Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hokay,

Please bear in mind that I've been playing about a month in total so don't groan too much when I ask what may be a dumb question. I've been using Rico No.2 reeds for a while and I ran out so went back to playing some Rico 1.5's. I managed to get a good deal on a box of 10 Vandoren No.2's for the paltry sum of £9.95 inc. postage and then tried to play them after using the 1.5's and had a hell of a time maintaining any sort of tone and frankly squeeked most of the higher & lower notes. The Vandoren 2's seemed to be a damn sight stronger than the Rico 2's and I've actually stopped using them and gone back to the Rico 1.5's as I can actually hit the notes with them. I guess my question is this:

Is there there any sort of chart showing equivalent strengths between different manufacturers of reeds?

I don't want to get caught out again if I can help it. Any and all advise gratefully received!

:grommit:

Martin
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
878 Posts
I'd start by saying a 1.5 is probably way to weak. What kind of mouthpiece and what tip opening are you using? Even a 2 is kind of weak unless you are playing on a piece with a really wide opening.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
280 Posts
There are many, many reed strength comparison charts available. Almost every reed manufacturer provides one on their website. There's usually a little variation between them, but there's one thing that they all agree on: Vandoren Traditionals (aka "blue box" Vandorens) run at least a half-strength stiffer than all others of the same number.

The other thing to remember about blue box Vandorens is that they have a very thin tip, which is what was causing you to squeak and chip. Stick with regular Ricos for a while, until your chops develop.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Martin: You may want to do some slight adjusting to those Vandoren reeds. It is easy and, even with your limited experience, you may be able to immediately feel and hear a difference.

Very carefully scrape (don't cut) some bark off the reed's vamp (that sloping-to-the-tip part), with a sharp knife. Scrape a bit, rinse it off, try it, and scrape some more until the reed responds better. Be careful of the reed's edges and tip. I adjust mine with the reed attached to the mouthpiece - that makes it easier to hold the reed steady.

I have some 1 1/2's I use and they play very nicely - strong and accurate from to to bottom. Everyone is different. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm using a Selmer S80 D

Thanks for the help guys, I'm a complete beginner and appreciate any advise.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,147 Posts
Martin J said:
I'm using a Selmer S80 D

Thanks for the help guys, I'm a complete beginner and appreciate any advise.

A D is big for a beginer. A C* would be better, or best, a Yamaha 4c. The D is a fairly open piece, which explains your need for soft reeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Arrgh! Just lost the message I typed in.

1. Anyways: Welcome!
2. I have played #2, #2 1/4, #2 1/2, #3 (alto, S80 D*)
3. In the beginning I could not get them soft enought (the reeds)
4. Now I stay with #2 1/2 because I think the tone is better (beginner)
5. Fell free to prepare your reeds like Dave suggests, great advice
6. I do not play my reeds without polishing with #2000 grit (no sore lip)
7. Response is much better for me (polish dry and never touch the tip)
8. If you need some more time to make it feel right, it's ok!
9. Search, this site has tons on the subject, an everything else!
10. Enjoy, play and do not think to much;)

Good luck,
OsloSax
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Btw: played C* the first month, then A-B'ed and now I use the D*. I prefer the tone and think C to D is easier for me... I had luck with Rico Royal.

Try out a few combos, your store will most likely sell you a few of each reed. Start with that and yes, the chart exists. Go to www.vandoren.com look under reeds comparison index.

OsloSax
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
I don't think the difference between a Selmer C* and D is THAT significant. The chart I have shows the difference to be .007". True, the D is more open than the C*, but . . .

I play an F on Selmer alto pieces and use 1 1/2 or 2 reeds. If you were an experienced player, I'd say squeeking is a mouthpiece problem. Hard to say when you are not experienced. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,147 Posts
Dave Dolson said:
I don't think the difference between a Selmer C* and D is THAT significant. The chart I have shows the difference to be .007". True, the D is more open than the C*, but . . .

I play an F on Selmer alto pieces and use 1 1/2 or 2 reeds. If you were an experienced player, I'd say squeeking is a mouthpiece problem. Hard to say when you are not experienced. DAVE

Oops. I thought the D was a lot more open.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I truly appreciate all the advise I'm getting here folks, this place is bloody marvelous when it comes to advising complete beginners like myself and I'm very, very glad I stumbled across it.

Just to clarify a little. I'm taking lessons from a tutor and started off with the mouthpiece that my alto came with and only went on to another because he suggested that I might get a better sound with a Selmer C* or perhaps a D. I went straight on to eBay and took a look at what was on offer and found one of each and bid on both figuring I'd get lucky with one at least. Murphy's Law was well at work and I won both! The D came first and I've been using that until the C* shows up and I can then compare the two and see which I like better. I have to admit I love the D but it is a lot of work compared to the original "student" mouthpiece the sax came with, but as they say, no pain - no gain.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to when the C* shows up and can then decide.

As for the reeds, I think I'll stick to the Rico's until I can get my lip in and handle a stiffer strength.

Once again, many, many thanks everyone who's responded, you guys are brilliant.

:grommit:
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, The official SOTW Little S
Joined
·
5,472 Posts
Martin J said:
As for the reeds, I think I'll stick to the Rico's until I can get my lip in and handle a stiffer strength.
:grommit:
A softer Vandoren should seem to work fine. Vandorens generally run significantly harder than Ricos. Almost a half step equivalent. (Ex: A 2.5 Rico is similar to a 2 Vandoren)
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top