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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I've been using the Rico Reed Vitalizer case (this one http://www.wwbw.com/Rico-Multi-Instrument-Reed-Vitalizer-Case-581623-i1446429.wwbw) for years now, and have tried the 73% and 84%. I occasionally get a warped reed and it bugs me because what used to be a good reed no longer feels the same.

When I'm done playing, I run some lukewarm water over my reed just to clean it a little and to get some of the saliva off. Then I'd dry it with paper towel, or if I can, I'd leave it out for a few minutes to dry a bit (because I heard reeds warp when they don't dry uniformly in the case), but I don't let it completely dry out. But occasionally, the next day I go to play, I would find that one or two of my reeds had warped.

Any ideas? Thanks!
 

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Some reeds warp. It's just one of the things you have to deal with when using cane. There isn't much you can do about it.
However, you can 'iron' out the warp and the reed will feel and perform the same as before the warping.
Just give it a little soak in water or your mouth. Lay it on a flat surface and 'iron' it from vamp to tip with your thumb.
You can lay the tip against the table of your mouthpiece to do the ironing as well.

The only way you'll avoid the 'dreaded warping' is to switch to synthetics. They never warp... EVER.
 

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My solution is to break them in and condition them to be played after drying out aftre each play. I dont have any warpage issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, guys, for all the feedback. And I agree with Magical Pig that the grooved surface probably adds to the warping. And I will check out that link you suggested.

@bandmommy - That does help!!
@JohnGalt - I don't let it completely dry out because that sort of defeats the purpose of me using the Reed Vitalizer. That's interesting though, because I've always been taught to believe that reeds aren't supposed to completely dry out. But I guess it's whatever works for the player. I'll try your solution!

Regarding my Rico Reedvitalizer, I think I found the problem to be that the case is simply not sealing. If I put my lips on a certain spot on the side of the case, air goes right through it. I may just end up sticking my reeds in a baggy with the humidifier pack.
 

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I have always dried my reeds as much as possible after playing. I use a rag that I have specifically for this purpose. Just grab tight with my left hand and pull the reed with my right to force any moisture out towards the tip (being careful not to damage the tip). I have searched but never found any of the reed storage cases that claim magic to work any better than storing the reed in the holder that came with it. I think a lot depends on the reed itself. Some just don't last very long.
 

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I agree with Bebopalot. I rub my cane reeds with a paper towel after I finish playing, place them in a reed-guard and put them in the case. I've been doing this for YEARS and never had a problem with reeds immediately losing their response.

Yes, they ALL warp, but that is easily solved by wetting them before playing (and sometimes pressing out the warped area on a flat surface, like the mouthpiece's table, etc.). I have one of those closed reed packs (same principle as the Revitalizer) for alto but I'll be darned if i could ever claim it was better or worse than a basic reed-guard. DAVE
 

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For me, I've always kept reeds in some sort of controlled humidity environment, be it tupperware with mesh salt bag (cheap/free), Vandoren Hygrocase (not cheap), or the Rico Vitalizer (what I use now). For me, I find reeds to play best when kept between about 55 and 70% relative humidity. Kept there, they don't warp at all, are always ready to play, and are consistent and predictable--the most important aspect, since they aren't continually changing shape. Once again, this works very well for me. Since you mentioned the Rico Vitalizer, two questions: 1) how often do you replace the vitalizer packet (they generally last 6-8 weeks, or until they harden) and 2) are you removing the vitalizer packet from the larger packet that it comes in? Probably obvious, but I've come across several people wondering why the packets weren't working, and they were still in the packaging.

I've tried most methods--from fully dry to fully wet and everything in between--and this compromise has finally proven the most consistently effective.
 

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Ah, reeds..........aren't they grand? I too use the vitalizer pack with the 58% humidity pack. I find it works pretty good at storing them and keeping them from warping. The only problem is now matter how well you store your reeds you will eventually have to take them out of storage to play them. When it gets to be bitter cold up here in the north east and the humidity level drops to 32% and your at the club and they have the forced hot air heat blowing non stop which drops the humidity even more,forget about it. Your done for! Or how about in the middle of summer and the club has the a.c. blowing and inevitably there's that vent blowing right at you drying that reed as your playing it! In most cases I survive pretty well but I sure wish I could have a vitalizer mouthpiece.
 

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Just use a Vito reed case (really cheap) or one of the reed wallets that Muncie Winds sells, and forget about that fancy-shmancy humidity controlled stuff. If you want a fancy reed case because you like fancy stuff, fine, but I think that humidity control WRT reeds is a waste of time.

If the tip warps (less likely if kept on a flat surface as in the previously mentioned cases), just wet it and hold it against the table of your mouthpiece with your thumb until the warp straightens out - or iron it as bandmommy describes.

I know that warpage is more of an issue in environments where humidity varies between seasons, but just deal with it as it occurs and you will be fine.
 
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