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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last two months, I've been trying to rebuild my chops after an approximately decade-long break from clarinet.

I've got a few mouthpieces, including a B45 and an HS*, but I find that even after my long break I prefer my 5JB.

However, I'm having trouble finding reeds that work well and consistently with this mouthpiece. I've tried a variety of different reeds and strengths that did not work out, including:

- La Voz mediums
- Rico Plasticover 2.5's
- Vandoren V21 2.5's
- Vandoren Blue Box 3's
- Vandoren Blue Box 2.5's

I'm currently using Vandoren Blue Box 2's with it. They are not consistently great, but they work better than the other reeds that I've tried so far.
I've also tried a Legere (Classic) 2, but it was too soft and way too buzzy.

I'm wondering what reeds (and what strengths) those of you who use the 5JB have found to work well with it?
 

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I have this same set up, 5JB with Vandoren Traditional No.2 It works well for my clarinet ability which can do with another life times practice.
 

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I prefer Fibracell 1 1/2 or 2. But then, I prefer my Lakey 5* to my 5JB. Whichever, the Fibracells work for me much better than cane. DAVE
 

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I knew Claude Lakey and I sat with him when he finished one of my Lakey clarinet pieces. He even stamped it "5*D", the D for my name. He told me his pieces were pitched for A-443 . . . and they are a bit shorter than other Bb clarinet pieces (including my Vandorens).

I have three Lakeys (5*) and two 5JB's.

I like the focus of the Lakeys, their ability to allow me to come closer to normal pitch, and their volume. For me, the 5JBs are bit too spread in tone (I guess "darker" is another way to describe them). Oh, by themselves, the 5JBs give me a warm, round tone, but a bit flat in pitch. But in an ensemble (like a "Dixieland" combo), the 5JB's become buried in the band's volume. I am able to project better with the Lakeys.

Of course, everyone's reaction to mouthpieces can be different, but that extra shortness on the Lakeys is critical for me.

I have another Vandoren clarinet piece marked "66". It is dark like the 5JB but more focused - for me. The problem with it is that it is the standard length (A-440) and it is difficult to for me to play to pitch with it. If only somehow I could get that "66" to play sharp, I'd probably like the "66", too.

Years ago, I met with a fellow SOTW poster and he played my "66." He ended up looking around and found a "55" and he liked it. I have no idea what those numbers mean, though. DAVE
 

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I played a 5JB for a long time, now I'm playing a B45. I like my 5JB but when I play that piece I sound like a saxophone player playing clarinet (very big spread sound) :p.

For me the Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic works extremely well on both the 5JB and B45, I've also been playing the V12s and D'addario reserves with good results. I was actually very impressed by the quality of the Reserve reeds, very even thruogh the box.
 

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I've had great success with the Olivieri Elite in strength 2 on open MPs. They look crudely made but play extremely well...

Sent from my SM-S327VL using Tapatalk
 

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For me, a blue box 2 or a V12 2.5 work well on the 5JB. Overall though, that mouthpiece is a bit more open than I feel totally comfortable on.
 

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On the 5JB I am loving the Gonzalez GD 2.25 sliver box

Short barrel is a must for loud/jazz playing :)
 

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+Vandoren trad blue box 2s. Those others are too stuffy!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the suggestions.

FWIW, I've switched to Legere European Cut 2.5's. When it comes to cane reeds, I still prefer the Blue Box 2's, but the Legere's work so much better for me than any cane reed.

It's funny, because I really don't like the Legere's on saxophone. On clarinet however, I find them much easier to play than cane reeds. With cane reeds, I typically have to choose between a stuffy chalumeau register or a shrill altissimo. The Legere's seem to respond more evenly across the range of the instrument, they squeak less, and they sound great.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

FWIW, I've switched to Legere European Cut 2.5's. When it comes to cane reeds, I still prefer the Blue Box 2's, but the Legere's work so much better for me than any cane reed.

It's funny, because I really don't like the Legere's on saxophone. On clarinet however, I find them much easier to play than cane reeds. With cane reeds, I typically have to choose between a stuffy chalumeau register or a shrill altissimo. The Legere's seem to respond more evenly across the range of the instrument, they squeak less, and they sound great.
Ok cool thanks that’s helpful to know about Legere on the 5JB
I’ve tried some Legeres and I didn’t get a winner in my attempts but did see that they show promise.
Great for doubling obviously, so yeah I’ll check them out again one day...
Thanks :)
 

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I am a sax player who still sometimes battles with the clarinet. For me, a 5JB and Fibracell premier 3 or 3 1/2 work best for me and are ready to go no matter how long ago I set the clarinet down. I am sure I sound like a sax player doing it, tho, if that matters.
 
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