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 My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in Englewood, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-06-04 15:51

Hi All:

Yes, I am now using Legere synthetic reeds on all my horns at WICKED on Broadway!

That said, here's a little info on my findings about the new Legere reeds:
I have been sent several strengths of their reeds for all 4 of my horns;
Eb clarinet, Bb clarinet, Bass clarinet & Soprano sax.

The only "Signature" series I've received & play on, are Bb clarinet reeds.
I believe they will eventually make the "Signature" series for all the horns, but they will wait to see the response they get from all of you who are interested in their new line of reeds.

At WICKED, in my Summer outdoor concerts, and in many cold studios, the Legeres work better than most good cane reeds... and that's saying a lot, but I'm sure there are some who will disagree.

At the show we have smoke, fans, hot & cold spells, and humidity. I have been fighting these conditions for years, but to no avail. The best cane reeds suffer under these extreme circumstances. The Legere reeds are not affected & play great.

At Carnegie Hall last month, I tried the Legere "Signature" for the first time on that great stage with great acoustics & conditions. My report and feed-back from my colleagues was only positive, so I will continue to use the new Legeres at all my playing venues.

I will use it on July 4th for the outdoor Macy's fireworks show on TV, at the Diana Krall concert at Carnegie Hall on June 23 & 24, and at SomerStage in NYC's Central Park on June 12th with the NY Pops.

A word about the Legere reeds:

1) You must find the correct strength for you & your set-up, and the reed must "seal".
2) You must give the reed a few days of "break-in" time.
3) You must let your embouchure adjust to the new "feel" of the synthetic reed, it is different than cane, so a slight adjustment might be necessary.
4) You should try to remain open-minded about cane vs. synthetic, there are differences, and you must weigh the most positive features of each.
5) These new reeds will improve in time, and feed-back is necessary for Legere to improve this wonderful new product, so contact them.
6) Legere reeds may not be the best reed in your case, but it will always work and come through when all your cane reeds fail for whatever reason.

I still play on my very good cane reeds, but the consistency of my new "Signature" Legere reeds are astounding! So I'm using them more & more.

I find my normal set-ups for all my horns work just fine for the Legere reeds. I currently use for:

Eb clarinet: Buffet R-13, Selmer/Kaspar mpc. w/Harrison gold ligature, FOBES barrel & extension.
Bb clarinet: Buffet R-13, FOBES 2L mpc. w/"new" FL silver ligature, FOBES cocobolo barrel.
Bass clarinet: Selmer 67 silver w/low C, FOBES CL mpc. w/"new" FL silver ligature.
Soprano sax: Selmer Mark VI, Selmer ? mpc. with Selmer France ligature.

The various Legere reeds I use work beautifully on all these varied set-ups. You will have to find which of the many Legere reeds to choose from works best for you.

Good luck, and we're still clarinet friends if you stick with cane. Although I do believe synthetic reeds will be the reeds of the future.

Disclaimer: I am a Legere Artist & endorse their products.

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

Post Edited (2009-06-04 15:56)

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.cbb7d1.client.atlantech.net - ISP in Gaithersburg, MD United States)
Date:   2009-06-04 17:06

John,

Thank you for your detailed report! I became convinced of Legere's potential a number of years ago. I had been a cane reed fanatic for all of my playing life. However, as you describe so well, doubling presents challenges not usually encountered by one-instrument players. Prior to Legere, every synthetic reed I tried went sailing into the trash can. When I tried Legere I found it to be different and could see its potential.

It took me a period of time to adjust to Legere reeds on each of my horns. On several of them I made changes to my mouthpiece and ligature set ups in order to get optimal results with Legere. Now, I'm 100% happy with Legere.

Given that most of my playing is in doubling situations, I started using Legere with the concept that if I had 95% of my sound it would be worth it in terms of no longer having the doubling problems with cane reeds. However, once I adjusted to the reeds and found the particular set ups that work especially well with Legere I discovered that I truly LOVE the quality of sound I get with these reeds.

My set ups are:

Bb clarinet -- 1970's Couesnon Monopole, Walter Grabner K14 mouthpiece, Klassik string ligature, Legere Quebec reeds.

Bass clarinet -- Yamaha, Grabner LB mouthpiece, Optimum (plate #1) ligature.

Alto saxophone -- 1930's Huller, custom Ralph Morgan 6C mouthpiece, Klassik string ligature, regular Legere (not studio).

Tenor saxophone -- 1934 Buescher New Aristocrat, custom Ralph Morgan 6C mouthpiece, Optium (plate #1), regular Legere.

Roger



Post Edited (2009-06-04 17:13)

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in Englewood, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-06-04 19:57

Hey Roger:

Quite a nice assortment of instruments.

Bravo on your choice of Legere reeds, it's the future and we're there!
Cheers,

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Tom Puwalski (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net - ISP in Ellicott City, MD United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 02:29

I have to agree with John, I've tried the legere signature reeds on clarinet and I'm very impressed! In my opinion these are the first of the clarinet reeds that really "feel" like a good cane reed to play. They have really made some major improvements in these reeds and I think on of these should be in every players case because at some point you're going to need a reed that will play in spite of the venue you're in. The Student 2.5 strength reed is now mandatory for all my new students starting in the fall. I think the idea of a student reed that is as replaceable as a violin E string is an idea that's long overdue.

I am easily doing have of my clarinet playing on the legere signature and the other half on Rico reserve reeds. I've had one on my Buffet bass for about 4 months now and it sounds great. I've just tried the Signature reed on my Alto Sax, and I like it alot but I still like the sound of the Studio cut, it's a little more of a Classical sax sound while the Signature is more of the LaVoz med on the meyer 5 kinda sound. I like that sound plenty.

I think it's a great world we living in right now. New clarinets are being designed , reeds both " cane and synthetic" are evolving, all we need now are some players!


Tom Puwalski, author of "The Clarinetists Guide to Klezmer", Clarinetist with "The Atonement Klezmer Band" former clarinet soloist with The U.S. Army Field Band and a proud Leblanc performing artist.

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: janlynn (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net - ISP in Fitchburg, MA United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 17:26

are you able to return these reeds if it isnt the right strength for you?

how do you determine what strength to get based on the cane reed you use?

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in Englewood, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 19:55

Hi janlynn:

"are you able to return these reeds if it isnt the right strength for you?"

Yes, Legere clearly states on the packaging, that you can return any reed you purchase for a different strength, until you find the proper one, it's easy!

"how do you determine what strength to get based on the cane reed you use?"

That's tough, it's a hit or miss process. I suggest you start a whole strength SOFTER than your cane reed, as the Legere reeds run a bit harder. If you play a Vandoren #4, then try a Legere #3 or #3 1/2. They also make reeds in 1/4 strenghts, so #3, #31/4, #31/2, and #33/4, are all available in the "Signature" series.

Good luck,

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.cbb7d1.client.atlantech.net - ISP in Gaithersburg, MD United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 20:36

John,

Please keep in mind the reverse problem I had with Signature. I normally use a #3 Quebec on my set up. However, I found that I needed at least a #3.5 Signature. Even with a #3.5 Signature it seemed to me that my tonal core was not as strong with it as with a #3 Quebec.

It might be a good idea for one to get a couple of reeds that are a 1/2 size apart and see which is the best match. That should help one to get in the ball park and then as a second step determine if a 1/4 +/- strength is the right one. This approach worked for me.

Roger

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: JJAlbrecht (---.lightspeed.brhmmi.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Franklin, MI United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 20:37

The Legere site has a reed strength comparison chart on it at this location: http://www.legere.com/index.php?page=strength-charts. It isn't perfect, and it doesn't list the new Signature reeds, but it's a good place to start.

Both my mouthpieces (made by Gregory Smith and Walter Grabner) were designed to work optimally with Vandoren V12 3 1/2 reeds, and the Legere Quebec 3.5 does great with them.

Jeff

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Dileep Gangolli (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net - ISP in Evanston, IL United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 23:00

Hi Everyone,

I have been experimenting with Legere for over three years and in the last three months have played on them exclusively with great success. I also just started playing on a Grabner K11* which still feels a bit resitant but has an incredible sound so I will adjust to it finding the correct reed.

I also have just ordered the Signature reeds to try as all of you have said they are an improvement from the previous models.

I would like to add that in my experience with both Legere and Forestone, I have experience fantastic customer service. Both companies have allowed for returns and been helpful over the phone with assisting me in my issues. They really are trying to service our clarinet community to the best of their ability.

As Joseph Schumpeter said about the entrepreneur, these folks are the ones that drive progress. We are lucky that they have taken the risk to take clarinet playing to the next level.

Mind you, I have paid for every Legere reed that I have tried or played on. No free rides here. And I believe that a corner has been turned. These reeds now can compete with cane if one tries them with an open mind and looks at the pros and cons of each material.

I just admire that someone had the guts and fortitude to try going down a different path and shake things up for the better.

Onwards and upwards.

Who is going to be the first clarinetist to play on the Moon?

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: JJAlbrecht (---.lightspeed.brhmmi.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Franklin, MI United States)
Date:   2009-06-05 23:49

Dileep, please let me know whether one of the Signatures works well with the Grabner mouthpiece. Walter told me he hasn't tried working with them or with the Forestone reeds yet, so he was unable to give me any insight on how well one or the other would work with his pieces.

Thanks!

Jeff

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net - ISP in United States)
Date:   2009-06-06 01:21

Jeff,

Signature works beautifully on my Grabner K14. I am very impressed with it. It's just that I prefer the darker and thicker sound of Quebec.

I cannot help but think that you'll be impressed with Signature when you're able to use one on your Grabner.

Roger

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: tdinap (---.Kiewit.Dartmouth.EDU - ISP in Hanover, NH United States)
Date:   2009-06-06 23:55

Wow, does anyone have anything bad to say about these? They sound almost too good to be true!

Tom

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - ISP in Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2009-06-07 16:17

I have tried all models of the Legere reed quite extensively for over the past four years, but have discarded them all for the new Forestones. For me, they produce a more refined sound quality, especially in the upper register, and blend more effectively with the ensemble while still "projecting" for soloist needs. I recently performed Peter & the Wolf on a Forestone -3 reed and the cat's trip up the tree was a quite successful journey, especially the "graceful" conclusion to the frantic climb--F#6, etc. The reed played the same from beginning to end in both performances, as well as during the rehearsal--and is still "going strong" playing with consistant response, dynamic flexability and great tone quality in all registers. The only similarity I find with the Legere's is the lack of cane related hassels. For me, the new Forestone reeds have the "edge" over all models of the competition.

FWIW dept: I play a vintage Chicago Kaspar #14 mouthpiece on my set of Buffet R13s, but can report that the Forestone reed plays equally as well on either of my Gregory Smith "Cicero" Kaspar or "Chedeville" 1* model mpcies. I do still play a #3 Legere reed on my Grabner CX_BS bass clarinet mouthpiece, but I suspect only until Forestone comes out with their anticipated bass clarinet reed........

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Tom Puwalski (---.bltmmd.fios.verizon.net - ISP in Ellicott City, MD United States)
Date:   2009-06-07 19:27

Where and who with was the performance of Peter and the Wolf? Your experience is certainly different than mine. When I played the Forrestal reeds, I felt they played and felt similar to the quebec and ontario legere reeds. By that I mean if I could have adjusted them I might have gotten them play, but I would never had played one over a cane reed in any situation. The legere signature in my opinion are in a whole different league. They feel and more importantly "react" like a cane reed. The Legere signature comes as close as I think I can get to my adjusted rico reserves and grand concerts.
Having done lots of recording on both rico reserve and the legere signatures, I have to say it's very hard for me to be able to tell which reed I'm playing by listening to it, on play back. And I have some really primo recording equipment.. So I think I, as I think we all do, is make a decision on what "sounds" the best, by what feels the best.

I feel that all synthetic reeds Legeres included, tend to give the player a different "feedback" than one is used to from a cane reed. That feed back can be very different that what is actually being conveyed to the audience. So buy a few and and let the taping begin. When you start listening to yourself with critical ears on playback you'll be amazed at what you will learn. Every time I do I find something new that is ether true or false.

On that note, I've been field testing the Zoom 2 and the Zoom h4n and I think you would have to spend a serious amount of money ( which if have) to get a better recording of a clarinet. The Zoom 2 is small about the size of a pack of cigarettes, is very easy to use and under $200. It sounds awesome. Much better than any of the mini disk nonsense that was out a few years ago. You can than edit takes in Garage band or audacity.

Most likely sometime this week I will posting another Rose Etude, this time I will be using some of the best AND least expensive gear on the market.
I will tape using the:
New Bliss synthetic clarinet $595 kessler Music
Stock Bliss mouthpiece, A very good mouthpiece, though not my usual facing
legere student reed $9.95
(this is the outfit that I wish all my students started with)
on to a Zoom H2 recorder ($159 on amazon)

I have to say I feel I can get about 90% out of the above rig compared to my normal rig:
Leblanc symphonie,
Moba mouthpiece with an M13esqe facing and Cocobolla Barrel and bell.
Rico Reserve 3.5 or Legere signature.

I would not go back to music school without a Zoom2, I wish I could have taped all the lessons I had with Iggy on this. I'd be able to really hear him again.
The Zoom 4 is bigger, more expensive a little more versitile. But with the built in microphones sounds pretty much the same as the zoom 2. But the Zoom h4n allows you to slow up playback while keeping the pitch, allows you to do 4 track recording and does M/S recording, which I particularly love to use.

Sorry if I rambled

Tom Puwalski Author of "The Clarinetist Guide to Klezmer" and soon to be released "Clarinet Basic Training" and "Klezmer Gig tune" a play along book.

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - ISP in Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2009-06-07 22:52

TP wrote, asked, "Where and who with was the performance of Peter and the Wolf?"

It was with the Beloit/Janesville Symphony Orchestra, a southern WI regional professional organization for which all musicians are contracted for the season and paid per service. Unsolicited compliments regarding "how great I sounded" came from the conductor, Dr. Robert Tomarro, the concertmaster, other members of the woodwind section and a professional musician/teacher in the audience. I used a Chicago Kaspar #14 on my recently acquired, vintage Buffet R13A (S#9XXXX)

BTW--and, Tom, I assume you meant Forestone, not "Forrestal"--you are quite correct about the "feedback" issue with synthetic vs cane, however, my experiance is that the sound conveyed to the audience is quite satifactory. Like John Moses said about Legere, you must let your embouchre "get used" to the feel of the reed because it is different. And while it is hard to argue against someone of JJM's stature and success as a performing aritist, I must say that for me, the Forestone plays and sounds much better than any Legere I have ever spent time with--and I own (and paid for) almost a whole drawer full over the past five years.

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in Englewood, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-06-07 23:46

Hi All;

Time to chime in again about my Legere experiences.

To date, I have performed over 50 WICKEDs on Broadway, 12 concerts at various NYC venues (Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, etc.), Westchester's Purchase College with Itzak Perlman conducting, and numerous jingles in the studios, all on 2 Legere "Signature" reeds!

That said, all the feed-back I've received has been positive, in some cases, they didn't believe I was using a synthetic reed. My reaction to my own recording in the studio was interesting. I sounded different than I had sounded months before on my cane reeds. Better, not as good, or perhaps, just different?

It might be interesting to note, the Pro-Tools used to record us showed my sound to have more "highs" or a slightly brighter sound. This kind of sound is great for commercial recordings & Broadway, but, these days, not as desirable on the Concert Stage. So, I've upped the strength 1/4 to achieve a slightly "darker" sound for my concerts, and it works!

I am very curious and interested in your Forestone synthetic reeds. If they are as good as some of you say, I'd be thrilled to try them and perhaps use them. Who shall I contact at Forestone to get a good sample to try?

Again, I think we are getting very close to seeing the future of synthetic reeds becoming the standard, along with cane reeds used whenever we need them. I am not suggesting any of you throw away your old cane reeds, on the contrary, use them along side the great new products on the market that are synthetic and terrific!

Perhaps a new age has arrived, and with less "reed hassles."

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: AlanLawson (---.lv.lv.cox.net - ISP in Las Vegas, NV United States)
Date:   2009-06-08 13:59

I totally agree John Moses and Tom Puwalski about the value and worth of the Legere reed. I have been playing the Legere reeds exclusively for about a year now and have found them to be "the" reed for me to play.

I am a doubler who plays various shows in Las Vegas (Phantom for now)and the Legere reeds have saved me more than once just on having a reed that responds immediately to any sudden temperature change. In a pit situation one moment it could be cold from fog leaking down from the stage ino the pit or blasting lights that immediately heat up your area.

Legere reeds not only play in those situations but as other players in the orchestra note, there is no quality sound loss. I asked several times for various players to tell me if I was playing a cane or synthetic reed. In all cases not one person could tell a quality difference.

I also helped set up the clarinet section (and a few Sax players) at Cannon Junior High School with Legere reeds. Last year they received staight 3's out of 5 (without Legere reeds) and this year got two 1's and and 1 minus (with Legere reeds). Granted things change (personnel and music) etc. but I have to believe the Legee reeds made a significant contribution to the betterment of the judges ratings.

As a matter of fact, two other band directors drilled me about how they improved so much in one year. They too are now considering the Legere reed for their woodwind section. Horray for Legere.

Now for my clarinet setups for those who would like to know. By the way, I feel the Legere reed really needs to "match" your setup to get the best response...My setups include:

Eb Clarinet = Greg Smith Mouthpiece A324 (88) with Legere 2 1/2.
Bb Clarinet = Morrie Backun "T" facing clarinet mouthpiece with a 3 1/2 Signature Legere (my #1 clarinet setup).
Bb Clarinet backup = another "T" facing but with a longer lay (more of a European style setup) and a 3 3/4 Signature Legere reed.
Bass Clarinet = Vandoren B45 (an old mouthpiece) with a Legere 2 1/2.
Bb Contra-Bass Clarinet = a no name mouthpiece with a Legere 2 1/2.

Let me say one final comment about your selected reed strength. I think most players probably play a reed that is generally too high in number. Over the years I have found a standard medium numbered reed to be the best for me. It's just a thought...
Thanks Legere for making my life easier...Alan Lawson

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - ISP in Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2009-06-08 14:54

John, and other curious readers: since you asked, here is a link for contacting the Forestone company. You can address your message to Lars Heuseler, the distribution manager.

http://www.forestone-japan.com/eg/contact.html

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Michelle (---.sttlwa.dsl-w.verizon.net - ISP in Burlington, WA United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 03:04

I recently played 9 shows of Fiddler on the Roof entirely on a Legere. The Bottle Dance came out great! I purchased some Forestone reeds to compare and in the end, I discovered I don't like them. I think I gave them a fair try and decided I'm sticking with my Legere's. They work for me and my setup - Buffet full-boehm RC, Krass mpc. I have a plethora of cane reeds I'll still toss into the practice mix and if I find a spectacular one I'll use it, but I don't take the Legere's out of my case!

I did find them "slippery" at first and it took a little while to get the right combination (some ligatures allow the reed to slip around more than others) but once settled it's a golden combination!

Thanks for your assessment, John - it's always nice to hear from a professional!

Michelle

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in Englewood, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 04:14

Thanks for the link William, and your kind words Michelle.

I think we're all of the same mind here...that is, not replacing our "good" cane reeds, but rather using the new synthetic varieties to make sure we're covered in all situations.

I've done "Fiddler" on stage & off, and it's always a hassle if the cane reed gives out...there is no time to change! On my web-site under SOUNDS, I have my recording of the "Fiddler" Bottle Dance & Wedding Scene solos, give them a listen, pure cane reed, and good recording sessions. But I can assure you, if I had the Legere with me ever night of the run of "Jerome Robbins' Broadway", I'd be a lot happier man today!

The new synthetics will give us the ability to play those tricky solos ever night under the best & worst of circumstances. I'm thrilled to hear so many of you "younger" players are giving the synthetics a fair trial...and liking the results.
It's not reed Heaven yet, but we're getting there!

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net - ISP in United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 11:46

John,

Minor clarification.... I have completely switched to Legere. There were times when I dusted off some of my favorite cane reeds and gave them a try again. In complete honesty, I prefer the quality of sound I get with Quebec on my Grabner K14 set up. As a result, it's been at least a year since I last used a cane reed. For me, using Legere has gone beyond just the ease of doubling.

Roger


http://www.amc.net/RogerMAldridge



Post Edited (2009-06-09 13:25)

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 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Tom Puwalski (208.255.163.---)
Date:   2009-06-09 13:05

I spent my career in the U.S Army Field Band, A great gig where you spend 150 days a year on tour. I've spent all of that as the primary instrumental soloist, sometime performing 2 different pieces on 2 of the four shows we usually took on tour. Many days it would be One night in Denver, next night Cheyenne Wyoming followed by a concert in Vegas. I would have loved to have a reed like the Legere signature, in my case in 1/4 strengths like I do now. I don't like reed roulette! Put a reed on and hope the conditions your playing in don't screw it up before you're the only one playing.

I've recently was in Los Vegas working on a CD of clarinet quartets. I recorded the first part on my cane rico reserve 3.5s when I went back to track some of the remaining parts, I switched to the Legere signature, which I had a few of the early samples, I figured it there was a small sonic difference in the tone it would enhance the ensemble sound I was going for. When I was in the control room hearing play back, I couldn't hear any difference. I was really surprised! Now what was differant was, in the recording, playing a take, than listening then playing another take was much easier with the Legere. In Vegas if you take a cane reed out of your mouth it is DRY when you put it back in. Even if it's just for a minutes. That reed stayed on my mouthpiece for the remainder of the session.

But I have to say the "signature" is the first synthetic reed that I've felt this way about. The other Legere cuts and the Forestones, always felt like a cane reed that I might have played if I could have adjusted it, like a cane reed. I'm wondering how many of the people who have played the Legere reeds have tried the signature version. I think that these reeds are a quantum leap in synthetics.

There sometimes has been a tendency on this list for people to "try" things not using anything remotely like the "scientific" method. Isolate a variable then test the hypothesis. I've seen people at clarinetfest, pop on a piece of equipment blow the first 5 notes of the lick dajour and pronounce a reed, mouthpiece, barrel, bell or whole clarinet as either the best thing in the world or a P.O.S (piece of crap). When the reality was they had not one piece of information more than they had before they played it.

The work that I do now basically a clarinet based show called "A night at the Opera a Day in the Ukraine" is a show where I play a bunch of the opera note fests, Rossini variations, Rigoletto, Weber Grand dou on the first half then I play klezmer tunes on the second half. I need a reed that has great tonal range and can last. If I playing a cane reed, I now have a Legere signature reed on my alternate mouthpiece (amateurs have one awesome mouthpiece, professionals have 4-5 really good ones that will do the job). I've found that using signature reeds I've been able to explore different facing options on mouthpieces I've never played much. I have a B45 which sounds great for certain things with a 2.3/4 signature, an M30 with a 31/4 and my normal Moba with a 3 3/4.

Let me say this about the marketing term "legere friendly", I've have found that legeres need a flat table, and symmetrical rails. If those two things aren't what you mouthpiece is about, your success with Legeres will be marginal. So will you success with cane reeds. A good mouthpiece is a good mouthpiece, if it's designed in a way that facilitates reed vibration it will work great with any reed.
This is the time for clarinetists! New things made new ways with new materials. and the price is getting lower. I played a gig last week on a new Leblanc Bliss ( Ok I'm a Leblanc artist) and that clarinet was fun to play, It's next to nothing cost wise, $600 or so, it weighs nothing (nice on a 4 hr continuous Jewish wedding where the AC is letting the temp fluctuate from 85-65). Except for the barrel, no wood was harmed in the performance of that gig! Now there's a tool I can leave in my gear box and leave it there and use it on gigs. Tell me that wouldn't be a great thing on a Wicked gig.
I wish Leblanc would make an Eb, and Low C bass out of that material and have them cost in that price range. You could have a set to leave in the Phantom Pit!!!



Tom Puwalski Author of "The Clarinetist Guide to Klezmer" and soon to be released "Clarinet Basic Training" and "Klezmer Gig tune" a play along book.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: AlanLawson (---.lv.lv.cox.net - ISP in Las Vegas, NV United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 14:17

Since I switched to the Legere reed exclusively, I have to say I have saved countless hours of balancing reeds and had way more time for practice etc... I currently play the signature reeds which I feel are the best to date of the synthethic reeds on the market and I have tried other brands.

As John, Tom, and Roger have written in this blog, Legere reeds are worth investigating. I too agree with all of them and will continue to assist in the improvement and use of synthethics. As I am a Legere artist as well as a Backun and Conn-Selmer Artist, I do beleive the clarinet world is seeing important innovations with reeds and the clarinet. If anyone has the best blend of mechanical engineering and a musical background, it's Morrie Backun. If you don't know of him and haven't tried his new Bliss Clarinet then do it. It's well worth it.

Synthetics are here to stay like it or not and they do merit one's attention. In a blind fold test with various players of note, I would doubt after all the playing and comparisons are done, that anyone could say this is "the" clarinet or this is 'the" reed.

It is all way too subjective and personal. Find something you like and go for it. And, one must remember many years ago Artie Shaw played his famed Concerto for Clarinet on a synthetic reed. And...I haven't heard negative comments about his musicianship or sound.

I certainly will continue to ask myself critical questions about how I can continually improve but to me it's all just a wonderful journey. I have several setups that do different things for the various musical styles. I have also found synthetic applications in the musical enviornment of today to have merit and worth. Anyhow, I am having way too much fun musically. Is life great or what...

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.cbb7d1.client.atlantech.net - ISP in Gaithersburg, MD United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 15:18

As a final thought.....

Based upon experiences I've had with Legere on each of my reed instruments, it's my opinion that the importance of matching a particular type of Legere reed and strength to our set up cannot overstated. It's like Michelle described as finding the combination that is golden for us.

It's more than matching a Legere reed to a particular mouthpiece and facing. It's matching each part of our set up to each other part to create a Whole that puts us as individual players in our Zone. I've found the matching process to be especially critical on clarinet given the diverse differences among clarinet brands and models regarding bore size & design, etc., and overall performance characteristics.

I have a box full of Gabner mouthpieces and those made by other craftsmen. All of them are high quality mouthpieces. For whatever reason, after spending a considerable amount of time testing many combinations of Legere reed type & strength with various mouthpieces, the best match for me and my specific clarinet turned out to be a #3 Quebec and a Grabner K14 with a Klassik string ligature. In a way that I cannot explain, I prefer the performance characteristics of this set up to using, as an example, a #3.25 or# 3.5 Quebec on a K13 or a K11. Subtle aspects of a mouthpiece facing -- especially, the width of the tip and side rails -- can make it or break it with Legere.

When I received samples of the Signature reeds I did similar tests with them on all of my mouthpieces. I found Signature to be very impressive. But, as I've mentioned above, I continue to prefer Quebec for its darker and thicker sound.

It always comes down to what works best for us as individual players.

Roger

http://www.amc.net/RogerMAldridge



Post Edited (2009-06-09 15:35)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Ed (64.251.52.---)
Date:   2009-06-09 16:51

OK, so who stocks these? i haven't seen them anywhere or on any sites.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - ISP in Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 17:01

I will be very interested to read JJM's report on how the Forestone reed samples he is being sent performed on his "Wicked" clarinet :>)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in Englewood, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-06-09 17:37

As most of you know, I try to keep an open mind to all new clarinet products, so I will be eager to try any samples Lars at Forestone sends me.

Lets imagine, a good cane reed, along side 2 or 3 good synthetic reeds, that might be a dream collection to draw from on our many varied gigs!

Ed, try contacting Peter Randell directly with you requests for Legere reeds:
His work # is: 1-905-640-4607. He will send you the reeds directly from Legere in Canada. Give them some time to arrive.

Again, I suggest we all keep open minds to all these new developments in the reed world. Your minds might not be changed immediately, but with time, synthetic reeds may become part of your reed life.

Happy hunting!

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: aguzz (---.ip24.fastwebnet.it - ISP in Milan, 09 Italy)
Date:   2009-06-10 08:52

Hi Everyone,
I have been experimenting with Legere for over one years . I've started for fun and in the last three months have played on them exclusively with great success.
My set up is
Greenline RC Bb/A
BG B1 mouthpiece (zinner blank)
Legere standard regular cut 4
Vandoren Klassik string ligature ( many thanks to Roger Aldridge for this suggestion).

Greetings from Italy were greenline instruments and synthetic reeds are rare.
Andrea

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: JJAlbrecht (---.lightspeed.brhmmi.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Franklin, MI United States)
Date:   2009-06-12 21:57

Well, I had a couple of Signatures in different strengths shipped to me yesterday direct from Legere. I should get them early next week, if all goes well. I'll report back on how I like them, and how they compare for me with my Quebecs.

Jeff

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: awm34 (---.dsl.toldoh.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Toledo, OH United States)
Date:   2009-06-14 13:59

Just received a Signature 3.5 and Quebec 4.0 yesterday. The Quebec is ok and the Signature is wonderful (better than either of two Forestones)! I use a Hawkins B MP on a Selmer 10G.

Alan Messer

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net - ISP in United States)
Date:   2009-06-14 17:30

Alan,

Any chance a #4 Quebec is too stiff for your set up?

As I described in my messages, I use a #3 Quebec on a Grabner K14 and I found that I needed a #3.5 Signature. In fact, the next time I try Signature I'll see how a #3.75 works for me. Yes, there is that much strength difference between Signature and Quebec. At least, it was for me.

It's been my experience that going on the softer side with Quebec and having a facing that's a good match for it -- rather than using a harder strength and a smaller tip size -- gives me the best results with Quebec.

Anyway, that's good news about your experience with Signature. I'm looking forward to Signature coming out for bass clarinet and saxophones.

Roger

http://www.amc.net/RogerMAldridge

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: awm34 (---.dsl.toldoh.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Toledo, OH United States)
Date:   2009-06-14 19:50

Roger,

Hawkins himself recommended the stronger strength for the Quebec 4.0 and I think it's fine.

He plays Legere reeds -- perhaps exclusively -- and the recordings on his web site sound great.

http://www.richardhawkinsmouthpiece.com/soundclips.html?PHPSESSID=885aeace921f20163fb5021b66545414

Alan Messer

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net - ISP in United States)
Date:   2009-06-14 20:38

Alan,

Thanks for the response. It's just that I found it curious how you went from a #4 Quebec to a #3.5 Signature and I came from the opposite direction from a #3 Quebec to a #3.5 Signature. Of course, whatever works!

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Dileep Gangolli (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net - ISP in Evanston, IL United States)
Date:   2009-06-16 15:53

Just got two Legere Signatures 3 1/2 to go with my new Grabner K11* mouthpiece that I chose at his home in Highland Park IL.

My first impressions are very very good! I have been practicing on the Signatures for about 4 hours now.

This is a nice combination for those of you that like a focused sound, clean articulation, and the ability to play both ppp and ff with ease of attack and response.

I have been playing exclusively on Legeres for the past three months including opera, ballet, and orchestra performances (including a week stint as a sub with the CSO). This weekend I taped myself in a production of Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) and was very pleased with the sound.

In my opinion, these reeds are very very good and are equivalent to cane when one draws up a pro and cons list of cane vs synthetic.

PS I do not get products from Legere. Have paid for all my reeds.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: skygardener (---.ppp-bb.dion.ne.jp - ISP in Yokohama, 19 Japan)
Date:   2009-12-20 10:23

I would just like to tell about my recent experience with Legere Signature Clarinet reeds.
I just tried them yesterday and I was amazed. Truly amazed. I had tried the regular Legeres a few years ago, I ended up getting a few and thought, "Maybe I can make these work with a little clipping or adjusting"; sadly, it never worked out.
What I tried yesterday, on the other hand, was really surprising! It felt "just right" for me. I didn't notice anything in the sound or feel that was "different" than cane. I think Guy Legere really has made a huge leap with these reeds! Cane really might me on it's way out.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - ISP in Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2009-12-20 15:35

Since this thread has been revived, I would like to report that I'm still "hang'n in there" with six primary Forestone #4's which I have used in all of my playing venues, albeit modest compared to some of your's in NYC & "Da Windy". However, since I am now using Legere reeds on all of my saxes and my bass clarinet, I will order some new Signitures for my soprano clarinet and give them another try. Still think I will never go back to cane, regardless.........

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in)
Date:   2009-12-22 00:27

Tim Elvy from Legere in Canada was in NYC last month. Many of the NYC clarinet & saxophone crowd showed up at Roberto's shop, and enjoyed the company and Legere reeds to try.

I believe Tim gave away quite a few reeds to many of NYC's finest woodwind players. Many of you agree, the Legere reed IS the real thing. Try the new Signature Legere, you might just be pleasantly surprised!

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: cxgreen48 (---.try.wideopenwest.com - ISP in Columbus, OH United States)
Date:   2009-12-22 00:52

I recently tried a 3.25 Quebec and 3.25 Signature (my first 2 Legere reeds ever!) on my Vandoren M30.

At first, I was amazed how easily they played and sounded at very soft dynamics. However, as I played played louder and higher, the sound got brighter and more reedy-sounding. I do suspect the reeds are a little too soft for me though because I can hear the notes getting flatter as I play higher and higher. I am planning to exchange them for 3.5 strength in the near future.

Between the Quebec and Signature, I found the Signature to be more responsive, although slightly brighter, than the Quebec cut. In general, both reeds sound a little too reedy/bright for me -- again, this is probably because they are too soft for me. I think the overall sound of both cuts of Legere reeds is very similar to the sound of Grand Concert Select Evolution reeds.

I'm pretty impressed by how well these synthetic reeds played and sounded. They seem very promising so far, and I bet I will like them even more when I exchange them for some harder reeds.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: A Brady (---.nwrknj.east.verizon.net - ISP in Newark, NJ United States)
Date:   2009-12-28 16:30

I have been auditioning the Legere Signature for the last few days, and, despite my skepticism arising from previous disappointment with Legere products, must admit that the response, sound, and "feel" of this model is the best I have encountered in a synthetic.
I made recordings using my Zoom H2 of various etudes and pieces, alternating between a very good FOF, Queen, and Legere Signature, and although I thought I could detect some articulation noise and brightness while playing the Signature, none of this was evident on the recording. I am especially impressed with the ease of legato and dynamic control possible with this version of the Legere. The warmth I hear while playing on cane is not really noticeable on the recording, only a more muted quality.
I have played synthetics extensively on saxophone in the past (never on clarinet), and my take was always that they are very seductive, with immediate response, consistency, long life and a large sound, but with the caveat that they tend to make one insensitive to playing on cane, tend toward brightness, and are not that great for blending with an ensemble; so far, the Signature does not seem to have these drawbacks, but I look forward to trying them in orchestra and other situations for a further evaluation.
I have ordered another Signature 1/4 strength harder to see how that matches with my setup, although the one I have been using works very well in these initial sessions.
Excellent product!
AB

AB

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Tony F (---.lns10.lon.bigpond.net.au - ISP in Melbourne, 07 Australia)
Date:   2009-12-29 12:27

Could somebody familiar with Legere reeds tell me what the various types of Legere clarinet reed are? I'm confused by the terms Quebec Cut, Ontario Cut and how these differ from the standard Legere reed. Thanks.

Tony F.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: John J. Moses (---.nj.res.rr.com - ISP in)
Date:   2009-12-30 03:53

Hi Tony:

For all the details on the Legere reeds, contact:

Tim Elvy at Legere in Canada
Email: timelvy@bellnet.ca
1-705-735-1559 (at work)

Or write to him at:
39 Weatherup Crescent
Barrie, Ontario L4N 7J6
Canada

Good luck!

JJM
Légère Artist
Clark W. Fobes Artist

Post Edited (2009-12-30 03:53)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: saxlite (---.lightspeed.sjcpca.sbcglobal.net - ISP in Cupertino, CA United States)
Date:   2009-12-30 04:14

If anyone gets the Legere model comparison info, please share it on this board- thanks. I'm curious as well, I'm sure there are many others....

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Tony F (---.lns10.lon.bigpond.net.au - ISP in Melbourne, 07 Australia)
Date:   2009-12-30 08:38

Thanks, John. I've emailed Tim Elvy, and will share whatever comes back.
Regards,
Tony.

Tony F.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Tony F (---.lns10.lon.bigpond.net.au - ISP in Melbourne, 07 Australia)
Date:   2009-12-31 06:02

I haven't heard from Tim Elvey yet, but today I bought a Legere signature 2.5 standard cut and strapped it on. Initial results are very satisfactory, the chalameau register sounds good, the clarion register is all there with none of the problems I've come to expect and I've also been able to play in the altissimo register without undue problems. This is a considerable improvement over what I normally get with cane. I normally plat a Rico Royal 3 or a VanDoren 2.5, and the Signature 2.5 seems about right. There's a 30 day exchange program if I need to go softer or harder.

Tony F.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Roger Aldridge (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net - ISP in Silver Spring, MD United States)
Date:   2010-01-01 02:35

Saxlite,

If you do a search on the forum you may find a message I posted a number of months ago with my impressions of each of the Legere clarinet reeds. I've tried all of them...including German. ha ha ha

Each version is distinctly different from the others. Thus, it's a matter of finding the one that's the best match for you as an individual player and your tonal conception.

Roger

//http:www.amc.net/RogerMAldridge

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: avins (---.matimop.org.il - (Internet Binat Ltd) Hod Hasharon, 02 Israel)
Date:   2012-12-19 06:59

I use the Royal and GC TB Rico 3 reeds ,but have been palying for less that 2 years , I recieved the Legere Signature 3 1/4 yesterday and was amazed at this technology wonder. (I've played around with various reeds also on the bassoon for over 40 years, ) I think this strength is slightly soft for my VD M30
and seems that 3 1/2 would be more optimal , I wonder if anyone here has tried and found the right strength for this particular MP I realise that each to his needs, yet ...
All the best
Avins



Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: TomA (---.dip.t-dialin.net - (Deutsche Telekom AG) Bad Homburg, 05 Germany)
Date:   2012-12-19 15:38

Avins,

I find the 3 1/4 Signature to be the right strength for me on the M30.

I tried the 3 1/2, but it was a little too stiff for me. (I play RueLepic 3 or similar in cane.)

Cheers,
Tom

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: avins (---.matimop.org.il - (Internet Binat Ltd) Hod Hasharon, 02 Israel)
Date:   2012-12-20 06:42

Thanks TomA
I wonder if you have tried out the Qubec cut , which some people say, has a darker (perhaps less reedy tone). The Signature is a little too bright to my liking , What do you think about it .
Thanks
Avins

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Clarineteer (---.hsd1.pa.comcast.net - (Comcast Cable) Abington, PA United States)
Date:   2012-12-20 07:14

I use the signature and raise it a little higher than normal and get an oboe type tone which is unique for jazz and blues.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: TomA (---.dip.t-dialin.net - (Deutsche Telekom AG) Bad Homburg, 05 Germany)
Date:   2012-12-20 09:29

Avins,

yes, I tried the Quebec cut. Easy playing, better sound than the "original" Legere, but still sounds artificial. The Signature sounds to my ears much more like cane and plays more like cane. It plays uniformly throughout the range. Also I can hit the higher Altissimo notes with the Signature, but not with the other Legeres.

Tom

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: avins (---.matimop.org.il - (Internet Binat Ltd) Hod Hasharon, 02 Israel)
Date:   2012-12-20 10:03

Great help guys,
I agree about raising the reed a bit , apperently positioning is really quite critical with this reed vz cane
I think TomA , I will order another signature instead of qubec, but #3.5 this time ,and see how it works .
Thanks again
Avins

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Claire Annette (151.141.66.---)
Date:   2012-12-20 15:23

FWIW, I have a couple of barely-used 3.5 Signatures I'd be willing to evenly trade for barely-used 3s. E-mail me if you're interested. (I think that would be easier than trying to return them for the correct strength.)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: William (---.dhcp.mdsn.wi.charter.com - (Charter Communications) Madison, WI United States)
Date:   2012-12-20 16:54

"sounds to my ears much more like cane "

I wonder how long it will be before our "ears" prefer the sound of synthetic to that of cane. Personally, I do notice a difference, however I cannot say that it is 'bad', just 'different'. When played in tune with musical taste, the synthetic reed can be just as 'acceptable' as any well balanced, broken in and pampered cane reed out there. For me, that's been a fact for over four years on all of my clarinets and saxophones--100% Forestone reeds. Due to recent quality control issues, I may be investigating other Bb clarinet reed options, however none of those projected thoughts involve anything "cane". The synthetic reed is the reed of the future, if not, 'Today'.

Every wonder why, historically, church pipe organs have always used artificial reeds instead of cane. We clarinetists know....... :>)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: My report on Legere reeds.
Author: Taras12 (---.direcway.com - (Hughes Network Systems) , United States)
Date:   2013-02-13 02:30

FWIW...I'm just a beginner when it comes to the clarinet. I'm trying both cane and synthetics. I'm looking forward to using the Legere reeds. My embroucher is still developing, and I don't have the experience of many on this forum, nor am I a professional.

Saying that, I do not expect cane to sound like synthetic, nor should they play
the same. Tone, timbre, depth, etc are dependent on many variables including the materials from which the instrument is made. If the sound is pleasant and agreeable to you, the artist, and your audience, what difference does it really make? (aka. "I know what I like.")

I enjoy this forum and read it to gain insight into what "all y"all" have experienced. For that, I thank you.

Tristan

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