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I've been using Vandoren's blue box reeds for about 6 years now, and I've had an odd problem with the last two boxes I've bought:

-The reeds have been consistently airy and resistant, even after being soaked, "broken in," sandpapered, etc... doesn't change a thing!
-The print on the reed is brown, as opposed to the usual black print. This could be irrelevant, but I've been skeptical about it. The Vandoren website is alerting its customers of "fake reeds" being sold. Is this a possibility?
-The print on the back is at a different elevation than the rest of the reed, preventing it from being ALL of the way on the mouthpiece. Oddly, even after I sandpaper them (be it softly or roughly), it just will not even out like I need it to.

Coincidentally, EVERY SINGLE one of these reeds have been very difficult to even BEGIN to play on! I've bought two boxes from the same store over the course of the past 4 or 5 months. Just recently I went to another store down the road, and got a normal blue box. They had the same-old black print. They sounded great!

On another note, I've bought boxes of the individually-packaged reeds, and they've sounded lovely until these last two boxes.

Has anybody else encountered these problems? Are they fake? Defective? Do I have to keep these other nine unopened reeds that I know are going to match the rest? Any help, suggestions, or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Steve
 

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I would say your first port of call is the outlet where you bought the reeds. Where did you get them?
 

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Sorry, cannot speak on " Vandoren ". In a nutshell cane reed quality control has gone to s***. I will get a box of Rico Orange..from time to time. On the whole i play bari reeds...always been into them. If i need that gritty cane sound. My present boxes of O.R...are great...i treasure them. Speakin of which. I saw that clip of Dave Sanborn with his pickle jar of mushy reeds. Man..hilarious. All that trouble to sound like a turbocharged Kazoo..lol....a
 

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Let me start out by saying that I'm a beginner and don't have a lot of experience with different brands of reeds. That being said I recently purchased, online from a well known internet retailer, a box of Vandoren Blue Box reeds. So far I've opened four of the reeds with mixed results. I soak the reed for 10 minutes following the advise I've read on this forum. The first two reeds played fantastic. The third reed was unplayable no matter how much I soaked, shaved or sanded it. It appeared thicker then the previous reeds in the box. These reeds all had the Vandoren logo on them in brown and did not appear to be raised. Hopefully they are the real deal and just the normal fallout for a box of ten reeds.

Diskman50
 

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-The print on the reed is brown, as opposed to the usual black print. This could be irrelevant, but I've been skeptical about it. The Vandoren website is alerting its customers of "fake reeds" being sold. Is this a possibility?
I noticed that also, it seems to be some sort of laser printing. I highly doubt that they're fake. Why would counterfeiters exactly replicate the box, the printing, the packaging etc...but use a different (and probably more expensive) printing on the reed?
BTW, I did not notice a difference in quality with these reeds.
 

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Yeah, my instructor mentioned the laser printing thing to me. It just irks me that all ten of the reeds in the last box sounded the same. Just, bad. I only opened one of the ones from this second box: it's followed suit.

I'll get in contact with Vandoren and the place I ordered these from. Hopefully everything can get sorted out. It's a real inconvenience when the all of the classical reeds you have sound goofy. On a brighter note, the Vandoren Javas sound great, still. I'll definitely be keeping to them. I think my next plan of action will be V16s...
 

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After reading this post I did numerous web searches for any information on counterfeit Vandoren reeds. There were many search results repeating the warning displayed on Vandoren's web site but no specific information on the counterfeits. Has anyone determined how to spot the counterfeit reeds? Looking at my box of ten that I recently purchased the box looks flawless which either makes them the real deal or a pretty good clone. One way to insure you are getting the genuine article is to go to Vandoren's web site and view the list of authorized dealers in your country of choice. The internet dealer I purchased my reeds from was not on the list or least I couldn't find him.

Diskman50
 

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I just got a reply from Vandoren saying that they have indeed changed to laser printing on the back of the reed...
 

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Yeah, my instructor mentioned the laser printing thing to me. It just irks me that all ten of the reeds in the last box sounded the same. Just, bad. I only opened one of the ones from this second box: it's followed suit.

I'll get in contact with Vandoren and the place I ordered these from. Hopefully everything can get sorted out. It's a real inconvenience when the all of the classical reeds you have sound goofy. On a brighter note, the Vandoren Javas sound great, still. I'll definitely be keeping to them. I think my next plan of action will be V16s...
The last few blue boxes have been very iffy for me as well. I am noticing greater resistance at the higher notes than before. Funnily, Gonzalez also felt the same before I stopped using them. Maybe it's my embouchure; IDK!

Anyhow, I have switched to RSJ and they seem to work well. Plus they are $2 cheaper for a box of 10.
 

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I've been using Vandoren's blue box reeds for about 6 years now, and I've had an odd problem with the last two boxes I've bought:

-The reeds have been consistently airy and resistant, even after being soaked, "broken in," sandpapered, etc... doesn't change a thing!
-The print on the reed is brown, as opposed to the usual black print. This could be irrelevant, but I've been skeptical about it. The Vandoren website is alerting its customers of "fake reeds" being sold. Is this a possibility?
-The print on the back is at a different elevation than the rest of the reed, preventing it from being ALL of the way on the mouthpiece. Oddly, even after I sandpaper them (be it softly or roughly), it just will not even out like I need it to.

Coincidentally, EVERY SINGLE one of these reeds have been very difficult to even BEGIN to play on! I've bought two boxes from the same store over the course of the past 4 or 5 months. Just recently I went to another store down the road, and got a normal blue box. They had the same-old black print. They sounded great!

On another note, I've bought boxes of the individually-packaged reeds, and they've sounded lovely until these last two boxes.

Has anybody else encountered these problems? Are they fake? Defective? Do I have to keep these other nine unopened reeds that I know are going to match the rest? Any help, suggestions, or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Steve
I have also experience the exact same issue with the last box of Java Green Box reeds I purchased. Every reed was airy, stiff, and unplayable. These also have the laser printing on the back of the reeds. Just for comparison I slapped on a reed from an older box and it played great. Up until now I have used Vandoren because of the consistency (only one or two bad reeds per box). I hope this doesn't reflect a permanent change in the manufacturing process.
 

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I recently had the same experience. As with virtually every other company these days, I'm guessing Vandoren must have started cutting corners due to the effects of the global recession we seem to be wallowing in. I'm finding that none of the reeds with the new stamp seem to play as well as the previous V 16's I've relied upon for the past 15 years or so. I've also been unimpressed with the quality of RJS reeds lately. This apparent global reed famine is so severe, I'm actually considering buying a fibracell for the first time in 14 years. Last time I bought a Fibracell, I was wholly unimpressed with the tone quality. But I've heard they've improved dramatically in recent years. Can anyone confirm this? Also, I've been using V 16 3's on my trusty Meyer 7M (a recent Meyer, not a vintage) on alto with good results (up until this most recent poor quality box of reeds). Can anyone tell me what strength of Fibracell would be comparable to the V 16 3's? I've also been using V 16 3's on tenor. What strength of Fibracell would be closest?
 

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A friend of mind in Ottawa suggested that I tried those,that is for tenor,so I did,,,,just terrible.
I only opened one out of five the rest are still sealed,,Ithink Ill keep them to start my fire at the cottage this summer..
I also remembered that on alto I did nt like them,so again I am very desapointed and also they are very very expensive for five reeds!At least when you pay good money for five reeds we expect a little more.
So Ill be back on simple bleu box Rico,,which sometimes are not the best,but at least I get ten reeds for about the same money.
Regards
Saxobari
 
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