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 French vs German cut reeds
Author: Raff P 
Date:   2011-01-17 17:33

Hello forum,

It's to my understanding that some clarinetists like to use German cut reeds on their "French" mouthpiece. Namely, I hear that people like to use VD White Masters.

My questions are:

What is the difference in the design between French cut and German Cut reeds?

Do White Masters need adjusting to play on a French design? or do they play well out of the box?

Lastly, has anybody ever tried using German cut synthetic reeds in place of the French style cut (I know that Forestone and Legere make both)?

Many thanks in advance.

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 Re: French vs German cut reeds
Author: SteveG_CT 
Date:   2011-01-17 18:03

From what I understand German-cut reeds tend to be slightly narrower than French-cut ones. As a result they may not work on some French-style mouthpieces depending on how wide the side rails are.

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 Re: French vs German cut reeds
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2011-01-17 19:27

Check back into the posts to the thread about Blackmaster reeds that was begun on January 7 by Sal Repper (Salzo). There were some possible inisghts for you there.


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 Re: French vs German cut reeds
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2011-01-17 22:21

The Vandoren White Masters are (I believe) the exception to all other "German Cut" reeds out there in that they are actually made (over all dimensions) to fit the much smaller mouthpieces of modern Oehler system clarinets. They are shorter and much thinner. This occurred in the early 1980s when Vandoren actually sat down with Karl Leister and redesigned their "German Cut" reeds to meet actual German requirements. Prior to that Vandoren German cut reed were slightly narrower, straighter (not much taper width wise from top to bottom), had a straighter cut across the top of the reed (not much curve) and tended to be harder.

I think that's what other pseudo-German cut reeds are that you see here in the States. That is, they try to be a little harder for the same strength designation but I don't see the point really.

There are some people who use the White Masters on a standard French mouthpiece and clearly admit that you must be careful with placement so that the window is not exposed without enough reed to cover it. Again, I fail to see the point, but then some seem to have success with this combination. The Vandoren Black Masters claim to be a Viennese cut (whatever that means) with a standard length and only a slightly thinner width (much like their old German cut). There are more of those who use these in the quest for a different type of reed to use. Still, I feel the Rue Lepic 56s are the solution that most were looking for in the past and now should be the solution for the present (they are a thicker reed - top to bottom that is - with a longer vamp).

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


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 Re: French vs German cut reeds
Author: Elifix 
Date:   2011-01-18 11:02

Here is the link to Salzo's thread

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 Re: French vs German cut reeds
Author: Reedirect 
Date:   2011-01-18 12:24

I agree with Paul, the White Master DO work on a Boehm mpc. I used them on a Selmer HS**. Although being narrower than the French cut reeds, they have enough width to cover the side rails sufficiently meticulous positioning provided.

The better option are clearly the 56 Rue Lepics, which do have a "German"-like cut and produce this more balanced, somewhat darker sound, but they are wider and consequently fit more scurely.

Because of the more balanced sound throughout all registers I recently switched entirely from the V16 to the Rue Lepic on my #9 and Centered Tone.


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