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It depends on what sound you're after, darker, brighter, etc?

If you want darker, try a V12. They have great response but play about 1/3 harder than a Traditional of equivalent strength.

Gonzalez are also good.

What are your Traditionals not delivering? Nice to know that...

EDIT - Have you ever considered that your S80 C* may not be faced so hot? I've never had problems with the Traditionals...
 

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It would be worthwhile sending a PM to Angel about your concerns. Even if not just to discuss your issues, the man is what I'd call the de-facto classical guru on this forum; you'll always have a good conversation. This may be more than reeds, it could be down to a simple problem in your playing technique. What horn is your S80 on?
 

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Find a goal first. Buy some music instead of reeds or other crap. Or listening to us for that matter.

I suggest listening to Claude Delangle's "Saxophone for a Lady", Rascher Quartet's "Music for Saxophones", and Aurelia Quartet's "French Saxophones". It's an excellent variety plus it'll encourage concentrating on the alto's tone in a wide variety of situations and repertoires. It'll help you find something that you like.

Once you have the goal, enlighten us as to what you want and how what you have differs. It'll be much easier for us to give suggestions. Trust us, we're not trying to rag you or anything. We just don't know everything!

OK back to the OP; I think the C* is a the problem, they don't play with Bueschers in my opinion. I'd try a Caravan large-chambered model sometime, they play with much more harmonic richness and seem to "click" with these horns. As a plus, they are very affordable. As for reeds, I found the Rico Grand Concerts (3 strength) to be some of the stiffest, coldest sounding, and disappointing reeds I've ever played. I'd avoid them.

P.S. - A good tenor player does not a good alto player make. Not saying you're bad by any stretch, but I've learned this first hand and have been humbled before other players, especially with the soprano. Each requires a great deal of individual study to master their nuances; excellency at both alto and tenor isn't an easy feat.
 

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True. On tenor I know what I like. But alto..maybe more "soul searching" is required.

The word you're looking for is listening. I never could love the sound of an alto until I discovered the aforementioned albums. Give them a listen, I implore you.

As to how I got tired of the Vandoren traditionals...it seemed that each box I opened up just didn't make a favorable sound for me. (The same is true for tenor)

You described your sound as dead, perhaps you don't need to go darker or harder strength reeds.

When you're in high school, the obligatory reed nowadays for saxophones are the Vandoren traditionals. I tried them a long time, but they just don't give me the response and sound I'm looking for. I know I'm not sure what my dream sound is, but I know the Vandorens aren't helping.

Says who? I'd say the obligatory reed is the one that oscillates and sounds good, unless you are in one of those communist-manifesto programs. I only joke, of course, but I'm glad to see you want to keep your options open and think for yourself.

What about the Hemke reeds from RICO?

They're brighter, softer, and have a thinner sound than the Traditionals for me. I'd go half a strength harder on Hemkes for an equivalent Vandoren. Beware, they die fast.

And the idea about the C* being the issue... it's interesting. It's not impossible that with my Buescher, they don't agree well. I honestly wouldn't know because the C* is the only "quality" alto piece I own. The only other alto piece is an old graftonite rico royal that's even worse.

I never liked the Graftonites, they sound gross to my ears. You know my sentiments on what your sax would likely sound good with, but then again, it's only a guess.

I'm sure that good tenor =/= good alto. But at the same time I figure I oughta try my best for both. if it's not in the cards, so be it, but for now I might as well try my hand at them both and see how far I get with them together.

Practice makes perfect ;)
Responses embedded in the quote above. Hopefully I'm not beating a dead horse on this thread, I tend to like to elaborate to an unhealthy point.
 
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