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 Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: orichic 
Date:   2012-08-25 20:34

My Band Director as well as many of the other Clarinet Players have a deep deep Hatred for Rico Reeds, My Band Director actually gives out Free Rico Reeds because he hates them so much but sells Vandoren reeds for $3.50

so one day last week I asked him if it's true if he gives out free Rico Reeds, he said yeah so he gave me one, it was a 2 1/2 (I play on 3 but 2 1/2 was all he had) as well as a size 3 Vandoren reed that I paid for

Well I tried the Vandoren Reed and it was crazy hard to play on, I didn't like it, it was one of those reeds in the pack that are dull, so I switched to the Rico 2 1/2 reed and Oh my Goodness my Clarinet couldn't play any easier, I barely had to blow much at all to get a good rich Sound, and I could actually go louder than the other clarinets which helps for Marching Band, but it does sound kinda weird when I play on that Rico, different than the Vandoren Reeds I usually use but no one seems to of noticed but me but I'm still pretty much in tune.

So my Question is.. Why are Rico's Hated so much? Is Rico Bad despite the fact on how Easy it makes me play on my Clarinet? is vandoren truly better even tho there's only 1 good reed out of 10 in a pack? What's everyone's Opinions on Rico Reeds?

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2012-08-25 20:45

Considering that eg Mitchell Luries are "Rico Reeds" as well, I can only speculate. Maybe it's just peer pressure, in a similar way as having a B* clarinet.
If Ricos work for you, by all means use them.
Choosing a reed isn't a lifelong commitment, maybe in a year, or five, you find yourself with Gonzalez or, who knows, Vandoren.
Just enjoy them here and now.

--
Ben

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2012-08-25 21:16

There's so much wrong here, it's hard to know where to start.

To begin with, I assume you're talking about the (now) orange box standard Ricos, which have always been marketed toward the student market. I think, honestly, most clarinetists at a certain point go off searching for "better" reeds and simply never come back, so don't know what the higher strength Ricos are like. I certainly don't. I don't think I've ever had a Rico harder than a #3-1/2 within reach in my life (and now that I've said that, I'm going to buy a couple of boxes of the stiffer strengths just to see what they're really like). I can tell you that the #3-1/2s are too soft for any of the mouthpieces I've ever used (which tend to be close-tipped and medium-to-long curved).

But there are Ricos and there are Ricos. Rico must feel they've improved the product with their Reserve and Reserve Classic models, which I have tried and find very playable. If your band director is prejudiced against those as well, he either doesn't know enough about them or he owns shares in Vandoren.

As someone also mentioned, Luries are manufactured by Rico. While they haven't the popularity that Vandorens do among "classical" clarinetists, they certainly aren't terrible reeds.

Now, for your problem with the Vandoren you bought. First, the notion of "1 good reed in a box" is complete nonsense. If that's all a player gets, he/she is simply using the wrong strength Vandoren. They aren't perfect out of the box, but they are for the most part playable, especially with slight adjustments.

If the #3 Vandoren (V12?) was stiff and stuffy and fuzzy, maybe you should try a #2-1/2 Vandoren and then compare that to your Rico or even a #3 Rico. Strengths aren't necessarily equivalent from one brand (or even model within a brand) to another. Find the right strength Vandoren, then compare it to Rico to see if there's a difference. Your description of the Vandoren you bought screams "too hard."

Karl



Post Edited (2012-08-26 04:45)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: orichic 
Date:   2012-08-25 21:44

I somewhat understand what you're saying about the strength sizes, I've been playing on a size 3 for years and most of the time it's either I get a good size 3 that can play well or a crummy Size 3 that makes me gasp for air every few measures, I'm gonna take that advice on trying the different sizes and comparing. They had told me that 2 1/2 is for beginners and for someone of my level to play on 2 1/2 would be embarrassing (Been playing Clarinet for over 3 years and I'm one of the top in my section) which is why I don't bother with anything that's not 3 and I didn't know if I should spend money on a 3 1/2 just in case I wouldn't like it.

My band Director is a Trumpet player which is probably why he is inexperienced with how Reeds are but the Assistant Drum Major who happens to be one of the best Clarinetists in the state even said that Rico Reeds (Yes orange Boxes, not Rico Royal) are terrible and is the same as playing with a Popsicle Stick and her Personal College Instructor would Get angry if any of her students played on Rico or something like that.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2012-08-25 21:51

So much for free speech, or the clarinetist's equivalent thereof. Meh.

Merely making suggestions re a certain brand/type of equipment to a student is one thing. But I think that's going a bit too far.

--
Ben

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: orichic 
Date:   2012-08-25 21:54

I don't know about that Private College Tutor except that she's one of the best Clarinetists out there but she said something like that to my Assistant Drum Major who said that to me, and a lot of other people are always talking bad about Rico, Even my Middle School teacher who's main instrument is Sax talks bad about Rico

Decade long Clarinet Player currently in college studying Music Education

Post Edited (2012-08-25 22:07)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2012-08-25 21:58

Hey, Alto is fun! Just don't let those naggers spoil your party with the instrument.

Here's something: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbPYdQVRXv4

--
Ben

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: orichic 
Date:   2012-08-25 22:03

Oh that was my Signature that I put months ago when I was a Freshmen hehe, that's irrelevant to this post, I'm playing regular Bb Soprano Clarinet for Marching band then for Concert Band I'm gonna play the Eb Alto Clarinet like last year but I'm more worried about reeds, I guess for both clarinets

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2012-08-25 22:34

The others have given you good advice. Rico makes reeds designed for everyone from beginners to professionals, and it is unfair and wrong for a director to portray a company and its products in this way.

Teachers have to be very careful about what they say, and if they aren't, it can come back to hurt them. A teacher can say, "I like Brand X and Brand Y," but he/she should never denigrate a company or its products in public.

I get great results with Rico Reserves on my clarinet and Reserve Classics on my sax. Are they the best reeds for everyone? Not necessarily. You have to go with the reed and reed strength that works best for you. You also have to find a reed that works well with your mouthpiece.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: SamuelChan 
Date:   2012-08-25 22:38

The prejudice towards RICO reeds l, or te whole RICO brand has been there since I started on my instrument. However now RICO has improved a great deal, with the reserve series, grand concert series, and even their new mouthpieces, which has been great so far according to an earlier post in the Bboard. However, many people still stays at the 'I HATE RICO' group of people.. Probably peer pressure, or complete ignorance. RICO reeds are as favoured as Vandoren reeds, which is the same ad Gonzalez, Legere, Forestone, Zonda, or any other brands. The reed that fits you best is the one you should try out perform on, not the one which others 'pressure' you to use..

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: fernie51296 
Date:   2012-08-26 00:33

This is all very instresting...my school band's woodwind instructor (saxophone player) has everyone only play vandoren traditional 3's. He will not even let anyone use other types of vandoren reeds. I have to tell him I am using Vandoren Blue box 3 reeds when I am actually using a Rue Lepic 4 to keep myself from getting yelled at. I just do not understand the point of having everyone use the same equipment when everyone is different. He gets so furious..and you do not even want to know about his reaction when I took out my oehler during orchestra haha xD

Fernando

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: orichic 
Date:   2012-08-26 00:35

Now that's just not right, I can understand Suggestion and even getting a little mad or disappointed but getting angry as if they did a crime and forcing them to play on what he wants isn't just right, My director doesn't force us, he just tries the peer pressure trick and tells us Rico is crap and only to use Vandoren but won't go crazy and force us to do Vandoren.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: fernie51296 
Date:   2012-08-26 00:45

Yeah I agree, but to me the worst part of it is that all the other clarinetists in the band are completely convinced now that blue box traditionals are the only way to go in reeds. None of them have ever even tried anything else. I offered a Rue Lepic to my friend because hers had chipped..she said "Nope. I rather play with a chipped good reed than a brand new piece of junk." It was shocking to me, but it just goes to show how far convinced she is by the band's woodwind instructor.

Fernando

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: orichic 
Date:   2012-08-26 00:46

I'd kick him so hard his Octaves would go up by 10

(not really but one can dream)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: fernie51296 
Date:   2012-08-26 00:55

hahaha. xD..yea, some do dream

Fernando

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: kjeks 
Date:   2012-08-26 00:58

Fernando, does the woodwind instructor have all the clarinetists play the same mouthpiece and clarinet too? And how does he treat the saxophones? Is he a control freak with them too?

If he is...post his address...I think that there would be many on this BBoard ready to pay him "a visit"... :)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: fernie51296 
Date:   2012-08-26 01:20

yes he does! He said to only use the vandoren B45. And saxophones not with the mouthpiece, just the reeds really. He is a great player he just has some uhh..intresting rules..and well I would post his address but I wouldnt want his grandma to be scared by the crowd of clarinetists to asking for her grandson..

Fernando

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2012-08-26 01:47

fernie51296 wrote:

> yes he does! He said to only use the vandoren B45. And
> saxophones not with the mouthpiece, just the reeds

This is the kind of one-sided thinking that paints band director with a broad brush. They're most certainly not all that way, but those that are might be adversely affecting the sensibilities of the students they teach.

Please have your band director contact me if they'd like to be put in contact with other directors that have different ideas. At this time, you should probably not make more comment publicly.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Wes 
Date:   2012-08-26 02:27

Dexter Gordon played on Rico reeds and no one could play better than Dexter!

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: larryb 
Date:   2012-08-26 03:10

Wes: Wardell Gray kicked Dexter's tuchas in the Chase, 1947.



Post Edited (2012-08-26 03:11)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2012-09-01 03:16

> They had told me that 2 1/2 is for beginners and for someone of my level
> to play on 2 1/2 would be embarrassing (Been playing Clarinet for over 3
> years and I'm one of the top in my section) which is why I don't bother
> with anything that's not 3 and I didn't know if I should spend money on a
> 3 1/2 just in case I wouldn't like it.

Beginner vs. veteran has nothing to do with reed strength (boy I wish I knew that in high school; my band director was a trombone player, so I bet he didn't know, either). My reeds are Vandoren V12 #4, but that's not because I've been playing for 20+ years, it's because they suit my mouthpieces (close tip, long facing). A lot of the time, beginners play on mouthpieces that are more open, so a lighter reed makes sense.

I remember playing in orchestra in college trying to figure out why the conductor kept telling me to play louder. Since I was blowing until I was red in the face, I didn't know what the problem was. Turned out to be trying to play Rue Le Pic #4 on open mouthpieces.

According to charts I've seen, there is a 0.5 to 1 difference in strengths between Rico (orange box) and Vandoren (blue box). A Vandoren 3 is about equivalent to a Rico 4, so no wonder the major difference in how they felt.

Orichic, what mouthpiece are you using? That's the starting block to help figure out what reeds will work well for you.

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Lorenzo_M 
Date:   2012-09-01 04:03

+1 on reed strength does not equal skill.

I play on Vandoren V12 3.5+ ... but I use larger mouthpieces than average for this reed strength. This is what works for me. I used to play smaller mouthpieces and much harder reeds...but as I've gotten better, my reeds have gotten SOFTER...

As for brand wars. Yes, a Vandoren blue, v12, or rue lepic is likely better quality than the orange box. It costs a whole lot more too, so you would expect this, no? Rico makes MANY other reed cuts...just the word "RICO" does not mean "inferior reed". Try some Grand Concert Selects or Reserves. Try Rico Royal or Mitchell Lurie. If Orange box is what ultimately is comfortable, then use it for now.

It's true, most clarinet players "graduate" to higher quality reeds...but it has to be a choice. Read this forum enough and you'll see that what the "best reed brand" is varies quite a bit! Vandoren is not the final word on what reeds should be.

So to sum it up...play the reeds that make playing the clarinet comfortable, and allow you to do what you need to musically. What you use isn't what makes you a good player...

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: avins 
Date:   2012-12-17 09:57

I've been trying out various reeds from Vandoren and Rico , strength 3
I use VD M30 , which I think is a great MP, but slowly tending to go the Rico route, I find these reeds much more appealing to me.
with Rico , I like the GS Thick Blank but use the cheaper Royal for most of the practice but they are quite good IMHO , the GS are great , I somehow, dont get along with VD trad. and the V12 but that perhaps just me, the VD are a little more resistive , thats true, but I get a mushier sound out of them , the rico are slightly more reedy if I may say , a little brighter , but I like it because it gives me more versatility in the production of the tone I want to achieve , I also find that especially with the GS boxes that I get much higher output . out of x10 , at least 7 were fairly good to very good
Im an elderly beginner (less than 2 years ,) but played the clarinet a little over 40 years ago , and for may years , the bassoon as well .
I've now ordered a legere Signature 3 1/4 , and eagerly waiting to see how good they are for me anyway.
Avins

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Dino 
Date:   2012-12-19 12:57

Avins,
I am also an adult beginner and when I first tried Legere with Vandoren M15 the sound was little buzzy and didn't like it. Than I recently tried Signature 3 1/4 with R.Hawkins model B mouthpiece and the sound was really nice, equal to what I was getting with cane reeds (I used Rico Reserve Classic 3.5). This was not only my impression, but others felt the same including my teacher. I am not an expert on mouthpieces, but it seems that what you get with Legere also depends on the mouthpiece you use.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: avins 
Date:   2012-12-20 06:58

Hi Dino,
I actually enquired about the legere on another string,
I use VD M30 , I received the legere Signature 3 1/4 , and althouhg I think its a great reed , it seem a little too bright, so im considering ordering the Qubec cut , as people say that it has a darker sound , I think the signature is a little too reedy , at least with the m30.
BTW I wouldnt think that the m15 is the right for strength 3 1/4 , rather more for 4 . Did you have a chance to try the Qubec cut?
Thanks
Avins

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Dino 
Date:   2012-12-20 13:44

I tried Quebec cut 3 1/4 (same strengths as Signature) and I like more the sound of Signature, Quebec cut sounds even slightly brighter. But with a different mouthpiece, embouchure and clarinet it may sound different for you or someone else. Or maybe I should try 3.5.
It was mentioned several times earlier that with Legere, the position of the reed is more critical than with cane reeds; the tip of the reed needs to be leveled with the tip of mouthpiece, not slightly below as we do with cane reeds. I also found that the reed position affects the tone color more than with cane reeds.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: MSK 
Date:   2012-12-21 01:12

One time when I was much younger I was faced with similar brand snobbery about my reeds. I just pulled the sticker off and moved my preferred reeds into the the distinctive vandoren box. Also if you are using some sort of reed case who will know what brand of reeds you have? Unfortunately, the same strategy doesn't work with the actual instrument.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: BartHx 
Date:   2012-12-21 03:15

orichic: I have to agree with some of the above postings. The strength of the reed has very little to do with ability. I started playing clarinet in fourth grade which was some fifty-plus years ago. With my current favorite mouthpiece, I am using Rue Lepic 2.5. I am frequently complemented on my tone. I play in a very good community band. At the last concert of the season, it turned out that I was the only one on my part who would be able to attend. With four players on each of the other parts the director asked me to "bring out" a soli section. The next time we ran that part, he stopped and asked me to dial it back considerably in order to keep the other eight clarinets more in balance with the soli. I have no problem with anything from a whispering ppp to more than adequate fff. As for the quality of the reeds, with only relatively minor adjustments and balancing, I usually get at least eight good reeds per box. What it boils down to is that it doesn't matter what brand is on the reed. What's important is which reed works best for you on your own mouthpiece. It may be that I am just accustomed to per box prices, but $3.50 seems to me to be a bit steep for one Vandoren reed. Do some serious research on how to correctly adjust a reed and try a variety of brands with a variety of strengths around what you think is likely to be the best strength for you. When you find that really sweet combination, you will know what you should be using (no matter what someone else might be using).



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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Wes 
Date:   2012-12-21 06:59

If a reed is too stiff for you, sand it down near the tip with a small piece of #400 abrasive paper. Fixing reeds is part of playing the clarinet. Get a smaller number if needed. Good luck!

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: BartHx 
Date:   2012-12-21 16:30

If you are using a mouthpiece with a long lay and the reed is a little too stiff, you may want to find a very flat surface (eg. a small piece of plate glass) for a working surface and sand the entire back side of the reed uniformly rather than just the tip. Also, lightly press each corner of the tip against your thumbnail and be sure they have a similar amount (and pattern) of flex with similar pressure. Make any adjustments a VERY SMALL amount at a time. It's very easy to overshoot and ruin a reed. There are other adjustments that can be made, but too many to go into here. A few sessions on reeds with a good private teacher would probably be well worth the time. Some of my best reeds have been ones that didn't seem very good straight out of the box.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: curlyev 
Date:   2013-03-18 07:21

My opinion is that you should use whatever reed works best for you, regardless of the brand. It's funny, because when I started band in 5th Grade, our band director PREFERRED Rico Reeds. I like the Vandorens better, but when I first started, they were too hard (not hard as in difficult, but hard as in thickness I guess) for me. Now, they are perfect.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Bill 
Date:   2013-06-04 03:14

I have a box of "Rico Reserve" reeds from about 2005 and they are quite good. At first I hated them, but now in my playing I am finding they are responsive and quite elegant-sounding.

Bill Fogle
Washington, DC


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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: morbius 
Date:   2013-06-04 17:08

Just so you know, there is light at the end of this tunnel. I now (and have in the past) make my own reeds with a reed dual. It is the only way you can get a quality reed without spending a fortune. Besides the reed strength MATCHING the mouthpiece you are playing on, there are several other factors: the quality of the cane used to make the reed, and the cut (profile) of the reed (and there ARE different profiles). A reed vibrates in two way at the same time: side to side, and in and out. As far as side to side, each side must be symmetrical. You can test this by turning the mouthpiece 45 degrees in each direction, and see if each side of the reed offers the same amount of resistance..... if one side is harder, you can take a very small piece of sandpaper and sand the tip toward the tip of the reed (I use a modelers flat file)... be careful, a little goes a long way.
I also look at "hardness" vs. "softness" a little differently. Reeds have what Ronald Vasquez calls "a point of resistance...a fulcrum, if you will, from which the tip vibrates. This point can vary, depending on the mouthpiece facing and the reed profile. Adjusting this point is VERY important for a reed to work well.
As you can see, for a reed must have pretty precise dimensions, both horizontally and vertically. Mass produced reeds are just not that accurate, and it would be cost prohibitive to make them that accurate, which explains why you get one or two candidates out of a box of 10.
The orange box Rico's were never intended to be any more than a start up reed (as were Mitchell Luries.... as Mitchell himself told me). Further, the clarinet is an instrument that is designed to be played with a certain amount of resistance.... and the operative word here is "certain".... not too much and not too little. The mouthpiece, for the most part, will dictate what the optimum amount of resistance is.
For what it is worth, back in the dark ages when I was in High School, I worked my way up to regular Vandoren # 5's, thinking that the higher the #, the better the player. That, of course was nonsense, but it did do one thing for me: it taught me the value of a pressurized air column, which is the basis of a good sound. As one of later teachers used to say, "the faster the air, the better the sound".... and the evener the instrument plays by the way.
Later, I went down to Gonzalez 3.25, until their quality of cane deteriorated. Their FOF reeds are modeled on the old Morre reed, which is a steeper vamp.
So, to sum up, try different reed brands and different strengths. Learn how to adjust reeds.... it is the ONLY way. Try different cuts.... regular Vandoren, V-12's, Gonzalez FOF, Rico Grand Concert. Learn as much as you can about the different facings of mouthpieces (Vandoren has a HUGE selection). Don't necessarily pick the easiest blowing; you'll never develop a pressurized air column that way, and it will not carry in a big hall.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: HANGARDUDE 
Date:   2013-06-06 16:35

I've been switching back and forth between Ricos and Vandorens. They hardness for each number is quite different. For example, a 3 Vandoren Traditional is equivalent to a 3.5 Rico Royal.
I find Vandoren reeds to be more resistant than Ricos. They also tend to be warmer but more consistent. Ricos are somewhat brighter in sound. A little too brittle for me. I had been using Rico Royals for some time before, but later I switched to Vandoren V12s because of its more consistent sound. But I do recommend Rico La Voz reeds. They sound really good if you have good control. The Rico Reserve reeds are a good choice too and they used by top musicians in the States, but do keep in mind that the Reserves are somewhat harder similar to Vandorens.
So in conclusion of all this babble, my observation is that people prefer Vandoren reeds as they sound more stable. But it is you who chooses your reeds. Try each model yourself one after another, and eventually you find something that you like.

Josh


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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Joe Bloke 
Date:   2013-06-07 14:09

On this board, sometime ago, a similar question appeared. I can't remember the exact response and who posted it but, it went something like:

The music stores keep the perfect reeds right next to the perfect clarinets.

All of the companies making clarinets and the related apparatus, produce some good stuff and some not so good stuff. I don't think you can really focus on a label (Vandoren, Rico, etc.). You have to search them all for what works, for you.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: MattW 
Date:   2017-11-17 01:45

I don't see what's so bad about Rico. I've been playing clarinet for 4 years (I'm in the advanced band too) and alto sax for 2, and I use Rico reeds for both. I have used a Vandoren reed before, and it was about the same as the Rico ones (I will say the reed case was a lot cooler). To clarify also, the strengths vary from different companies, so a Rico hardness 3 is closer to a Vandoren 2.5 than a Vandoren 3, and so on. Especially when it comes down to price, I think that Rico is a great choice.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-11-17 03:42

Funny how this post is brought back from the dead, since a few clarinetists have asked me about reed brands this week. Our middle school director told all the clarinets and saxophones that Rico makes the best reeds, idk if Rico sponsors her LOL. So they bought Rico at the local music store and never tried any other brands. Most of them have a pretty spready and thin sound, so I said they should at least try out some Vandorens. Those in my clarinet section that have changed to Vandorens a few years back when they got into high school (due to our high school band director often giving out Vandorens when someone desperately needs a reed but has no backup) have improved their sound a ton.

I personally would choose Vandorens over Ricos in a heartbeat, but I think as clarinetists, we should not tell others what to use, but we can suggest people to try a reed or mouthpiece out.


A good sound doesn't come with just practice, although practice is the most important factor. Equipment is also a big factor. I like to compare it to shooting a basketball. It's not just about getting more shots up in the gym, but also better shooting form. There are many pro basketball players who shoot very well but have horrible/unorthodox shooting form, but that's because those players worked extremely hard to cope with their strange shooting motion. But why spend so much extra time to make your broken shooting form work when you can simply improve it? I believe the same can be said with reeds and equipment.

-- Ray Zhang
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
-- Gustav Mahler

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-11-17 19:33

I taught a new student online who in 8th grade was playing a Hite Premiere Mouthpiece with a Vandoren #4 reed that he got from his band director.

The reed was a brick. However, he bit the mouthpiece and at the same time closed his throat, so it ended up being a wash...............



how not to play.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: TomS 
Date:   2017-11-17 20:32

Neither Vandoren or Rico ... Pilgerstorfer Dolce (or perhaps the other Pilgerstorfer cuts). You won't be sorry, as the cane is top grade and they are amazingly well balanced out of the box.

Tom

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: MattW 
Date:   2017-11-17 20:48

After doing a little more research, I would conclude that Rico reed works just fine, although Vandoren would be marginally better. I also agree that we shouldn't tell eachother what reeds to use. It's ridiculous to require a middle school and the lower level high school bands to not use Rico though, as the sound difference would only matter if the user has a mouthpiece and clarinet to match the higher quality reed. I will try Pilgerstorfer though, I haven't heard of that company before so it's worth a try.



Post Edited (2017-11-17 20:49)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 21:24

Not sure why this thread was suddenly resurrected, but it may be important to clarify if we're discussing basic "Orange Box" (currently) Ricos, Rico Royals, Rico Grand Concert, or D'Addario Reserves (which were called Rico Reserves in 2012 when the thread originated). Then there are Luries, LaVoz and D'Addario Pasticover, all of which are made by D'Addario.

There are also at this point several different Vandoren designs and many players strongly favor one and won't touch others.

There are too many high quality reeds on the market today, carefully designed and consistently manufactured with precision digitally controlled equipment, for a reed discussion to be only about "Vandoren" and "Rico."

Karl

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-11-17 21:26

Word on the street is Rico uses excessive pesticides not needed. I've never heard Rico denying these claims. They remain suspiciously quiet.

Pilgerstorfer are very good. As well as Luethner & Steuer.
Aria by Brad Behn is my personal choice for 'best' reed.

All worth trying and all arguably better than anything Rico or Vandoren are producing currently.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 21:37

ClarinetRobt wrote:

> Word on the street is Rico uses excessive pesticides not
> needed. I've never heard Rico denying these claims. They
> remain suspiciously quiet.

Well, not just "on the street" but also here on the BBoard. Search the archives for Bob Bernardo.

Karl

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2017-11-17 21:41

What street was that?

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 22:08

Monsanto Blvd. Totally agree with Robert on reeds. I guess in a lot of high school bands, it might not make that much difference, but you can get all the ones Robert mentioned online for under $3.50/reed.



Post Edited (2017-11-17 23:59)

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: MattW 
Date:   2017-11-17 22:13

So what's the difference between all the different Rico types aside from price? Also where do you buy Pilgerstorfer

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2017-11-17 22:32

It’s Bernardo St. which, oddly enough, doesn’t connect to any other roads.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-11-17 23:54

MattW wrote:

> So what's the difference between all the different Rico types
> aside from price? Also where do you buy Pilgerstorfer

I think Brad Behn and Clark Fobes distribute Pilgerstorfer. Maybe others.

Another reed that plays very well is Steuer "Exclusive," distributed by the aforementioned Bob Bernardo.

Karl

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2017-11-18 00:03

Brad and Clark carry both Pilgerstorfer and Leutner. Clark sells sampler sets with three of three different kinds.

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 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-11-18 07:00

This is kind of funny. Someone wrote to me the last few days saying that EVERY Vandoren reed in the box of V21's played. I told him to write a book on how he adjusts reeds, because this never happens!

We have to remember the Pesticides on Rico reeds. So play on this if you wish.

Here is what's going on in the reed world. Here is the truth -

Vandoren is getting their cane for all over the world. The head man was Marc Charpenter. Remember this name... He was there at Vandoren for 40 years. He is now gone. So Vandoren doesn't have great cane and a great reed master at Vandoren anymore. Everything has changed. So the reeds in general pretty much have gone down hill.

But Vandoren will ALWAYS remain in business, just like Buffet who has gone downhill. From past posts we can pretty much agree to this. Yes there are those who will always buy Buffets! Good! We don't want Buffet and Vandoren to close their doors. Actually, when I worked for Rico, Vandoren ran out of cane and bought some cane from Rico. Then they grew cane in Argentina. YUK! A horrible place to grow cane, because the reeds don't last. Remember I worked at Rico so I saw where the best cane came from and I saw cane under microscopes, and other fun toys like that and yes I designed the first Grand Concert line of reeds and I was in charge of the Mitchell Lurie reeds! A super great man and a wonderful friend.

So where did Marc go? Remember I told you about him? Mark Charpenter? He was the head man for 40 years at Vandoren?

Marc is with Steuer Reeds! YES!!! You can still get that Vandoren reed but at Steuer now. Using only top French VAR cane!

However, we all know that "Loyalty," will stay with Vandoren and Rico. Pesticides and all!

So this thread is kind of useless. It is fun to read though. So many interesting comments and often wrong comments. But I am not going there. I am staying with the total facts!

But we can't change people. People will still pay $30 for a box of Vandoren reeds just to find those 2 special reeds that play. The reeds will last 2 weeks or so. So that is $15 per reed. Rico has a better deal because you get a body full of FREE PESTICIDES with every reed! No extra charge!

Folks these are the facts! Good or bad, you can yell at me or praise me for giving you the true facts. You can tell me I'm wrong because your teacher said to buy Vandoren or Rico and they know more than me. Well because of this Rico nor Vandoren won't be closing their doors anytime soon. Spending $15 per reed is what they want! Support them and be sure to tell your students too. Be sure to tell the parents of the 9 year old kids that Rico reeds are great for kids, but they do have pesticides in every reed. Oh, leave that part out. We don't want Rico to go out of business. Notice how Rico is still using PESTICIDES!

I promised all of the readers here that if Rico stopped using pesticides I would announce it boldly. Sadly I haven't been able to do this. What a shame. For those that are interested my attorney recently threw down on the table an offer of $824,000. I'll keep you posted. Yes pesticide poisoning is this serious. Fellow musicians should be very aware of the damage in which Rico reeds can cause. If any of you remember I walked away from an offer this year of $328,000, so the price keeps going up. If they do not accept it we will go to court and I will ask for more.

As I said - These are the true facts with Vandoren and Rico.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




Post Edited (2017-11-18 07:23)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: bsnake1956 
Date:   2017-11-19 10:23



Bob: I agree this is kind of funny. After 10 years as a professional I went into education for 25 years.

It is important to note that I am in Ontario, Canada. I only say this because we pay 25% more than Americans do for the same product, be it clarinets, mouthpieces or reeds.

At one point I had a band of 110 kids. You can imagine the investment in reeds, not just clarinet but oboe and bassoon.

The fact of the matter is, we bought orange box Rico's because they were simply
the best we could get in volume for the money we had to spend. I am still gobsmacked that these reeds have pesticides. I appreciate that you have brought this to my attention. I had no idea, although pesticides are common in Ontario.

If we had really talented kids we would go crazy and buy some Vandorens, which also have pesticides.

I hope I am not held culpable for any future problems. Not likely, we are not that litigious in Canada.

I have since retired and I have started playing full time. I play a lot of shows. I just finished playing the Canadian premier of Hunchback of Notre Dame.

As you may remember, we are going to have to agree to disagree but I play R-13's, Greg Smith mouthpieces and D'Addario Reserve Classics. I play a lot so I need five or six out of a box that I can use. I realize that they also have pesticides.

All this having been said. Your contribution to this forum is extremely valuable. I appreciate the fact that you spend the time to respond to the most mundane comments, when you must have more relevant things to do. I always read your contributions.

I have to agree with you that Vandorens simply have became too inconsistent for me to use.

I totally agree with you that some of us older guys become set in our ways, and are not willing to look in other directions.

I play a lot so I need five or six out of a box that I can use.

I have enjoyed your posts very much.

I would love to try a Steuer Reeds. How do I do that in Canada?

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Rico Reeds or Vandoren Reeds?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-11-19 20:18

bsnake1956

Hi send me an email and I will find out if someone in Canada is distributing the reeds. If not I can help you out. I ship everywhere. I can also have the Steuer company ship some from France if I don't have them in stock. It is a very fun company to do business with. Each year I lose money shipping around the world but I don't care. The reeds are pretty darn consistent. A lot of times the shipping costs more than the cost of a box of reeds! I've met a lot of really cool people. One guy from Australia studied with Stanley Drucker in the 1970's and sent me a photo of Stanley having dinner with him in the 70's in Australia. The hippie days! Stanley looks the same now, but this guy was surely a hippie! A great photo. So you never know who you will run into. Yes I sent the pics off to Drucker! He really does look the same at 89.

Thank you for your kind words. savagesax@aol.com

Bob

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




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