12/24/05

Reed update


I switched from Java reeds to WWBW Paris Jazz reeds a few months ago. I'm not quite as exited about the WWBW reeds as I was at first. They tend to be a bit edgy, still they are better cane and more consistant than Javas. The problem right now is that WWBW is running out of them. They're on back order right now so I'm waiting for my next fix, I mean shippment. In the meantime I got recieved some Riggotti Gold alto reeds and some Gonzalez. The Riggotti cane is similar French cane to Marca and Francois Louis. The Gonzalez reeds are made from Argentinian cane. I've been playing more tenor lately and trying different pieces so my reed consumption is out of control (for my my budget that is). If I was making over $10k playing with a hippie jam band (like some people I know) then I wouldn't have any more reed problems. I would just buy cases of reeds at a time and go through them until I found the perfect reed for every gig. Right I'm spending way too much bread on wood chips that would be more useful as toothpicks. A few days ago I went to the local music store and hand selected (at FULL retail box price) a bunch of reeds of different brands and strengths. Hey, guess what? Every SINGLE REED SUCKED ASS! Big surprise. Not one was even close. I felt like I just bought a big sack of oregeno at Washington Square park. I'll update this reed quest as soon as I get into these new boxes. I've also got some Rico Jazz selects and Marcas on the way so keeping checking back.

12 comments:

dan said...

"this better be some good oregano -- I just paid eighty bucks for it!!"

David Valdez said...

Although I gave up smoking a while ago (and I don't recomend it to anyone), could you imagine if you knew that every bag you bought was going to be 70-100% oregeno? You'd quit the chronic in about two seconds.

Jason DuMars said...

I'm on a roll with the Rico Jazz Select 3 softs. Man, every one on alto has been a winner. My alto mouthpiece is pretty forgiving though, so I'm never the best judge.

It looks like someone is selling a bunch of vintage reeds on eBay lately. It might be nice to pick up some of those -- especially Diamond Cut reeds. They totally rock.

And, thank you so much for the kind words about my new project. The next one is going to be even better, and I'd like very much for you to be on it!

MrBill66 said...

Yeah, the reed thing. I like the Gonzalez reeds and the Jazz Selects which both seem to have a high degree of playability. One thing I've noticed is that if you play fairly hard reeds and a fairly open tip, although, its a killer to go through the break-in process, you will eventually find that you can play most reeds. One of the custom mouthpiece guys I used to use told me to try and play every reed no matter how terrible and that you would learn to adjust. I'm finding this to be more and more the case. I have some Lavoz hards that I'm playing on a Berg Larsen 130 on Baritone at the moment that work great. Ellery Eskelin reccomends that you soak your reeds for 3-5 hours, then play for 30-60 seconds at medium volume up and down the horn and put away. Repeat for 3 more days, then play as normal. It seems to work pretty well especially with harder reeds although I have no idea what his set up is. Be careful with tenor mouthpieces, Dave, as you can get really carried away. Said mouthpiece customizer used to work on pieces for Pharaoh Sanders, who had Trane's old box of 300 mouthpieces. Pharaoh was sometimes going through like ten mouthpieces a year. At 200-300 a pop for a customized Link, we can do that math. I guess the jam band would give you the ability to write it off on your taxes as well??

cheers, bill

chicken little said...

All I can say is that you should play trumpet.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, dude. Trumpet players get even more gigs than saxophone players! With all those extra gigs and all the money you save on reeds.... I say put it in real estate -- you can't go wrong.

David Valdez said...

You're one to talk Chicken! You and your 48 DOLLAR boxes of Francios Louis GRAND SELECT ROYALS or whatever they're called. For that kind of bread I could import a couple Venezuelan master reed maker Mayans to custom shape reeds for me.

Seriously now, you're solved you reed problems by paying for the most expensive reeds on the planet.

chicken little said...

Dude, you buy a multi-thousand dollar horn and then put crap reeds on it. Why not just play a crap horn?

David Valdez said...

Yeah, but FIVE bucks a reed is hard to stomach. I did like the box of Rigotti reeds that I just got. The 3 1/2 mediums were a tiny bit too soft. The cane was great though. I'm going to try the 3 1/2 hards. The Gonzalez reeds kind of sucked, though no worse than Vandorens.

David Valdez said...

OK,OK! Chicken Little gave me just one of his fancy pants Francios Louis tenor reeds and it was one of the best reeds I've even played. Great cane, lasted weeks, perfect cut. The last Rigotti box I bought had two or three good reeds. The Louis and the Rigotti reeds are made from the same cane but the Louis' win hands down. Roberto's Woodwinds in NYC is the ONLY distributor in the USA. The two boxes I ordered last night cost $94.19!!!!!
HOLY SHIT! If each box has six great reeds it will be worth the high price. I will update when I get them.

The Alexander D.C. alto reeds I just got are a bit too soft and don't have enough body. They sound thin, though not terrible. The cane seems better than the usual big brands.

chicken little said...

All I got to say is, well, I don't need to say it.

Pat said...

Gads, I didn't know there could be such nuances to a reed. Obviously, I don't play. But, I have just found a couple boxes of Diamond Cut Sax reeds as I'm cleaning out part of the house. (size 2.5, and 3 - nine of each) There are a couple Mitchell Lurie (3,4), and a couple Rico (v-1 1/2) reeds, also. I don't exactly know what the numbers mean - size, I guess. Anyone want to make an offer for these - doesn't have to be money, could be tickets to something? I'll be in Portland next June. plmonie@gmail.com