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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000111.txt from 2008/05

From: "Michael H. Graff" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Reeds
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 08:47:30 -0400

I have been using Legere (Ontario) reeds for almost two years (since Atlanta
Clarinet Fest) and will never go back to cane reeds. While 10-15% of the
best cane reeds may provide a better sound, the sound of the Legere reed on
my setup (Buffet R13 with Walter Grabner Mouthpiece) is better than I
sounded 90% of the time on Vandoren V12s. The responsiveness of these reeds
has helped my articulation greatly. They are in control over the entire
range of the instrument at all dynamic levels. Further, they come in 1/4
strength ranges and are remarkably consistent reed to reed. I am enjoying
playing more than ever since I don't get aggravated by the wasted time
adjusting reeds and I enjoy the confidence of putting any reed on and
knowing it will play.

I should say that I have not determined to what extent this result is
enabled by the combination of Walter's mouthpiece and Paul Legere's reeds.
I am just satisfied with the result since I changed both at the same time.

The opportunity to play on the reeds at Clarinet Fest to determine exactly
what I wanted (Ontario 3-3/4) was a big help, but I believe that Legere
allows you to return trial reeds of the wrong strength. I don't think the
Ontario (three dots on the base) reeds are as readily available through
music stores, but I like them a lot.

I should mention that I am not a professional, but play principal clarinet
in a pretty good Community Band. I also use Legere reeds on Tenor Sax.

Mike Graff
Melbourne (Florida) Municipal Band.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lelia Loban []
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:14 AM
Subject: [kl] Reeds

> So, what do you use and why do you like them? Not, "because they make me
> sound better!" What is it about the quality of the cane and its handling
> that you like?

For clarinets in Bb and A, I prefer Rico's Mitchell Lurie Premium. They're
made from speckled cane. For some reason, that speckling does seem to
correlate with finer, smoother grain--something to do with climate
conditions where the reeds grow.

The criticism of Mitchell Lurie Premiums I see most often is that they don't

last as long as some other brands, but they seem reasonably durable to me.
Even if they don't last quite as long as some others, they're still a
bargain, because they're moderately priced to begin with and nearly every
box contains 100% playable reeds. They're predictible, too, with all the
reeds in a box very much alike and "3-1/2" meaning the same thing from one
box to the next. (Some people prefer Vandorens because different reeds in a

box may vary in stiffness by a half-step or even a full step--but that's the

main thing I dislike about them.)

It's extremely rare to find a Mitchell Lurie Premium that's sloppily cut,
badly-grained or otherwise unusable. They're consistently well-crafted. I'm

an amateur and probably not as fussy as a pro needs to be, but fwiw, I
rarely do any sanding or other manipulation of these reeds when they're new,

beyond swiping them a few times on some reed rush or, if I'm lazy, on the
cleanest place I see on the sheet music!

Lelia Loban



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