Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know this has been discussed a bunch - but just a quick comment on my experience
I've tried Bari, Legere, and Fibracells - I really wanted one of these to work for me !!
But just can't seem to break thru to the other side !!
I've gone back to cane - I guess I'll keep a synthetic in my case for backup
If you can dig a synthetic then I am glad for you !!
They would make a sax player's life so much easier
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
Hartmann Fiberreed Hemp and Carbon
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,452 Posts
I have to use synthetic or at least Plasticover on everything except tenor because reeds might dry out under certain conditions on a gig before I need to grab a particular sax. At his point I'm using Fibracell on alto and soprano and Fibereed Hemp on baritone. You have to try a few to see what is going to suit a particular set-up. That can get expensive fast because you can't return a used reed, even a synthetic. However it is certainly true that there is no substitute for a good cane reed when it comes to artistic expression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys
I'm just using Tenor on gigs now so cane is not a problem
Yeah, synthetics would really be a big plus for doubling
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,802 Posts
I use a Fibracell on tenor with a .105 Saxcape Xtra dark and it sounds great. Try one on my Sakshama Custom Z and I could break glass! Too harsh and shrill. So, setup really matters.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,023 Posts
One word: Plasticovers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,885 Posts
The Forestone Hinoki is quite good for alto. I am starting to think it is better than cane, at least for playing jazz.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Just wondering out loud.....could it be the embouchure of the player that affects the tonal quality of certain synthetics, and causes them to not like what they hear? I just don't understand how someone can find that much difference, between cane and a Fibracell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I use a mixture of Legere signatures and vandoren blue boxes for tenor, it really depends on what I'm playing and how I'm feeling.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
I tried them all. I found the synthetic reeds to have good response, decent tone and excellent playability.

But I found that they only had one tone. It was very difficult for me to shape different tones out of my sax, and I get a lot of my personal expression from shaping the sounds as I play a passage to give it more vox humana.

A few synth reeds are sitting in my case, taking up space.

I do wish I could do with a syn-reed the same things I can do with cane. As a multi-instrumentalist, often the reed will dry out while I'm playing guitar, wind synth, flute or vocals. Then I have to go through the warp stage before it responds.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,023 Posts
It was very difficult for me to shape different tones out of my sax, and I get a lot of my personal expression from shaping the sounds as I play a passage to give it more vox humana. ... I do wish I could do with a syn-reed the same things I can do with cane. As a multi-instrumentalist, often the reed will dry out while I'm playing guitar, wind synth, flute or vocals. Then I have to go through the warp stage before it responds.
Have you tried Plasticovers? I ask because my experience is that I'm able to do the things I can do with a cane reed on Plasticovers because they ARE cane reeds. But the big advantage is that they're ready to play whenever I pick up the horn. They don't dry out or warp. I double on keys and sax so I really need the reed to be ready to go even if the horn has been sitting in its stand for many minutes. Plasticovers work for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'll try these suggestions
Fiberreed Hemp, revisit Plasticovers etc
Part of my problem is not so much tone I think but that hard plastic feel on my lip
Might be able to get used to it if I could stick with it a while
Thanks to all of you
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
Have you tried Plasticovers? I ask because my experience is that I'm able to do the things I can do with a cane reed on Plasticovers because they ARE cane reeds. But the big advantage is that they're ready to play whenever I pick up the horn. They don't dry out or warp. I double on keys and sax so I really need the reed to be ready to go even if the horn has been sitting in its stand for many minutes. Plasticovers work for me.
Yes. I liked them a lot --- but out of habit I put the reed in my mouth while assembling the sax, and realized it made my tongue a little numb. So I don't know what the coating is made of. I do know it makes my tongue numb (not a great sign) and as it flakes off I ingest it (what am I eating?). Since they won't tell me what they are coated with, I decided to err on the side of caution and not eat any more of that plastic cover.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

·
Formerly mdavej
Joined
·
1,324 Posts
Yes. I liked them a lot --- but out of habit I put the reed in my mouth while assembling the sax, and realized it made my tongue a little numb. So I don't know what the coating is made of. I do know it makes my tongue numb (not a great sign) and as it flakes off I ingest it (what am I eating?).

Insights and incites by Notes
Whatever that coating is, the fact that it gets directly ingested into my body and affects the nervous system is enough to stay far away. I tried Plasticover nearly 40 years ago and it also made my tongue and lips numb. With all the advances we've had in material science and all the perfectly safe waterproof materials used in food storage, I'm amazed that they're still using the same toxic coating 4 decades later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
...
Part of my problem is not so much tone I think but that hard plastic feel on my lip

...
Fiberreed Hemp is the answer !

Ciao
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
7,651 Posts
Fiberreed Hemp is the answer !

Ciao
Tried them, didn't get a buzz, ;)

... and couldn't shape the tone like a cane.

Thankfully there is more than one right way to make music.

Notes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Hartmann Fiberreed Hemp and Carbon
The Fiberreeds are my favorites on tenor and alto, especially the Carbons. However, Harry changed the cut years ago, and the new ones now have a thin sound. All the ones I'm using now are either quite old stock that I've played for years (!) or re-profiled new stock. These last and last and last; eventually they soften a bit and need clipping, adjusting. Or they chip at the tip. I've gone so far as to graft a piece of Fibracell onto the butt end of older Fiberreeds, so I can keep using them as they get too short. Or I cut the tenor ones down to alto size.

If you look at the black-white pattern on the current Carbons, you can see the reed is cut straight across (assuming the ad is using current pictures). The ONLY Fiberreed with an arched cross-section now is the Hemp, but I didn't find these to be very good, nor very long-lasting - tried both tenor and alto. I think the hemp and wood components get water-logged.

Tried the new Hartmann Onyx on tenor. Terrible. And no amount of adjusting helped.

Used to play Fibracell, but found the Fiberreeds to be superior for my needs. Better altissimo, more efficient sound production, longer lasting. I think the tape underside of the Fibracells acts somewhat as a damper on the reed's free movement, and that is why the Fiberreeds play louder with less effort. One last comment on Fibracell: Almost every one I've bought recently was asymmetric, thicker on side than the other, and required balancing to play better (but rarely did any of them play really well). And they soften up pretty fast, and don't clip easily either.
Used to play the Bari reeds on tenor also. I had a few that played rather well - often after far too much time spent scraping and adjusting. They were rarities, though. Could not duplicate the good ones, moved on to Fiberreed.
Never found Legere to give a good natural timbre on tenor, but I find they are pretty good on soprano, and very long-lasting. Fiberreeds tend to be a little too bright on soprano for my taste.

Of course, this is totally a matter of taste, and also what works well with my personal setup, embouchure, jaw etc.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top