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Discussion Starter #1
Reed question for the legit sax players...What is everyone playing these days for legit? I know blue box was the standard for many years but with all the new reeds out, I'm wondering if anyone or any big profs are switching to something else? I heard a rumor that Rousseau played Gonzalez for awhile but not sure: Last time I checked Sinta, Murphy, McCallister, Umble, Gwodz, Petit, David, Delangle EVERYONE was on blue box...I used to love Hemke's(and so did my teacher who is a Hemke student) but they just went to crap a bout 10 years ago and he switched to blue box as well...I'm just curious if anyone has noticed any departure from the big blue box standard? Anyone playing Ricos? I know Prodigal was looking a few months back to get onto something besides the blue box--Prodigal--YOU too are still on the blue box RIGHT?? :) Hard to navigate away from the old standard eh...

Ryan
 

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I think Dr. McAllister's been on R&D for Rico recently...They're getting more serious about higher-end reeds. I haven't tried them yet...I think I'll hold out for the fruits of Dr. McA's labors.
 

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I just saw Pete Christlieb a few weeks ago. He plays on rico plasticovers believe it or not. I play on V16's myself. Lot of cat's playing Rico Jazz select filed and unfiled.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pete Christlieb plays RJS and Plasticovers for legit?!!!! And I playd the new Rico Reserve...They are nice but I felt like they were kind of a bastard hybrid of the GCS and Hemke reed...But it's like frog legs for me...They're not really chicken and not really fish...they taste like both--at the same time-- and that's why I can't stomach them...

does that make sense to anyone but me? :)
 

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Hah!

Your funny...

Yeah, I'm still on BBoxVDs. When I try a new mthpc, reeds, horn, etc., I like to give'em a real chance. For me, this means making an all out switch for a week or so, allowing my voicings to adjust, etc. That means I have to be able to have a break in my schedule -- we'll see when that happens!

I'm probably more likely to flip-flop about saturating, or completely soaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been on a reed hunt as of late( for legit reeds)...It's not been too extensive because I'm on a budget but...I've played the Rico Reserve, the Gonzales and Olivieri...
The Gonzales wins from these 3...they are all really nicely aged and respond quite nicely and even though they have an American cut they are quite warm like a Blue box...however...NONE of these reeds wins to my basic blue box reed! uG!...the Blue box reed just has a zest, a resiliency...a springy-ness to the tone...it's full and focused and has POWER....It's hard to describe..but it's also a very CLEAR sound....the Gonz are CLOSE but not quite...I can't see myself changing...the only reed I might use is a GCS or a MARCA...the Marca's are great if you get the right strength...they are very similar to Vandoren but have a grittier, edgier quality to them that I like in a reed...
I actually a little depressed about the RiCo Reserves...And with Vandoren using the new packaging, they blue box might be getting more consistent and thus "better"....we can hope right? :)

Cheers...
Ryan
 

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As far as classical reeds go Vandoren Blue Box are the best have ever used I use a 3.5 or 4. Everytime I try something else I keep coming back to Vandoren Blue Box. Though years ago I had success with Glotin reeds but one time I ordered a couple of boxes and literally half of the reeds were broken with big chips in them so I never used them again. The Alexander Classique reeds work well, I did have some succes with them but I liked the Vandorens just a bit better and they are easier to get a hold of.

Chris
 

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I've also been really happy with Vandoren Blue Box 3.5's. They were recommended to me by Prof. Trent Kynaston of WMU (I had previously played on Rico Royals, which I was never very happy with anyways!)
 

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I've always played Vandoren Traditionals for legit until recently. I was really impressed by a couple of boxes of Rico Reserves I was got at my NASA conference. Very consistent, smooth vamps, flat tables, all around great reeds. I don't know how much effect the humidifier they're packaged with is having. That may be what makes me like them. Anyway, I had been using those lately until they wore out a couple weeks ago. Now I've been back on Traditionals simply because I still had some lying around. Soon I'll be ordering some more Reserves from WWBW, though. I'm also going to try their new reed case that you can put the little humidifier packages in. I got a free clarinet one, cause that's all the Rico rep had, but it won't fit my alto reeds. Seems to work pretty well, though. Good luck with your search.
 

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I have played on vandoren reeds for a long time now, recently I recieved a box of rico reserves. At first I though they were great, they were warm and had a good response. I played on them for about 3 days and I put a vandoren on again, and BAM! The vandoren reeds have so much life to them with a full harmonic balance and eveness to their tone.
 

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I have played Vandoren Blue Box 3.5's of 4's for 30 years now. I have tried Superials, Marcas, Zondas,and LaVoz, and Rico Royals. I always go back to the Vandoren Blue Box.

The closest I ever came to a switch was with the Marcas. It's really hard to do a real thorough comparo on reeds, because I think you need more than one box and a month to really decide. It is cost prohibitive and time consuming!

Back in the late 70's "The Saxophone Shop" in Evanston, IL marketed their own brand of reed and many of us a Hartt at the time in the classical studio played them.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow...some real experience on here...and it seems like the ol' blue box just keeps chuggin along despite all the bitching and moaning about quality control...I feel the same way as the above posters about the blue box...they have a harmonic power to them not found in other reeds...The Rico Reserves are really nice, don't get me wrong...and one thing I forgot to mention about them...ever one of the reeds in the box played really nicely...that is a plus...(same goes for 80% of the Gonzales I played...)

Thanks for the input....

Ryan
 

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First, I played on blue box reeds for 5 years (I'm a freshman in college) and I recently tried the Grand Concert Selects and I loved them. I think they are much more focused in terms of sound.
Second, qwerty were you a student at Hartt when Jim Hill was starting out there? I vaguely remember him making a comment about how he loved the sax shop reeds and got real ticked when they stopped making them.
 

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I have 2 thoughts / observations on this topic.

What works for 1 doesnt work for everyone - its a hunt you have to find the answer to.

With that in mind - I see lots of guys hunting through different brands and such - and most times - the cycle of the hunt brings them back to vandorens.

We tend to buy a box of something new and fall in love with a few reeds out of the box - then we make a decision if thats the road we want to go down. I remember being told when I was real young and going through the reed hunt - "Remember how easy playing was when you didnt know better and were in Jr. High and every reed seemed to play well." That was his way of telling me to stop obsessing and learn to make music!!

Pick what you like - and if it isnt what everybody else is using - too bad. Whats the worse thing that could happen - your not going to sound like anybody but yourself? Is that a bad thing?

-C
 

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I've been buying reeds individually from a local music store, #3 blue boxes. Somehow I've managed to get about 30 perfect reeds in a row. I know this sounds impossible but I swear it's true!
 

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gearaholic said:
I'm also going to try their new reed case that you can put the little humidifier packages in. I got a free clarinet one, cause that's all the Rico rep had, but it won't fit my alto reeds. Seems to work pretty well, though. Good luck with your search.
I've been really impressed with the little humidifier packages when used with Vandoren Blue Box reeds. I think you may find you like that combination better than the reserves!

A really good alternative to the Rico Reed case...a ziplock bag. Works great for me! Put the reed and packet in there, and you're all set.
 
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