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Discussion Starter #1
Return to playing after a long layoff. I have a Legere Signature reed but I'm not liking the tone with my Otto Link NY STM. So I thought I'd venture back to cane to hear the difference in tone. Just wondering if the Jazz Select has that many more usable reeds over the Orange Box. Seems the Jazz Select are near double the price for the amount of reeds.
 

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I have a STM refaced to 8 & I have the most success with the Select Jazz 3mu to Rico orange 3.5, which is supposedly the equivalent.
 

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The current orange box Rico's are not the same as the old V cut Ricos. For me the Vandoren Java Green sounds the most similar to the old V cut Ricos. I used those Ricos when they used to come in the white and blue box and then the fake wood looking brown box and finally the orange box. But it has probably been a dozen years or so that they changed. The tone of the current orange box Ricos is noticeably brighter than the old V cuts.

So yes, either the Jazz Select or the Vandoren Java green is going to get you closer to the old Rico sound, me thinks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The current orange box Rico's are not the same as the old V cut Ricos. For me the Vandoren Java Green sounds the most similar to the old V cut Ricos. I used those Ricos when they used to come in the white and blue box and then the fake wood looking brown box and finally the orange box. But it has probably been a dozen years or so that they changed. The tone of the current orange box Ricos is noticeably brighter than the old V cuts.

So yes, either the Jazz Select or the Vandoren Java green is going to get you closer to the old Rico sound, me thinks.
Ah, good to know. Wanting to get away from a thin buzzy sound I have now. So definitely not a bright reed.
 

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I love the orange box. It's the only thing that works for me on a Link style piece other than Rigotti but orange box are cheaper.
 

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(Rico) Royal. In 2.5, for example, 3 out of 5 in a box will be a little harder, with more resistance, and the other 2 will be a little softer with more 'buzz'. These are the ones I'm looking for. I think you would like the harder ones. Generally, the Royals are a better grade of cane and are more carefully graded than the regular Rico, plus they are 'French file cut' which adds to the clarity of response.
 

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I actually think Rigotti Gold (or Jazz) reeds are the closest to the old brown box V-cut Ricos. The orange box reeds have a much more pronounced curve in the cut, leading to a thinner heart area, and so they sound thin. I prefer the Rigotti reeds, but Java Green and Select Jazz are good too.

Also, the orange box reeds often have 2 or 3 clinkers in a box (reeds that should never have passed QC), so I don't think they are a "better buy". The strengths of those 3 other brands are not at all equivalent so you may have to experiment to find the right strength. Orange box reeds are noticeably lighter than the others though, so a 3 1/2 orange box will be like a 2 1/2 or 3 Java, a 2 1/2 Strong or 3 Light Rigotti, or a 3 medium Select Jazz.

OK - time for a rant. It bugs the stuffing out of me when people say things like "3 out of 5 reeds in a box are good". Learn to balance your reeds side to side, so that they play the same on both sides (tilting the mouthpiece in your mouth to dampen one side of the reed), and you will play every reed in a box. Maybe not all will be gig-quality reeds, but most will. Last year I went through 2 boxes of Rigottis on tenor, and one box of Select Jazz (that's 25 reeds total), and only one reed was unplayable. If you play cane reeds, it's just part of being a woodwind player to work on reeds, deal with it. ..... OK - rant over.

Good luck, let us know how you make out.
 
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