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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000047.txt from 1995/01

From: Daniel Miller <dm@-----.COM>
Subj: Direct from Vandoren
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 09:10:48 -0500

There was quite a bit of discussion regarding Vandoren reeds on this list a
few weeks ago. Since I have fairly close contact with most of the major
reed makers, I brought up some of the lists' questions and statements
directly to Bernard Vandoren recently. I hope the list members are
interested in his comments and this post. Please bear with the use of
English, I tried to keep the spirit of what he said with as much clarity as
possible. And *please* note they are *his* comments, not mine. If you
have a question, want follow-up, like his reeds or hate his reeds, please
address that to *him*:
Bernard Vandoren, Vandoren S.A., 56 rue Lepic, Paris 75018

---All the good Vandoren reeds stay in France, and that what arrives in the
U.S. is everything else.---
Bernard Vandoren: "We cannot, for financial reasons, select reeds depending
on where they will be sent. Our products are exported to over 50
countries, such a selection would be very difficult to manage and therefore
be very expensive. Furthermore, the American musicians are, economic-wise,
more important than the French ones, as the Americans are greater in
number. Consequentially, there is no reason why we should favor the French
to the Americans by giving them better products. This would not be

---The reeds tested or tried at your facility are special and the rejects
are sent to the U.S.---
Bernard Vandoren: "This is absolutely false, and would not serve our
interest whatsoever. These tried reeds represent about 1% of our
production. Trying reeds in Paris allows us to control our manufacturing
process. That is why it is essential for these reeds to be a sampling of
our regular, current production."

---Is there any difference in the reeds shipped in France, and those
shipped to the U.S.?---
Bernard Vandoren: "Cane, being a natural product, is likely to change when
the weather and the hygrometrical conditions change. When just finished, a
reed may have all of the required qualities, but this same reed, after a
period of time, may no longer be acceptable due to external factors which
might have modified it. A great American musician recently came to choose
his reeds in Paris. When he returned home to the States, he did not find
them to be the same as when he had tried them in Paris. The reeds had
changed during his trip."

Bernard Vandoren: "Reeds are likely to be compared with wine. A wine,
tasted at the harvest has certain qualities, which, during travel and time,
will be altered. To be able to re-live those same sensations it is
necessary to be in the same state you were in at the time of the tasting
(sampling). A wine has to be tasted regularly, as it is sensitive to time
and external factors. In the same way, an excellent reed will change with
time and climate. And in order for the reed to reach its best, it has to
be played regularly."

Windplayer--The world's #1 magazine for woodwind and brass
Daniel Miller, Publisher phone (310) 456-5813
Windplayer Publications fax (310) 456-5812
P.O. Box 2666 internet:
Malibu, CA 90265

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