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 Legere Reeds
Author: Brandon Marc Higa 
Date:   1999-02-27 20:18

Hey Fellow Clarinet Friends!!

I an thinking about buying the new Legere reed, however I would like to ask someone who uses it what they think. I have heard Richard Hawkins play on it, and it sounded just as pretty as any other reed. If this reed happens to work, then it may be a dream come ture. What do you think? Thanks for your time




Brandon Higa
Pearl City, Hawaii




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 RE: Legere Reeds
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-02-27 21:34

They're not too expensive an experiment. If you buy, get two of a quarter-step difference in stiffness and exchange the one you don't like.

I have two of them, and to me, they sound fine (they really sing in altissimo), but they take a bit different technique than do cane reeds. You'll may need a few weeks to develop a Legere emboucher. If I use my ordinary emboucher I tend to squeek in the upper clarion, but then I use a very open mouthpiece. I havent gotten around to trying them on my mouthpiece with the closed facing yet.

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 RE: Legere Reeds
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-02-28 01:55

I read Rick's response, and interestingly I also have problems squeaking in the upper registers with this reed. Nonetheless I find them great for practices, but I still always use cane for performances. I haven't been able to produce the sound I like with the legere yet, but I think it may be the fact that I need to order a slightly stiffer reed.

A minus for me is that I have so much moisture in my breath, I have to remove this reed every 10 - 15 minutes to get the moisture off the reed. It sounds terrible when too much moisture settles on it.

The major plus for me is that I just put the reed on and play it, and it responds the same way every time. I still plan to order a stiffer one to see it I can produce a fuller sound with it.

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 RE: Legere Reeds
Author: Brent 
Date:   1999-02-28 03:02

It's interesting that others have had squeaking problems with the Legere Reed--i have had the opposite experience. The reeds seem to have less of the high partials and the sound is "darker" (OK, if you don't like that descriptor, then it is a less shrill sound, although shrill isn't how i would have described my sound to begin with...). But i can't get the thing to sqeak. In fact, i find myself having to pay closer attention to the support i give some of the altissimo notes, or they otherwise won't speak cleanly. Generally, i agree--i like the reed a lot and if it had just a little more high end i'd throw the cane ones away (OK, that's not true. But i'd sure use the plastic all the time!)

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 RE: Legere Reeds
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-02-28 03:36

Perhaps my squeaking in the upper registers on the Legere's has to do with the rest of the setup. My mouthpiece is a Portnoy BP02, which is fairly open. My Legere's are supposed to be the equivalent of a Mitchell Lourie 3, but don't seem as stiff to me. Also my embouchure is double-lipped.

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 RE: Legere Reeds
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-02-28 05:53

I'm on Woodwind Robert Marcellus MP, which is quite open. My Legere reeds are 2-3/4. I will try it on my closed Selmer HS* tomorrow and see if it makes much difference.

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 Thank you for your response!
Author: Brandon Marc 
Date:   1999-02-28 08:35

Thank you very much for your response! I am pleased to hear that you folks like the Legere reed. I think that I will end up ordering a few. How did you folks hear about this reed? I bet that in a few years, it will become a hit. I guess I'll be the first to bring it to Hawaii! Thanks guys!!

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 RE: Thank you for your response!
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-03-01 01:00

Brandon Marc wrote:
-------------------------------
How did you folks hear about this reed?
---
In my case I met Guy Legere at the ClarinetFest in Columbus, OH. My son's teacher, Richard Hawkins, was telling everyone at the show to try them out. I walked over to the booth & started listening to good players trying them out - and was pretty blown away!

My set just came in (I ordered 5 - from 3 to 5 in 1/2 step increments because a lot of my friends locally want to try them out) and I haven't had time to try them yet. Just got back a couple hours ago from Cleveland.


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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Ray Swing 
Date:   1999-03-01 01:50

How does the Legere stiffness numbers compare with Van Doren? What Legere # relates to a 3 1/2 Van Doren?

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 RE: Legere Stiffness
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-03-01 04:07

Ray, they tend toward a Mitchel Lurie type stiffness, at least they do in the neighborhood of 2-1/2 to 3.

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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-03-01 17:29

I tend to believe folks who say that Legere's reeds in the 2.x range seem to be weaker than what's listed on the Legere reed itself. I have a Legere 2.5, 2.75, and a 3.0. The 2.5 plays like a Vandoren regular 2.0 with a very easy blowing chalemeau and clarion, but a difficult and squeaky altissimo. The Legere 2.75 plays like a Vandoren regular 2.5 out of the box to a 2.75 (tailored 3.0). The Legere 3.0 for me is quite stiff, playing almost like a Vandoren regular tailored 3.5. I'm playing on a Vandoren B45 mp on top of a Buffet Festival Bb soprano clarinet as an adult novice.

I've also noticed the quick moisture build-up on the Legere reed. Perhaps taking the time to warm up the reed by soaking it in my mouth as I assemble the horn like I do with natural reeds would help fix this problem. There is a different embouchure for the Legere reed. For me, the different embouchure actually helped me learn the proper embouchure for a natural cane reed, which helped me with my altissimo register problems.

I believe that the Legere is a great training reed. It has superior wear characteristics. I believe that the Legere reed would be a great match with a plastic horn for marching band. A clarinet like this would be virtually indestructable. However, like some other folks, I still believe that cane produces the best tone for the clarinet. I can hear the difference between the Legere reed and a Vandoren cane reed. There is also an apparent difference in response between the Legere and a cane reed. For me, cane reacts quicker to register shifts and octave jumps (both up and down).

I believe that Legere has a good thing going. There are some times that I can't tell I'm playing on a plastic reed. It may only be a matter of time until they get their reed to behave just like a cane reed.


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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Mario 
Date:   1999-03-01 20:32

I am also a very happy user of Legere reeds. After much experiments with strengths from 3 to 4, I now use 3.75 Legere. I have 12 at home at the moment, 10 of them playing essentially the same way, and the 2 others less acceptable from a quality point-of-view.

The rest of my set-up is quite unusual. A Rossi American Bore Rosewood clarinet with a Charles Bay MOM wooden mouth-piece and a Eddie Daniel #2 ligature. I am an amateur clarinetist with lumpy but intense practice sessions. So, I do not have time to work on reeds; I do not have time to readapt to new reeds every week-end (I practice 3 hours each day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - rarely in between since I travel a lot).

I just love these new reeds. They are predictable. I am learning to compensate for the little weaknesses that they might have. I can transfer my adaptation to all reeds in my clarinet case. I play them in turn rotating them so that they all age at the same rate. They play better with a few hours of breaking in (they seem to darken), and they play better thereafter after 10 minutes of warming up.

They provide me with a woody warm chalumeau, a round colorful clarion, and a responsive pretty altissimo. I have no problem getting to Altissimo G from anywhere while maintaining sound quality and intonation. I can get to altissimo A without problem by concentrating a little bit.
My high break homogenized substantially after my adoption of Legere reeds. You should see how well my throat tones sound with Legere reeds and some of Ridenour resonance fingerings.

Granted (like many observations made on this Board), they appear a little bright at first. But they do mellow over time. Also, I changed ligature to go to a darker system (The Eddie Daniel #2 is a combination fabric with a metal support). When I switched from my Oligature, I got an instant darkening of the sound. That's what was needed to correct this brightness issue. The message here is that any component of your sound machine interacts with all others in a feedback loop. In Ostend this Summer, I will try many mouthpieces and ligatures with this Legere reed and my new Rossi to try to find an even better combination, if it can be found. But I doubt it. 10,000 hours of practice is probably my next step.

Yesterday, the professional pianist with whom I work Brahms and Shumann told me that my sound was lovely and was better than ever. It was after a pass through Brahms #1 movt #2. Since It also corresponded to my observations at the moment, I can only say I was pleased. This occurred after 3 hours of non-stop playing with mind, body, instrument and reed warmed-up and in good shape.

Oh yes. Why so many reeds? I am not sure I can get others quickly considering the increased demands for this new product. I can have an accident and break a reed. Legere (probably an under-financed start-up) could go bust anytime. I just do not want to be left stranded. I will be buying a few reeds per year just in case.

Until I get the time to work on my reeds every day (i.e.: when I retire...), I found the reliability, predictability and maintainability of the Legere just great. Since the overall performance is also excellent, the value is superb. I know that cane reeds prepared and managed properly can probably exceed the Legere performance. But Legere works better than anything else I have tried in my amateur past.

Legere also impressed me with the quality and effectiveness of his Web site. Obviously, he is working with professional marketers who have advised him very well on the way to take advantage of his family name to create a superb positioning on the Web. If he can maintain quality up while ramping up volume, if he can develop the operation side of his business, and if can find financing to fuel his growth, we are looking at a very successful business in the making. I have high expectations. He is an engineer, and engineers can do anything, I mean anything, when they put their mind to it.

No only that, Legere is a French-Canadian from Barry Ontario. In 50 years, clarinet history books might record the fact that the clarinet weakest link was transformed by a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from the great country up North. I very proud of Guy Legere. He might be, as we speak, pushing cane reeds to the "ancien music" arena.

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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-03-01 21:06

paul wrote:
-------------------------------
I tend to believe folks who say that Legere's reeds in the 2.x range seem to be weaker than what's listed on the Legere reed itself. I have a Legere 2.5, 2.75, and a 3.0. ---
Legere numbers are totally different than "standard" numbers. My set here ranges from a 930 (V12 #5 equiv) to a 1034 (V12 #3 equiv)

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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Brent 
Date:   1999-03-02 16:24

Mark Charette wrote: Legere numbers are totally different than "standard" numbers. My set here ranges from a 930 (V12 #5 equiv) to a 1034 (V12 #3 equiv)

I think those are serial numbers. Guy put a hardness number for each reed on invoice which came with the reeds, and those are numbers like 3.5 and 3.75. I use 3.5 Zondas and Steuers, and the 3.5 Legere is just a shade softer than these

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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-03-02 18:51

Yes, if you look closely at the invoice, the numbers are identified as serial numbers. The reeds themselves aren't marked with the rating, but it is on the invoice.

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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-03-02 21:42

Rick2 wrote:
-------------------------------
Yes, if you look closely at the invoice, the numbers are identified as serial numbers. The reeds themselves aren't marked with the rating, but it is on the invoice.
----
I'm positive those are Guy's "stiffness" numbers, but he's correlated them to a "regular" reed numbers for us. They're not "serial" numbers (he doesn't increment them with each reed). My reeds each have a Legere tag with his code number on them.

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 RE: Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-03-03 02:27

I wrote:
-------------------------------
I'm positive those are Guy's "stiffness" numbers, but he's correlated them to a "regular" reed numbers for us.
--------
I'm positive that I'm wrong :^) Guy corrected me - they are serial numbers. Sorry for the misinformation.

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 RE: Paul, Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Ray Swing 
Date:   1999-03-03 19:52

I'm confused. Legere 2.5 = Vandoren 2.0


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 RE: Paul, Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: Ray Swing 
Date:   1999-03-03 19:56

Paul, sorry, I hit the "Tab" and off it went. This is what I'm confused about: Legere 2.5 = Vandoren 2.0
Legere 3.0 = Vandoren 3.5 ??? Should it read just the opposite?

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 RE: Paul, Legere Reeds Stiffness?
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-03-05 20:36

Yes, I think I got the numbers reversed. Guess I was thinking and typing all at the same time.  ;)

My personal experience with Legere and Vandoren is (let's see if I can get it right this time):

Legere Vandoren

2.5 2.0

2.75 About 3.0 or so (a fairly close match)

3.0 About 3.5 or so

Basically, I believe that the Legere reeds are a little weaker than their equivalent Vandorens. From what I can tell, it's about a half strength difference.

I have a Legere 2.5, 2.75, and 3.0. At least that's how the invoice read when I got it. I used a permanent ink marker (with ink that sticks to plastic surfaces) and wrote the reed strength numbers on the Legere plastic label on the upper side of the base of the reed. This looks a little uglier than the usual cane markings on the back of the reed, but I believe my trick kept the ink from transferring to the mp. I have Vandoren regular reeds and Vandoren V-12 reeds of 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 each. Many of my current natural cane reeds were tweaked a lot by a highly experienced master professional clarinetist. I experimented with a few natural cane reeds myself, but with less satisfying results. So, when I mentioned a tailored reed that played about a quarter strength less than its marking, that's what I was trying to reference.

So, here is my analysis again...

Legere 2.5 plays very soft and squeaky. If I have a hard time making a solid embouchure because I'm tired, I'll try this reed and step down the complexity and range of the music. I would do the same with a Vandoren 2.0 (either regular or V-12). I'd personally recommend a Legere 2.5 for kids in marching band. It's soft enough for young embouchures and it's nearly indestructable.

Legere 2.75 is my favorite of this class of reed. It seems to be significantly stiffer than the Legere 2.5, yet more pliable than the Legere 3.0. It's not as capable of quickly responsive big octave leaps compared to natural cane. However, I have to give credit where it's due. This reed helped me solve some of my altissimo playing problems that I couldn't overcome with all of the natural cane reeds in my case. The Legere 2.75 makes the horn collect a lot of gurgling spit really fast. However, since I probably need a short break about every 10 minutes or so, swabbing out my horn is as good an excuse for a break as any other. Vandoren natural cane reeds are more responsive and don't force me to create a lot of spit over a short time. I believe the Legere 2.75 reed plays like a tailored Vandoren 3.0 or thereabouts. I believe my Legere 2.75 is a good utility reed for basic practice. When I finally solve the quick spit build-up problem, I believe I could play hours and hours of scales and Baermann-like (or Klose'-like, whatever suits you) drills with this reed, thus saving a more fragile natural cane reed for performances.

Legere 3.0 plays a bit stiff for me to use for very long. I have a couple of highly tailored Vandoren V-12 3.5s that behave about like this Legere reed. If I had the air support for it (or a more closed mp), I'd probably use this reed as a utility reed, too. Someday when I get brave, I'll reach for my Vandoren 5RV Lyre mp (or my stock Buffet mp) and try the Legere 3.0 on it.

Now, let's put this very informal and unscientific comparison in perspective. First and foremost, I'm an adult novice who would like to get much more practice in than just a few hours a week. Progress is steady, but very slow. Second, I wish I was playing on my tutor's tweaked Borbeck 13 mp instead of my Vandoren B45 mp. Dream on. Third, I'm playing a Buffet Festival Bb soprano clarinet. Let's face it, the horn and its set up is several leagues better than the player (like a bad high school football team versus the winning Super Bowl team). Keep these points in mind when you go shopping for either Legere or natural cane reeds for yourself.

Finally, I wish Mr. Legere and his company the very best. His product has fantastic potential to turn the entire reed market on its head. That can't help but be a good thing for the rest of us.


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 Legere Reeds Signature vs. European
Author: Pwrmaestro 
Date:   2019-03-04 23:27

I have used Legere Signature for several years. I'm a fan. I would like to know how the strength of the European cut compares to the Signature type. I use 3.5 & 3.75 on my Lomax. Thanks for your input.

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 Re: Legere Reeds
Author: Pwrmaestro 
Date:   2019-03-04 23:56

I'm a very happy user of Legere Signature reeds on my Lomax mouthpiece. I've used them for 4 or 5 years. I'm interested in trying the European cut. How do the strengths compare? The Signatures I use are 3.5 & 3.75. Thanks for your thoughts.



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 Re: Legere Reeds
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-04 23:58

For me it would be a long shot guess because I tried the Signature Bb clarinet reeds a long time ago and their strongest ones would not cut it. I have since softened my approach but still believe you'd want to start with a strength a bit softer than what you use.

Also, the Signature Soprano sax reeds are amazing for Bb clarinet and you'll want a strength 1/4 to 1/2 softer than what you settle on with the European Signature reeds.

Buy through Amazon......they take anything back!


...............Paul Aviles.



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 Re: Legere Reeds
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-03-05 01:45

Funny reading this old thread from when Legere were so new... Mark Charette mentions Richard Hawkins encouraging people to try them at the Columbus Clarinet fest... It was ME who introduced Mr Hawkins to them - after he heard me play to him at his booth (he was at the Yamaha booth I think) I showed him it was a "fake Reed". The look of surprise was entertaining to see (a few month later I had the same reaction from Charles Neidich), he then grabbed my clarinet to try it out, and ran off to play to people.. I didn't get my clarinet back for nearly an hour...

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 Re: Legere Reeds
Author: mdj 
Date:   2019-03-05 13:28

I will share my recent experience with these...

I recently experimented with the Euro Sig's. I normally play a VD Blue Box 3.5 so I thought I would sample a 3.5 and 3.25 Euro Sig. I first tried the 3.5 for a few days and concluded it was too resistant. When I put the 3.25 on - it was simply awesome. I now have 4 - 3.25's to rotate through and have put the cane away.

My daughter (5th grade) who has been using a combo of Rico and VD's is now experimenting with the 3 Euro Sig and she has been more than happy with the outcome. To her, no more frustrations of dealing with ornery reeds. It's simply put it on and go.

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