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I've played La Voz MH tenor reeds for the last 25-30 years. I don't think you can beat a good La Voz. The last couple of years I quickly noticed that the quality and consistency had gone down the tubes with many expensive boxes containing 1-3 usable reeds. The last box I purchased from Sam Ash in Paramus, NJ cost about $25 bucks. I had 3 gigs that weekend. I got the reeds home and could not get 1 single gig playable reed out of that box. I am quite adept at trimming and working on my reeds and I couldn't even get one to practice quality. I was so frustrated that I wrote La Voz and told them the story and that I wouldn't waste anymore money on their reeds. They quickly responded with concern and had me send them the bad box for inspection. They sent me a replacement box. Well, every reed in the box has been FANTASTIC and gig quality right out of the box. What does this tell you? I'm sure they have a pretty good idea what cane will play well. Are they sending the inferior cane to the U.S. market? A top name recording artist I know says this is definately the case and when he tours in Europe the reeds he buys are far superior to what he gets in the states. I'm down to my last reed in the box and am dreading buying my next box of "lottery tickets". Where are all the good reeds??????
 

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never heard that take before...very interesting!
 

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I'm pretty convinced , that reeds, that haven't been stocked that long, have a higher consistency. So if you can grab a box directly from the manufacturer you're better of, than with one, that has been laying around in a large shop.
 

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wow... the business thing again... can you check that again (buy from usa and europe) and report again in some time? that would be cool
 

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Most people tend to say that reeds improve with age. Sometimes the cane is still a bit green and needs to dry out.

I too think that La Voz have deteriorated in quality. I usually use other brands of reed, but I had an unopened box of la Voz lying around that was 3-4 years old. I opened them recently and got some excellent reeds out of the box. So I ordered a couple of more boxes of La Voz about a month ago, and the new reeds were noticeably different. They seem softer, and the heel of the cane is thinner.
 

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On the Rico website, they explain that fresh reeds will outplay old ones. I ordered a couple of NOS La Voz off Ebay (tan colored box) and I had a lot of bad reeds. The biggest problem being the reeds didn't last long. Will not do that again.
 

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On the Rico website, they explain that fresh reeds will outplay old ones. I ordered a couple of NOS La Voz off Ebay (tan colored box) and I had a lot of bad reeds. The biggest problem being the reeds didn't last long. Will not do that again.
Anyone who's dealt with reeds long term knows that that are 'aged' play better than new stuff. Best of both worlds: take some 'New' stock, put 'em away for two years, then come back and give 'em a try.
 

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As long as a box of bad reeds costs the same as a box of good reeds, manufacturers will have incentives to grab incremental profit for the bottom line. End of story...

Btw, people have been complaining about manufactured reeds for over 100 years and you can see the end result of all of that.
 

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Anyone who's dealt with reeds long term knows that that are 'aged' play better than new stuff. Best of both worlds: take some 'New' stock, put 'em away for two years, then come back and give 'em a try.
It's not how old they are it's how old the cane was when it was harvested and how long they seasoned it.

I believe they harvest it too early and don't season it long enough.
 

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I've never played a La Voz reed, and from what Kayaklover says, I won't either. If they send inferior quality reeds to the states, that rules them out in my book. I don't have the extra cash to throw away. Vandorens and Rico Royals have been the best for me so far.
 

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I wonder if cane is somewhat like grapes. Some years (2006 for Bordeaux's for example) the harvest yields great wines...others not so much. Is there the same scenario with cane? Some years you get good cane for reeds...others not so much?
 

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I wonder if cane is somewhat like grapes. Some years (2006 for Bordeaux's for example) the harvest yields great wines...others not so much. Is there the same scenario with cane? Some years you get good cane for reeds...others not so much?
I believe some growing seasons are better than others however I also believe they are not waiting long enough to harvest the cane.

And not long enough to season it. I've seen some strange colors over the last few years.
 

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I live in Europe and for a time I decided to try La Voz reeds. The first box had 3 amazing reeds out of 10, so I decided to buy a second box. All of them were trash. So I never bought La Voz again. So that story about the good reeds stayng in Europe doesn't make much sense to me.
 

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It's a damn good thing reeds don't have serial numbers.

Hey, I got a box of 123, 456 Adolfus Cubicus reeds and they suck. What are you guys getting?

Well I have some 123 666 batch reeds and they sound eeevile.

.. and then we have a run on serial batch reeds.... worse than serial number saxomaphones

I was going to complain about a reed brand I just switched away from and decided, naw, my experience is Not the same as anyone elses experiences. I really don't want to rip a company and have anyone take one infintessimally small sample by one insignificantly insignificant guy and add it to some internet rumor trashing a product based on that single sampling.

And it isn't the one you guys are talking about.

Harv
 

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My experience in the last 6 months has been that by "prepping" reeds (making the table truly flat, smoothing the table, and sealing all of the pores) the success rate of a box can be as high as 100%.

I have been using twenty year old Ricos lately and love them. Not a thing wrong with NOS reeds.
 
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