A few months ago I compared the AL4 with my stock S80 C*. I have always used Vandoren Traditional #3 on the C*, so I tried the AL4 with these reeds. While I found the AL4 provided a very nice resistance, I ended up sticking with my C*. The AL4 seemed to have a shorter facing, because the low notes were much more picky. Altissimo was maybe a little better. But, although I agree with Hurling about the AL4's greater harmonic richness, I found it generally brighter than my C* in all registers. While I preferred the resistance it gave me, I couldn't get past the harshness. I ended up sticking with my C*, but switching to the new Rico Reserve reeds in #3.5, so I got a little bit more resistance with the sound & feel I was used to.
I see you're looking at the Selmer C facing. I would say that this facing is probably too close. If you want an even match, I'd say the comparable matches would be more like AL4 vs. C** and AL3 vs. C*, as far as resistance. Good luck!
i have not played a C, but have played many C*, C**s..and the vandoren AL4. the selmer produces the run of mill, average french classical sound. if you work with it enough you can produce a pretty good sound. in comparison, the vandoren is similar, but i think the tone is clearer...and has a better "core" to the tone. the buzz isn't as thin. i think i prefer the vandoren. the AL4 facing is a shorter facing compared to a C or C*. i think that's why it has those characteristics.
if you can, try playing both side by side.
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