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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have to place an order of Rigotti Gold (Unfilled).
I'm interested how they compare in strength to:

Rico Reserve for Alto

Alexander NY for Tenor
François Louis for Tenor
Hemke for Tenor
 

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According to my experience:

The Rico Reserve will be at least half a strength harder than the Rigotti Gold

The Alexander NY will also be about half a strength harder.
The François Louis are slightly softer, for the same strength number
Hemkes are about at least half a strength softer
 

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Imo the strenth of the rigotti is about the same as the FL reeds. They do seem to last a bit longer though.
 

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I got my last bunch of Rigotti Golds directly from ets-Rigotti, and they are marked just like the ones sold in the US (wwbw, etc.). The reed itself says the number strength in .5 increments, and the boxes are marked soft, medium or hard.

For comparison: Of your list I've only played FL reeds (the excellence (jazz) model, not the classique). I play 3 medium on tenor (Rigotti), so I ordered the 3. I've only played 3 out of the box, and they seem to be pretty similar in strength. They do vibrate differently though. To me it feels like the Rigotti reeds take a little less air to start vibrating, so they are maybe a little more responsive. The Rigottis seem to last a long time. I've only had the FLs out for about two weeks though, so I don't know how long they will last. One of the reasons I like the Rigotti reeds is that I might get one out of every two to three boxes that isn't playable. So far the FLs are 3 for 3. They are made by the same company, so they must use good cane and have reasonable quality control.
 

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Really ? Does that mean there is some marking after the 2,5 ? As in Strong, medium soft or what ? Never noticed !
As others pointed out, the finer gradations are marked on the box, not the reed. And it does make a difference. I've been using 2.5 strong interchangably with V16 2.5 and they are very close. In my experience a V16 2.5 is pretty close to a 3 in most other brands, so that's probably also true for a Rigotti 2.5 strong,

I tried Rigotti 2.5 soft and medium at one point and they were noticeably softer than the 2.5 strong, so those gradations do mean something.
 

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Really ? Does that mean there is some marking after the 2,5 ? As in Strong, medium soft or what ? Never noticed !
Rigotti, somewhat confusingly, don't always mark individual reeds with the strength, I'm sure they used to but I haven't had any that were for a few years. They also have 'mixed' boxes which just have the strength number marked on the box, ( ie no 'L', 'M' or 'S' ) so if you have a box that just says '3' it will contain some 3L, some 3M and some 3S ( strong, not soft! ) But, whichever box you have, there is a way to find out each reeds strength - on the reed itself the word 'Gold' will have the 'o' filled in with ink if it's a 'Light' strength, the 'd' will be filled in if it's 'Strong' and if neither are filled in it will be a 'medium'.

I have to say though, despite these ( minor ) confusing issues, Rigotti Gold are by far the best reeds I've ever played. I find them to be the most consistent in terms of strength and also playability. I usually use every reed in the box and they last me around a week, sometimes more. ( Although I'm very fussy about reeds/sound and I almost never have played a reed much longer than a week anyway, so I'm sure other people will get more playing life out of them. )
 

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I'm using Rigotti 3L or M on tenor pieces in the 100-110 tip range and alto in the 80-85 range and I love 'em. Great reeds.
 

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So if I am getting this right, it seems they run slightly softer. if I typically use a 3.5 reed then a gold 3 Strong would be the one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got my last bunch of Rigotti Golds directly from ets-Rigotti, and they are marked just like the ones sold in the US (wwbw, etc.). The reed itself says the number strength in .5 increments, and the boxes are marked soft, medium or hard.

For comparison: Of your list I've only played FL reeds (the excellence (jazz) model, not the classique). I play 3 medium on tenor (Rigotti), so I ordered the 3. I've only played 3 out of the box, and they seem to be pretty similar in strength. They do vibrate differently though. To me it feels like the Rigotti reeds take a little less air to start vibrating, so they are maybe a little more responsive. The Rigottis seem to last a long time. I've only had the FLs out for about two weeks though, so I don't know how long they will last. One of the reasons I like the Rigotti reeds is that I might get one out of every two to three boxes that isn't playable. So far the FLs are 3 for 3. They are made by the same company, so they must use good cane and have reasonable quality control.
The FL last very long (for me). I really like them but they are crazy expensive, that's why I want to give Rigotti a try.
 

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FYI - I usually use a 2 1/2 reed. When I started using Rigottis I started with a 3 med but found I need to go to a 3 strong. They are great reeds. So are Rico Jazz Selects. I use 3 Soft with the Ricos.
 

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So, I have to place an order of Rigotti Gold (Unfilled).
I'm interested how they compare in strength to:
Mj
Rico Reserve for Alto

Alexander NY for Tenor
François Louis for Tenor
Hemke for Tenor
I use Rico Reserve and Jazz Select. There is no comparison. Rigotti Gold 3-1/2 strong are the hardest they make and are softer than Reserve 3 or RJS 3M. I thought at first that I received a mismarked box but when I reordered same thing. I bought a box of very expensive Japonese reeds, made by Rigotti, Ishimoro, I think and they
were too soft also.
 

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They certainly make reeds up to 5, I play 4Ms and they are not particularly hard but they are the only reeds I've played for the past 5 years so I can't compare them to other brands strength-wise I'm afraid.
 

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So if I am getting this right, it seems they run slightly softer. if I typically use a 3.5 reed then a gold 3 Strong would be the one?
Softer than what? It probably depends on the brand you are comparing them to. And most brands don't break it down to #3 soft, med, hard, etc. I'd say if you typically use a 3.5, then you should try the 3.5 Rigotti. Maybe start with the medium and go from there. If the Rigottis 'run softer' then you sure don't want to use a Rigotti 3 when you generally like 3.5. That's a contradiction. If the Rigottis run harder than brand 'x', in that case you might want to use the Rigotti 3 if you're used to a 3.5 in brand 'x'. If you follow what I'm saying. But I don't necessarily think they run harder or softer in a general sense.
 
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