9/4/05

Die Vandoren! See you in hell.


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.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a follow-up when you try the other boxes? It would be pretty impressive to get just 2 good boxes in a row.

Hope the Red and Black went well. If I'd been in town, I'd have been there.

chicken little said...

I've been telling you that shit for years. You are so stubborn.

David Valdez said...

I will follow up on the other boxes.

I know, my wife tells me that all the time.

It's just that every time I tried another brand, and I tried many, it was a total waste of money. At least with Javas I might get one playable reed from a box.
These generic reeds may be discontinued Queens. What do you think CL?

chicken little said...

I doubt it. You can still get the Queens from Roberto's in NYC. Whatever, they work. Don't ask too many questions.

David Valdez said...

I'm getting about two good reeds per box after the fourth box. They run a bit softer than Vandorer Javas so I'm going to try the 4s next time.

Dan said...

Holy Crap, Man. No good reeds since the late 70s? Glad you got your sound back. !!!

Anonymous said...

I'm ready to buy some (for tenor). What other brand do they remind you of? (in terms of feel, style[unfiled or filed?])

David Valdez said...

I can't really say. The cane is better than the bigger brands (Rico, La Voz, Vandoren, Hemke). None of the reeds are green at all. It's been a while since I've tried anything like them. The closest thing I can think of is the old Javas from the early eighties. Also remember that they are a little softer than say Javas.

Anonymous said...

Sounds suspicously(sp?) like Riggoti cane to me. (Regal Queen, "Queen Reeds", Francois Louis Reeds, etc.) They say on the box, WW&BW France, so I would think thats a clue. Riggotti has some good cane, my bassoon friends tell me that they had a bumper crop the last couple years. FL reeds & Queen are notoriously consistant, however, you need to take out a second mortgage to buy FL reeds (RObertos charges $45 a box of 10 for tenor!)
Nice blog, dude!

tenorplayer said...

try Daniel's reeds. Java's flap in the wind, too weak on the edges

Anonymous said...

Daniel -

Have you tried the ZZ's or the Alexander Superials? I've had great success with both of them...

David Valdez said...

I just found out that the WWBW reeds are actually Marca reeds!!!

Anonymous said...

So...its been a few weeks now...Still in love w/them? Comments, observations? Are they really MarcaJazz?

David Valdez said...

Acording to WWBW they are Marca Jazz reeds.
I had a recording session yesterday and I went through a bunch of them to find the very best reeds.
I did find boxes (of 5 reeds) that didn't have any great reeds, but there were always reeds that were at least playable. Still way better than Vandoren but not as great as I first thought. They respond much better in all parts of the horn and I am still a convert. I did try a few boxes of 4's and as expected they were way too hard, as were the classical 3 1/2s.
They are less than 16 dollars a box (for 10) with a much higher success rate. Thank you Marca!

Tom T. said...

I'm an inexperienced but enthusiastic tenor player - not much good but I practice a lot. Like everybody else, I've had serious frustration over reeds and I took your tip and tried a box of WWBW Jazz Tenor 2.5s. I think they're fantastic - free-blowing and responsive. Don't last too long, though.

Many thanks for the tip. Reed, mountpiece etc. advice will be welcomed whenever you have any.

Anonymous said...

well maybe I'm just naive -or lucky?- I used to have problems with the rico jazz reeds... stuffy like the vandorens... then tried the alexander dc's and ny's. For me, they're as good as FL's.