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Forum Contributor 2016, The official SOTW Little S
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...and everytime you open up a new reed, you're breathing a breath of French air. How cool is that?

Now what I'm wanting to find out is if it makes more of the reeds usable...

Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, Vandoren's reeds are coming individually wrapped in humidity barrier packaging.:)
 

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I played some V-16's that they sent me to try out when they were new, and they were in humidipacks. THey were the best reeds that I had ever played in my life! Bar none, all hands down!
 

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They definitely are nice. I like them wrapped individually; that way I dont have to break in a whole box at a time.

BTW, Vandoren doesn't just send reeds to random players to 'try out' (unless you're a Vandoren Performing Artist)... You can occasionally pick them up at music events at the Vandoren Booth; they usually have some freebies out which is nice. Who doesn't want free reeds?!

Steve P
 

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I feel like I am opening up a piece of cane candy!


Does IU ever have events where Vandoren hands out free stuff?
 

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I got a box of V12 #4, and don't feel like it makes the reeds any more consistent whatsoever. I've tried five out of this box, and, straight out, only one of them was even good enough for any music-making (which, for me, is normal for Vandorens), and now, a week and a half later, I've got three good ones, one that's not going to get much play outside of the practice room, and one that will probably never be good enough for anything. This is about normal for me.

It just seems incredibly wasteful to add more plastic to the packaging.
 

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I've been having good luck with Java 3.5s on my tenor. Out of the last 4 boxes I've bought only 3 or so have been chucked. Some a bit soft but that's workable. 2 boxes were flow-pack 2 weren't. I can't tell a difference but it is kind of interesting.
 

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flowpack

I think the point is that you're supposed to play them right out of the box. However, a new reed is rarely the one you want to rely on for gig. I soak mine, then sand the bottom after they dry to ensure a good seal. By this time, they've been exposed to humidity of wherever I am instead of the ideal humidity of the flowpack. And the box is too big.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I find it redundant also, once you start playing a reed it will be subject to a wide variation in humidity levels anyway, especialy if they need a breaking-in period (which is more often the case with Vandorens). The one advantage I can see is that retailers could sell reeds individualy so you don't have to buy a whole box when you want to try a different strenght or cut.
 

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My personal experiences with the new Vandoren packaging have been absolutely terrible. I haven't come up with a good break-in procedure yet, but in terms of playability right out of the box, I used to get at least 3 or 4 playable reeds out of a box of 10 in the old packaging. Now in the new packaging I usually get none. I've gone through about 12 boxes of the flow pack reeds and I might have found 3 or 4 that were playable out of the box. Am I too picky? Of course I am, but no pickier than I was when I was getting the old packaging. At the rate things are going, this new packaging from Vandoren is going to be what finally forces me to learn the art of reed making. I refuse to let my sound remain at the mercy of bad reeds, and I don't know any other way to survive. Any advice?
 

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I buy a box of V16 and usually find at least 4-5 playable with maybe one that is a little hard and needs to broken in a bit, and maybe 1 that is a tad soft but playable. My teacher also doesn't have a problem with finding a good reed right out of the box. The whole soaking period, sand here, trim here, etc etc seems like a waste of time to me.
 

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personally- i love it. the reeds are obviously in better shape when I open them up (in Australia), and they are playing very consitently for me. Vandoren reeds always are good quality (from my experience) - good cane, well made and finished, and this new packaging just makes all that better in my opinion. The reeds look and feel fresher - and they last longer. I use a rico humidpack thing with the reed vitaliser 73% pouch. It all works a treat. Once I open the new vandroen reeds and play them in after soaking them briefly in warm water, they keep very well in the 73% pack.

Been using blue boxes and V16 and ZZs. All good. IMO, best reeds on the market - i can trust them hands down. (and I'm not even endorsed!)
 

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Daniel Goff said:
My personal experiences with the new Vandoren packaging have been absolutely terrible. I haven't come up with a good break-in procedure yet, but in terms of playability right out of the box, I used to get at least 3 or 4 playable reeds out of a box of 10 in the old packaging. Now in the new packaging I usually get none. I've gone through about 12 boxes of the flow pack reeds and I might have found 3 or 4 that were playable out of the box. Am I too picky? Of course I am, but no pickier than I was when I was getting the old packaging. At the rate things are going, this new packaging from Vandoren is going to be what finally forces me to learn the art of reed making. I refuse to let my sound remain at the mercy of bad reeds, and I don't know any other way to survive. Any advice?

My problem exactly. With the old packaging, I could get about half the box with great playability. Now, with the flow-packs...not even 2 reeds are great out of the box...I don't know what the problem is, but if anyone could give some advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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A waste of resources and time. The reeds are no better for it and if you want to buy a single it's in the lap of the gods as to whether it will be a good one.
The plastic holders are bad enough, but now the wrapping...!!!
 

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I have wondered about the reeds not curing if they are a little green?

....Or is vandoren above such practices?

So far I have not noticed any difference other than another step to get to my reed and additional trash for the landfill.
 

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I'm always amazed when I hear of some players only finding 1 or 2 reeds out of 10 that are playable.
Out of 10 reeds I usually find 1 or 2 that are exceptionally good but the rest are still quite "playable". Very rarely do i find an unplayable one (I play Vandorens).

This leads me to think that some players have unrealistic expectations in regards to the quality of reeds.

Another factor that needs to be considered is that the playability of a given reed will vary from day to day as it goes throught different phases influenced by humidity, weather, barometric pressure ect...
That's why it is important to gradually break in reeds and to rotate their usage.
In other words, a reed that does not play well one day will probably do in 2 or 3 days, don't throw them out because they don't give you what you want immediately.
 

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I'm on my second box with this himidity barrier packing, and I've been very happy over all those reeds. maybe just luck but i hope not :)
 

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On my first box of 3.5 Javas for tenor with the new packaging, and my experience combined with some of the previous replies, Vandoren might actually have a great thing. All 5 reeds in the box are playable with 4 being nearly perfect.
 
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