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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering...lately I've been playing Vandoren Trad. 3.5's on bari and alto for classical, and I like them, but I always wonder what else is out there. If I like Vandorens, what else is out there to try? I've tried Hemkes, and I'm not real fond of them. I used to be back in high school, but not so much anymore for some reason.

For jazz on bari I've been using a Fibracell medium with a Runyon Custom 9. I love the sound I get out of it, but I'd like to get a cane reed for the inevitable day when I get yelled at by those who don't know better about synthetic reeds. I get a nice ripping tone that I can pretty easily calm down. Any suggestions? I've tried Vandoren ZZ 2.5's, but they're waaaay too resistant to play on the Runyon. I'm not sure a 2 would make the difference...I think it's because of the thick heart of the ZZ's. Any suggestions on what to go for there? Thanks!

Jim
 

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Jim,

I'm struck by your statement about getting "yelled at by those who don't know better about synthetic reeds". Putting it bluntly, if you're happy with your sound does it matter what others think?

I've been using Legere synthetic reeds on tenor, clarinet, and bass clarinet exclusively for the past 2 years and I'm completely happy with the quality of sound I get with them. No one has been able to tell that I'm using a synthetic. The only reason my musician friends know is because I told them about Legere.

If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

Good playing!

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've just heard a lot of horror stories about people being happy with the sound they get out of synthetic reeds, but less-than-well-researched directors getting upset that a band member is using a "plastic reed", nevermind the fact that it works. In fact I came across that in jazz band last year. The lead alto was using a plasticover and sounding fantastic for it, but when the director saw the funky colored reed, he went off on him. I guess it's a stigma, but for now I'll live with it :)
 

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akumaJFR, I agree with Mr. Roger that if you like Vans then stick with them. I do have a question about syn reeds, how long do they last? :) (Hope that is not a loaded question). akumaJFR if you are using a hard rubber alto mouthpiece, I used to love the sound I got out of Rico Plastic Cover Reeds for classical music. I don't play classical anymore but that was a good set up for me.
 

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Jim,

Sadly, some Directors are stuck in their preconceptions. One's equipment, after all, is just a means to an end...with the end being creating music. If one is getting a beautiful sound it doesn't matter what is used to get it.

It seems to me that times are changing with respect to reeds. In the past when I tried a synthetic reed it went flying into the trash can after a few notes. Absolutely terrible sound! But, now, there are several brands of synthetic reeds that are quite good. I'm especially impressed with Legere.

Roger
 
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