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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Never had an issue on breaking them in. Some are alive the first play. Some are dead and will never be alive.

I purchase about 6 boxes at a time knowing full well that some (as with all cane reeds) will not respond that well due to the growth structure of the fibers. But no problem since most will do fine.

Open several boxes at a time and play each one for a few minutes. Do the same the next day and so on and you will find the ones that have an excellent response. Maybe you end up with about 20 out of 6 boxes that respond real well. Mark those with a pen to identify them. Rotate all 20 (one at a time) on gigs and they will last a long time.

As for wetting them after being played on a gig, I found that they will warp just a little so they do require a little moisture (in the mouth for a few seconds) and they are ready for the next 4 hour gig. Especially in real hot weather. Spit on them a little while on break on dip the m/p in a glass of water....or beer :) But I believe this is the case with most reeds.

Yes most of them can be on the bright side (if needed for your gigs) but some actually are not. Depends on the box that you get.

I don't recommend them for concert band although some players do use them, especially if doubling from clarinet to bass or alto clarinet.

At any rate, they work real well for many players and have for years.

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?
Totally agree with you. Out of 6 boxes I do get (once in a while) a complete dull/stuffer box. Not sure why but I just expect it. Just depends the reeds that were cut and put in the box when shipped. Luck of the draw. Reeds (cane) have always been a hit and miss purchase and will continue to be that way due to the fiber growth. That is why I purchase a several boxes a time and hope that the numbers work for me :cheers:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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Yes, Plas had a 160 Berg and used 1 1/2 baritone Plasticovers. He also was known to smear a little Vaseline on the table which I believe was to help seal. The man had the biggest, fattest tenor sound of all time. He was so great on records/sound tracks that he became the voice of the tenor sax for decades while only a few even knew who he was. I recognized him on every record/movie sound track but could not learn who he was - then came the Internet and SOTW! Then I had a name to put with that unbelievable sound. Now that we have Sirius FM and it's '50s and '60s channels, I am to this day still hearing Plas on records I never heard before. He must have been on thousands of sessions because he can be heard on hundreds of records. As you know, a small percentage of records get any air play so there probably is a lot of his work 'in the can' that we'll never hear - but what we can hear is so amazing that it doesn't matter. Like the great drummer Bernard Purdy, producers and A&R men called on Plas because his great sound and style simply sold records. What young tenor player hasn't played the 'Pink Panther' theme? You can find many recordings of it but the original Henry Mancini cut featured Plas. No other tenor player who ever recorded it had the same lush but penetrating sound of Plas. Of course he was a member of 'The Wrecking Crew', the LA-based studio band.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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5,443 Posts
Yes, Plas had a 160 Berg and used 1 1/2 baritone Plasticovers. He also was known to smear a little Vaseline on the table which I believe was to help seal. The man had the biggest, fattest tenor sound of all time. He was so great on records/sound tracks that he became the voice of the tenor sax for decades while only a few even knew who he was. I recognized him on every record/movie sound track but could not learn who he was - then came the Internet and SOTW! Then I had a name to put with that unbelievable sound. Now that we have Sirius FM and it's '50s and '60s channels, I am to this day still hearing Plas on records I never heard before. He must have been on thousands of sessions because he can be heard on hundreds of records. As you know, a small percentage of records get any air play so there probably is a lot of his work 'in the can' that we'll never hear - but what we can hear is so amazing that it doesn't matter. Like the great drummer Bernard Purdy, producers and A&R men called on Plas because his great sound and style simply sold records. What young tenor player hasn't played the 'Pink Panther' theme? You can find many recordings of it but the original Henry Mancini cut featured Plas. No other tenor player who ever recorded it had the same lush but penetrating sound of Plas. Of course he was a member of 'The Wrecking Crew', the LA-based studio band.
How well do I remember my Pink Panther moment.

I was in junior high and got ahold of the tenor part.

Cool. Now I can play that neato stuff.

My ears were opened to the importance of sound itself.

I could hit the notes.

But I could not play!

I worked on scooping, subtoning, and growling. And listening.

Finally, I realized that playing the sax was NOT about pushing down the buttons and blowing into it.

My shocked state has remained with me to this day.

Thank you, Plas.

Damn you, Plas.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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2,911 Posts
The man had the biggest, fattest tenor sound of all time. He was so great on records/sound tracks that he became the voice of the tenor sax for decades while only a few even knew who he was.
Absolutely!! :cheers:

Those of us who started playing in those years had so many different styles, tones and techniques to listen to and would hear them onTop 100 hit records as well as the jazz greats. The inspiration to play the sax and practice all of time was on the 50's and 60's airwaves, jukeboxes, TV, movies and both local and touring dance bands :)

I know this has nothing to do with plasticover but this is what happens when we mention Plas Johnson :mrgreen:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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5,623 Posts
Heres what I do with mine. I use the Ridenour (not me) reed system with the sandpaper and glass and balance the reed and take some off the tip. It changes response for me but doesnt change the not being affected by humidity or temperature which is why I always keep a couple in the reed case. Some days they are all that work. But I never use anything out the box without balancing and adjusting it. It works for me K
 
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