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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since getting back from a two month stint abroad (where I was playing soprano instead of tenor) I've really been struggling to get settled on the right reeds. Before I went I was using Rigotti Gold 3L and was finding every reed out of the box was working pretty well. Since getting back I've tried 3L, 3M and most recently 2.5H but have been finding that almost all of the reeds in each box are really resistant. I've had my horn checked by a very good technician who said my horn is all working fine and he also checked my mouthpiece table is level (which it is).

I'm just finding that none of my reeds are singing as I'd like them to and it's driving me crazy. I've found that with the 2.5H and also the 3Ls, the reeds are easier to play if I really focus on relaxing my embouchure an abnormal amount - it's almost as if I'm closing them off? On the other hand though, the 3Ms are definitely hard to blow due to the thickness of the cane. Perhaps I'm not breaking them in enough but I have showed a good amount of patience with them all up until now...

Has anyone else had any weird experiences with Rigotti Gold in the last couple of months? I actually bumped into another player at my technicians workshop who said by chance that he had to go up two strengths in Rigotti as he felt his reeds were all feeling mushy.

I also don't think soley due to me taking two months off from playing tenor. I play for 3-4 hours every day and so my embouchure really shouldn't be the only thing causing this. On the few reeds I've had that have felt right - things have been feeling better than ever so I'm really not sure what's going on.

Thanks in advance for any help
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'll also add that I have got a Reekgeek and do know how to do basic adjustments on reeds but it is just the fact that I've had no issues like this for a long time and suddenly I can't get more than one or two reeds to play right (even with adjustment)...
 

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I know a lot of people like them but they just haven’t really worked for me so… other brands it is.

…but… if you have been playing a different horn you have to expect your embouchure to be “off” from where it was. Start on the smallest and be consistent in working with them daily. It should come back fine.
 

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For what it's worth, I just got a box of Rigotti Gold and the first 3 out of the box played fine (2.5M). I practiced for about a week on them and played a gig Saturday with no problems. I didn't do any adjusting, but I do have a prep routine that I follow:

1. Soak for 5 min. in Listerine
2. Flatten the back with Reed Geek
3. Let dry for an hour or so in a reed holder with a flat surface.

Re-wet if needed, place on a flat surface and rub from back toward tip with my thumb to "seal" the reed, then play for no more than 10 minutes the first time out. Let dry and put away until next day, then start using them. Try to avoid extended periods of play for the first few times out by rotating reeds.

That gives me pretty good results as far as playability, and longevity, and isn't as much fussing around as it sounds once you start a new set of reeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know a lot of people like them but they just haven’t really worked for me so… other brands it is.

…but… if you have been playing a different horn you have to expect your embouchure to be “off” from where it was. Start on the smallest and be consistent in working with them daily. It should come back fine.
I should have specified - I have been back since the end of August. I've really loved them when they've worked for me but this has been really frustrating.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J hr (Meyer clone produced by JJ Babbitt))
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Cane is a plant; plants vary according to weather. I noticed a few years back that when I became dissatisfied with my current reeds, I switched. But, other people also became dissatisfied with their reeds. I think that weather is more to blame than the producers. All of the reeds I have used extensively, Jazz Select, Vandoren Java green box, and now Rigotti Gold, are all fine reeds. I have learned to use a Reed Geek better, and really have no bad reeds in the box. I may have been at the same place years ago had I worked my reeds when needed. For myself, any problems that arise resolve better if I look at what I am doing rather than wondering about the equipment.
 

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It sounds like you want something with a thinner tip profile that gives you the fast response that you liked on Soprano. I'd check out the NEXUS reeds they have a quick response and I have never had a bad reed in the many boxes I have ordered.
 

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R&C 2V Sop, YAS61S, YTS61S, YBS62.
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It sounds like you want something with a thinner tip profile that gives you the fast response that you liked on Soprano. I'd check out the NEXUS reeds they have a quick response and I have never had a bad reed in the many boxes I have ordered.
Alas, no soprano or baritone options yet in the Nexus range.
 

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Since getting back from a two month stint abroad (where I was playing soprano instead of tenor) I've really been struggling to get settled on the right reeds. Before I went I was using Rigotti Gold 3L and was finding every reed out of the box was working pretty well. Since getting back I've tried 3L, 3M and most recently 2.5H but have been finding that almost all of the reeds in each box are really resistant. I've had my horn checked by a very good technician who said my horn is all working fine and he also checked my mouthpiece table is level (which it is).
I also don't think soley due to me taking two months off from playing tenor. I play for 3-4 hours every day and so my embouchure really shouldn't be the only thing causing this.
Maybe your embouchure is great but your concept has shifted. Are you still shifting between horns?

It may be a function of whether your airstream and embouchure are sufficiently relaxed. Do you notice tension in your neck, throat, or shoulders? Has your posture shifted?

A lot of lil’ subtle stuff can really mess with your sound.
 

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I mostly play the Rigotti Classic aka "the Red Ones" on tenor - that cut works great for me on the short facings often seen on vintage Links. I mostly play 3L but also keeps some 2.5H pending on humidity. That being said I find that the number one contributor to a consistent shift in reed apparent resistance is when an upper stack leak develops -bis, short tube C# or one of the palm keys being usual culprits.... Other than that the last 3 boxes of Rigotti purchased through the summer have been so far very consistent.

Good luck!

MG
 

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I've found the Rigotti tenor reeds to be fairly consistent, but like any cane reed, they will vary. I use 3Light (primarily) and 2.5Strong. Some are better than others, but overall, they still work better than other brands I've played in the past. I still have a couple boxes of Vandoren Java & V16 (which used to be my favorite reed) and when I occasionally try those reeds, they are never as good as the Rigotti..
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I haven't noticed any changes in my Rigotti reeds recently. Given that it's not your horn and that you've taken a long break from tenor, Occam's razor would suggest it's probably (mostly) you.

Before you go crazy experimenting with new reeds, I'd recommend just trying to push through your original setup (i.e., 3L's) for a while.
 

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One day my horn became super resistant, thought it was a reed/mouthpiece/embouchure issue, went to softer reeds, then saw that one of the LH pads had ripped. Replaced the pad and voila, the 2.5s suddenly were too soft. I use Rigotti gold 3 on short and long facings and never had issues with consistency/playability that a minimum amount of shaving with a reedgeek couldn't fix.
 

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Every harvest is different. If the reeds are a different harvest than the ones you are used to, the reed game starts new (which reed will work). I am playing rigotti for several years now and noticed some harvest every single reed is perfect and another time no single reed seems to work.
Two options that sometimes work: wait till the next harvest and maybe it will be better or
open the box and make sure the reeds get some air and with some luck the reeds will be better after some months (i got this advice from someone who worked for Vandoren).
 

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Since getting back from a two month stint abroad (where I was playing soprano instead of tenor) I've really been struggling to get settled on the right reeds. Before I went I was using Rigotti Gold 3L and was finding every reed out of the box was working pretty well. Since getting back I've tried 3L, 3M and most recently 2.5H but have been finding that almost all of the reeds in each box are really resistant. I've had my horn checked by a very good technician who said my horn is all working fine and he also checked my mouthpiece table is level (which it is).

I'm just finding that none of my reeds are singing as I'd like them to and it's driving me crazy. I've found that with the 2.5H and also the 3Ls, the reeds are easier to play if I really focus on relaxing my embouchure an abnormal amount - it's almost as if I'm closing them off? On the other hand though, the 3Ms are definitely hard to blow due to the thickness of the cane. Perhaps I'm not breaking them in enough but I have showed a good amount of patience with them all up until now...

Has anyone else had any weird experiences with Rigotti Gold in the last couple of months? I actually bumped into another player at my technicians workshop who said by chance that he had to go up two strengths in Rigotti as he felt his reeds were all feeling mushy.

I also don't think soley due to me taking two months off from playing tenor. I play for 3-4 hours every day and so my embouchure really shouldn't be the only thing causing this. On the few reeds I've had that have felt right - things have been feeling better than ever so I'm really not sure what's going on.

Thanks in advance for any help
Try Tom Ridenour’s ATG system of reed finishing
 

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Ridenour’s ATG is great if you’ve never worked on reeds before. But if you have used a knife or sandpaper or reed rush, then these kinds of problems are often down to balance. Ridenour also focuses on this aspect, but you can learn to balance the reed side to side, which involves playtesting the reed by twisting the mouthpiece in your mouth (I do this with just the neck and mouthpiece), and then adjusting the side that feels harder.

Lots of people talk about reeds changing year over year, but I personally have never found this to be an issue. I test and adjust every reed for balance, and end up playing 90% of them. Some require more work, some less. But by taking the attitude that every reed will require a little touchup to play its best, then you won’t ever feel frustrated by minor differences box to box or year to year.
 
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