I got Big Bess out this morning to shed some new charts for upcoming gigs and discovered I'm almost out of my regular reeds (Rico Royal 3 1/2). So deciding to save the Royals for the gigs I tried out a Rico plasticover that had been sitting on the shelf for 9 or 10 years. I remember not much liking the plasticovers when I first tried them but I figured they might be okay for some practicing. Boy, was I surprised. These things play great. Good response throughout the whole range (2 1/2 octaves for me). Tone is not bad. A little buzzy (probably why I stayed with cane all these years) but fine for woodshedding. Should be a good back-up reed too for when I have to slap a reed on in a hurry and know that it will play. I'll still use cane for the gigs but I think from now on I'm going to use the plasticovers for practice. Should save me a good deal of time, money, and hassle.