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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought my first box of plasticovers, tenor 2.5. They seem stuffier than I was expecting based on what I’ve read. Do they need some time to break the in?
 

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It really depends on what you compare them to. If you go against a D'Addario Jazz select H, everything will feel a bit stuffy, but there are many other natural canes that make the Plasticover seem fresh like the first snow. They will wear in/out pretty quickly, though. I like them, depending on the MPC I use them on but they tend to be more on the mellow side. Not quite as honey-sweet as some of the synthetic reeds - and I like edge ..
 

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For me plasticovers are all stuffy and dull.
I’ve wasted money on a couple of boxes and every single Reed was hopeless.
So at least they are consistent.
 

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For me plasticovers are all stuffy and dull.
I’ve wasted money on a couple of boxes and every single Reed was hopeless.
So at least they are consistent.
Muahhh ... they do have their place at high elevation and single digit humidity at 100 degree F outdoors where you need to have a lawn sprinkler blow in your face to keep the reed moist. Unfortunately some of that stuff is non-potable :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have been using rigotti 2.5 on an Otto link nvs hr and an stm I borrowed from my teacher. I was expecting the plasticovers to be edgier or grittier.
 

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They have gotten more stuffy and hard over the last few years. You can adjust them like any other reed but then you lose the water-resistance which is the whole idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I hadn’t thought about it but now that I did, I’m a little confused. If the idea is water resistance, why soak normal reeds?
 

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I was using Plasticover tenor 4s on a Berg or STM .095 opening. Occasionally, one was too hard. They can be broken in by "massaging" the heart area with your thumb. You may have done this on other reeds and it also works on PCs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
After some site google searching on reed soaking, it appears to be another subject with lots of differing views. I guess I should have expected that.
 

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Are those the black plastic coated reeds.
If so the break in is easy. Break ever reed in half and buy something that doesnt sound terrible.

Even the cheap chineese cae reeds sound better and they are junk.

A guy came to my shop play testing every oiece I had. They all sounded horrible...if I made pieces that siunded so bad I would have been out of business 15 years ago. He had one good cane reed in his case. He put it on when i asked an he sounded fantastic.

There are a few pretty good synth reeds...those are not.

Its like making love in a raincoat.
 

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Are those the black plastic coated reeds.
If so the break in is easy. Break ever reed in half and buy something that doesnt sound terrible.

Even the cheap chineese cae reeds sound better and they are junk.
Nonsense.
 

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Looks like another nebulous subject, where responses and opinions will span the extremes, with enough scatter to prove any trend or characterization impossible. So, I'll waste our time and share my one data point - hey, that's what social forums are for!

I get more edge with Plasticovers. I've noticed they are harder or stuffer just recently. I like them when doubling and I'm only play sax on every 3rd tune, because they seem to require less time to soak and warm up - I don't get how that is, but that's my observation. They are a regular reed underneath, so yes they can be adjusted, trimmed, etc. I assume they have some additional treatment within the reed in addition to the outer plastic coating/paint. I do prefer an uncoated reed, but Plasticovers handle the stop/start issue with drying out (or not drying out), and weather. And, I know this will make folks cringe, but they survive being left on the MP, without wrinkling or warping better than uncoated reeds.
 

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Those Plasticovers were my choice of reeds for many years but after changing my choice of mouthpieces I now use other reeds. As far as break in I just had them in my mouth long enough to warm up then rub them with my thumb on a flat surface then put it on my mouthpiece and play.
 

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Are those the black plastic coated reeds.
If so the break in is easy. Break ever reed in half and buy something that doesnt sound terrible.

Even the cheap chineese cae reeds sound better and they are junk.

A guy came to my shop play testing every oiece I had. They all sounded horrible...if I made pieces that siunded so bad I would have been out of business 15 years ago. He had one good cane reed in his case. He put it on when i asked an he sounded fantastic.

There are a few pretty good synth reeds...those are not.

Its like making love in a raincoat.
There's a bunch of guys who swear or swore (RIP) by them. I don't need to list all the top tier pros using them. We all know who they are.

I personally don't care for them. But I used to with a Dukoff many years ago.

On the wrong mouthpiece they sound like a kazoo or way too stuffy oddly. On the right mouthpiece they can be magical in a weird sort of way.

You make really good mouthpieces. But it wasn't for me. I'm not about to say your mouthpieces were terrible based on this.

Just some perspective.
 

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I know people have different opinions but I stand by my position.

Its not like they just sounded poor on one or two pieces or models. They sounded weak and just yuk across the whole line...including some pieces the player brought with him..nice Morgan Frye and one of Theo's pieces. It wasnt just that I didnt like the sound...It created a sound (also on more than one tenor) that I dont think anyone would intentionally strive for.

The best way I can describe what I heard was as if one took a recording of a sax and ripped it down to a sample rate so low that no one would ever use...bits and pieces of frequency stripped away leaving only a semblance of the original sound.

The difference in depth, complexity and overall tonal presentation was night and day between a good standard reed and the black plasticovers.

Maybe some players can get a better sound from them...maybe they work well in some genres of music but for general playing and jazz they were rather sad in comparison.

That said, there are some pretty good synthetic reeds out there. I have yet to fall in love with them...partially because the feel of plastic vs cane....but there are a few brands Id play and could probably get used to given the need and motivation.

To be fair maybe they sound better on smaller chambered and high baffle pieces or when you need a lot of volume and edge...but on the whole the tone was displeasing. Not just too bright or too dark...just weak and lacking core. Perhaps they function on a piece where certain frequencies are not critical. But on multiple horns and multiple mouthpieces in the medium to large chamber realm I can say nothing positive about them.

Its not like I suggest only one type of reed for my pieces (and the other pieces I heard). A lot of guys play reeds that I dont like and sound great.

Granted given the samples I have heard in person (not mixed recordings) I would not suggest them. These were all round chambered pieces...maybe they are more suitable to another style of piece. Are they easy to use?...yes. But I feel it involves unacceptable compromises. Even the player knew they didnt sound as good but used them out of convenience and during practice. He knew his other reeds sounded much richer, more full and more representative of the tone he was seeking. However, IMHO in practice sessions I think you still need to work from a base of strength...you want to work on your best sound with your most ideal setup. Anyway, that is my 2 cents and it wont buy anything.
 

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Yes they require a break-in. It shouldn't take you long to break them all into pieces and buy some other reeds that aren't Plasticover.
 

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in my experience, and by direct comparison, they have suffered since being take over by D'Dario (am I spelling that right)? No matter what Dadarrio (I will keep trying different spellings; one will make sense) says, they are NOT the same.
 
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