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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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I don't know if I'm lucky or not. I've been using Rigotti Gold 3 soft reeds and they work great with every mouthpiece I've used from 5-9 tip openings, large and small chambers.
That's exactly normal. You find a reed you like, it tends to be fine on all mouthpieces.

Life is too short to worry about matching certain reeds to certain mouthpieces. The time is better spent playing them.
 

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The thread should be renamed: "The Important Relationship of Matching Mouthpiece and Reeds and Embouchure." Just to make a point: Last week, David Liebman, who was here on a visit, picked up my Mark VI soprano and played it with a couple of my mouthpieces (and reeds and ligatures)... and he sounded just like David Liebman. I placed his mouthpiece (and reed and ligature) on my horn, and sounded just like... me. Well, yes some subtle differences in sound between the different mouthpieces, but believe me, the greatest difference was between his sound and mine.
 

· Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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The thread should be renamed: "The Important Relationship of Matching Mouthpiece and Reeds and Embouchure." Just to make a point: Last week, David Liebman, who was here on a visit, picked up my Mark VI soprano and played it with a couple of my mouthpieces (and reeds and ligatures)... and he sounded just like David Liebman. I placed his mouthpiece (and reed and ligature) on my horn, and sounded just like... me. Well, yes some subtle differences in sound between the different mouthpieces, but believe me, the greatest difference was between his sound and mine.
So it's really "The Important Relationship of matching mouthpiece, reeds, embouchure and person"
 

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I can't say I understand the idea of matching reeds and mouthpieces. What exactly are the criteria that one uses to determine a match?

Reminds me of a phone call I had some years ago with a mouthpiece maker. I was considering having him make something for me. He asked me what mouthpiece and reed combination I currently used. I told him, to which he said "that doesn't work"! Short conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I can see that some people have not fully read this thread and the links provided. I highly recommend you read them first.

Ultimately, the choice depends on the musician. While there are no such articles as "magic formulas" or "bullets", the information above helps lead players to reeds that compliment the design of a mouthpiece.

I can attest that when I started applying the information above, reed selection has never been a problem. I have referred this thread to others and they, too, do not have anymore problems with reeds.

What does this mean in the long-term? We save time and money, which in turn, can be used for the important aspects in our lives. ;)
As mentioned in this quote, the choice of reeds is yours in the end. However, choosing certain reeds for certain mouthpieces may alleviate some problems you may have. For instance, I have an old, Rico Metalite M7 I use for outdoors or for loud scenarios. Everytime I fit a reed with a thin tip and thick vamp (like a Vandoren Classique, Legere Regular Cut), I experience various problems with upper register response (squeaks, chirps, etc) and general resistance. However, as mentioned by the refacing site listed on this forum, if you pair the high-baffled piece with reeds that have a thicker tip and thinner vamp, those problems go away. I have actually referred that site to many players and they, too, do not anymore have problems with choosing what reeds to use for their mouthpiece.

Lastly, I agree with Pete Thomas that life is too short to worry about reeds, so read the rules on that website to stop worrying about them in the first place! ;)
 

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The article has some good information. But this statement is incorrect IMO: "A high baffle compresses the air near the tip of the mouthpiece springing the reed away from the tip, thereby making the facing appear more open. On saxophone, the low notes will be difficult to emit." High baffles create a low pressure (Bernoulli effect) that makes the reed speak easier. It makes the facing appear more closed.

The article says a reed with a thick tip is a less squeak prone. It does not say any advantages of other reed designs. I suppose thin tip reeds would be good for altissimo (if you can control them).

Fibracells also have thick tips and and almost never squeak. They can play a C5 on tenor but are not good for Lenny Pickett stuff.
 

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Do homework! Finding the right reed mpc match is like going into a shoe store and trying on shoes to see which one fits. That's why I'll never again fall for someone's recommendation or commercial ads on what mpc or reed/combination to use. Experiment and find out what works for one self. It's a subjective thing!
 

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I use vandoren zz's with a meyer 5m and i know that the zz's are jazz reeds but I really like the tone for playing music other than jazz. What are some good combinations for a meyer 5m for a darker tone. I've also tried vandoren java reeds and they seemed to give me a very edgy sound and thin sounding high notes. Also, all my band teachers and people I have talked to typically said to use vandorens over ricos. I used ricos for about a year and didn't really like them but that was before I got a meyer. Is the meyer and rico a good combination?
 

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So, the question of what generally suits a small chamber, high baffle piece has been solved.

What about pieces with a lower baffle and medium chamber or pieces with a lower baffle and large chamber?
I wouldn't say anything has been 'solved.' You can only solve it for yourself and your own tone concept. It really comes down to the type of tone you gravitate to (for lack of a better phrase) and maybe also to how a given reed feels or responds.

Lately I've discovered something regarding using different reeds with two very similar mpcs, but slightly different baffles. For me; it wouldn't necessarily translate to anyone else's experience. I like a tone (on tenor sax) that is both warm, somewhat dark, but also with some brightness. If there were a dark/warm vs bright/edgy spectrum, I'd want to be somewhere in the middle so I could have some flexibility and move a bit in either direction.

What I discovered is the RJS reeds sound about right on my higher-baffle RPC, while the V16s are a bit too bright on that mpc. OTOH, with the slightly lower, more rounded baffle RPC and especially my Tenney Jazzmaster (small rollover baffle), the RJS reeds tend to be too dark, 'mushy,' kind of dead, but the V16s seem to work perfect.

So I end up with almost the same sound using the high baffle mpc with RJS as I do using the lower baffled mpcs with the V16s. If that makes any sense at all. And Pete is right, life's too short. Still, I'm glad I discovered this (I think).

p.s. Just to add something, I suspect if I experimented with every reed out there, I'd end up in roughly the same place I'm at with the reed/mpc combinations I just described. I'd keep experimenting until I got to the sound concept I have now. So maybe I can save some time and stay with what seems to be working now. Maybe...
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
It's been a while and I think it's time for an update:

I can see that there are still some confusion regarding the matching of reeds. As mentioned, the choice still is ultimately up to you, but the refacing website still offers an excellent, general guideline on what type of reeds to choose for your mouthpiece.

Building on the website's example, the refacer states:

"B. High Baffle
This is the exact opposite of the Low Baffle, being convex in shape. Figure 3. There is a noticeable roundness as it approaches the tip-rail of the mouthpiece. One of the characteristics of this mouthpiece is the edginess of the tone. Usually louder in dynamics, it is also thinner and rather nasal. Unless the tongue is kept in perfect position and the reed is really good, there is a strong tendency to "squeak." A reed with a really thin tip will squeak constantly. For best results, the tip of the reed should be thicker and the vamp or "heart" of the reed thinner. A high baffle compresses the air near the tip of the mouthpiece springing the reed away from the tip, thereby making the facing appear more open. On saxophone, the low notes will be difficult to emit."

The refacer states that for high-baffled pieces, you should pair them with reeds that have a thick tip and a thin vamp to avoid the risks of constant "squeaks". Vandoren V16s and Alexander NYs come to mind, but using the likes of the Rico Jazz Selects or Vandoren ZZs can work just as well, as they all have tips that are thicker and vamps that are thinner on average.

Let me give you my case as an example. I use a Rousseau JDX, a mouthpiece that has a moderately high-baffle and medium chamber. Applying the rules based from the refacer's website, I experimented with reeds that had a moderate tip thickness and a moderate vamp thickness. Some examples that are close to this design are:

-Vandoren Java
-Rico Standard
-Vandoren ZZ
-Rico Jazz Select
-Rico Royal

For me, the JDX responds best with the Rico Jazz Selects. For one other player also using a JDX, it might be the Vandoren Java. For another, it could be the Rico Royal. However, the main and important aspect is that the reeds that work for the player centers/closes on the design of reeds with a moderate tip and vamp thickness.

I hope this helps clear some of the confusion going around, as the website's basic but essential information has greatly helped me and other players.
 

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Hi guys,
For several years I used to play Yanagisawa alto and Dukoff D8 using Rico Royal, sometimes La Voz reeds (no matter how difficult was to find a good one even if breacking-in and adjusting). V16 didn't work properly at all.
When I changed my horn to mark VI, RR just stoped talking and V16 happened excellent (no problem with finding a good reed and they sounded nice).
Just few weeks ago I totally broke mu Dukoff :shock: so my friend lent me ARB Custom for a gig ( just to save my life). I fell in love with that mouthpiece so decided to buy it. But Vandorens.. didn't want to play on it as RR do very well :)
Also I tried Gonzalez and I`m impressed, for sure am going also to try Alexander.
What I want to confirm is that it's so individual with mouthpiece-reed connection in my opinion. I always try different reeds while changing the mouthpiece (even if it happens seldom) to find that one I feel most comfortably and sounds closest to my heart.

Happy New Year BTW!
 

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Hi, does anyone have any suggestion what would be good with a Mpc Cafe NY? I know it has a rollover baffle but I don't really understand much about this. I have been using fibracell for a while, wanting to move back to cane but struggling to know where to start.

Thanks
James
 

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I don't get the whole matching thing. I'll play any reed I can get my hands on. Strength doesn't matter since I have my trusty pocket knife handy. I'm not saying anybody is wrong, I just don't find the need to be picky. Do some reeds last longer than others-yes. Does my tone change-maybe (no matter what reed I play, I still sound like me). But isn't that the nature of the beast? The thought of matching a mouthpiece or lig to a particular reed (which is the least stable of the three components) blows my mind. I would think it would be the other way around. I would think that getting a good mouthpiece that plays well FOR YOU would be the first step. After that slap a 2 X 4 on there and get to work.
 

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The refacer states that for high-baffled pieces, you should pair them with reeds that have a thick tip and a thin vamp to avoid the risks of constant "squeaks".
IMO, the refacer would be better off pairing that high-baffle mpc with a more open tip to help warm up the tone and reduce the shrillness factor! I think I understand the idea that a thick tip reed might be less prone to squeaks, especially on a smaller mpc tip, but I don't see how the baffle can have anything at all to do with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
IMO, the refacer would be better off pairing that high-baffle mpc with a more open tip to help warm up the tone and reduce the shrillness factor! I think I understand the idea that a thick tip reed might be less prone to squeaks, especially on a smaller mpc tip, but I don't see how the baffle can have anything at all to do with that.
I have some experience to verify the refacer's claims. I have a Rico Royal Metalite M7, a mouthpiece with a high-baffled and big tip opening that I use occassionally when I am in loud or outdoor environments. When I use a reed that has a thin tip, but a thick vamp (like a Rico Reserve, Vandoren Classique), squeaks and loose control are very apparent. On the other hand, when I pair it with a reed with a thick tip and thin vamp (Vandoren V16, Alexander NY), the problem is quickly solved.

You probably can try to pair a high-baffled piece with reeds that have a thin tip/thick vamp (again, like the Rico Reserve/Vandoren Classique), but I suspect you will have to use a very high strength to get similar results as the reeds intended for that mouthpiece.
 

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I have some experience to verify the refacer's claims. I have a Rico Royal Metalite M7, a mouthpiece with a high-baffled and big tip opening...

When I use a reed that has a thin tip, but a thick vamp (like a Rico Reserve, Vandoren Classique), squeaks and loose control are very apparent. On the other hand, when I pair it with a reed with a thick tip and thin vamp (Vandoren V16, Alexander NY), the problem is quickly solved.
I certainly can't argue with that since I use V16 on my RPC 120B. RJS also work well, though. Do they have thin tips? I really have no idea.

Anyway, I guess I was making a different point. I've found that a high baffle mpc with a med/large tip opening (like say, .105 or even .110) will be way too shrill (for me anyway), but with a larger tip opening (say, .120), to balance out the high baffle, the tone warms up and gets 'thicker.'
 
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