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Discussion Starter #1
I have always played on plain old Rico orange box 2 1/2 reeds.
I play a '78 Buescher Aristocrat with the student Golden-tone mpc it came with.

What am I missing by only playing on Rico reeds (I must point out that I don't think I'd ever noticed that I had a bad reed. Maybe they are all bad but that's what I'm used to. Who knows?). So, I'd like to try something else but there seems to be so much to choose from. Where do I start?
 

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You might want to also consider upgrading your mouthpiece, if you are still playing a student mpc that came with your horn. I guess that is a more expensive experiment than just trying new reeds, but the potential benefits are large.
 

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In my very humble opinion, if you are NOT noticing a bad reed, it is because the mouthpiece is too close for your reeds. I can stick anything on my Selmer c* and it will work, on my "jazz" pieces with a more open tip, bad reeds become more noticable.

So, cheap option: Rico Royal 3's and break them in. If you want a bit more snap and fizz, try Vandoren V16's both these are a nice easy blow, once broken in. If you want a darker sound try Vandoren Blue Box 2.5

Expensive option, use your Rico 2.5's on a Jody Jazz HR5/Meyer 5M (for jazz) or a Selmer S80 c*, or any similar grade mouthpieces

Good luck!
 

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Hemke 4's.

The silver box that has 5 reeds in it.

Its all I play. Been around the block as far as reeds go, and given my income and snobbery, hemke silver-box 4's are where its at.

And a meyer 5 or 6 mouthpiece helps too.
 

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Unless there is something you are not getting from your present setup, why change? I surprised myself recently, when I decided to buy a couple of yellow box Ricos and played the first one and it played just fine. I had to laugh because this is how I started off and I don't think I played anything else until I started getting "ejucated".

I have a friend who is a very good player and he uses these reeds exclusively. Also I had a workshop with a very fine player, Greg Badalato, and was surprised to find a box of yellow Ricos in his sax case. Like I said - if it ain't broke...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree with the "if it ain't broke..." sentiment.
On the other hand, if a friend only drank Bud Light beer, and that's all he knew, it would be a shame to let him think that's as good as it gets. No?
 

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I used the Rico orange box first like most people and was recommended the Vandoren Javas. After playing my first Java i fell in love with it! I still play them but i'm now experimenting with the Vandoren ZZ reeds which are some very good reeds to, especially for their main purpose, jazz.
 

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I have to agree with Gary. If it ain't broke....?

You might also find that if you do some basic prep on your reeds, such as making sure the back is flat, and balancing the reed etc, brand names become less important.
It's just a piece of cane, that you adjust to suit yourself. If however, you don't want to go down that path, I suppose finding something that plays well, right out of the box, is paramount.

I imagine a lot of good players can play on cheaper reeds, simply because they;

1) Adjust them to suit

or

2) They're good enough to blow over any difficulties the reed presents and they just get on with the job.
 

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my band director does reed checks and if we have a rico or rico royal reed he takes it. he says that the consistency of thies reeds is bad. he suggests vandoren for sax and mitchule luri for clarinet for u dobblers.
vandoren 3 for alto and 2.5 for beri work for me
 

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my band director does reed checks and if we have a rico or rico royal reed he takes it. he says that the consistency of thies reeds is bad. he suggests vandoren for sax and mitchule luri for clarinet for u dobblers.
vandoren 3 for alto and 2.5 for beri work for me

Sounds a little irresponsible and petty IMHO. If a teacher tried doing that with my tuba mouthpiece I'd look for a new teacher. Unless you're a soloist or lone man in a line where tone quality comes before anything else I'm a firm believer in using what is comfortable to play with. I find playing comfortably fixes a lot of other issues.
 

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I have always played on plain old Rico orange box 2 1/2 reeds.
I play a '78 Buescher Aristocrat with the student Golden-tone mpc it came with.

What am I missing by only playing on Rico reeds (I must point out that I don't think I'd ever noticed that I had a bad reed. Maybe they are all bad but that's what I'm used to. Who knows?). So, I'd like to try something else but there seems to be so much to choose from. Where do I start?
Yeah...You might wanna upgrade from the Selmer GoldenTone Mouthpiece. I had one when I started playing too.

Legit: Rico Royal 3
Vandoren Trad. 3

Jazz: Lavoz MH-Hard
Vandoren ZZ 3

I play a mainly the vandoren reeds but i have recently rediscovered the Lavoz reeds that have been sitting on my shelf for about the last 6 years and they play great on my C* for jazz....yes I play a C* for jazz. It has a brightness when played with certain reeds that is very tasteful and round. And BTW..the Lavoz are much cheaper for a box of 10 than the vandorens are.
 

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Brancher reeds are fine reeds indeed. I have recently been using them. I still love hemkes!!!!!!!!
 
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