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 V21 Quality
Author: Sayuri Teratsuki 
Date:   2020-02-28 05:28

Are the Vandoren V21's "mass-produced"? If so, is the quality on par with high-end reeds like Peter Leuthners?

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 Re: V21 Quality
Author: clarinetist04 
Date:   2020-02-28 08:21

Yes and it's not so much that they, as a whole, aren't of good quality, it's that there is high variability from reed to reed. That goes for all the Vandoren labels.

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 Re: V21 Quality
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2020-02-28 23:07

Maybe try out the RUE 56 Vandoren reeds. I think the cane quality is carefully selected as the best cane for this model of reeds. The reed design is for people who want to make minor adjustments and fine tuning to their reeds. Players say the cane is much better and you get more reeds per box to play. Not just 1 or 2 reeds per box.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: V21 Quality
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-02-29 00:52

I would say (as a frequent user of both) that the difference between the V21 and the Rue Lepic is really just the cut and not the constancy of the product.

The Rue Lepic feature a more robust mid vamp AND do not have shaved shoulders (or however you guys normally notate the line cut at the base of the vamp). So these tend to have a more forward sound with less color. The V21 is almost an opposite to this and though they are a bit more sturdy in sound then the Standard cut, they are much more flexible in sound and have a much larger tone color palette.

I like both but probably prefer the V21s.

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

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 Re: V21 Quality
Author: EbClarinet 
Date:   2020-03-04 22:30

I think that reed choice 4 any reed players is such an individual choice. There's no blanket 1 reed 4 all. I prefer Vandoren because their durability and many other aspects.

I just got the V21s 4 my Bb and they're stiffer than the standard blue box. The Rue Lepic's r way 2 soft for me and I'm thinking of giving my stash to my college friend because she prefers a softer reed.

I'm not longer in college (almost 30 years). How ever, my professor had hundreds of different kinds of reeds that she used 2 get different tone qualities. I get "reed"y @ times but never that reed"y".

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 Re: V21 Quality
Author: Liquorice 
Date:   2020-03-05 03:32

I would have to start by questioning your assumption that Peter Leuthners are high-end reeds. What makes them "high-end" reeds? The price? I think a better division would be reeds made by small/big businesses. Just because a business is small doesn't guarantee better quality. Leuthner reeds are also "mass produced" in the sense that they are all cut by machines rather than individually cut by a reed maker with a knife.

I find the Peter Leuthner reeds (French and American cut) to be LESS consistent than Vandorens. If you look at the reed from the butt end, you will see on several Leuthner reeds per box that the left/right sides are of very different thickness. You do not find this level of discrepancy with Vandoren reeds.

The cut of the reed has to match the mouthpiece facing. For my mouthpiece, Vandoren V12s are the best match. For other mouthpieces you may have a better match with V21s, Rue Lepics, Traditional, Leuthner American/French cut, Daddario, etc. etc. In my opinion the cut is the most important thing. I've tried some "high-end" reeds by individual makers but the cut doesn't work at all for my mouthpiece. Theoretically a personally-made reed can be better for all kinds of reasons (cane quality, storage, optimal and accurate blank thickness, gradual knife cut as opposed to quick machine cut, final testing etc). But at the end of the day, if the cut doesn't match my mouthpiece and personal preference, a reed won't be better for me just because it's not mass produced.

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