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I reed a post a long time ago were a guy said that his horn would play well on certain types of reeds. I thought he was crazy until it happened to me.

I played Java Reds for years with no issues on my larger bore Cannonball. I tried out a Barone Vintage which is also a larger bore horn and the reeds worked great. I then switched to a Barone Classic and the problems started.

I had the hardest time playing with subtone on the low B. The other low notes were easier than B but still harder than what I was used too. I would get that gurgle that is so famous with the Mark VI. I thought I had a leak at first but the tech gave it a clean bill of health. I then tried differet reed cuts and that made all the difference in the world. I'm now playing on Vandoran ZZ and they seem to work much better with the Classic than the Java Reds. The Java Reds had more of an instant gratification to them but the ZZs get much better after you break them in a little.

I just thought I would share this. It might save you some trips to the tech the next time you try new horns.
 

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Mouthpiece/reed combos can make or break whether a horn really fires or not. That's why I have to laugh so often when people take their favorite setup to play a horn and declare the horn a loser. Hey, it may not be the horn's fault.

Glad you got the new horn sorted out so easily, so well.
 

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The funny thing is the mouthpiece stayed constant through all of this. I was just using my Barone Hollywood and to a lesser degree my Barone Jazz. It was the same story on both mouthpieces.
 

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Funny, I've never experienced "the gurgle that is so famous with the MK VI"....in 50+ years of playing them. Guess I'm lucky!
 

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Funny, I've never experienced "the gurgle that is so famous with the MK VI"....in 50+ years of playing them. Guess I'm lucky!
I haven't either but I have read a lot about it hear and heard it in person with someone else playing a VI in front of me. I tried all the things people say to try with the VIs like putting a cork or mouthpiece cap in the bell. That didn't do anything. However I found quite a few reed cuts that seemed to work with no problems.

The ZZ was my favorite because I got a nice bright overdriven tone as well as the nice fluffy subtone sound. Many of the other cuts were just a little to mellow for me. That is one of the things I liked about the Java Reds. They have a great fat fusiony/modern sound to them but they still have plenty of warmth. The ZZ share the same qualities with a little more focus, a bit brighter and a better subtone. Thats pretty much what I wanted so it all worked out.

I just never thought that a horn would dictate what reed to use. I always thought it was a mouthpiece player thing. after this experience I can say with out a doubt that the horn can impact reed choice as much as player and mouthpiece.
 

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Sounds like you need to invest in a reed knife and sand paper and learn how to adjust your reeds. Then you can tailor your reeds to the m/p and horn and save plenty of $.
 

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Sounds like you need to invest in a reed knife and sand paper and learn how to adjust your reeds. Then you can tailor your reeds to the m/p and horn and save plenty of $.
I'm quite handy with my reeds. I have been adjusting my reeds for years and I could make the Java Reds work better by working on them. I would rather have a reed closer to what I want in the end to save me a little time and effort.
 

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Funny, I've never experienced "the gurgle that is so famous with the MK VI"....in 50+ years of playing them. Guess I'm lucky!
About 15 years ago my VI tenor developed a 'gurgle' in the low notes (note I said 'developed'). I took it in to a tech and it turned out to be some kind of a leak. Easily fixed, and it's never happened again, even when some pads leaked. So it must be a specific leak that causes this.

My conclusion is the famous gurgle simply means the horn needs work. It's not endemic to the VI and the idea that it is a characteristic trait is a myth. If something gets repeated over and over, it tends to become 'fact' in the minds of the general public, true or not. We see this all the time in the political world.

Stormott, it doesn't surprise me that you need a reed change for a different horn. As Dr G suggests, different horns might require different set ups.
 

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I'm not sure about this- I also play a Barone Classic tenor (an earlier one I purchased in Spring of 2008) and I've gone from playing V16's, RJSs and ZZ's to using Java's mostly because they seem to work better on my JJDV Chi. With the variability in reeds from harvest to harvest and box to box I don't know how much of a conclusion or generalization you can really draw. Living here in Colorado the low relative humidity reeks havoc on all reeds. Every year I go to visit my family in NJ around Christmas and take whatever mouthpiece I'm playing along with 4 or 5 reeds in my current rotation- every mouthpiece/reed combination without exception plays better in the higher humidity climate of NJ than in Colorado.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy hearing about the experiences folks are having and what seems to be working or not working for them. I suspect in this case, the difference in bore taper between the horns creates a slightly different resistence or back pressure for the standing wave inside the tube that effects the response of certain notes. Combine that with the particular mouthpiece, reed, and your oral cavity and certain setups will work better for you than others.
 

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I have never owned a VI so I'm just passing on the myth I guess. I'm glad I spent the time trying and getting used to new reeds because the overall sound I get from the ZZ is much better than what I was getting from the Java Red. Thanks for chiming in everyone.

As far as playing in Colorado I feel you Keith. When I was touring I had a love hate relationship with Colorado. I loved the people and the nature but playing is such a chore. I would roll into Aspen to play the Belly Up coming from sea level or maybe a couple thousand feet at the most to 8,000 feet and so dry that all of my reeds just would not play right. I would switch reeds every other song and keep reeds soaking in a glass of water next to my horn stand. It was really hard to switch between alto and tenor because the minute you put one horn down the reed dries out so fast it gets warped. After a couple weeks of playing shows all over Colorado we would head into Texas and my horn would come alive and scream.
 

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My conclusion is the famous gurgle simply means the horn needs work. It's not endemic to the VI and the idea that it is a characteristic trait is a myth.
Agreed. I've had gurgles develop on a Keilwerth tenor and on an Antigua soprano. Both times, the gurgling disappeared after some leaks were fixed by my tech. I've never experienced a gurgle on my Mark VI.

Mark VIs are "famous" for a lot of things, but as far as I'm aware, a gurgle is not one of them.

So if you're saying your Barone Classic gurgles with certain reeds and it's not a leak, then maybe it's just a Barone thing . . . :bluewink:
 

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As far as playing in Colorado I feel you Keith. When I was touring I had a love hate relationship with Colorado. I loved the people and the nature but playing is such a chore. I would roll into Aspen to play the Belly Up coming from sea level or maybe a couple thousand feet at the most to 8,000 feet and so dry that all of my reeds just would not play right. I would switch reeds every other song and keep reeds soaking in a glass of water next to my horn stand. It was really hard to switch between alto and tenor because the minute you put one horn down the reed dries out so fast it gets warped. After a couple weeks of playing shows all over Colorado we would head into Texas and my horn would come alive and scream.
Yup that's just what I do. Doubling at outside gigs can be a real drag. A lot of guys use various synthetic reeds for doubles even if they are not crazy about the sound just because cane can be almost unplayable in some cases.

FWIW, I've played 2 horns that had low B gurgles - a Yamaha 52 alto and a silver plated "The Martin" tenor. A mouthpiece cap or other small object dropped in the bell fixed both but this was enough to keep me from buying either horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just to make sure we are all clear the only reeds that gave me a gurgle on the Barone Classic was the Java Reds and then again only when I was subtoning. I have tried other reeds with a lot of success but the ones that sound the best to me are the ZZ.
 

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Funny, I've never experienced "the gurgle that is so famous with the MK VI"....in 50+ years of playing them. Guess I'm lucky!
It was only the early MarkV1 that had the gurgle problem. These were the horns with the short bow. I owned two of these early horns. The fix was to solder a metal plate inside the bottom of the bow. I think only the altos had the problem.
 
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