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 Rico Reserve Classics
Author: PT 
Date:   2011-08-30 01:45

I have been using Rico Reserve Classics for about six months now, and I have to say that I'm very disappointed/ baffled/ confused. With the past four or so boxes, I have been getting a whistling/ squeaking sound right before a note. I looked at some of the reeds, and many of them have what look like slits towards the tip of the reed. Maybe there is a problem with the mouthpiece or strength of the reed, but I would assume it would be those slits. If this is causing these whistling noises, what causes the slits? Poor reed quality, bad break-in period, improper storage, changes in temperature or humidity? Or possibly, maybe my playing is causing these sounds? If anyone else has had the same problem, what have you done? What are some possible solutions?



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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2011-08-30 08:02

I was the designer of the Grand Concert reeds. Although I left the company several years ago I haven't measured the Reserve reeds. If you are getting a sqeaking sound it may be due to the rails being too thin; the sides of the reeds at the tip. There are a few reasons for this. The first is the reeds are too thin so take a reed clipper, shorten the reed just a touch and see if this helps. With thin rails it is also possible that the rails on your mouthpiece are too wide. Lastly the cane may have not aged properly so when you play the reeds the raills of the reeds get really soft once water hits them. The idea behind thin reeds is it makes the sound darker. I of course fully disagree with this. To play these reeds the mouthpiece should be a bit more open, pehaps around 1.08 to 1.10mm, with fairly thin rails on your MP.

By the way, send the bad reeds back to Rico and they will replace all of them. At least they did when I worked there. One time someone sent back about 1000 reeds he had saved over several years. Kind of funny!


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2011-09-09 04:04)

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2011-08-30 15:24

I believe Bob is correct that they will replace them. I know someone that contacted them about a box that had some funny markings on the bark of one or two, they asked him to send a picture of them on the internet and they replaced the entire box of ten. Contact them at their website, they want to please everyone if possible. ESP
eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: knotty 
Date:   2011-08-30 16:44

Within the past two months I ordered the same Rico reeds and found the exact same thing, terrible whistling, squeaking too. I tried several different mouthpieces, different reed placements, nothing helped.

After a few days of this, in frustration, I got out another new reed and soaked it in water for about 2 hours this time before initially playing on it. I was surprised to find this helped a lot. No more whistling/squeaking except by my fault.

Could it have something to do with humidity?

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2011-08-31 11:16

Not likey, You may have gotten a good batch of French cane. Let me know if this happens again, in a few months. Im guess is no.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2011-09-09 04:05)

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: RyanD 
Date:   2011-09-01 00:03

Im just a high school student so take this with a grain of salt. I use to use these reeds and love them, then i found Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic and my sound istantly improved! I also experienced that whistling when i played with the Ricos. This was one of the reasons i looked for a diffrent reed model. Summary I think you should try some Vandorens

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Ed 
Date:   2011-09-01 15:17

Fortunately, I have had no issues or problems with the Reserve classics. I have played a variety of gigs on these and they have been great reeds for me in all respects.



Post Edited (2011-09-02 17:32)

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Clarimeister 
Date:   2011-09-02 02:44

Ever since I've switched to Rico Classics about 5 months ago I have had zero problems with them. I think they're fantastic reeds.

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: rcnelson 
Date:   2011-09-02 17:02

I use the Reserve Classics on both clarinet and my classical alto saxophone setup. I love the response and the "better than Vandoren" consistency. Have not had the problems you have discoverd, PT. Looking forward to seeing them come out for soprano and tenor.

Ron
Selmer Mark VI tenor (1957), Selmer Mark VII alto (1975)
Buescher True Tone soprano (1924), Selmer CL210 Bb Clarinet, Gemeinhardt 3SHB Flute, Pearl PFP105 Piccolo


Post Edited (2011-09-02 17:02)

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Iceland clarinet 
Date:   2011-09-03 18:19

Are those Reserve Classics as inconsistent in strength gradings as the original Reserves and unstable from day to day ?


I've tried over 20 brands/models (including Xilema,Leuthner(Pl class) Sinus,AW,Reeds Australia Vintage,Neuranter,Foglietta etc.) of reeds and only Marca reeds are in my opinion worse than the Reserve reeds.

My reed of choice still remains Vandoren V-12 and will be for a long time to come.

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Clarimeister 
Date:   2011-09-03 19:40

No, theyre a thousand times better as far as strength grading goes for the Reserve line. I know what you mean with the regular reserves being just a tad inconsistent. But, the Rico Classics to me play way better than V12s.

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Ed 
Date:   2011-09-03 21:41

Quote:

Are those Reserve Classics as inconsistent in strength gradings as the original Reserves and unstable from day to day ?


I have found the Reserve Classics to be very consistent from reed to reed and very stable from day to day. For me, they are much better than the V12s. I have enjoyed playing them.

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2011-09-04 10:30

I don't really believe there is a right or wrong answer here.

You sort of have to look at the whole situation here. Rico produces around 15 to 20 million reeds a year, perhaps a lot more. When I arrived at Rico the Mitchell Lurie line sold about 750,000 reeds a year, also known more as "Units." I spent a lot of time redesigning his reeds, with of course his blessings, and when leaving Rico the Lurie reeds hit 1.5 million units per year. Pretty much doubled. Even a lot of pros were using his reeds when the Vandoren reeds didn't play well, due to poor cane, and the top of the line Rico's weren't being made yet. The Lurie reeds were considered top of the line during my early years at Rico.

So with 15 million units being sold you will get all sorts of variations in the quality of cane. Reeds are simply assorted types of weeds/grass. There's around 150 different species of cane; such as sugar cane and bamboo. Knowing this and Rico selling something around 15 to 20 million units a year there is no possible way that every reed will play well or even play at all. The cane comes from all over the place, not just France. Vandoren and Rico often share the same land and Rico and Vandoren crop specialist are often friends.

As I've said in the past I will put up a website about my days at rico and the process of making a reed. I will also get into the lawsuit, regardless if I win or not.

Vandoren sells a mess of reeds, but Rico outsells Vandoren because mainly the school line of reeds. Rico, Rico Royal, and La Voz. Also the black coated jazz reeds.

I have to say that Rico has really cool electronic strength gauges, but they aren't really set up correctly; this is totally my opinion from many many years at Rico. The reeds you buy can vary a lot. If you play a 3 strength reed you may get a high end 2 1/2 to slightly less than a 3 1/2. Depending on your knowledge of fixing up reeds will result with how many keepers you get per box. I can't get every reed to play in a box, from Vandoren or Rico due to the cane quality such as the grain. Remember reeds are weeds. Cane is classified as a weed or grass depending on the dictionary you use. So right there you probably have to discard around 3 or 4 reeds per box. If you are really and I mean really good at adjusting reeds you will most likely get about 4 to play at a symphony level. Again, for me, both Vandoren and Rico pretty much have the same average. I favor Vandoren 12's, perhaps by 1 or 2 reeds per box. Added to this mess your mouthpiece also plays a huge part with how many reeds play per box.

Mitchell was great at keeping reeds working. He really didn't do any adjusting to his reeds. A lot of his recordings were played on 5 or 6 month old reeds. At first I really didn't believe it so I coded the reeds and after his concerts or recordings he'd give me the reed to check. I would play them after I measured them and they did play great. So here comes another subject, is there something in our mouth or body that breaks down reeds at an early life or a very late life?

Perhaps no one or everyone believes in my theories and thats actually a good thing. Getting back to which reeds play best totally depends on a mess of mainly physical factories and it's up to us players to figure out which brands of reeds are best suited, conformable to our playing.

I didn't really want to get this deep into reeds, but I felt some musicians may be a shade more open minded based on actual facts and understanding of cane/weed/grass!

If you really think about this in depth, it's kind of amazing. A weed is still mostly what we pick out to play on since the late 1800's, the development of the clarinet. I think it was the 1800's, it's 3:30 am and I'm not gonna look it up!With all of our knowledge no one has ever been able to use plastic, or any other material to duplicate the sound of great cane. I look forward to the day that someone can, because 100 percent of the reeds in a box will play just like a great reed.

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 Re: Rico Reserve Classics
Author: farabout 
Date:   2021-10-22 23:52

Can said "designer of the Grand Concert reeds [and] Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces" offer any material evidence to support said designing claims?
Ditto for the alleged "Yamaha Artist 2015" title?

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