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Sorry if my post was confusing-- MY attachment is the actual Vandoren chart, which matches my sense of how these compare. The BSS chart which J-Moen posted has Red 2.5 and 3.5 weaker than Green (though the Red 3's are stronger.)

Here, for example, are arrows for the respective 2.5's. I'm not sure how I could read this as anything other than they think the Green 2.5's are stronger?

View attachment 124153
Ahh, I see. You're saying the Vandoren chart you posted disagrees with the BSS chart.

In any case, given the variability of reeds in any box, I'd say all of these differences are pretty negligible. I use charts like this to just get in the ball park. If I get a reed that's way too hard, I just bend or scrape it a little. Too soft, there's not much I can do. I've never had any success with clipping to increase hardness.

Who knows if BSS may have just gotten a couple of unusually hard/soft boxes of Vandorens to test. It would be nice if the industry could settle on a standard. Oh well.
 

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Sorry if my post was confusing-- MY attachment is the actual Vandoren chart, which matches my sense of how these compare. The BSS chart which J-Moen posted has Red 2.5 and 3.5 weaker than Green (though the Red 3's are stronger.)

Here, for example, are arrows for the respective 2.5's. I'm not sure how I could read this as anything other than they think the Green 2.5's are stronger?
I'm pretty sure this is from an early version of @saxspy's chart.

As such, it's likely based on only one or two boxes of each reed type (and Vandorens vary a lot in my experience). While I don't doubt his methods, I'd give far more weight to the Vandoren chart, since they've likely measured hundreds of thousands of their own reeds.
 

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...I'd give far more weight to the Vandoren chart, since they've likely measured hundreds of thousands of their own reeds.
Or, Vandoren are printing the limiting specifications of the measuring process they use to sort reeds, right?
I understand a deflectometer is used to assess strength, and so Saxspy/BSS and manufacturers would be using the same method, although perhaps with differing technique. Once binned by strength, Vandoren would have no reason to then re-measure a box of sorted reeds, would they?
 

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I'm pretty sure this is from an early version of @saxspy's chart.

As such, it's likely based on only one or two boxes of each reed type (and Vandorens vary a lot in my experience). While I don't doubt his methods, I'd give far more weight to the Vandoren chart, since they've likely measured hundreds of thousands of their own reeds.
They do have a great sample size, however they have chosen to limit information like most companies. A box of reeds is always a range of strengths, the concept of which I wanted to demonstrate, rather than a single point. Vandoren at best would show the average, not the lows and highs in a box.
 

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They do have a great sample size, however they have chosen to limit information like most companies. A box of reeds is always a range of strengths, the concept of which I wanted to demonstrate, rather than a single point. Vandoren at best would show the average, not the lows and highs in a box.
Right, but
  1. @Zasterz's question (to which I was responding) was about average reed strength (specifically about the relative strengths of different Vandoren cuts), for which Vandoren does provide information.
  2. Estimates of standard deviation/variance (and other higher-order statistics) are very unreliable when computed on small sample sizes.
  3. Even estimates of means are pretty unreliable (and may generalize poorly) when obtained from non-random samples. For example, if you're using samples from only one box, those reeds likely come from the same individual plant and machine and have certainly experienced highly correlated storage & climate conditions. As a result, they may be quite unrepresentative of the overall population of reeds (of a certain cut and strength) manufactured by Vandoren.
 

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Reed strength charts are a total crapshoot and are at best a way to get close. The one on the Rigotti site is a joke, their jazz/ blue box stops at 3 and it says the reds are significantly stiffer than the blues, which is not at all the case. They don’t even rate their own products accurately against each other. It’s very misleading they say the Red One/ Classic is equal to the Vando Blue/ Traditional…I play 3.5M Rigotti Classics and can barely make a 3 Vando Blue sing at all, and have drop to a 2.5 to be comfortable and still find some in the box too stiff. The Rigotti chart is at the bottom of the linked page.

Ideally we try multiple strengths because as much as a deflection measuring tool might say two reeds are comparable in strength, the difference in cut can make it feel like a hard/ softer blow and have different qualities in the sound. For instance, I’m a Rigotti 3.5M guy: doesn’t matter red, blue, queen (just 3.5), or Roberto’s…they’re all a little different, but I know at that strength I get the most of what I want. I can Vando green if I must and a 3.5 is the choice because they’re pretty straight across from the blue Rigotti. If I have to buy Rico Select Jazz I prefer the much softer rated 3M because it speaks about the same where the 3H is stuffy and dead. Rico orange are a heartless joke with all buzz and no core while my old favorite LaVoz MH are a dead stuffy letdown…don’t know what changed, but the last three boxes I bought were garbage.
 

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Reviving the most recent “how to read reeds” wormhole, so way more general reed than Nexus direct…BUT.

I actually did phase one of my best attempt at a wide ranging and semi-blind comparison of “3 blue is 3.5 orange” across 5 “same strength” cuts of reeds last night. One shock already. I thought what ended up phase one would be hardest to pull off, but chance let it happen last night. Without pretty extensive prep and a lot of extra gear on a jam session host gig (it’s for the love and the give back and so I can find “my players” not the $20-40 get from tips and a venue that’s also willing to spend more now—they promo and bust it—for what could come to try to rally our locals to help the whole scene) it’s not possible for me to present recorded results for discussion because my monitor mix via iphone recording mic on a loud stage is useless for our needs as listeners. It went as perfectly as I think it could have. I know I have a new method and a test scenario that I wish weren’t the newest part, but because of how it went I know the rest can be equally fair / blind and seemingly more reliable because there will be fair audio and video of the rest. Hope I can get this done in short time. ✌
 

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The Nexus shorter vamp is interesting to me because not too long ago I 'discovered' Glotin 'Groove' reeds, not realizing that they had been discontinued for 20 years. :) Anyway, they also are 'short vamp'/tapered butt and were very good for me at first, but after buying several boxes, I suddenly lost interest in them - but the concept was good. I'll definitely try some Nexus.
I'm slowly recovering from 'Covid lip' - actually not a disease but a condition - out of shape embouchure from cancelled gigs and practices in the Covid era. I tried softer reeds on my first gigs back but that caused intonation problems. Now I'm back to at least to the minimum tenor reeds I use, Rico 2.5, and the last job went very well. My standard tenor reed has been Royal 2.5 for a long time. I've been spending time at home on the soprano which is the fastest way forward for me on tenor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Guess I should follow up, its been quite some time since I shared how the Nexus reeds are treating me.

I'm happy to report these are 100% my full time reeds. I've gone up a lot from my initial 2.5 reed strength many different strengths and have settled with a 3.0/3.5 on Tenor (3.5 or 3 for my smaller tips and a 2.5 for my larger tip openings). And on alto I've moved up to the 3.0 strength on all my pieces! I find them EXTREMELY easy to play at higher strengths, so for those who want hard reeds, these may not be the best answer. However, I'll say I'm in love with this cut of reed. I didn't think any cane reeds would ever play as free blowing as some of the synthetics I have, but these do, and add even more to the sound. Sadly, I've destroyed about 5-6 of them being careless, so I've been through a couple boxes of these strengths (except 3.5). Happy to report, I haven't found an unusable reed yet, though I have had to smooth 2 reeds out with the reedgeek. All others played straight out of the box with a quick wetting!

I'll try to follow up in a year to make sure the magic is still there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Great to hear @J-Moen
Same here. 3 are my Tenor choice and 2.5 on Alto. I might try 3s on Alto, but I’m moving up in tip sizes so… maybe.
Awesome! Glad they are working for you too. I'm just surprised more people aren't into them. I liked the BSS reeds, but I would still switch to my synthetics (Forestone Hinoki/Forestone White Bamboo/Legere American Cut/Silverstein Ambipoly) quite frequently to get an easier response. But these have shelved them! :)
 

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I've been playing 2.5 reeds for my whole career on tenor, on several different mouthpieces. The only time I played a 3 was with the Rico Select Jazz 3 Soft, which was equivalent to a stronger 2.5. That said, I opened a box of Nexus Elite 2.5 today and was pleasantly surprised that it falls right in among the 2.5s I've been playing all along, albeit on the upper edge with strength. It still played fairly easy on my .116 King Curtis and had a 'nicer' sound, more 'pure' than most reeds. Definitely will be using these. It was being said that they had a shorter vamp but I play some very short vamp reeds and they are not in that category. This is one of those 'second set' reeds for when the place has filled up and gotten loud and you know you're going to full afterburner. :)
Off-topic but i received some other reeds today and all of them turned out to be keepers. I'm starting to use the Glotin 'Groove' reeds again because they simply play great so I got a couple more boxes. I also tried another Glotin reed, the GIII. This reed is very different from the 'Groove' in that it is more traditional in cut and it also is 'French file cut'. This reed actually played very much like the Nexus with a more 'legit' sound. These will get into my case too after I get some more time with them. I know they have been discontinued for a long time but I'm still able to buy them so I do.
 

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What a coincidence!
I’m loving the Nexus on my Alexander/30M, but have just found (some months ago) Glotin reeds for my Berg/YTS62 combo and they’re fantastic.
The other element I enjoy with the Glotin reeds is they smell and taste like wood!
Strange but true.
 

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Yes, I think the taste and smell of new reeds is something we have not delved into, but I like it when the taste of a reed on that first lick evokes the memory of reeds from my younger years. Its on a par with the first smell of a brand new MK VI on the first case opening, something you may experience from time to time on used horns put into new cases.
 

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I just received a box of Nexus reeds and strapped one on the Lakey Jazz piece that I play on my B400. My gosh I thought I was getting a monstrous sound out of that horn with Java greens. These Nexus reeds really bring the beast out. Even more bottom end and snarling mids. Just the thing for playing some 50's Elvis and Bill Haley stuff. Tomorrow I will try them on my Zephyr with the Celebration piece to see what they do. I have been playing D'Addario Select Jazz Filed reeds on that setup and really enjoying the combination.
 

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After reading this thread, I ordered a box of Nexus 2.5s, and I am so pleased with the first one straight out of the box. I have wavered back and forth between Rigotti Golds and BSS reeds, but these could be my go-to reeds for a while. I had worried that they’d be too bright, but they’re no brighter than the Rigotti’s I’d been playing. I’m looking forward to trying out the rest of the box.
 
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