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Discussion Starter #1
I have played mostly alto and tenor for many years, but got a gig playing bari sax in a small big band. At a friend's suggestion I bought a few Legere reeds in a couple of strengths to try. They work amazingly well on a big horn and I love the consistency and lack of pampering that they provide. My biggest problem is the quick accumulation of water on the back of the reed. It seems to be more pronounced that on cane reeds and it tends to stay longer adding a sizzle to the sound. On cane reeds I have taught that polishing the back of the reed by rubbing on stiff paper till it is shiny causes the moisture to form "beads" that simply roll off the surface. The back of the synthetic Legere is already smooth and shiny, but it seems the moisture doesn't form "beads" and go on their way.

My question is have any of you experienced this using synthetic reeds, and what solutions have you come up with. I know the technique of inhaling sharply through the mouthpiece to draw the moisture back where it came from, but there are charts where there is no time to do this, and it doesn't seem to be that effective with the Legere synthetic.
 

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I wonder why the water stays on the reed while you are blowing.
I did my first gig on Legere with the bari last weekend. No sizzle problems at all.
 

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Never heard of this happening to anybody. As long as the neck/mouthpiece has a slope on it away from the player and you are blowing some air, this should not happen. I get it on tenor sometimes on soft playing. Players for about 100 years have been blowing air at the tip of the mouthpiece when not playing to break up the bubbles and end the 'spit' sound. I've heard players do it on records - its very common. All you have to watch out for is if you're too close and blow too hard, the damn thing will squawk!
 

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My biggest problem is the quick accumulation of water on the back of the reed. It seems to be more pronounced that on cane reeds and it tends to stay longer adding a sizzle to the sound.
Never heard of this happening to anybody.
It definitely happens, and with many synthetic reeds, not just Legeres. The major cause is the fact that plastic reeds do not absorb moisture. With cane, it's not the case that all the moisture just gets blown away; some of it is absorbed by the reed. When no absorption occurs, you're relying on the blowing effect to do all the work, and sometimes it's not enough.

OP, one option is to insert a tissue or paper towel behind the reed and wipe it while the reed is still on the mouthpiece. If that fails, the best course of action is just to take off the reed, give the back a quick wipe across your sleeve, and then put it back on.
 

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This happens to me too with Fibracel reeds. Annoying But not as annoying as dealing with real cane.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I forgot to mention that I have always been a "wet" player. A natural physiological response to something inserted into the mouth is the salivary glands go to work in order to begin the digestive process. Mine have always been over achievers in that respect. :) One thing I am going to try is to coat the back of the reed with carnauba or Renaissance wax and polish the surface to see if the moisture "beads". If I don't poison myself in the process, I will report back how that works. In the meantime the paper towel idea sounds like something worth trying on the gig this afternoon.
 

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I know that food grade bees wax is available. I would try to rub it on the part of the reed under the mouthpiece window. Putting it on the part of the reed that sits on the table could make it hard to hold the reed in place.
 

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I have the same issue and have had at least mild success with applying a thin coat of cork grease to the table, right behind the window. It seems to at least delay the accumulation and resulting sizzle or spitty sound. But I’ve pretty much switched back to cane now.
 

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I have the same issue and have had at least mild success with applying a thin coat of cork grease to the table, right behind the window. It seems to at least delay the accumulation and resulting sizzle or spitty sound. But I’ve pretty much switched back to cane now.
I have the same issue and also apply a very thin coat of cork grease on the back of the reed. I do this will all my reeds (bari, tenor alto), synthetic or not.
 
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