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Hello,
So Iv'e been playing sax for a while and I am looking into buying some java reeds for my alto. I was wondering what is the difference between red java and green java? What should I use for playing alto in a jazz band?
 

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Java Reds are filed; this makes a difference for some players. The Reds are also a little more firm than the Greens in the same strength. For me, the Reds are a little more lively than the Greens, but some players have exactly the opposite experience. There's simply no substitution for purchasing a box (or two) of each, playing them for a while, then deciding which is best for you.
 

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Java Reds are filed; this makes a difference for some players. The Reds are also a little more firm than the Greens in the same strength. For me, the Reds are a little more lively than the Greens, but some players have exactly the opposite experience. There's simply no substitution for purchasing a box (or two) of each, playing them for a while, then deciding which is best for you.
Except in 3.5's. They are the same strength once they get up to 3.5
 

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^^^ What JPWGibson said - just try 'em both. For me, Reds are firmer than the equivalent Green strength; Reds are "woodier" and Greens are "buzzier." YMMV.
 

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Vandoren has sampler packs with Java Red, Java Green, ZZ and V16. You might want to pick up one of these. Of course it is hard to make a full evaluation with a sample size of one, but it will give you some idea how they play.
 

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Vandoren has sampler packs with Java Red, Java Green, ZZ and V16. You might want to pick up one of these. Of course it is hard to make a full evaluation with a sample size of one, but it will give you some idea how they play.
+1 Try the sample pack you might like the ZZ and V16 as well.
 

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Java Reds are darker for me than D'addario Jazz Select filed on Tenor. I also wanted to get a darker sound on Bari than I was getting with the Jazz Select unfiled, so I tried Java Greens but they were brighter.
 

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I've been between the Reds and the Greens for the last few months on tenor with my Morgan 5M trying to decide which one to stick with in the future. They both sound nice and lively to my ears and have been very consistent, but I can certainly tell the difference between the two. I believe I've settled on the greens as I feel like there's a degree of edge and flexibility that I can get that the reds don't give me, even after filing the reds to be the same strength (I play 2.5s). I've found that the reds might have a slightly bigger sound, slightly better articulation, and slightly more stability in the altissimo, but they definitely play darker for me than the greens and lack the same bite. To me, the reds almost feel like a more projecting version of the blue box. With the amount of pop stuff I do the greens are definitely the ticket for me because they have that extra gear. However, I do think the Red is an excellent reed and would probably be my choice if I played a higher baffled mouthpiece or music that didn't require as cutting of a sound.

Interestingly enough I recently asked about the differences between the reds and the greens to the rep at the Vandoren Studio in NYC and he told me that the only thing that the reeds have in common is their name- they are extremely different cuts. More wood in the red gives it a darker and thicker sound, and the slope of the vamp on the sides is a lot different.

Because I liked the way the reds articulated I asked if filing the greens would get them closer to the feel of the reds. He told me that filed vs. unfiled is almost purely aesthetic and that the filed area of the reed has little to no effect on sound, but filed reeds generally have different vamp profiles than unfiled ones. I.e. rico royals are not just orange box with a file cut, and DSJ filed and unfiled have more differences than just the file cut. Same with Javas. The differences in feel between filed and unfiled that we attribute to the filing are actually attributed to the differences in vamp profiles of the way the two are cut. I don't necessarily take it as gospel truth, but it was nice to hear a perspective of someone behind the scenes of it all, especially with the overwhelming amount of options out there.
 

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I played Java Green for a quite a while before trying the Reds. I fell in love with the Reds right away. For me they are more lively, sound good, and last a long time. I got started with them after buying one of the Vandoren sampler packs.
 

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I switched from Java Green to Java Reds. Can't recall why and I'm not willing to start playing Java Greens again to find out why I did it.:faceinpalm:
 

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I too prefer Java Reds and have mostly used those over the past few years. The only other reed I've tried that I like as much are the Boston Sax Shop.
 

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I like both. IMO Reds are more lively. I play number 3 on both, so Reds run a little harder but once broke up they feel pretty similar. Breaking a harder than expected Red one can be difficult... specially if you do not have some back up reeds while performing and need to change your playing reed at the moment.

Must add that once the reed is in playing condition, that statement that the Reds are more flexible than Greens seems true to me.
 
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