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Just for the record, I searched for charts online and searched the board for any threads that might help, but I didn't get any great answers.

Right now I'm looking for some new alto reeds. I use Rico Jazz Select 2H on a morgan 6m with an early conn 6m. With this setup, the reeds are a bit too hard to play on, even when shaving them down a bit. I tried RJS 2M but they were way too soft. They seemed just a tad soft at first, but after around 20 minutes of playing, the tip was closing off and they were unplayable. Does anyone have any advice on what reeds may fall inbetween those two sizes and may be a bit darker? The only thing I've found so far are javas, but the only charts I could find included only Rico and Vandoren reeds.

On clarinet, I'm using Alexander Classique 3 reeds with a noblet 40, Morgan RM-10 mouthpiece, and a bonade inverted lig. The Alexanders play a bit soft and my upper register goes flat. I couldn't find a chart about strength comparisons with Alexander reeds. Do they correspond fairly well with Vandorens? On the Alexander website, it says they are in the general range of Vandoren V-12. That's pretty vague. If I moved up to a 3.5 vandoren would I be hurting myself? Any other reed suggestions that are just a bit harder would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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jacobeid said:
Does anyone have any advice on what reeds may fall in between those two sizes and may be a bit darker? The only thing I've found so far are javas, but the only charts I could find included only Rico and Vandoren reeds.
A 3S, perhaps?

I'm only half joking on that. Lately, I've been finding RJS reeds to be pretty inconsistent, and my best advice would be try several in those strengths, as well as a couple of different brands. On alto I've got things narrowed down to the 3 soft, but I ended up getting a box of what was clearly older stock (before they changed the imprint on the reed), and the older ones played a good deal stiffer. They were workable, but it took a while of shaving to get them going.

jacobeid said:
If I moved up to a 3.5 vandoren would I be hurting myself? Any other reed suggestions that are just a bit harder would be appreciated.
I haven't tried the Alexander or the V12, so I can't give you specific help on either. In my experience with blue box Vandorens, though, I've found them to be a wee bit stiffer than other brands. These days, I'm playing #4 Mitchell Lurie reeds, but the same strength in the Vandoren feels God-awful hard to me. You might pick up a 3 1/2 Vandoren and the same thing in the Mitchell Lurie brand and see what you think.

Of course, just when you think you've got all this nailed down... the manufacturers are going to change their processes again, and you'll have to start over. So don't get *TOO* attached... :x
 

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I ordered a box of RJS 2H before, and they did play very stiff for what strength they were supposed to be compared to others. It could just be the box I had, but as of now I'm playing on a 2.5 vandoren traditional and it feels close but just a little bit less stiff.

It's weird, but it's my experience
 

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I've had good luck with Gonzales reeds. They seem very consistent box to box, and I'm getting 4 or 5 playable with minimal adjustment, if any. My experience is that Gonzales runs in strength similar or a very little softer than Van Doren Classics. They also have 1/4 strengths so you'd use a 2 to 2.25.
Once you find your strength, I think you'll be happy. When changing brands you alway have to experiment a little.
 

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I'm always an advocate for Fibracell reeds. They are a synthetic reed made by laying fibers in a resin-type matrix, and I've loved playing on them for Jazz and Classical. You may find a "plastic reed" rugged enough for your playing . . .
 
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