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 Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-05-02 05:27

Now that the temperature is getting warmer I find I am in the same situation with my reeds as my clothes -- they are either too soft (hot) or too hard (cold)!

I started playing on Aria 4s a couple years ago and generally love them. But I found last year that they seemed to be running softer than the first batches I ordered. In the fall I ordered Aria 4.5s and played them most of the winter. They needed more adjusting but seemed to have more "meat" to them and were better in the altissimo. Now they seem too hard again, even the well broken-in ones. Aria 4s are a bit better but still not quite there in the extreme altissimo. I feel like I need a 4.25, which equates to a 3.75-softer 4 in a V12, as far as I can tell. But Arias don't come in quarter strengths.

I'm thinking of trying the Pilgerstorfers but I have heard they also run quite soft. Does anyone know if they are even softer than the Arias? If I order 4.5 (the highest strength) might it be that in between reed I am looking for, or should I try 4s? i wish they had the combo box like the Arias so I could try both!

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-02 09:39

I have played their Dolce and another model, whose name I can't remember. What I prefer by far is their Morré: my favorite reed.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2019-05-02 15:35

I agree, the Arias, Pilgerstorfers and Morres are all fine reeds. I judge by consistency, slope and cane quality. The slope must match the mouthpiece facing and the Pilgerstorfer slope fits my mouthpiece perfectly. The other two can be tweaked to fit. The Morre has a thicker tip and the Aria is a 'straighter' slope.
I think it is important that all clarinetists to be able to tweak reeds. It is either tweak to get them right, or spend big bucks to find the best reeds.
But another way is to pick a great reed brand for the above qualities, and find a mouthpiece that works well with them.

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-05-02 16:36

I have the ATG system and do tweak most of my reeds. The Aria 4s barely need anything for me because they start rather soft. My question, though, is if I want to try the Pilgerstorfer, how does it compare with the Arias strength-wise? Is a Pilgerstorfer 4 going to feel as soft or softer than an Aria 4?

I could order the 4 and try, I suppose. I hate to waste money, but if they are too soft I could always give them to my son, who currently plays an Aria 3.5. But if anyone knows how the two reeds compare strength-wise, please let me know.

If it matters, I play a Gregory Smith 1+ mouthpiece. I don't remember the opening but it is "medium" and optimized for a V12 3.5, although I found a 3.5+ (3.75) to work better in that brand, for me.

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-05-02 17:40

Musikat, my experience is similar to yours, in that changes in the weather seem to make the same strength of Arias (and other reeds) harder or softer. The weather changes frequently and fast here, so I end up with about four different brands of reeds in the case at rehearsals, because I never know what's going to work when I show up. Dolces have sort of fallen out of the mix lately, because to me they sound a little thinner than Arias, but the Morres work for me a lot of times, as do Leuthner French and Vienna cuts. It does no good, though, to think I've found the magic bullet, because a front rolls through and I'm back going through different boxes trying to find something that will work today.

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-05-03 01:20

I would ask Brad Behn for a comparison since he sells both of these reeds as well as some other makes.

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: TomS 
Date:   2019-05-03 02:03

Not tried Behn's reeds, but I know the Dolce are amazing ... it's the cut and the quality of cane that does it for me. Try a #4 on a plain vanilla M13

Most play right out of the box and need no balancing. They are softer than Vandoren, free blowing, warm and open. Fantastic! They changed my life. .
I hear that the Aria might be similar, but better in consistency and response ...

I think Behn, Muncy and Fobes keeps the Pilgerstorfer Dolce in stock ...

Tom

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2019-05-04 22:07

I've played Dolces for the past two years and love their warm sound and response. For the past year I've played Dolce #4s on a Backun Arabesque (1.19 x L facing). This strength is similar to the Vandoren Blue Box #3 reeds that I played for many years prior.

As noted above, I find that half a box are probably concert quality, and most of the rest, with some adjustment, are nearly as good. With proper break-in, they last for several months. Because (for me) the Arabesque feels like it wants a somewhat stronger reed, perhaps 2-3 reeds in a box will feel a too soft and I don't like to clip them because they have a perfect tip shape. I tried Dolce 4.5s but while they were stiffer, they also seemed less pliant/flexible--I felt more at the mercy of the reed's characteristics and less able to voice things the way I wanted.

I spoke to Clark Fobes who recommended that I tried the Pilgerstorfer Exquisit reeds. I've played both the 1.5 and 2.0 strengths and find that the 1.5s are probably equivalent to the Dolce 4s. However, I prefer the sound of the 2s after I've worked them down a bit--they are full, round and resonant.

So for now, I'm sticking with mostly the Dolce 4s and the occasional Exquisit 2.

(BTW, I have tried one Aria, I think it was a 4, but it felt too soft and for me did not have the same liveliness that the Dolces have. Granted this was not a fair test, but I've not been inclined to try other makes of reeds after trying the PIlgerstorfers)

Bob Barnhart

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-05-05 02:34

Also tried Exquisit 1.5 and 2, and you're right about 1.5 being about the same as a Dolce 4. So far, I'll like the Exquisit sound, but if I play one in a rehearsal, it gets a little stuffy after about 10 minutes, as if it's soak up too much moisture or something. Haven't been trying them that long, though.

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2019-05-05 03:24

I don’t play any reeds much in their first week (5-10 min/day). After that I rotate often. This regimen yields reeds that often play for months.

I’ve also been using a Reed Geek more on the back than the rush I have used on the vamp in the past and that has improved everything! It is definitely worthwhile to ensure that both the top/bottom surfaces are smooth/sealed.

Bob Barnhart

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 Re: Anyone familiar with both Aria and Pilgerstorfer Dolce?
Author: Musikat 
Date:   2019-05-05 05:34

This post has me intrigued by the Exquisites. I just ordered one box of Dolce 4s and one of Exquisite 2s. If the 4s are too soft I can give them to my son, but it sounds from others' experience that the 4.5s might be too hard and then they would be a waste. Fingers crossed!

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