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Discussion Starter #1
I have been drinking the Vandoren Kool Aid ever since my high school band teacher recommended Vandoren's back in the 90's. After all, what could be better for a jazz and funk sax player like myself than a reed company that offers several varieties of jazz and pop reeds such as red box javas, green box javas and V 16's? But after reading glowing reviews about Rigotti's here on SOTW, I decided to try a box. WOW, after trying a few Rigotti Gold Jazz reeds on all 3 of my tenor mouthpieces (a Phil Tone, a Berg Larson and a Sugal KWIII) I don't see myself ever buying another Vandoren reed again. It was like these Rigotti reeds breathed new life into all 3 of my mouthpieces. I was going to sell the Berg Larson metal 105/1 because I didn't like the response, but the response was amazing with the Rigotti 2.5 medium. It even felt so easy to play I can probably step up to a 110/1 and get a little more edge without sacrificing response. My Phil Tone has never sounded better. And the Sugal also responded and sounded best with the Rigotti. I have been searching for the perfect mouthpiece for decades, but now I am starting to think all these years the mouthpiece wasn't my problem, it was the reed. I probably would have loved all those mouthpieces I sold over the years if I had tried them with Rigotti reeds. I have been using Fibracell for my funk band gigs because I don't really like the response of the Vandoren red box I have been using, but the Rigotti has a better response than the Fibracell and of course the tone is also better. Too bad it took me so long to discover Rigotti reeds. Thanks to SOTW I finally did.
 

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Reeds are everything. I’ve been preaching this from the rooftops for years and years.
Trying different brands, cuts, and sizes will make such a difference in terms of feel, response, warmth, brightness, etc.
The Rigotti have a freedom, clarity, and brightness/brilliance that a lot of players like. The Vandoren V16 reeds as an example, are a thicker cut, so you will get a totally different vibe from those. Some people like those more for what those offer.
Everybody needs to dial in what they want by trying different brands and cuts of reeds.

I’m glad you got a chance to dial in what you have been looking for. That’s what it’s all about!
 

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I just got my first box of Rigotti's (2 1/2 H) in the mail yesterday and haven't had a chance to try them out yet. I've also been using the Vandoren Java Reds (3). Now after your post I am even more excited to do so. I just hope they are not to overly bright, I really like the darker, warmer tone. We will see how they do?
 

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I think brightness might have a negative connotation.

What I hear with Rigotti JG on my alto is more brilliance and also singing sweetness, while the mids and lows still have rich guts. I've learned I don't like "warm" or "dark" if they really mean the highs are muffled. A little sparkle does not defeat rich and round.

But on my tenor I am unexpectedly infatuated with Hemke (filed), even though I do not like filed Java Red. And Hemkes are cheap! relatively speaking.

(And again, thanks Mark!)
 

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I think brightness might have a negative connotation.

What I hear with Rigotti JG on my alto is more brilliance and also singing sweetness, while the mids and lows still have rich guts. I've learned I don't like "warm" or "dark" if they really mean the highs are muffled. A little sparkle does not defeat rich and round.

But on my tenor I am unexpectedly infatuated with Hemke (filed), even though I do not like filed Java Red. And Hemkes are cheap! relatively speaking.

(And again, thanks Mark!)

Good Point about the "brightness" term, I guess brilliance would better describe my thinking, and I would have to agree with you. I'm curious what MP you are using on your tenor? I've never tried Hemke, my curiosity is now peaked.
 

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I rarely give up on a brand or cut of reed, you just never know what's going to work on a particular piece. I've been pleasantly surprised more than a few times, this week is no exception.
I should add that I operate a band and orchestral music store so I'm constantly helping students and trying pieces for the store.
 

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I just got my first box of Rigotti's (2 1/2 H) in the mail yesterday and haven't had a chance to try them out yet. I've also been using the Vandoren Java Reds (3). Now after your post I am even more excited to do so. I just hope they are not to overly bright, I really like the darker, warmer tone. We will see how they do?
First thing you'll notice is they're a good bit softer than Java Red 3s.

The second thing you'll notice is that they are "livelier" and a little brighter. But you'll want to go up in strength probably if you're used to Red 3s.
 

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curious what MP you are using on your tenor?
Phil-Tone HR Sapphire 7 and metal Tribute 7*. I hope I'm correct in categorizing them as low-baffle and M-L chamber, on the less-edgy and warmer end of the modern sax sound spectrum to my understanding.

I also like RJG 2.5-Strong on them, but Hemke 3s seem to have a little more favorable character very high and very low. The Tribute tighter bore squeezes the cork so the Sapphire then falls off, and one (factory fresh Yamaha!) horn is at the tech with numerous leaks, so I have some set-up stability to achieve before I can focus on some recorded thorough A-Bing.

But basically I have two reeds that consistently work well for me and I like, and I'm grateful for that!
 

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I've always loved the "buzz" and tone color I've gotten from a really good Vandoren ZZ, but I'm appreciating more and more the "cleaner"(but not dull) tone of a Rigotti. Rigotti's also seem way more consistent. That ZZ that feels oh-so-good is oh-so-hard-to-find.
 

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I tried Rigotti’s couple years ago and haven’t looked back.They’re the best.Jay Metcalf from Better Sax YouTube channel has a video of Rigotti factory and manufacturing process very interesting.
 

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They reminded me of when Ricos were good. Consistent, edgy and work great for me since I play Links.
I just hope the evil reed conglomerate doesn’t buy them out and they go the way of Rico Jazz Select.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've always loved the "buzz" and tone color I've gotten from a really good Vandoren ZZ, but I'm appreciating more and more the "cleaner"(but not dull) tone of a Rigotti. Rigotti's also seem way more consistent. That ZZ that feels oh-so-good is oh-so-hard-to-find.
I tried ZZ and although I like the tone, I found those reeds were so thin they didn't last. It seemed like I could wear those ZZ's out in a single gig. Also everyone seems to agree that the Rigotti are more consistent. With the Vandoren, no matter the cut, you might find 4 excellent reeds in a box of 10 and donate the 6 not so good reeds to middle school band students (at least that's what I have been doing). With the Rigotti, I have found 5 out of 5 to respond and sound the same! Also yes I agree with the previous comments, pretty much everyone's comments. As a matter of fact, this may very well be the first thread I ever started that didn't end up in a heated argument. LOL
 

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I’ve kinda done the opposite in that I’ve put the Rigotti’s away in favour of Vandoren greens.
They just seem to be the all around best reed for a Link.
 

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I did the same as well. Was on Rigotti's then went to Red's now been playing Boston Sax shop reeds which I am really digging more so then then either of the previous reeds.
 

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I tried Rigotti’s couple years ago and haven’t looked back. They’re the best.
+1. That's my experience also. But of course we're all different.

I just want to add that you really do have to play more than one or two reeds to make any kind of solid judgment. No getting around playing through a box of reeds of any given brand/size. After that, you'll know if they are for you or not.
 

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I just went from red box to Rigoni on tenor as well.
At first I thought they were too bright, but after a few plays I too saw what all hoopla was about.

Have not tried altos yet, for which I am using either ZZs or Roberto’s, depending on my mood and what sound I want.
Interestingly enough, Roberto’s reeds are Rigoni cane with a different cut, and are also very consistent, so I’m betting I’ll like them too.
AND!! you can buy Roberto’s reeds in singles or any multiple to try out and test!
 

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I could never get into Vandoren saxophone reeds, neither alto or tenor. They're surprisingly inconsistent with 3's ranging anywhere from a 2.5 to a 2x4. Their bass clarinet reeds were surprisingly decent, and I enjoyed them on tenor for awhile. About 10 years ago, I discovered Rigotti. Haven't looked back since.
 

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A related question then. If I'm using Red Java 3s on tenor, what strength would you recommend for Rigotti? I was using 2.5 Strong on a different piece that wasn't as free-blowing as the Gaia 3 I have now (when I was using 2.5 Reds on the other piece).

So does that mean 3 Strong would be right?
 
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