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Does anyone know how to interpret the two digit, three letter code that used to be stamped on old Brown Box rico reeds? As an example, I recently got two boxes stamped 91 ZET and 69VRW.
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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I'm more curious about how these old reeds might play. I know some players look for old reeds but they would have to be properly stored that whole time in order not to be brittle. I first thought the codes were date codes but I'm not sure that the brown box was still being made in 1991.
 

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I'm pretty sure Rico had changed away from the old brown cardboard imitation wood grain box by 1991. And a box of reeds dating all the way back to 1969 would be even less likely to have survived.

On longevity of reeds, though, I am still playing reeds from a shipment a friend gave to me back in about '95 or so and they are (to me) indistinguishable from new ones. And I don't think they were all that brand new in '95, so they may well be as old as 1991. I think they have always been in a drawer in the house, not stored in a super hot attic or garage. Also, all the boxes have remained shrink wrapped till I open them.
 
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