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 Gonzalez FOF reeds
Author: GBK 
Date:   2018-02-08 01:17

For the first time since 2002, I have purchased a few boxes of Gonzalez FOF clarinet reeds since my stash of the original old brown and black box Gonzalez reeds (Harvest 1998) is finally running low.

Sad to say they were a huge disappointment.

It seems that not only has the cane quality become wildly inconsistent, but the same strength reeds that I used to use now all play appreciable harder than before. It seems that Gonzalez has changed their strength grading system by at least 1/2, if not more.

Worst of all - the tip shape of the FOF reeds is now flatter, and no longer as curved at the edges (exactly the main reason I do not like Vandoren V12s, and prefer their blue box reeds instead)

It's a shame that Gonzalez has made these changes to their once superb reeds. As I was a very outspoken fan of their original FOF reeds, since they reminded me of my old Morre reeds, I can now no longer recommend them.

Here's hoping my old stash of original FOF reeds does not run out.


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 Re: Gonzalez FOF reeds
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-02-08 03:23

When I last tried Gonzalez reeds, the GD cut was by far the best. Lately I've been playing mostly Behn Arias. Have you tried the Gonzalez GD reed lately?

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 Re: Gonzalez FOF reeds
Author: Jordan Selburn 
Date:   2018-02-08 05:34


Your experience mirrors mine almost exactly. For a number of years, I played the Gonzales FOF (1997 harvest, I think), strength 3 3/4, and could count on probably 9/10 reeds being good, with more than a few concert-level reeds per box. A few years ago I decided to buy a fair number of boxes to stock away since I was so satisfied.

What I received was the 2003(?) harvest, and they were almost unplayably hard. As you can't return reeds, the retailer got me some samples of other strengths. The 3 1/4 was now the best match, and even that was a bit on the hard side. In any case, the reeds simply didn't play very well regardless of strength.

I have since tried the Pilgenstorfer and Peter Leuthner reeds, the former not my style but found the Leuthners (French Cut, 4) to be as good or better than the original Gonzales. I am now trying their American Cut (4 1/2, as I was advised they run soft - why can't a vendor get even their own hardnesses to match?) and like it even more.

As for the Arias, I initially liked them as they respond quite well right out of the box. However, they consistently warp and the tips chip frequently, neither of which have ever been problems for me with any other brand. The finish of the reed top and bottom is also very rough, which is surprising given Brad Behn's reputation for the world-class craftsmanship of his mouthpieces.


Post Edited (2018-02-08 05:41)

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