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I have used Legere Signature Series for many years now. They have not been consistent. Out of 10, I keep 2-4; I was in a position where I could play a lot of them and pick my favorites. The ones I keep are among the best reeds I have ever used, including cane. The three I am currently rotating through are well over a year old and have survived multiple-hour practice sessions, 8-hour teaching days, and recitals.
 

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For me:
Tenor - Fibracell
Alto - Hartman Hemp
Soprano - Legere Signature

I finally have some very playable synthetic reeds. I like what I'm reading in this discussion. Many similar experiences with the original Fibracell reeds. I had a few that lasted over 10 years, then they changed the formula. The new ones (Premier) eventually broke in with long hours of playing and now play like the originals.
 

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I have a 2-1/2 Fibracell that I've been playing on my tenor since the end of February! No delamination, and it sounds great! I'll be so bummed when it finally craps out!
 

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I'm having a really good time with a Forestone Hinoki MH reed on my Robusto 7*. It compares pretty closely to a Rigotti 2.5 Strong, which is my cane reed of choice on that piece. It does seem a tad darker than the Rigotti, which tend to be just a bit on the bright side anyway. It doesn't have a tendency to close up on the high notes like the Legere Signatures I was trying. No stuffy low notes compromise to get the high notes to pop nicely. Just a little concern about it crapping out after an hour or so of hard playing- not sure if it is the reed or me or (probably) a little bit of both.
 

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Hi Mark - Long time Legere Sig tenor user - but I've gone over to the Classic. You really may like them too. They just do certain things better like leaps down from 2nd to 1st register i.e., D2 down to Ab1. They seem to last notably longer, have a bigger sound, and somewhat easier altissimo. It does take a few days to get used to them. I'm a rock and funk player. They are harder than Sigs - On my Durga3 8 tip I used 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 Sigs. With the Classic 1 3/4 - 2 max is all I need. Now when I go back and try Sigs - they're kinda thin and weaker sounding. Usual Legere warnings: They can be somewhat inconsistent in playability and strength. And it seems they even changed the look (and probably the consistency) of the plastic type every now and then.
Now I curious about the Legere Classic. I have just started using the Signature reeds on tenor and really like them. I wouldn't have thought of trying the Classics from their description, but it may be worth a try.
 

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VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Tried the Hinoki but their strengths are so off! I don’t understand why there isn’t some norm across the board for reed strengths. In other words, why can’t all size 3 reeds feel like a size 3 reed!
I’m a golfer, so I won’t aware of the same issues in the golf world with Golf Shafts. Some companies regular flex shaft is like another companies stuff shaft. Tried a BARI but couldn’t get along with it at all. Fibracells are working best for me so far. I have a Classic Legere coming in soon. More to come.....
 

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As long as reed makers are self reporting the hardness, this is what you get.

I like the Legeres: Studio best, Then Signature, but not Classic at all.
For cane, oiking the Rigottis a bunch. All on tenor. Morgan Excalibur.

Dsm
 

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Fibracell 2.5 on a 7* does it for me! When you can get one reed to last 6 months, how can you beat that? Nice tone on my Tone Edge, too! Tried Hinoki Black and Legeres, and neither worked at all, for me.
 

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Now I curious about the Legere Classic. I have just started using the Signature reeds on tenor and really like them. I wouldn't have thought of trying the Classics from their description, but it may be worth a try.
Always worth a try! With Legere Classics I should always give the same caveat: They are much harder than the Sigs. If you like 2 1/2 Sig, try 1 3/4 - 2 Classic. They need a break in period - probably 2 good practice sessions of 3 - 4 hours each. They will feel strange at first. I am a rock 'n soul player, mainly rock. I sound kinda like Clarence Clemons with a bit of Gato and and Jr. Walker mixed in. I over blow constantly. They hold up better than any other synthetic I've tried. I also get a thicker, juicier sound than with the Sigs and they're easier to control. I never have to worry about bright - I use a Durga 3 on Keilwerth SX 90R and I'm always miked. Oddly enough it blends beautifully with the two other saxes in the band - they both use cane and more conservative mouthpieces. Like some other players here - I really couldn't get more than a couple of hours out of cane reeds before they died. I have one Classic #2 that I bought last November - it's a soft now - but still fine for hours and hours of practice. Again, like several players here, I also like the ballsy gritty sound of Fibracells - just not sure what strength is best for me yet. I find they don't have the control of Legere and can go a little wild now and then. Best, Sonny
 

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My main disappointment was that it seemed to have softened within a couple hours of play, to the point where it was choking off and I couldn't get much air through the horn. I don't know if that's characteristic of the Hinokis, but that was my experience on the one and only Hinoki I tried.
Yep I had the same issue with the Forestone choking off after 1 1/2 - 2 hours of playing. I'm glad I ran across your post, as I have a brand new Series II, only 3 weeks old, and this was happening. I wondered if there was something inherently wrong with the horn, but think we can blame that problem on the Forestone reeds.
 

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I have tried synthetics for many years and have not had good results at all compared to cane. I even bought mouthpieces to help with playing a synthetic reed. the reed I worked with the most was BARI. I even contacted the company to get pointers about making them work. Wolfe Tanninbaum said you have to stay on them and not go back and forth to cane. I did this for a while and still was not able to get the results I wanted. I also would listen to players who were using them to compare what they were doing to what I was doing. BARI reeds are not consistent so I learned how to work on them which helped but still lacking compared to cane. I tried fibracells and legere and hartmann and forestone and hurricane and I find that no synthetic reed will allow me to play as well as cane. I am afraid to try anymore synthetic reeds as I feel I will be wasting money and time on something that does not work well? Not all cane reeds work but I get better results overall. I have put in a lot of time to do this so I think I have experience to say it does not work for me. I wish I owned a reed machine like the bARI company has and could recut the reeds knowing what dimensions I am cutting them to and maybe I could make a reed that would work if that's possible? it would cost more money than it's worth to get equipment and learn how to use it/ I think the bARI star reeds are double cut on some sort of digital machine?
 

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The Fibracells with the markings that said hard, medium and sof etc, were much better reeds than the ones they are making now. They have changed a lot compared to the older ones. Not a big fan and never had one that wasnt stuffy and im takling about the new ones, not the old ones.
 

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A few months back I bought a Fibracell "3" and it was like blowing through paper. I can't imagine what strength I'd need to buy in order to use one.

I also have a few Legere and Forestone reeds that every once in a while I'll try again. Recently, I had been using the Legere Signature 2.5 and really liked the response I was getting and the tone was pretty damn close to natural cane. However, after playing it hard for a few hours last night I started having some issues I'd associate with a reed being too soft, so I got out a Vandoren Red Java 2.5 instead. It made me realize what the synthetics lack over legitimate cane. There's just "something" missing in the tone, something "authentic" that the synthetics just lack.

Would someone listening from in front of the horn notice, I don't know, but I sure did and that's really enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I have been VERY happy with a Fibracell 3 reed on my 6 tip 10MFAN Showtime mouthpiece. I don't have any issues with the reed at all.
Waiting for my Showtime 5* to arrive in the next 10 days, so I cant wait to see if this reed size will work well with it. If not, I'll just go to the next size up. :)
 

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VI, MKX, VR, YTS26, Barone tenors. AD, TW, 10mfan, Link, Brilhart mouthpieces.
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Here's my experience re: synthetic tenor reeds... Tried using Fibercane reeds in the 70's (Selmer branded but Arnold Brilhart inspired). Rather unforgiving fiberglass-like reeds that would cut through my lip but last almost forever. Expensive but necessary for the dry high desert gigs and humid Southern Summer gigs... also because cane back then really sucked! In the 80's I tried BARI reeds for the same purposes, with better results, but I preferred Rico Plasticovers overall. When the original Fibracells came out a bit later, I was totally on board. Then they had to change their formula and I found them inconsistent and prone to sudden breakdowns. I now play La Voz, Java and Rigotti cane except in the winter here in Buffalo, or summer in Albuquerque, which is when I shift to my current synthetic faves, the Legere Studio and the new Hartmann Onyx. I'm playing non-metal pieces (shout-out to 10mfan) in 8-9 openings with medium soft strengths in a jazz combo/jazz club environment (often without a mic). 'nuff said!
 
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