool:
I remember having to do it once during a set but I honestly can't remember how in the world it happened. Something managed to hit my reed just right to split it... Your point is taken though, that's a super rare thing to be concerned about.
Yeah, but don't get me wrong. I still always have 2 or 3 good reeds at hand in a reed holder, keeping in mind Murphy's Law.
 
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