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Discussion Starter #1
What has been your experience with Rico jazz select reeds? What is the difference between the filed and unfiled in terms of tone, response, durability and longevity?
 

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Here's what I have found:
Filed are easier low response, slighly weaker upper register, brighter, a bit more free blowing (I like them better).
Unfilled are darker, more mellow, basically just a slightly thicker sound.
I think normally people like using filed reeds with more open chambered mouthpieces and unfilled with more small chambered mouthpieces.
-Benji
 

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Many ppl here like the RSJ reeds. If there's any difference between the filed and unfiled reeds, it's subtle at best. Across a sample set of dozens of boxes in each style, I've found them to be pretty much identical on average.

Search for a thread using keywords"Filed" and "Unfiled" in this reed forum, and you'll see a lot of other opinions on this matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've never tried the Alexanders superials, DC's or classiques. Thing is local stores don't sell them.

If Rico selects are doin' it for me should which size is comparable to the Rico select 3 filed soft? Some reed charts on the net do lie!! One webpage claimed that Alexander ran close behind Select. What are your thoughts? I'm always experimenting for the "ideal setup".

My mouthpiece is Guardala MB, very open so the soft reed tends to fit it.
 

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I am on my 1st reed of my first box. Using 2 med. filed on soprano with various mpcs. a s80c, yamaha 6c and metal selmer jazz C. I really like the reed so far. I am into about the third week of playing about 4 hrs. per week and just noticing it is getting a little less responsive. The reed played right out of the box, I can only hope the remainder of the box is as good.
 

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Wailin' said:
I've never tried the Alexanders superials, DC's or classiques. Thing is local stores don't sell them.

If Rico selects are doin' it for me should which size is comparable to the Rico select 3 filed soft? Some reed charts on the net do lie!! One webpage claimed that Alexander ran close behind Select. What are your thoughts? I'm always experimenting for the "ideal setup".

My mouthpiece is Guardala MB, very open so the soft reed tends to fit it.
A DC or Superial #3 is about equivalent to RSJ 3s or 3m...maybe right between the 2.
 

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Wailin' said:
I've never tried the Alexanders superials, DC's or classiques. Thing is local stores don't sell them.
Ive tried the Alexanders in both types, and 2 strengths. I bought 4 tins and have come to the conclusion that I wasted about $90. The profile of these reeds takes some REAL time. I played 3 of them for about 4 weeks and never really got the embouchure used to them.

I am TOTALLY impressed with the RJS 2S reeds. I'm playing those on an RPC 105...best sound I have ever made on a sax.
 

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Wailin,

Just picked up a box of the RJS 3M unfiled. I just got home and opened them up. Looks wise, I'm sceptical. 7/10 have dark "pith?" running the length of the reed. I'm prepping the other three as I write, so I'll give them a go and post my findings.
FWIW, I went with the 3M (down from the Rico 4's I was using) just to give myself an easier time this week. I have a few full days of "Band Camp" to teach and to top it off, my Buescher gave up the ghost on Friday. I'll use my Conn "Chu" Alto, (time for pinky surgery again :( ) :( and I'm hoping the softer reeds will not only give me an easier time of it, but also help tame the volume because I'll be playing alongside young kids on 4C mpc's with 1.5 reeds.
The RJS seem, on looks alone, to have a decent amount of heart to them, but I'll post more when I've played them a little.
 

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I was using javas on my link and came across a box of RJS 3S. Surprisingly, these reeds are more responsive on my mouthpiece. I was actually rather bummed about it as I like and am comfortable with vandoren. When I saw the price of RJS, I was delighted.

The response of RJS on my link is faster and less resistant. The sound is livlier, and more focused than javas. On tape, the difference is obvious with the rjs being brighter and buzzier. It's nice on my link.
 

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I guess it's just me, but I have yet to play one of these I liked, on tenor or alto. I have tried 3s, 3m, and 3h, and they all sound really dull and unresponsive to me. Almost too soft. I was going to try and bump up to a 3 1/2 but I just don't have the patience.
 

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Ok, end of the week and my first impressions of the RJS. As I said above, I went for the 3M unfiled. In retrospect, I should have gone for the 3H or even the 4S.
I found the RJS to play on the soft side of what they are listed as. As I said in my earlier post, I was actually looking for something a bit softer, but these are too soft by far.
Sound: Sound was fine at normal volumes. When I wanted to push the volume, I got not much at all. The Buescher was in the shop for a re-pad
so I was using the Conn "Chu" with a Selmer Scroll shank. Usually I play 4's on this mpc so the 3M was just too soft. Tone was pretty flexible, but that should be a given on a softish reed. The Concert Band blend was easy to achieve, but the Eddie Vinson preaching sound just wasn't there with these.
Response: This was a good test. The kids are doing a lot of Old Time Rock and Roll tunes. Simple lines, with a lot of fast staccato hits, a la "Rock around the clock" etc. The RJS responded well enough to keep up with school band tempos but anyone playing uptempo funk might want to consider something else. I often play on Plasticovers and the difference in response between the two is phenomenal. I'm going to be generous and put it down to the reeds being too soft. Even so, after a week, the reeds are noticeably less responsive.
Quality and Consistency: I got a box of 10. In that box, 7 out of the 10 reeds have a dark "skid mark" of fibre running the length of the reed. It's good to know Rico are still using the same Quality Assurance test. ;)

Overall, I was disappointed with the RJS 3M but I'm willing to reserve judgement until I've tried some 3H reeds. I had one experienced player tell me that they're a so-so, not great reed and to only ever get the H strength. I'll try the RJS 3H, but really, I 'm starting to think that reed maker ought to just make a good basic reed in consistent strengths and leave all the fine tuning to the player. I've never had so many dud reeds as lately with all the "gimmicky" "ribbed for her pleasure" stuff the reed makers seem to be coming out with. Just give me a decent bloody reed from a good piece of cane and let me do the adjusting.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dogpants, At the end of the day it's about finding the shoe that fits each player's individual "feet".

I take it you play on a closed mpc?
 

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I use 3S unfiled RJS's on my Barone tenor piece--he said those were what to use, so I didn't argue and they have worked for me.
On alto, I was a devoted Vandoren Java player, then discovered the Alexander's. After getting a Lamberson HR piece for my alto, the above no longer worked. Fred suggested using the Vandoren V16s. I tried those and they just felt awful. The reed that has worked the best for me on alto now has been the RJS's 3S filed! I do miss the Vandorens and the Alexanders--maybe it's the packaging!--but they just seemed to be a higher quality product and yet I've been very pleased with RJS's on both horns. This stuff will drive you crazy....
 

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Wailin' said:
Dogpants, At the end of the day it's about finding the shoe that fits each player's individual "feet".

I take it you play on a closed mpc?
Wailin', The answer is "yes and no." This was an Alto job. I usually play a JJ "Classic" (the blue ones) that's been refaced and opened up to about a 7. I play 3's or 3.5's on this setup. For teaching schoolkids, it's a little too much. So I was playing on the Scroll Shank which I usually play 4's on. The RJS 3M was an easy blow and given that I coaught the "FLU" from one of the kids, as expected, I was grateful for that. I hope I was clear in stating that I'm not dissing the RJS as such. I'll try the 3H and see hoe they are.The 3M was just too soft. The reason I decided to give the RJS a try was that so many blokes seem to love them. The right strength reed might be a good match for the Selmer. Based on this experience, I'd suggest erring on the side of buying a harder reed strength than you think you might need.
 

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DogPants, I think your problem (at least one of them) was that you used the unfiled reeds. In my opinion the filed ones are the ones to use. I just like the sound better, and I think they are less stuffy.
 

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In light of Martinman's comment, I will qualify my statement above...the reed is a filed 2M, not a 2S. Again, trying to control a soft reed and doing anything I want on a .105 is the kind of control I like!~
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Martinman said:
DogPants, I think your problem (at least one of them) was that you used the unfiled reeds. In my opinion the filed ones are the ones to use. I just like the sound better, and I think they are less stuffy.

Martin, I wholeheartedly agree!
 

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There was a thread a monthish ago about the difference between filed and unfiled - might be worth a search to find it if you're interested.
 
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