I have been struggling with Vandoren Java reeds for many years now. It's not uncommon for me to go through two or three entire boxes and not find a single good reed. I may find a great reed every ten or so boxes. I have heard that Vandoren has been putting their good cane into the newer brands like V16. Over the year I have tried many different brands of reeds but have never found anything that works as well as Java (when I can actually find one). Recently after getting about three boxes of Javas that were actually green and played like toenails, I decided to keep searching. I ordered some Woodwind Paris Jazz Alto Sax Reeds. These are the Woodwind & Brasswind's generic French cane brand. They cost $7.55 (+shipping) for a box of five reeds. The first reed I took out of the box played like a dream. I hadn't played a reed that good since Javas used to come in those purple plastic boxes in the late 70's. I thought that it might just be a freak occurrence until I tried the second one. It was smoking too!!! Out of five reeds, four were really great and one was just good. INCREDIBLE! Life is good again. The creator loves me. Music is enjoyable again. My voice is back, and there is hope for the human race again. It's amazing how much a bad reed can mess up your life. Good reed=good sound=good music=fulfilling creative expression=good self image=good career=good life. If you don't play a reed instrument you can't understand how this can be true.
I ordered a bunch of these new reeds. I'll going to make a door mat out of all the bad Java reeds I have sitting around my house. I would have a small fortune if I could get money back for every bad Vandoren reed I've ever bought. Die Vandoren!! Don't act all innocent when we write you about green, poorly cut, and stuffy reeds. You know what you're doing. I know you do. You'll pay in the end.