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I just purchase 5 boxes of V16 Tenor reeds. (From Weiner Music - excellent customer service by the way) Typical 5 Reeds per box. The boxes arrived today and they are HUGE. I open a box and each reed is individually wrapped in a seal pack - like a candy bar.

IT'S CRAZY - I rather have 15 reeds for the same price and Vandoren can keep of the fancy packaging. These reeds are amost $2 each and probably 2 of the 5 will really work. The other 3 will need adjustments.

I don't care if reeds are FRESH.

I had the same issue with Alexander reeds. Love the reeds but way TOO expensive. Keep the metal tins and just send the reeds.
 

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I thought VanDoren was on the wrong track when they started with the blue box packaging.

They used to sell them by 10s, and they were in a cardboard, later plastic purple box, with five reeds/side stacked without packaging, other than a little piece of foam at the tip.

I think they're feeding into the cleanliness paranoia that seems to have engulfed the US.
 

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having them individually wrapped is supposed to help each reed stay more consistent. There shouldn't be a price change from a box of reeds that aren't wrapped.
 

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I switched from Vandoren Traditional to Rico Jazz Select about two months ago. I tried them because at the time, they were $3 a box cheaper than Vandoren (everybody say "Amen"), and they were recommended by Phil Barone.

The Rico's are very conveniently packaged, and I noticed that I get more useable Ricos per box than with Vandoren. Each Rico comes in a lightweight, easy to use, individual case. I number the reed cases with a permanent marker when I take them out of the box, and just use the box and individual cases to hold the reeds. It may turn out that the reeds warp more easily, but I haven't noticed that.

With the Vandoren, I would typically get 1 great reed, two decent reeds, and 2 poor reeds in a box. With the Rico's, I'm getting 2+ great reeds, 2- okay reeds, and 1 poor reed. I'm guessing that the Rico people, who have a finer gradation of hardness for the Jazz Selects, may have a better quality control process now (both for hardness and for shape). Mind you, the Vandorens still sound as great as anybody's reed, but it's nice to spend less time testing mediocre reeds. (I don't file or fiddle with them either, although those that do may have higher success rates.)

Maybe you should try a box of Jazz Selects. BTW, I've seen LaVoz in the new packaging too, so it may be that all the Ricos now use this packaging.
 

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LampLight said:
With the Vandoren, I would typically get 1 great reed, two decent reeds, and 2 poor reeds in a box. With the Rico's, I'm getting 2+ great reeds, 2- okay reeds, and 1 poor reed. I'm guessing that the Rico people, who have a finer gradation of hardness for the Jazz Selects, may have a better quality control process now (both for hardness and for shape). Mind you, the Vandorens still sound as great as anybody's reed, but it's nice to spend less time testing mediocre reeds. (I don't file or fiddle with them either, although those that do may have higher success rates.)

Maybe you should try a box of Jazz Selects. BTW, I've seen LaVoz in the new packaging too, so it may be that all the Ricos now use this packaging.
Lamplight, Where do you buy your RJS reeds, and have you been able to buy in quantities of fewer than 10? I've been attempting to try out the RJS, but have been immensely frustrated at the lack of local availability. One local store promised to get them for me, but 2 weeks later it is unclear from them whether or not they have even placed the order. Another will not split a box of 10. [And the locals have the nerve to decry the mass exodus to Internet shopping!!] Thanks for your collective help.
Ruth
 

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AltoRuth said:
Lamplight, Where do you buy your RJS reeds, and have you been able to buy in quantities of fewer than 10? . . .
Ruth
Ruth,

I'm sorry the RJS have been difficult for you to find. I generally buy reeds online, a few boxes at a time to cut down on S&H, but you can buy only one box. The Jazz Selects come in boxes of five (5) for tenor and baritone, or 10 for soprano and alto. I checked for tenor a moment ago, and WWBW has the filed in stock @ $10.89 and at least some strengths of the unfiled in stock @ $11.95. Saxquest recently carried the RJS, but I only see Ricos listed today. BTW, I know there's talk about the solvency of WWBW, but they ship me the correct boxes promptly. Even if WWBW does go belly up (that's "if"), it's not like your stuck for the price of a horn.

Incidentally, I use the filed, and I don't know how big a difference there is between un-filed and filed. Some time ago, I downloaded the following from the Rico help section. I'm printing excerpts here because I couldn't find it again today. Note the difference between “French File” and French Cut”.

French & American Cuts
There are two style of reeds: French cut and American cut. French cut reeds, mainly used by classical saxophonists, have a thinner tip and are a bit thicker in the heart area. Reeds with an American cut usually feature a slightly thicker tip and less heart, producing a fuller, focused sound.

French Filed Cut
Reeds with a file cut or “double cut” have an extra strip of the bark removed in a straight line, just below the vamp area. This allows for extra flexibility and a fast response.

American Un-filed Cut
A ‘regular’ or unfiled cut, sometimes referred to as “single cut,” helps produce a powerful tone.


One other thing: If you navigate to the Rico product page, there is a useful strength comparison chart.
Good luck
 

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I don't care about the package but I have been overall very pleased with Vandoren #3 ZZ's for tenor and alto. Bad reeds have been few and far between both prior to and since the switch in box.:)
 

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Thats Vandorens new package idea. You have to see how big the box for the 56 Rue Lepic is. We had to readjust the stock shelf due to the size.

Thanks for the compliament A Greene. I don't know who you delt with, but if you let me know, I will tell them.
 

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Every time I open a box of Vandorens I am left with a huge pile of garbage. Talk about wasteful!

So I switched to Rico Jazz Select. Great reeds without the huge carbon footprint!
 
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