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Discussion Starter #1
I use a Rovner light ligature, but I'm considering getting a Rovner Mark III.

I bought a Brilhart Ebolin 4* to use in addition to my Hite Premiere mouthpiece, and I'm having trouble finding a good strength of reed and a brand of reed. For the Hite, I typically get by with Rico 2 1/2 - 3s or Vandoren 2 1/2s. But the Hite's facing is 0.095...

So, I tried reeds of the same strength and brand on the Ebolin, but I just don't feel the same control and fullness of sound. For example, when I jump from a mid-E to a low-E it squawks as the note comes out. My low notes sound harsh and forced, but my upper range sounds pretty sweet.

If this is the case, should I use harder reeds or softer reeds?

Also, I'm looking for insight on reed recommendations. A lot of people I know rave about Vandoren Javas (green), but my experience with Vandoren Traditionals is that they are very inconsistent. After doing online research, I learned that Rico Reserve is rated to be very consistent.
I'm aware that Reserves lean toward a more concert and classical sound and Javas are more jazzy. Though, I saw a Youtube video of a guy playing jazz with a Reserve (but a jazz mouthpiece).

Oh, and Brilhart Ebolin 4* considered to be jazzy?

So, what are your personal experience with Javas or Reserves? How do their reed strengths vary (are they harder than Vandorens or softer, etc)? How is the control?

I guess reed strength preference varies with player too, but I'm looking for control.

Thanks.
 

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Keep going stiffer with your reed until the resistance in the Brilhart feels comfortable. You should be able to play low notes softly and high notes loudly without closing off the reed. The charts say a Brilhart 4* is a .077. But they are inconsistent so you need to have the tip measured to know what you actually have there.
 

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I have an old Ebolin alto piece. It might be a 3. It's so scratched up from use that I can't tell what it is any longer.
The reeds that I've found work the best for me on it are Hemke 3s.
I know you are asking about a tenor piece, but this might help get you close to what you are looking for as far as reed strengh goes.
 

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Is Ebolin 4* jazzy ? Does the Pope wear a funny hat ?
Brilharts, Ebolins and Tonalins, were the "Otto Link Slant Signatures" of their time.
For a .077" tip opening I would suggest a Rico Jazz Select 4M or a Vandoren Java (or ZZ) 4. Maybe La Voz H
Be aware that going from a .095" tip to .077" will require some adjustment of your embouchure. Don't give up. In the end you will be glad you made the change.
Don't forget that Getz used to play on an Otto Link 5* (.085") and Brew Moore on a .080" opening (Brilhart Personaline HR. I know. I have tried it and have measured it myself))
 

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I guess one question I have for the OP is why you felt the need to get another mpc in the first place? What are you hoping to get with this new mpc that you aren't getting on your Hite? It's likely a much more closed tip than your Hite, and I think your low register struggles might be due to this sudden change. That's not to say that this mpc isn't capable of a great low register, but the difference to you may feel drastic. Does it feel like you can't get as much air into the horn as you'd like? .077 is very small for a tenor opening.

Make sure to stay really relaxed and "release the reed" so it can vibrate at its maximum. All else being equal, a smaller tip generally wants harder reeds. I personally would use about a #4 on something like that, but in the end you'll have to experiment for yourself. It may simply be that the mpc isn't for you, but I always recommend lots of experimentation with reeds before coming to a conclusion about a mpc. Good luck
 
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