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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000770.txt from 2003/10

Subj: [kl] Reeds in General
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 17:57:40 -0500

Karl's message about the Olivieri reeds brought up a point of experiment for

I have always believed that one should not put their reeds in one basket, so
to speak, and therefore I am consistently trying out new reed brands that I
feel are of a quality manufacture.

Here are some of the brands I have accumulated over the last year:

Vandoren V-12
Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic
Gonzales FOF
Olivieri (Traditional)
Olivieri "Elite" (hand polished-5 per box)
Glotin GAIA
Glotin GIII
Alexander Superial
Alexander Classico
AW Reeds (German)
Australia Vintage
Australia Vintage XL
Marca Superior
Marca Traditional
Marca Excel
Mitchell Lurie Premium
Foglietta (Germany)
Xilema (Spain)
Moree (Originals)

I probably have a few more brands that I have forgotten about, but I think
you get the picture. I have a closet full of reeds. I admit that I am a
fanatic when it comes to finding the best reeds and I have spent hundreds of
dollars in this quest.

But, I recently bought the "Reed Wizard" by Ben Armato. I know that some on
this list have bought this and tried it with mixed results. They have a new
model out now with a better cutting blade and the price is now $200 at

I read the instructions and then took about 50 reeds that I had sorted into
various piles (too hard), (too soft), (practice), (concert), (break-in).

I started with the ones that I had already sorted off to the side as not
being up to par. I simply followed the instructions and used the device on
about 50 reeds of various brands. The amount of cane that is taken off is
really just dust on most reeds and you would not think it would make a

Oh my, now I have 45 reeds that I can re-sort as being very good to
excellent. This simple device basically does one thing only. It balances the
sides of the reeds to a single profile that Ben came up with after talking
with a lot of professional clarinetist and doing a lot of research.

Folks, it worked for me. I am now faced with the fact that I can make just
about any reed, any brand, play well on my set up. Obviously, some reeds
play better than others due to the quality of the cane and the vamp cut and
heart. But I can just about pick up any reed in my strength range and in
about 1 minute being playing it very well.

I use a Greg Smith Kaspar CH1 mouthpiece with a BG tradition gold ligature
on a 66m Chadash barrel with a Buffet Bb Fesitval Greenline Clarinet.

This is a statement of my own experience, and I have not been paid by anyone
or prompted by anyone to make these claims. This device simply works for me.

Now, what am I going to do with all these reeds?

Tom Henson

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