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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm fairly new to the saxophone. I'm playing a Mauriat saxello and a Conn 'Naked Lady' alto.

I've been using RicoJazz reeds (2 medium) but find them very rough. I've been reading reports that they've gone downhill lately...I wouldn't know, I haven't been playing long enough to remember the 'old days'.

So, I'm thinking about trying some new reeds and some new strengths on both axes. I had a few questions:

- I'd be interested to hear of any good reed purchasing sites on the web.
- I'd be interested to hear recommendations for other brands of reeds
- I'd be interested to hear comments pro/con about natural vs synthetics
- I'd be interested to hear informed recommendations about the potential effects and benefits of moving to other reed strengths
- Is it possible to buy less than an entire box of reeds for evaluation purposes, or do you just get stuck for whole boxes?

I'm using:

Selmer C* - soprano
Meyer5 - alto




Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
990 Posts
Hey, bigtiny.
I hate to see unanswered posts. Maybe we'll start something.
I'm using RicoJazzSelect and like them just fine. The only other reed I would recommend are Alexanders, but they're hard to find in stock lately. You really have to experiment and see what kind you like. Just buy one or two from the local music store of each you want to try before ordering a box on line from "Woodwinds and Brasswinds". Whatever you order from them, make sure it's "In stock and ready to ship" I have used Legere synthetics and Fibracells. The Legeres have a mellower kind of lifeless tone. Fibracells are laser beamish to my ears. Some people really like them. It's good to have at least 1 synthetic for practicing because they don't have to be wetted and they last for many months. The harder strengths need more air support and as your embouchure gets stronger, you'll probably want a stronger reed. It also depends on your mouthpiece opening and facing as to what will work best. Again, You have to experiment. Good luck.

Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
20,014 Posts
If you like the reeds and they fit into the budget, there is a way to get rid of the 'roughness'.

All you need is a hard flat surface and some 600 or 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper. I use a 3X4 piece of glass with beveled edges about 1/4 inch thick. You can get this anywhere they do glass repair.

Lay the reed flat on the glass and sand the top VERY LIGHTLY. This will smooth out the rough ends left over from shaping the reed.

Ask your teacher to show you other ways of adjusting your reeds using this method. It's inexpensive and best of all, IT WORKS.
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