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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I wil be playing in a version of the adams family musical in september. In the arrangement i need to play clarinet, tenor, alto and soprano sax. I normaly play all these instruments with Vandoren Blue box reeds. I never played four instruments in one show before. I'm afraid i will have problems with the constant transition between the instruments. Would it be an option to try synthetic reeds? I am thinking Legere reeds. Which legere would be closest to the vandoren Blue box reeds? Is the comparison of reed strengths in the charts on the legere website correct? http://www.legere.com/strength-charts

Regards, Johan
 

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Players I've seen either get plastic reeds or just lick their thumb between songs and wipe each Reed with wet thumb once in a while. Both methods should work. May want to use softer reeds so they play dry unless FF will shut them closed during play.
 

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I like Legère Signatures and think it's a good choice for doubling with the need to blend in an orchestra. On Clarinet, a 2 Vandoren Blue Box played for me like a Signature 2. From this limited point of experience, I would trust the strenght chart from legère. I never did, but you can exchange your reeds to a different strenght if you send them to legere.
BTW, I play forestone hinoki on alto and tenor and like them so far. The "M" feals like a 2 1/2 Java reed.
 

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If you are swapping horns frequently you probably won't 'need' synthetic reeds. They stay wet enough between toots. I use a cap for the one/ones that sit longer.
In my experience in the pit, horns getting cold and playing a hair flat is a bigger problem than reeds drying out.
 

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I've been playing synthetics exclusively since 1994. My reeds of choice are BARI, BARI*, and Fibracell Premiere. Have played in too many pit bands to remember too! Currently playing Alto, Soprano, and Violin in "Spamalot" :)
 

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Would it be an option to try synthetic reeds? I am thinking Legere reeds. Which legere would be closest to the vandoren Blue box reeds?
Of course it's an option. However, as you apparently have intuited, you cannot wait until the last minute. You need time to find the right synthetic reed for your horns and mouthpieces, select the best strength(s), and become accustomed to playing on synthetics.

In my opinion, the best synthetic reed overall is the Legere Signature, which I have used on alto, tenor, soprano, and clarinet. The Signatures are definitely better IMO than the regular Legeres (Classic) or the Legere Studio Cuts. The only real weakness of the Signature series is somewhat sluggish response in the extreme upper register. I also sometimes play Forestones. I've tried other brands as well, but ruled them out on the basis of sound.

Last night I played a sax quintet gig at which I was constantly switching between alto and tenor. I was playing Forestone on alto and Legere Sig on tenor. A couple of years aog, I did have a gig at which I had to play alto, tenor, soprano, and clarinet. I had synthetic reeds on every horn except the clarinet, and when I picked up the clarinet, I regretted it.

Legere's strength charts are imperfect, but not bad. The problem is that every model of reed (including both the different "cuts" and the different sizes for different horns) seems to have its own strength ratings, so you'll have to work through the testing process separately for alto, tenor, sop, etc.
 

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I use the Signatures Series Légère 2.5 in my Alto Sax, for me its a half degree softer than te Java/ZZ (equivalent to Java/ZZ 2.0), one degree softer for than Vandoren Traditional (equivalent to Vandoren Blue Box 1.5).
 

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My wife loves her Forestone Jazz cut reeds on her Bb Soprano, Eb Alto, and Bb Bass clarinets. Oddly enough, she uses the saxophone cut and not the clarinet cut, for all of them.

I've tried the Legeres and Forestones, and find them lack luster, and slow in response. But, everyone is different.
 

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Go synthetic or Plasticover. If you don't, you are sure as hell going to forget to keep that soprano reed wet and you're going to squawk like a ruptured duck right in the middle of a quiet part. :) I've been using Plasticover on everything except tenor until recently when I found a Fibracell that is good on bari. The synthetics I like are the softer Fibracells and Hartmann 'Hemp'. The Fibracell is a tremendous value at the price.
 

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Doubling in outdoor settings (where reeds dry very quickly) has been a key motivation to switch to synthetics for me. I'm set on Fiberreed, but also played on Fibracell and Légère Signature.
I'd also recommend to take enough time to select and get used to synthetic reeds, to make sure you achieve a "natural" (whatever that means) sound and embouchure.
 

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The Legeres work well for doubling as well as the Harry hartmanns - but in my experience it takes some time to figure out the strengths you need.

It sounds like you don't have that kind of time. Best/easiest solution is to pick up some rico plasticovers or fibracells. These are both more true to the strengths I find - though it never hurts to consult a strength chart. I find the plasticovers are truer in sound on the smaller horns and the fibracells work best for tenor and larger. Would be a good quick fix for your situ right now.

I've been using fibracells on bari and bass for like 10 years. On Bb clarinet and sop sax I use legere or rico plasticovers, Works well.
 

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I used the the Fibrecell on baritone sax for years ad they were really good..I found it hard to tell the difference with the tone vs cane. I heard the new Legere are great for bari sax as well..Roger Rosenberg help with the new design
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info so far. I Do have some time to work something out. September is still a few months away... I'll start ordering a Legere tenor and clarinet reed to start and see how that works...
 

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The Legeres work well for doubling as well as the Harry hartmanns - but in my experience it takes some time to figure out the strengths you need.

It sounds like you don't have that kind of time. Best/easiest solution is to pick up some rico plasticovers or fibracells. These are both more true to the strengths I find - though it never hurts to consult a strength chart. I find the plasticovers are truer in sound on the smaller horns and the fibracells work best for tenor and larger. Would be a good quick fix for your situ right now.

I've been using fibracells on bari and bass for like 10 years. On Bb clarinet and sop sax I use legere or rico plasticovers, Works well.
I haven't tried Fibracell Premiere on Bari yet (tried a regular Fibracell on Bari, not the results I wanted), but they're an absolute joy to play on Soprano and Tenor, and not too bad on Alto either. I play a 3 1/2 and 4 on Soprano, 4 on Alto, and 2 1/2 and 3 on Tenor (Fibracell Premiers depending on setup).
 

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Legeres helped me through my degree program with a very picky Rascher-school professor. I used (and still use) Legere Classic on my Rascher S/A/T mouthpieces, Legere Studio Cut for jazz alto and tenor, and Legere Signature for jazz soprano. They sound great, and they're ready to go when you are!
 

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I bought my first legere signature for alto sax a year ago (it's still going strong) and since then have begun playing them on all my instruments. At first I viewed at convenience but as time has gone on and I've learnt to play them 'as they are' (i.e.: not blowing them like a cane reed) I'm convinced that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Being able to find one reed and then play it for long enough that you can really get to know it is a big plus, for starters. The articulation is great, stability of tone excellent.

I'm now using them on all my saxes (SATB), Eb, Bb and bass clarinet and have gone and bought quite a few for each instrument, figuring I've not got 7+ years of reeds for a fraction of the cost of cane over that time.
I initially tried a cut down Signature Bb reed on my Vandoren Eb mouthpiece and it was sensational to play, but the same reed configuration didn't work on my Fobes Eb mouthpiece. I've since tried the Classic Legere Eb reed and it's great- much better response, pitch and stability of sound, especially up into the stratosphere.
 
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