Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
The Plasticovers are very nice! Of course, as you said, if buzzy isn't for you, then they are not the best for gigs! Have you tried Légère reeds for Bari? They are very nice! Same poppy response as the Plasticoat, but have a much smoother sound. Not as much buzz either. Pair it up with the right mouthpiece and you've got a hell of a combo! And, FYI, the new Légère Signature Series will be available for bari soon, so keep your eyes peeled for those!
www.legere.com

Good luck!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I haven't tried the Legeres (how do you get that little mark above the e?) on bari. I've tried them on clarinet and found them a little resistant. Takes some work to get them to vibrate. Also the clear plastic material sort of puts me off and it feels slippery. But I might check out the Signature Series for bari. I don't much like the black tar look of the plasticovers either but they feel okay on the lip. I've tried Fibracells too. They look just like cane and play pretty well but I think the plasticovers sound more like cane (at least on bari). I'm thinking of trying the plasticovers on alto.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
Légères are made out of polyprypelene, which is also used in a lot of food containers. The reed wears out after a few months, after which you don't use it.

I feel better about them than I would with the mysterious black plastic on the plasticovers -- does it flake off? What happens to the flakes?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
How long will a plasticover last before it starts flaking out?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,828 Posts
they do flake after a while,and like all reeds" eventually you lose the quality from them!, but of course they last longer than conventional, style reeds.
The flaking is not a problem, to my expierience its quite minor"i like plasticovers, there not for everyone,but i would always use them preferably other cane uncoated reeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Having to play a lot of outdoor gigs in the summer heat, I decided to try synthetics, as my canes dried out insanely quickly. I found Legeres way too stuffy for my needs. Hahn is my choice. VERY bright and consistent in all registers. I haven't noticed any degradation in 6 months of playing, either.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Legeres feel stuffy to me also. Hahns sound like they're worth a look as I tend to prefer a brighter sound. I'm still liking the plasticovers on bari. I bought a box for alto but haven't tried them yet.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
Long time fan of Plasticovers. No flaking issues here, but cane does sound better, so I too use the P'covers for practice and the cane for gigs.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008-2017
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
Plasticovers are the best reeds for me. I like the sound, and the altissimo I can get with them. No cane or any other reed is as good as Plasticover for me.

Plasticover can be inconsistent and tend to run soft fast. Flake some how after a week or so, but I do not care. My experience is that Plasticovers do not last longer that any cane reed. Indeed, Javas last longer for me.

Having tried almost anything in the market, the sound I have with Plasticovers is what I really like.

All the best,

JI
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,018 Posts
I gig with Plasticovers. But I'm doubling on keyboard. They're great for doublers. Also good for jams where you put your horn away for a while, then bring it out quickly. I also take the tenor and bari to jams so they're good for that too. They do go soft after a while and you have to discard what looks like a perfectly good (and expensive) reed, which is hard. But they lose their responsiveness. I've never had much of a problem with them flaking. Maybe a few tiny bits come off. But it seems like the longer I've played them, the less flaking I have. I think you have to get used to them. Then they're a very reliable reed and can last a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I play fibracell 4 on my Quantum 10 mouthpiece [baritone]. A bit buzzy. I clipped one and got a much better sound. I moved up to get away from the buzz. I'm thinking of ordering a 4.5. They seem easy to play or should I look at something else? I found Legeres a bit stuffy on tenor so don't think I'll go there. I'd like to stick with synthetics. Thanks for any advice.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,415 Posts
Always have at least one good Plasticover that you know you can play in a reedguard in your horn case for emergencies. Never leave a Plasticover on the mouthpiece when you're finished for the day. Some of the greatest 'big tone' players have used Plasticovers, like Plas Johnson and Pete Christlieb for example. Hey, maybe that's why they call him 'Plas'? Anyway, I use them on everything except tenor because all the other horns are part timers. Sometimes I'll use one on tenor too when the mood strikes me.
BTW, Plas's set-up on tenor was a 160 steel Berg with a #1 1/2 Bari sax Plastocover. On baritone, I use a 130/1 rubber Berg with a #3 Bari Plasticover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I use them pretty much all the time, I've found them to be very consistent in tone and playability - granted it may not be as sweet a tone as a cane reed but they all tend to play the same with little break in. I double on guitar in a couple of the bands I play in so I don't have to deal with drying out when I've swapped. I play a Drake metal .115 or and RPC .125 and use a Bari 3 Plasticover on both, they've got a big sound, great altissimo, can be a little buzzy but most of the stuff I play is R&R or R&B, I can get them smoothed out with some breath control. I never have them flake on me, I think they only flake if you leave them on the mouthpiece and they stick once everything has dried out. I take mine off when I'm done playing and stick it back in the sleeve. Typically I'll get about two weeks out of a reed, putting about 12 hours a week on it practicing and playing, after a week the Altissimo doesn't pop like it does when they're fresh but then the cane reeds I've used soften up after just a couple days.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm using a RIA 10* (.145") with a #3 plasticover. This set-up blows pretty easy. I'm thinking about trying a 3 1/2 for even more punch.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008-2017
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
James Carter uses them. What a sound he has. I think Dave Koz uses them, too. I am not too much into his sound. Many brand name players do use them. I know, as stated, that Plas Johnson used them. That Pink Panther sound he had.... Wow.... Of course he played with a very big tip opening Berg. 0.166 modified one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I'm really liking the plasticover reeds, and also the legere. One thing about the plasticover reeds that I find annoying and can't imagine why Rico hasn't figured this out yet. Since the plastic is black, they are almost impossible to set up on a black rubber/plastic mouthpiece, especially in low light. Does anyone at Rico actually play sax on gig situations? Why can't they spray the reed with a different color?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
Yes, it is a big PITA, especially if I don't have my glasses on. They aren't a problem on a SS Berg but try putting on a legere or Bari on that mpc in a dim club. They're basically trasparent and make seeing.the silver.tip almost impssible. So I do like Roland Kirk and use my finger tip to feel where the reed tip is.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top