I really like the reeds, and will keep using them. Three years of taking them straight out of the box and playing every single reed can't be erased by one inconsistent box. I was playing Java 3.5's before I switched...got tired of trashing 3 out of every single box to find the 2 good ones. To me, the Rigotti's play like the best of the Vandorens. I guess that is why there are so many brands out there.I just had a similar experience. I bought 2 boxes of 2.5 mediums (not from WWBW or Rigotti). One box was noticably harder than the other box and both boxes felt more like 3's or 3.5's. I spent quite a bit of time working these down to fit my mouthpieces which usually play well on Java 2.5's. I really don't like these reeds. They remind me of Zondas. I was very disappointed since I read alot of positive comments on them. To me they have kind of a thinner, brighter tone. I prefer a thicker sound.
Go with 2 1/2 strong if you use a medium Lavoz. This is what I do on tenor.Okay, I get the smaller increment sub-categories. I still would like to know, as someone who typically plays LaVoz Medium or Medium soft, what would be an equivalent or similar sub-category with Rigotti Gold? I'd like to try a box, but I don't want to have to get 2 or 3 boxes off the bat because I can't figure out which will play similarly. Anyone have any suggestions?