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I never obsess about reeds. horns maybe somewhat, mouthpieces too. but never reeds... I usually settle on one brand/type/hardness and stick with it for "eons" before making a change (usually brought on by going to different mouthpiece or horn).

So the other day, I bought a box of Java "Reds" and started working my way through them. i usually practice on them two or three times. diddle with them (maybe a quick polish/scrape) yada...Done. Ready for the gig.

Well a coupla days ago, in the middle of my practice session, i opened a new reed to start the break-in process. I wetted the reed briefly, stuck the reed on the mpc... BAM! This reed was like twice as loud as every other reed i've played since i can remember... ***?

Long story short, i swapped back and forth with other reeds... nothing came close. This thing was louder, played better, sounded waay better for my style (blues, soul jazz, etc).
So i just packed it for the gig and played it all nite long.

Anybody ever experience this much of a variation in a set of reeds. How can this be? most every other Java i've played has been basically consistent and relatively satisfactory.

I've had similar happen on rare occasion and I've husbanded that magic reed, sometimes for months, only to conclude after its demise that it must have all been a dream.

This time i can't deny it... but I have no idea why this reed is so outstanding and more important to me, I have no idea how to duplicate it. Perhaps as someone suggested in a recent thread, I should just consider myself lucky and enjoy it while it lasts.
 

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I LOVE those magic reeds. Sadly I've only ever found two of them:

The first was an RJS 3S Unfiled alto reed from about 2 years ago that was very likely the best reed I've ever played...

The second was a La Voz Medium-Hard clarinet reed from about a year ago. I used it on soprano. I actually found this one after having chipped my then-current reed 10 minutes before a concert(!), and the 2nd tenor (who was doubling clarinet) gave me one of his spare clarinet reeds. 5 minutes of hurriedly "breaking in" that reed, and it was STILL one of the rare gems! I think I may still have it sitting on my desk.

...Good times, good times.
 

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This is what the "big" brands are all about; try an Alexander Superial DC or NY, if you like the sound, they will at least be considerably more consistent than Vandoren or Rico...... or Marca, Brancher or other more specialised brands!
 

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That is the problem with Vandoren. I find them inconsistent. About the most consistent cane reed that I like are Peter Ponzols.
 
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