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 Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Ben Shaffer 
Date:   2018-09-21 02:57

Well I bought a Legere Classic Reed 2 Years ago and it sounded great right out of the Package.
I then bought another one to have as a back up and it sounded stuffy.:(
If that had been a cane reed I would have done some adjustments on it.
I've had Fibracell Reeds that I've sanded and adjusted with good results.
BTW I'm past the exchange Period they offer.
Also on their website that don't recommend adjusting the reeds other than shortening the tip.
So my question, does anyone have any experience sanding and adjusted the Legere Reeds?
Ben Shaffer

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-09-21 03:12

Unfortunately I cannot speak to adjustments of the Legeres since that never felt practical to me, but I have a few suggestions moving forward.

The European Signatures (and Signature Soprano sax reeds.....perhaps a quarter strength softer than whatever you'd use in a European Signature) are significantly superior to the "Classic" reeds. They are wide to the bottom of the reed lending them a "weird" or goony appearance (compared to what a cane Bb clarinet looks like), and they are quite thin (perhaps rendering some ligature unworkable). But they are well worth a good trial if you've not already done so.

As for honing in on strength (the only adjustment necessary), Amazon allows for returns and this would be the way to go until you have your strength nailed down.

Hope this helps moving forward.

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

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-09-21 05:11

If it's stuffy, it may help to dip the reed into hot/boiling water for a couple of seconds, that softens it a little bit. You might also want to try fiddling with the reed position if you haven't already, as Legeres can be fussy in that regard.

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-09-21 10:04

After playing some time, it will become softer significantly (maybe you can use it too practice long notes). If it is too soft, you can use a reed clipper to adjust.

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2018-09-21 12:20

There was a brief video from the Reed Geek folks at one point, but I can't seem to find it. That seems to be the preferred tool from the limited discussion I've encountered on this. Sanding may not work well with the Legere material.

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-09-21 16:57

When I was using Legere Euros full time, I did manage to lighten a couple of them by sanding the backs, as some players would do to flatten a slightly warped cane reed. Stay away from the tip area - because of the material (I assume), the tips of Legeres are already VERY flexible and won't stand up to any thinning. Dipping them in boiling water for a couple of seconds (per gavalanche20) is Legere's recommended method for softening them.

Keep in mind that they also soften slightly as you use them - not day-by-day, but minute-by-minute. Maybe because of heat. I had to change Legeres after an hour or a little less, so I needed to have at least two playable ones available. They recover after resting overnight - maybe sooner but I never tried to go back to the first one during the same rehearsal or concert.

I've been puzzled by the lack of consistency among Legeres of the same style and strength. It doesn't seem reasonable that the material or the shape should be inconsistent - they're both presumably under the manufacturer's control, unlike raw cane which can wildly inconsistent despite being cut on computer-controlled machines.


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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Ben Shaffer 
Date:   2018-09-21 18:02

I sanded the Legere reed this morning with an Emory Board and it sounds quite nice now
Sanded mainly the sides of the reed that seat on the rails, close to the tip and then about halfway down the vamp
So at least for me sanding made a big difference

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2018-09-21 20:16

I've used an emery board on Legere' reeds with great success but I do not get close to the very tip. However, I use my ATG to make a slight adjustment correct an imbalance.

I am primarily playing bass now and have found some of the tips from David Lowenstern as to where to sand and not sand very helpful. The video below gets very interesting about the 5:00 min. mark.

Here is the link

I keep about three reeds in rotation and surprisingly, I never know until warming up which one will be the best. I put different colored marks on the butt end to keep things in order on my rotation through my reed holders.


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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Slowoldman 
Date:   2018-09-21 20:56

I once tried adjusting my Legere Euro's with #600 abrasive, but this didn't work very well.

I have since realized how extremely sensitive Legeres are to placement on the mouthpiece. Minimal adjustment up or down can make a big difference in how the reeds respond; and adjusting side-to-side (as if you were testing the reed for "balance") can also be important.
(Not to mention that it can be difficult to see the tip of the reed against the mouthpiece.)
IMO, such small changes seem to account for much of what we perceive as variation in Legere reeds.

So: 1) Try moving the reed up or down on the mouthpiece to improve response or tone. Try several adjustments to get what's best for you. 2) Test reed for balanced position side-to-side on mouthpiece, and adjust for symmetric response. 3) Use a strong light (or an LED flashlight) to help see the reed tip against the mouthpiece. 4) There may be slight differences between reeds, but these adjustments can often fix the problem. 5) As suggested by other posters, definitely try the European cut, which seems to be a big improvement over the Classic.

Post Edited (2018-09-21 21:25)

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Burt 
Date:   2018-09-21 23:40

I used 120 grit sandpaper wrapped on a wood block to "soften" a Legere reed. I worked the tip (~1/4 inch) and the sides. Then I used 600 grit to smooth the surface.

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Ben Shaffer 
Date:   2018-09-22 01:21

I know these expensive reed adjusters are probably pretty good, but you can't beat the $3 Beauty 360 Emory Board from CVS.... I cannot lie ;)

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2018-09-23 12:40

My experience is that the strength of the reed varies even within a quarter of a number. The stuffy ones are simply a bit harder than the good ones. It helps if you have a relatively wide tip rail in your mouthpiece. It gives you room to move the reed up and down the reed table. I have noticed that legeres hate to be put on the mp the tip above the mp tip much more than cane reeds. And use the exhange program to get rid of too strong ones.

By the way the machine in vandoren shop in paris was able to measure the reed strength in 1 10th of a number. Perhaps legeres should do the same, because i feel they need to be of desired strength much more accurately than cane reeds. They need also much more accuracy in positioning them exactly in the middle of the table.

So far i haven't had good results with hot water...

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-09-23 13:32

I've tried the hot water trick a few times and had great success with an Alto sax Reed that was uncomfortably hard... But for some reason found it not to work with Bass clarinet reeds or the sop sax Reed I tried it on. I have no idea at all why this would be....????? (the sop sax Reed is now my primary Reed)

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2018-09-23 18:50


An emery board similar to the Beauty 360 from CVS is just about what I use. But at the end, I use 600 grit paper on my ATG to smoothly finish the surface.


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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2018-09-28 08:33

I practice on a Legere reed and don't like it. I bought one years ago which seemed hard, so I used my pen knife to shave it a bit. Ruined it. Shop guy said it's unwise to tinker with them. Advised buying one a half size less than my wooden reeds. So, I bought a Legere No.2, didn't shave it down, and position the tip almost exactly in line with the top of the mouthpiece. And it plays OK. I don't like it...…!

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus

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 Re: Adjusting a Legere reed
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2018-09-28 18:39

Hummm, kinda surprised others haven't had good results the 'hot water dip' technique. I dipped a Legere Euro Signature 4 in hot tap water for five seconds and it changed dramatically ~ for the better. But I could have gotten lucky. I did notice over time (days?) it gradually stiffened back up, but not to the original hardness. Another quick hot dip (2 seconds?) got it to where it needed to be.

I appreciate the other suggestions with emery board...I'll have to check that out.

~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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