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Discussion Starter #1
I play on an RPC 115B and love the piece. I was playing on Rico Jazz Selects for awhile which were a great fit. However, I was finding that a 2.5 would take me a week to get the sound right, and being a recent new father, I just don't have the time like I used to, to prep for gigs and get the reeds ready to go. I was using plasticover for awhile as well (2.5) which worked well, but was looking for something that would last longer. Enter Fibracell. I tried a 2.5 which seemed to work great out of the box, but when I went to a gig and played, I was having trouble with the higher register and altissimo range coming out. The horn would not allow me to play those notes without great effort/multiple attempts. So then I switched to a Fibracell 3 and it was perfect. A little hard out of the box, but it settled in and was working well. About 2-3 gigs later, the reed started acting like the 2.5, where the notes would not come out up top and in altissimo range. So now I am contemplating either trying a different brand of synthetic reed OR moving up to the 3.5 strength in hopes I can get it dialed in and set for a few gigs.... anyone else have experience with this? Any guidance would be appreciated, as these reeds aren't necessarily cheap to keep purchasing. I wonder if the Hartmann or Legere synthetics would be a better fit... or maybe I'm really close and just need to try the 3.5 Fibracell's?

Thanks for any help!
 

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I enjoy the Legere signature series reeds very much. I have had great success with those on my mouthpieces and I highly recommend you try them on your RPC. Check their website for the correct sizing for yourself on their reed comparison chart.
 

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I was using plasticover for awhile as well (2.5) which worked well, but was looking for something that would last longer.
Just a suggestion. If these worked well maybe stay with them. Buy several boxes and spend time playing all of them at home. About 5-10 minutes on each and rotate over an hour using 20 or more reeds. Repeat the rotation every night. Once you find about a dozen that play well then you will have enough to last for a few gigs. Most plasti's will last for 2-3 gigs depending on how much air/embouchure pressure you are using. You also might want to go to a #3 plasti. Maybe buy 2-3 boxes of 2 1/2 and a couple boxes of 3. Between a combination of 2 1/2 and 3 you will find enough that will work for a long time. The idea is to have 15-25 reeds ready for the gigs. That way you can rotate them from gig to gig. Also be sure to lightly wash the reed after each gig to keep the dried spit off which can dampen the sound over a period of time.

Buying 4-6 boxes at a time is costly but I have found that it works real well to have a lot in reserve. And when you narrow 30 reeds down to 20 or so real good ones that respond real well it is worth it. And it does not have to be plasti's. Same applies to all brands of cane reeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help guys.

I picked up a Legere Signature and it's too stuffy for what I'm going for.

Tried out the Fibracell's again today, didn't change anything and it sounds great again. So I'm not sure why it changes when I get to the gig. It seems like everything is going well and then all the sudden midway through a gig, I get the issue with certain notes (especially altisimmo) not wanting to cooperate. But in practice before gigs, on the same reed, there are no issues. It's very puzzling. Maybe the Fibracell's soften after playing on them a significant amount of time, but then tighten back up after they have been sitting? I'm not really sure how to explain how it's happening, but it's very frustrating.
 

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It seems like everything is going well and then all the sudden midway through a gig, I get the issue with certain notes (especially altisimmo) not wanting to cooperate.
One reason I don't use synthetic reeds is this very issue with altissimo not being reliable. I found Legere reeds to be by far the best synthetic reed but not as flexible tonally as cane and not as reliable in the altissimo range.

You might consider going with cane reeds and do as John Laughter suggests. That's pretty much what I do with Rigotti Gold reeds. Pull a bunch out of the box, play them in rotation for a couple practice sessions, pulling out the good ones until I have a half dozen or more great reeds ready to go for gigs.
 

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What strength Legere Signature did you go with? I'm playing an RPC .110B bari, and am thinking about trying the Legeres, as the RPC takes (for me) a pretty soft reed (2-2.5), and they blow out pretty quickly in a couple long practice sessions or gigs.
 

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Just one more thought. The issue with the "altissimo" may be with the m/p and not the reed(s). Not sure if you have one of Ron's older pieces with a high step baffle? If not, you may have to work a little harder to get up there or you might want to try another m/p with a higher baffle if you want to do more work in that area. I know that some players will totally disagree that a high baffle makes it easier but it works for me. Just a thought.
 

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I picked up a Legere Signature and it's too stuffy for what I'm going for.
We do find that when one of our reeds plays a bit "stuffy" that the reed may be a bit misaligned. They are very sensitive to placement on the mouthpiece. You might consider trying it again, but moving it around a bit up and down.

It may also not be the best strength for you. What strength did you try? You may consider going down a 1/4 strength from what you're using in a cane reed, that does sometimes alleviate the stuffiness as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We do find that when one of our reeds plays a bit "stuffy" that the reed may be a bit misaligned. They are very sensitive to placement on the mouthpiece. You might consider trying it again, but moving it around a bit up and down.

It may also not be the best strength for you. What strength did you try? You may consider going down a 1/4 strength from what you're using in a cane reed, that does sometimes alleviate the stuffiness as well.
Thank you. Moving it down helped, but you might be right about the strength. I used the chart on the website to make a determination and I ended up with a Legere 2.5. Maybe I should try the 2.25.
 

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Thank you. Moving it down helped, but you might be right about the strength. I used the chart on the website to make a determination and I ended up with a Legere 2.5. Maybe I should try the 2.25.
It could be a good choice. Some players do like to go down 1/4 strength in the Signature Series, we find. But it is worth it to try. If you want to exchange the reed, head to our exchange form at www.legere.com/exchanges

Hope that helps!
 

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My RPC 115B is for baritone saxophone, and I don't have any use for "altissimo", so I can't really feel your pain, but I did have some trouble with Fibracells failing in performance. I was using too light a grade, I guess. That resolved, Fibracells worked for me, but I switched to Plasticover after some dissatisfaction with the newer Fibracells I was getting (this was years ago, might be better now.) Have not found any other synthetics that really worked. Can't say for sure Legere wouldn't, but if they haven't figured how to improve the strength comparisons so you'd know approximately what strength to get, it may not be worth the trouble. Solid plastic reeds like that are so different from a cane reed, and I think the match with the mouthpiece facing etc. is much more critical - and for some designs, there may simply be no match. I got a chance to really see this with G-Reed, of which I have a couple; neither played worth a damn with my RPC, but one of them works really well with a Runyon 88. Not exactly a high end mouthpiece, but the combination with this particular model and strength happens to work very well. Very musical, super easy to play. When they don't work ... dead, dull, too stiff, buzzy, everything that can go wrong. Sorry I didn't find that combination for the RPC, but there are a lot of plastic reeds I haven't tried (especially if you count the two Legeres that turned out to be stiff as boards though labeled 2 1/4 and 2 1/2.)
 

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I am a big fan of Fibracel reeds. That being said, the Altissimo range has always been a little bit weak with Fibracel (and other synthetics).
 

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My RPC 115B is for baritone saxophone, and I don't have any use for "altissimo", so I can't really feel your pain, but I did have some trouble with Fibracells failing in performance. I was using too light a grade, I guess. That resolved, Fibracells worked for me, but I switched to Plasticover after some dissatisfaction with the newer Fibracells I was getting (this was years ago, might be better now.) Have not found any other synthetics that really worked. Can't say for sure Legere wouldn't, but if they haven't figured how to improve the strength comparisons so you'd know approximately what strength to get, it may not be worth the trouble. Solid plastic reeds like that are so different from a cane reed, and I think the match with the mouthpiece facing etc. is much more critical - and for some designs, there may simply be no match. I got a chance to really see this with G-Reed, of which I have a couple; neither played worth a damn with my RPC, but one of them works really well with a Runyon 88. Not exactly a high end mouthpiece, but the combination with this particular model and strength happens to work very well. Very musical, super easy to play. When they don't work ... dead, dull, too stiff, buzzy, everything that can go wrong. Sorry I didn't find that combination for the RPC, but there are a lot of plastic reeds I haven't tried (especially if you count the two Legeres that turned out to be stiff as boards though labeled 2 1/4 and 2 1/2.)
Given all that, why don't you just play cane reeds?
 

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Are you kidding? What a nightmare! If you read carefully - sorry, that was a lot for a saxophone player to read - the G-Reed with the Runyon 88 works great. And I take it out of the case, put it together, and play. No wrinkling up, no splitting, no reed isn't speaking to me today. I also play some tuba, so I put the bari down and pick it back up 10 minutes later, whatever. Plays great, zero problems. I don't automatically get the assertiveness that the RPC gave me, but with this group it isn't called for anyway.
 

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Are you kidding? What a nightmare! If you read carefully - sorry, that was a lot for a saxophone player to read - the G-Reed with the Runyon 88 works great.
Yes. I read your entire post carefully; I do a lot of reading so it wasn't a major challenge. I was responding to what you said regarding the RPC, which seemed to be the point of your post (note the part I put in bold):

"I got a chance to really see this with G-Reed, of which I have a couple; neither played worth a damn with my RPC, but one of them works really well with a Runyon 88. Not exactly a high end mouthpiece, but the combination with this particular model and strength happens to work very well. Very musical, super easy to play. When they don't work ... dead, dull, too stiff, buzzy, everything that can go wrong. Sorry I didn't find that combination for the RPC"

If using a cane reed truly is a 'nightmare' for you, then I guess you have no choice but to use the synthetics. I agree a synthetic reed is less bother, but only if it works as well or better than cane, which hasn't been the case for me. I don't really have a problem soaking a reed for a couple of minutes, and if I place it in a reed holder it doesn't warp. So for me, it's not a nightmare. YMMV
 
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