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Discussion Starter #1
I'm playing an SML Gold Medal Tenor sax with a Warburton LA 7* metal mouthpiece. (See recent threads of mine for details)

I like a pretty thick warm sound but I need to be able to bust out a high energy rock solo.

My previous setup was a JJ DV NY mouthpiece. Rico Royal 3.5 worked great.
After I switched to the warburton piece they were too bright.
I tried La Voz but they seem pretty inconsistent. I've been using the Vandoren V16 3, which is about right but they start off really hard and take a while to break in. After they break in they are about what I want. Then they get too soft. The ricos never seemed to be too hard to break in.
I've tried the Legere plastic reeds but none of them have been quite right. Either too hard or too soft, and I don't like the feel or the sound. They play quite different, especially in the altissimo range.


Any suggestions on what else I could try that might be similar to the V16 but with an easier break in?

Here is a picture from last night's gig, just because!
61418258_884827628534577_5902431357115564032_n.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe the thicker tip on the V16 is why I'm finding them hard to break in.

I wish trying reeds was like trying mouthpieces. (I mean I wish I could try a few at the store then buy the ones that worked best and have them be consistent)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I picked up a box of Java Red 3.5s today. I tried one reed, it played pretty well right away. I don't like the sound quite as much as a broken in V16 but it is nice and responsive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I tried another Java Red and it felt a bit stiffer. Both reeds respond well and altissimo is much easier. I don't know if these reeds are the final answer and we'll see how they wear. But it feels like a solid step in the right direction. And I'm liking the sound now.
 

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Nice, I know a lot of people don't like the leather rovners but for me playing the Javas they need that little bit of eq to tame the high end. I don't get as good results with metal ligatures since I've been using the javas.

Once they settle in they should last a while as well. I usually get about 2 months or more out of a box. To me that's pretty good. For me they are perfect. You can lay back and get a nice full tone or you can push them and they split very nicely in the altissimo. I've gotten used to them though. Until they start to suck for some reason I won't be buying anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice, I know a lot of people don't like the leather rovners but for me playing the Javas they need that little bit of eq to tame the high end. I don't get as good results with metal ligatures since I've been using the javas.

Once they settle in they should last a while as well. I usually get about 2 months or more out of a box. To me that's pretty good. For me they are perfect. You can lay back and get a nice full tone or you can push them and they split very nicely in the altissimo. I've gotten used to them though. Until they start to suck for some reason I won't be buying anything else.
I've been using leather rovners since high school. Never tried anything else except the stock 2 screw types. I'm using a rovner EVO now.

The red javas are supposed to be a little less edgy than the greens I think. Though some people here didn't seem to notice much difference.

Sometimes I lay back and play smooth but I need to be able to push it and scream sometimes. But I don't like sounding too harsh.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Again, a couple swipes of light sandpaper on the vamp just to get that Barky quality away works wonders. Don't take off a bunch of material. just the first small layer.

That's what I do anyways.
Maybe that will help me with the leftover V16s. The reds feel almost gig ready right out of the box.
 

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I used to play V16 reeds (for years). I found the 2.5 to be plenty hard enough and needing to be broken in a little bit. 3s are pretty hard in the V16.

To answer the title question, I'd suggest trying Rigotti Gold reeds. 3 light is about equivalent to V16 2.5 (maybe you'd prefer 3 med if you like hard reeds). Anyway, I found the Rigottis to be more consistent and a bit more responsive than V16. They are definitely worth trying in any case. Best reeds I've found yet...
 

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I recently tried a box of Gonzalez 3s (local 627 jazz cut). Albeit a few passes with a knife, first one out of the box played beautiful. They may be on the brighter side for you though. I haven't given the other cuts a try yet, but honestly I was so thoroughly impressed by the 627s I would put my money on them. Plus they are quite inexpensive; Quinntheskimo has them on Reverb for $16 + 6 shipping.
 

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I played reds for a few years as well. They are nice, a little darker but still enough power to cut through.
+1. I tried the reds also and found the same thing. What I like about the Rigottis is they have plenty of edge and power when you want it.

Raccoon, since you're looking for suggestions, give them (Rigotti Golds) at try.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
+1. I tried the reds also and found the same thing. What I like about the Rigottis is they have plenty of edge and power when you want it.

Raccoon, since you're looking for suggestions, give them (Rigotti Golds) at try.
I don't think I can get them local but I could order them. A lot of people here seem to like them.
How would you say they compare to the reds in terms of edge and power?

EDIT: wow the rigotti are almost $80 after shipping on amazon.ca... The vandoren are $30 a box of 5 after tax.
 

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I find the Javas (all colors), Rigotti, and LaVoz to all be similar enough in characteristics and strength to be compared. The V16's as others have noted are a little different and have more material at the tip so the strengths aren't as close in feel to the others. I get on better with Rigotti and LAVoz than javas (green are my fave of them though). LaVoz are crap since the D'Addario branding and seem to have two distinctly different cuts and way more poorly cut examples per box despite their claims of diamond-cut consistency than ever before...for price and consistency I prefer Rigotti.
 

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I find the Javas (all colors), Rigotti, and LaVoz to all be similar enough in characteristics and strength to be compared. The V16's as others have noted are a little different and have more material at the tip so the strengths aren't as close in feel to the others. I get on better with Rigotti and LAVoz than javas (green are my fave of them though). LaVoz are crap since the D'Addario branding and seem to have two distinctly different cuts and way more poorly cut examples per box despite their claims of diamond-cut consistency than ever before...for price and consistency I prefer Rigotti.
Yeah, I tip my hat to anyone who stayed an endorser when the change over happened. I played Jazz Selects for years before they went to crap with the rebrand. They apparently got better after a while so I bought a box. Still sucked a lot compared to the way they used to be.

Like playing a chainsaw .
 
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