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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tried a box of Ponzol 2 1/2 tenor reeds. They were exactly like the Brancher reeds of the same strength I recently tried; stuffy and resistant. I like responsive reeds with low resistance and a clear sound - it would be so much easier if I had not gone the direction I went in my youth, wide open mouthpieces and Rico 2 1/2 reeds. Who knew the reeds were going to all get stuffy 60 years later? I guess I'm going to have to break down and start 'adjusting' these reeds to get something out of them.
 

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Tried a box of Ponzol 2 1/2 tenor reeds. They were exactly like the Brancher reeds of the same strength I recently tried; stuffy and resistant. I like responsive reeds with low resistance and a clear sound - it would be so much easier if I had not gone the direction I went in my youth, wide open mouthpieces and Rico 2 1/2 reeds. Who knew the reeds were going to all get stuffy 60 years later? I guess I'm going to have to break down and start 'adjusting' these reeds to get something out of them.
Interesting.....I have noticed that the Rico / Da'Dario products are different than they used to be. I had been playing LaVoz mediums on tenor forever. I am also using open mouthpieces on tenor and don't want a stuffy reed. I recently tried some Vandoren V16 reeds in #2 stiffness. This is their description:

Medium-thick heart which is more than JAVA but less than Traditional
Thicker tip than the traditional Vandoren reeds and has a longer palette
Produces a more brilliant and percussive sound

I figured that with the thicker tip, I could go down in numbered stiffness. So far, so good. They might be a bit too soft, but the sound is balanced and not brittle. The low register works really well on my Ponzol M2 / 110 mouthpiece. I might go to a 2 1/2 - I've tried the #3's but most of them need me to do reed work to get them the way I want.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
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8,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did do some work on the Ponzols and ended up with four out of the five playable reeds. First I gave them a 'French file cut' (like Rico Royal or RJS 'filed') then I wiped down the vamp with sandpaper (4 or 5 strokes). The reeds became more playable but still not good enough. Today I went back to them and wiped down the vamps a few more strokes. This gave me the four keepers and one casualty which got worse and started squeaking - don't know what I did to it but will try to avoid that again. I think it was just a bad reed.
I had some Brancher 'Jazz' that were also stuffy so I did the same thing - ended up with all four (4 to a box) playable.
I just got tired of throwing my money away on these dog-*** reeds.I have two new boxes of D'Addario 'Royals' and I probably will have to wipe the vamps on these too.
BTW, with a played reed, you must put it in a Reed Guard after trying it so it dries flat. Then you can work on it. If you then want to play it before doing anything else, you should wet it and put it back in the Reed Guard for at least a half-hour. Then after playing and you want to sand more, just wipe off excess water and go ahead. The point is never sand on a wrinkled reed tip.
 
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