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Not sure why I have not seen this before, but great read. And sorry for the necro...lol.

I have actually been looking for thins kind of info lately as I have been on the search for a different reed. I play a Jumbo Java T75 and A55 on tenor and alto respectively. I ave spent the last few years on RSJ 3S Unfiled reeds and I really am hating them lately. I love the tone personally, but the quality and length of use is just horrid. I have the Vandoren sample pack on the way for alto and tenor in 2 1/2 so I am hoping that maybe I will find something I like out of them, as I use to play Green Java's exclusively some years back. Looks like I might have to give Alexander's a try as well.
 

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I have a Coast R3 that came with my baritone that had been giving me a lot of grief. Antique Attic here at SOTW suggested a #3-1/3 reed and it has realy made a huge difference, so I'll agree that matching the reed to the mpc is important.
My next adventure will be putting a #5 Vandoren on a True Lay with a 55 tip opening as also suggested here. All I have to do is find a shop that sells singles and carries #5s.
 

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As usual for me I have come to this thread a bit late.
For me matching reeds against a mouthpiece was a long journey. About 10 months since I acquired the mouthpiece. What I have realised is that a vintage mouthpiece that has been refaced can be a drawn out process in time and money. The mouthpiece in question is an Otto Link STM. I knew there was a sound in there but I felt I was close but just kept missing it as I tried different reeds. I had kind of settled on Java green box after trying V16's, La Voz, RSJ's, Alexander NY's and others but the Java green box always ended up feeling too soft and small increases in reed strength too hard. I also tried different ligatures on the Link but kept going back to it's stock lig. I'd never really given filed reeds a good try even though they were so close. I eventually hit it.
Vandoren Java red box (filed) with a Selmer 404 ligature. The red box were just very slightly harder. Not only did I find the sound that was in there, but suddenly tuning was bang on which until then I had to focus on every time I played Java greens on the Link with the stock lig. So, it took a while, but once I had included the fact that the Link had been refaced and different ligs as variables I ended up in a much better place.
 

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Reed choice is a really personal thing that has more to do with how somebody plays than a specific kind of mouthpiece. For example, I have played what amounts to a Rico 2 1/2 since I started playing tenor in 1961. Mouthpieces have consisted of a Berg 90/2 M, Brilhart Level Air 5*, Berg 130/0 M, Level Air 9*, Guardala King Curtis .116. Right now I'm using (Rico) Royal 2 1/2. Any reed I used from any of those mouthpieces I could use today.
For this reason, when I try a mouthpiece, if it doesn't blow with my reeds, its junk. Its just too different and of no interest to me. I have neither the time nor inclination to search for the 'right' reed to make that mouthpiece work, because I already know that mouthpiece is NEVER going to be my mouthpiece. For example, I tried a 120 'Christlieb' straight from the maker - it should've been a no-brainer since it was based on a 120 Berg - right down my alley - or so it would seem. I really wanted it to work but it was stuffy and resistant beyond belief with any of my reeds, which should have been perfect for it. This mouthpiece was not going to work for me so back it went.

*The highlighted ones I have used for 53 combined years and counting - 23 on the 9* and 30 on the KC so far.
 

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Reed choice is a really personal thing that has more to do with how somebody plays than a specific kind of mouthpiece.

Any reed I used from any of those mouthpieces I could use today.
For this reason, when I try a mouthpiece, if it doesn't blow with my reeds, its junk. Its just too different and of no interest to me. I have neither the time nor inclination to search for the 'right' reed to make that mouthpiece work, because I already know that mouthpiece is NEVER going to be my mouthpiece.
I agree with this. With the same caveat that reeds really are a personal thing and for some players it may be very important to change the brand of reed when going to a different mpc.

But my experience has been almost exactly the same as 1saxman's. When I find a good reed, it seems to work perfectly well on a variety of mpcs, even when they are different designs, providing they are mpcs that I like and that play well for me. For some time I used V16 (2.5) reeds; now I prefer Rigotti Gold (3 light). But in either case the reed I like plays well on any mpc that I like. Again, with the caveat that this has been my experience. ymmv...
 

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I recently bought an alto mouthpiece with a more rounded shape of the tip compared to the reeds I used to test it (Jazz Select, Rigotti, Woodstone). I have seen this first on an AIZEN NY. Still, I found its responsiveness very good. Yet, I wonder whether I might expect even better responsiveness with Vandoren Java Red or ZZ reeds which have more rounded tips that fit the facing of the mouthpiece closer (given comparable reed strength)?
 

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I recently bought an alto mouthpiece with a more rounded shape of the tip compared to the reeds I used to test it (Jazz Select, Rigotti, Woodstone). I have seen this first on an AIZEN NY. Still, I found its responsiveness very good. Yet, I wonder whether I might expect even better responsiveness with Vandoren Java Red or ZZ reeds which have more rounded tips that fit the facing of the mouthpiece closer (given comparable reed strength)?
You will get best performance when the tip shape matches that of the reed. Contact the mouthpiece maker to learn what reed was intended, else get the tip shaped to fit your preferred reed when you get the piece refaced. (Option #1 is a lot easier.)
 

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With a sample of one, I'm not sure I can generalise, but I suspect the same is true of synthetic reeds. I purchased a Forestone Hinoki MS Alto reed today to see if I liked it. On my standard Yamaha 4C it was rubbish, anaemic and difficult to play. I slotted it on to my Meyer 5M and it is a dream, speaking clearly across the range with the kind of nuance I'm after (tested using my YAS62). Same reed, same horn, same player, totally different experience with two mouthpieces. I suspect the search for the "perfect combination" could go on forever, if you let it
 

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You will get best performance when the tip shape matches that of the reed. Contact the mouthpiece maker to learn what reed was intended, else get the tip shaped to fit your preferred reed when you get the piece refaced. (Option #1 is a lot easier.)
when I ordered my RPCs from Ron, he stated that they were designed for, or played best with RR
 

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when I ordered my RPCs from Ron, he stated that they were designed for, or played best with RR
he told me Rico Jazz Select.

To say a mouthpiece plays best with a specific reed is generally very subjective
 

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Rico Royal vs Rico Jazz Select - both are Rico. I‘ll bet a donut that the tip profiles are the same.
 
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he told me Rico Jazz Select.

To say a mouthpiece plays best with a specific reed is generally very subjective
Well, it was a while ago for me. I only mention it because it is an example of maker of hand-made mouthpieces recommending a specific reed manufacturer, and I presume that the tip and the length of the lay of the mpc, are somehow harmonised around the RR/RJS reed design
 

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nd I presume that the tip and the length of the lay of the mpc, are somehow harmonised around the RR/RJS reed design
Possibly but I'm not convinced. Sadly we cannot speak to Ron, but he made custom mouthpieces for me and at no stage before making it did he ask what reeds I used. (At the time it was Vandoren). It was some time later he mentioned to me Rico Jazz Select as a recommendation, but I don't think it was huge deal like "you must use Rico" or "my mouthpieces are designed for Rico"

We had a load of communication as I was an endorser, but I do think it could be getting things out of propartion if we talk about "designed for Rico"

I'll happily eat my words if I'm wrong.
 

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I wonder how many reed brands have a common tip profile?

Certainly all the ones that have been trimmed on the same clipper.
 

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Possibly but I'm not convinced. Sadly we cannot speak to Ron, but he made custom mouthpieces for me and at no stage before making it did he ask what reeds I used. (At the time it was Vandoren). It was some time later he mentioned to me Rico Jazz Select as a recommendation, but I don't think it was huge deal like "you must use Rico" or "my mouthpieces are designed for Rico"

We had a load of communication as I was an endorser, but I do think it could be getting things out of propartion if we talk about "designed for Rico"

I'll happily eat my words if I'm wrong.
Indeed, I don't want to overstate the case, he only recommended Rico, and maybe these were simply the brand he used to play test..
 

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I am actually a reed crazy. I like trying as many reed brands as possible on a mouthpiece before arriving to any conclusion. Although recently I found a great deal of balance in sound with the Gonzales RC.
 

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if mouthpieces were designed to exclusively play with any one red they would come with a precise indication and what about all the mouthpieces of the past made for reeds that are no longer available?

I think this is a bit like assuming that any saxophone works with a particular mouthpiece ( wait a minute, is this not what a lot of threads ask?).

How about players?
 

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I used to get rid of reeds that didnt work for me, but then started storing them for "future" mpc's. I can tell you that Plasticovers didnt work well with my MBII, but they work wonderfully with my BBQ. This is very important to me since I double on tenor and bass and have Zero time to warm up a reed/mpc.
I am and have been for a long time settled on my tenor piece and really, the others too. I have wasted money on synthetics and so-called 'boutique' reeds that are supposed to be great. My favorite tenor reed right now is the long-discontinued Glotin 'Groove'. It'll be sad when I can't get any more of them but (Rico) Royal is always pretty good. So, I don't save 'junk' reeds regardless of the price. I usually give them to my son who probably is a lot more flexible in this regard than i am.
 
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