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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm hoping you can help me with two questions I have had for a little while now.

1st question - I'd like to know what types of Tenor Saxophone reeds have a thinner base and a thicker tip (I'm not sure if base is the right word? The part further down the reed just before the shaving stops is what I mean by the base. & the tip being the top of the reed)

Over the last several months I have learned to use more mouthpiece - I take in about an inch! This has opened up my sound! I get better projection, and a more focused core to my tone. Recently I grabbed a box of 25 Vintage Rico Orange ( V cut ) reeds from my sax tech. #3 - There amazing! There extremely clear, focused and thick 馃檪 There also allot easier to play than Daddario Select Jazz for example. I may be mistaken, but I believe it's because they are thinner at the base. At any rate, given that my embuchure and pressure will be near the base of the reed due to how much mp I take in, I imagine that any reed with a thinner base will be more responsive for me / easier to play.

I heard someone say Rigotti Golds are thin at the base, are there any others I should try out?
P:S - I now use a Matt Marantz Double Ring Legacy #8 - It's absolutely perfect! Beyond words & exactly what I've been after since I started playing again.

2nd question - Does ligature placement make a difference in the way a reed plays / sounds? I've always been under the impression that the shaved portion of the reed is what vibrates, everything else needs to be sealed correctly against the table. Thus I have always placed my ligature directly under the U of an un filed reed.

I've attached a photo showing where I line up things up. Sometimes I place the ligature even closer to the bottom of the U so there is no gap. Do others leave a large gap between the ligature and the part of the reed that is not shaved? Do you find that this makes a difference? I appreciate the help, thanks guys:) - I like to sound as focused as possible, as full / thick as possible with clarity.
 

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That reed left looks to be a long way over the tip of mouthpiece.
Is that how you line it up for playing or Was it just put on quickly to show your ligature position?
I generally put the ligature in a position that holds the reed firmest.
Depending on the reed and the mouthpiece this may be more forward or more back.
Sometimes with pieces that have a concave table it is more important to find just the right spot to ensure a seal.
 

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Yep--the reed needs to match the tip for good feel and crisp articulation.

I merely put the ligature where the line is on the mouthpiece, or if there's no line, I put it halfway between the shoulder and the heel.
 

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I like to run the lig to the beginning of the vamp cut but no farther - your picture is close enough - doesn't have to actually touch the vamp. It plays better for me there and tends to help seal better. I just do this as a matter of course on all my saxes/mouthpieces. For no better reason you know you have the ligature set at a good place during fast set-ups in low light conditions. I might tighten my lig screw(s) but then relax them a little for playing. I like the reed to be tight enough so I can't budge it to one side or the other. Reed tip must exactly meet the mouthpiece tip when pushed up to it or just a hair under - never over.
So tell us about your lig screws! I believe they are Brilharts. Brilhart made a ligature like that too but its pretty rare. I would guess its actually a Selmer '404'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It was the angle of the photo.
I push the reed closed with my thumb and finger to ensure it's 100% aligned with the tip, or a hair shorter than the tip. Goal is to be aligned with the tip though.
Thanks guys, so far it seems others place the lig at the vamp or just below such as I do.

How about the reed cut question? Which reeds have a thinner base and thicker tip?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's an echo master brilhart. I love it! I had a Solid Silver ishimori for my vintage Florida STM, and when I bought the double ring legacy I decided to get a brass ligature to compliment the gold mouthpiece and sold my ishimori.

It's a wonderful ligature, quick to adjust, easy to use, seals the reed tight! And it looks beautiful.
 

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Your ligature placement looks fine, but if you're wondering if it makes a difference the only way to find out is to move the lig up or down and try playing with it in different positions to see if there's a difference in sound (which I would doubt) or feel (maybe).

As to reed thickness of different reed brands, again you have to play the reeds and find out what works for you. I've never paid much attention to the description of a reed; what matters is how it plays for you. I like Rigotti Gold reeds, but have no idea of their thickness profile. They just work for me. YMMV.
 

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If you like the Rico, try Gonzalez RC.

Jazz reeds tend to have more scooped out of the middle to allow them to bend around wider tip openings. The tip then needs to be thicker to stop the end breaking up.
 
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