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 Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-20 19:41

Folks,

I now have to start all over again. :-( I finished seven weeks of chemo and radiation treatments for cancer in January (Head and Neck Cancer). The radiation thinned my hair and wiped out my beard as well as knocking out my senses of smell and taste. It also knocked out my saliva glands, so I basically had to start all over with learning how to eat solid food - the feeding tube into my stomach wasn't removed until late April.

I had a lot of trouble when I wanted to start playing music again in April. I could not wet any reeds, so I dunked them in a glass of water and played them until they dried out, usually in just a few minutes. Of course, my embouchure was a mess and I had zero endurance or lung power, so a few minutes was usually enough for starters.

Then I started investigating synthetic reeds and discovered that Fibracell reeds worked okay for me. Anyway, I am now doing very well with #2-1/2 and #3 Fibracell reeds on my M30 mouthpiece. And I just started rehearsing with our community band - clarinet 3 of course. :-)

I was wondering if the folks who are familiar with Fibracell reeds could give me some guidance. How long do these reeds normally hold up? Do you rotate these reeds like regular cane reeds? Do you normally run stronger reeds than cane, or weaker?

Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-09-20 22:04

Hey there RKing,



Glad to hear you're back in the saddle. That takes some gumption after all that.



I used to think Fibracell were purely synthetic until more recently when a fellow community band member pointed out that they are cane with a coating of plastic across the bottom. I had pretty good luck with those on bass clarinet around the same strength I used in Vandoren. Even with the idea of synthetic in my head I would soak in a bottle first and I ALWAYS rotate reeds (keeps them from wearing down too fast and keeps you flexible with what's on the mouthpiece....there's always differences amongst reeds).



The only suggestion I'd throw out is to also try Legere European Cut reeds. They are the gold standard of synthetic reeds and will last a year with rotation (perhaps even longer!).





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



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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: kewald 
Date:   2021-09-20 22:11

I also use the Legere European Cut #2.5. I have many cane reeds that I'm still using occasionally, but the Legere is always ready and doesn't change. Try one!

Kenneth O Ewald, Sr.
210 219-7787
kenneth.ewald@outlook.com


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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-21 00:34

Thanks guys! It's good to hear from you again, Paul.

I have tried Legere in the past, but never could nail down the proper strength and the cost slowed me down from buying a bunch and experimenting.

What Legere European Cut would match a Fibracell 3?

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-09-21 01:50

RKing wrote:

> Thanks guys! It's good to hear from you again, Paul.
>
> I have tried Legere in the past, but never could nail down the
> proper strength and the cost slowed me down from buying a bunch
> and experimenting.
>
> What Legere European Cut would match a Fibracell 3?
>
> Ron

Ron, they are exchangeable, should you not be aware.

https://www.legere.com/need-to-know/faqs/exchanges/what-if-i-buy-the-wrong-strength-reed/

This may allow you to zero in on your ideal strength without breaking the bank.

:)


(Feel better.)

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-09-21 04:33

I have used Amazon's return policy to nail down strength. You can only exchange four reeds a year through Legere.


I don't really know a comparison. The best way is to start as soft as workable with Legere and then keep working your way up a quarter strength at a time until they no longer collapse (sort of lose strength right in the middle of play).






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



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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2021-09-21 16:35

“Author: Paul Aviles
….I used to think Fibracell were purely synthetic until more recently when a fellow community band member pointed out that they are cane with a coating of plastic across the bottom….”

I think they are synthetic fibers (like fishing line) glued together and with a thin plastic sheet on the bottom.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-21 16:55

Thanks again! I am aware of Legere's exchange program, but the only time I tried it with a sax reed took over a week to get the new reed back from them.

I just ordered a European Cut 3.00 from Amazon. If it doesn't work on my M30, I have about 20 other mouthpieces to try. Let's see what happens.

Ron



Post Edited (2021-09-21 19:12)

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-09-21 19:16

Fibracell = synthetic for sure. Sorry Paul.

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2021-09-21 20:17

Yeah, ya know I go back and forth on that, but I would need to see something from Fibracell that demonstrates what they do that is NOT cane.


The last time (a few years ago) I addressed them, I took one of mine and sacrificed it to a dissection. It looked pretty "caney" to me.



I leave the exact construction an open issue for now, but they are still far from the top of the list for go-to reeds on Bb.





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



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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-09-22 00:22

Welllll they used to advertise themselves a a synthetic Reed that wasn't cane, pretty sure you'll find tgat if you use your ICA subscription and look at some old clarinet nags from the 1970s/80s

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-22 00:57

I quite like Bravo reeds:

http://www.bravoreeds.net/

They're not very expensive and definitely synthetic. I find them hard to play in tune on the high notes, but very reliable on the middle and low notes.

I did try a European cut Legere, but it seemed like it needed a much more experienced player than me to make sense of it, and quite a lot of work to really get to grips with.

RKing - I'm so sorry to hear that you've been through all that. It sounds as though you've really had such a lot to deal with. I'm so thrilled for you that you are getting back to playing, and I hope it all goes from strength to strength for you.

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2021-09-22 16:57

I would need to see something from Fibracell that says it is cane.

Here Fibracell calls the fibers Aramid:

http://www.fibracelldirect.com/

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

Post Edited (2021-09-22 17:01)

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-23 22:17

I really like the Fibracell reeds and even though they look like cane, they are not. It looks like a mix of epoxy and "aramid" fibers molded together. I don't know how they got the color match with cane, but it looks good and plays fine.

I bounce back and forth with M30 and M30 Lyre mouthpieces with the 2.5 and 3 Fibracell reeds and they are working very well for me. I cannot hit G6 with confidence, but everything else is in tune up and down the compass.

Today, I pulled out an M15 and blew right up to G6 with ease on a #3 Fibracell, but that combo wore me out after 20 minutes, so I am not ready to use it in a full 90 minute rehearsal just yet.

I just received a #3 Legere, so I will give it a try soon.

SunnyDaze - Thanks for the nice thoughts. This has been an experience I hope no one ever has to deal with. But it was very inspiring to sit in my recliner at the infusion center and watch many others who were in worse shape than me go through their treatments with smiles and good humor. We were all in it together in the middle of the Covid pandemic. I hope everyone else had a better Christmas than I did. <LOL>

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-24 01:18

Hi Ron,

It's very heartening to hear that it was a good humoured business having those infusions. Here's hoping you can stick to tea infusions in the future, to go with your clarinet playing.

The Fibracell reeds sound very interesting too. Thanks for mentioning them. I'd never heard of them.

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-25 15:52

Hi Ron,

I've just ordered a couple of Fibracell reeds too. I'll come back and comment this thread once they've arrived and I've had a chance to try them.

It's great that they come in soft strengths. I noticed that the Legere only start at 2.5.

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-09-25 19:30

Jen, the Legere Signature reeds go down to 2.0. (I've decided I prefer Signature over European Cut.)

To Ron @rking: I'm so glad you've come out the other side of your "adventure." Continued strength beaming over to you from Ontario, Canada.

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-25 20:07

Beth,

Thanks for the kind thoughts. I can use all the help I can get! I feel close to normal most of the time - but then I suddenly "run out of gas" and have to rest. I have to tell myself to take it easy and don't push myself too hard. It is going to take time............

At the risk of hijacking my own thread, can you tell me the difference between Signature Cut and European Cut? I tried Signature Cut a few years ago, but couldn't find a strength that worked for me. But that was then and since I now have to use synthetics, I would be happy to try again.

Plus, I am having a terrible time getting European Cut reeds in #3 strength. Amazon keeps sending me Bass Clarinet reeds.

Thanks,

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-25 22:10

Hi Beth,

That's good to know that you like the signature. I've always heard people talk about the European as though it was the only one worth bothering about. I'm playing 1.5 and I've heard that legere's play a bit hard out of the box, and are quite fiddly, so I think it may be some time before I will try them, but I'll keep it in mind.

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-27 16:52

Hi Ron,

My Fibracell reeds just arrived and I had a try. I wondered if I could tell you what I found? I know you have probably formed your own views, but I thought it might help to put mine here in case others come along to read the thread in the future.

It's really interesting as I've never seen a synthetic reed that looked so much like a cane reed. Anyway I did the test and here's what I noticed.

(This review is written with the background that I'm an adult learner, with three years experience and currently weak embouchure muscles after a long period away from playing, due to covid.)

I'm comparing them against the Vandoren classic 1.5.

Fibracell 1: This is a really lovely reed for a complete beginner with weak embouchure muscles to play. Everything works so easily, right out of the box with this reed, I feel. It is beautifully soft so it doesn't hurt my muscles to play, and the reed is incredibly responsive. It just makes everything so easy, and I think would help a new player to feel like a success really quickly.

My big test is always whether I can easily cross the break legato from C4 to C5 and it passes that test 100% and no trouble at all. All these things make it good for a beginner.

Conversely, the reed plays a bit flat, and is mildly inconsistent in tuning across the instrument. I think if I was going to play this reed all the time I would need to shorten my barrel, and work hard on controlling the tuning with my embouchure. Having said that, if I was a beginner and just wanted playing to be easy and fun then I think that would really be fine.

The reed also produces a sound that is a little bit nasal which might be to some people's taste and less to others. It's still a very respectable sound though.

So in summary - I think if a beginner wanted the nice tone and was prepared to work harder I'd go with the Vandoren, and if they want an easy time and don't mind a slightly nasal sound, I'd use the Fibracell.


Fibracell 1.5: This is really the same as 1 strength Fibracell, but a bit less exaggerated in every category. I need to have stronger muscles and blow a bit harder, like the Vandoren, and the sound is still a little bit nasal like the Fibracell 1. It's not quite as flat or inconsistent as the Fibracell 1.

I think basically the Vandoren tone is a little bit nicer, and obviously it just costs more because those reeds are disposable, while the Fibracells are synthetic so will last longer.

Bravo 1.5: For me, this reed is almost indistinguishable from the Vandoren classic 1.5, but with a nicer woodier tone, and less buzz. It has a lovely tone (the opposite of nasal, but I don't know what the word for that is). It's ever so slightly less resonant than the Vandoren, but I don't think I would notice that if I wasn't comparing them side by side, because it's a lovely comfy woody sound that it produces.

This reed plays in tune to my ear. With a digital tuner, it is a tiny bit flat in the bottom register and absolutely perfect in the upper register.

The Vandoren and Bravo feel about the same hardness to me.

I tried my test of crossing the break legato from C4 to C5 on the Vandoren and Bravo. I can do it reliably on the Vandoren, but I'm sorry to say that I can't really do it on the Bravo. That's because there is just a tiny delay in the reponse of the reed when I ask it to speak. It means my teacher wouldn't want me to sit my Grade 3 exam on this reed. (Later - it turns out I can if I blow really hard.)

When I go up to the altissimo register things get a bit hairy. If I start a passage on C6 the tuning is wild, and I struggle to control it. Going up from there to A6, the notes are really noticeably flat on the Bravo 1.5, and still perfectly in tune on the 1.5 Vandoren classic 1.5. So that's a deal breaker for the Bravo for my Grade 4 pieces. (Later - it turns out I can also do this if I blow really hard. Have to ponder whether that is acceptable for the ears of my audience :-) )

Just to check, I got out my Bravo 2.5 which I bought a year ago, and it is in tune right up to A6. I can't cross the break legato between C4 and C5 on the 2.5 either so I couldn't do my grade 3 pieces on this reed. #Complicated. I don't have a Bravo 2 to compare.


Finally - Here's a weird thing, but I think I like the taste of the Bravo best by some distance. Since having covid, my sense of taste has gone weird and I've had to switch from metal to plastic cutlery. (Apparently it's the same for a lot of people, the covid recovery site actually recommends plastic cutlery). I'm not sure if I'm imagining it, but I don't think I really like the taste of the Fibracell reeds. I like the cane taste well enough. But I am really quite enjoying the fact that the Bravo reed tastes of nothing.

I'm glad to have a reed I can disinfect too, because otherwise I end up throwing away a lot of reeds every time some new virus comes our way (which happens a lot here).

Anyway - so that's what I found.

Summary:

I really like the Fibracell 1 for being easy, althought is sounds a bit nasal. I like the Bravo for sounding lovely and tasting nice, but I can't cross the break legato with the 1.5 or 2.5, and I can't play altissimo in tune on the 1.5 unless I blow really hard, and I have no audience here to tell me if that is okay. The Vandoren is the go-to reed for playing everything, but I might have to bin several to find a good one, and they only last so long.

In fairness, I think they're all great reeds. Any of them would be really fine for a beginner.

That's my morning's work. Yay! I hope it helps some one out there.

(Edit: Further information added in the post below.)

(All just my subjective opinion btw, others may see it quite differently.)

Jen
(Yamaha Custom CX + J&D Hite E mp and string ligature)



Post Edited (2021-09-27 17:14)

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-27 17:16

So here's a weird thing.

I just got out my reed adjusting tools, and sanded the synthetic Bravo reed! <sharp intake of breath>

Now I can play altissimo and the C4-C5 legato transition on the Bravo 1.5 just fine! Yay! The Bravo still gives out at G6, while the Vandoren sails on past that to much higher notes. With the Bravo I have to switch to single lip at Eb6, but not with the Vandoren. This is pretty amazing for a synthetic 1.5 reed though.

I like it.

I also helpfully dropped the Bravo reed on the floor, which was fine, because I was able to then go and wash it with soap under the tap. Yay!

Checking consistency across the box of Bravo reeds, I realised that I can now play the C4-C5 transition relatively easily on all of them, without sanding, though that may be just that I've got used to them a bit.

Oddly when I switch back and forth between the vandoren and the Bravo, I now realise that the Bravo is noticeably flat in the clarion register. It sounds fine if it's just me and just that reed, but switching back and forth between reeds, or accompanying a piano, I think it would be really noticeable.

Wow, this is complicated.

However, I do like that I can wash the Bravo reeds before I put them away in their box. That seems like a step up.



Post Edited (2021-09-27 17:42)

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-09-27 18:10

Hey, Ron --

Someone who knows what they're talking about will be by soon (I don't) to tell you the difference between European Cut and Signature. All I can tell you is that, for me, the Signature ended up feeling easier to play than the European Cut.

European Cut is a touch wider than Signature, for what it's worth.

Beth

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-28 01:42

Jen,

This is a lot to digest! I will say that I also played a little flat at first, but I blamed it on myself and my weak embouchure. So I moved down to a shorter Moennig barrel on my plain vanilla R-13 and have been in tune ever since. I have now worked up to 2.5 and 3 reeds and can easily blow Sharp on the 2.5s if I tighten my lower jaw a little more. I also went back to a B45 mouthpiece because it works better with the soft reeds.

I haven't worried about crossing the break in many years. Playing clarinet 3 in our band means dealing with throat tones and the lower clarion register on every piece, but I do worry that I have lost some strength and dexterity in my fingers. And I also worry about my reflexes. I'll be sailing along on a piece, then out of nowhere realize that I have to hit the C5 with my left pinky and I cannot pull it back fast enough to hit it cleanly -- forgetting that I had already marked up the score during practice! :-( It seems to take more time to get comfortable with a piece of music than it used to. I think (and hope) that many of our issues will be mitigated with enough healing and practice time.

One of my best friends - and one heck of a great clarinet and sax player - suffered a stroke a few years ago and he mentioned the same thing to me at last week's rehearsal. I guess it's the cost of growing old. Like we say, "Getting old sucks, but it still beats the alternative".

Cheers,

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-28 01:43

Beth,

Thanks! I am doing fine with the Fibracell reeds for now, but am always interested in new challenges.

Cheers,

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-28 10:49

Hi Ron,

Thanks, and sorry - yes I did go to town on that a bit. I enjoyed it enormously though, and did it just for the fun, really.

I was thinking about it more later and realised that my barrel had to be shortened to accommodate the vandoren reeds, so it's no wonder they play in tune. Presumably if I committed to a particular synthetic reed then I might switch to a barrel length that would make that reed play in tune with my embouchure.

That's great that you have band to play in. That must be brilliant fun. I just play by myself at home and the grades are getting ever harder and harder. I totally agree about the difficulties of mobilising the pinkie finger. I think mine was largely decorative until the clarinet came along.

Good luck there with it all. I'm really glad you're enjoying the Fibracell reed.

Jen x

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-09-28 16:16

sunnydaze you should try rico plasticovers on clarinet. if you do get them 1/2 size softer than you usually play. they run on the hard side.i am going to give the bravo reeds a try

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-09-28 18:34

Super20Dan,
Thanks for the reminder. When I was playing tenor sax, my partner gave me a Plasticover reed to try one night at an outdoor concert and it worked very well. My only hassle with the reed was the color - black reeds are harder to line up on a black mouthpiece, especially in the dark!

But they are certainly cheaper than Fibracell or Legere - a box of Plasticover reeds costs the same as a single Fibracell, so I ordered a box to try for myself. I'll just use some stronger reading glasses when I fit it onto my mouthpiece. <LOL>

Jen,
I had a much better time at last night's rehearsal which helps me to believe that time and effort will help us get through this. We still have to wear instrument masks while we are rehearsing and that makes it a bit more difficult. My friend, who of course is clarinet 1, turned to me at the end and told me that he was "worn out after 60 minutes" (of a 90-minute session). It was all I could do to nod in agreement. But I did a lot better this week and never lost my embouchure; I just couldn't get enough oxygen at times. Don't quit! Keep working!

Cheers,

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-28 19:55

Hi Ron,

That's absolutely brilliant that you are doing so well. Really wonderful news. Keep going there, and please do keep writing and telling us about your progress.

I tried having more iodine in my diet that other day and that perked me up no end, so that I was able to play much better even after a couple of days. I'm going to keep working at that too. :-)

Super20dan - Thanks so much for the thought about the plasticover reed. I will try that. I pushed the boat out and bought a no. 2 Legere signature reed so I'm on a bit of a reed-trying blitz at the moment. I'm enjoying it though.

Thanks!

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-09-29 03:52

i had great results with plasticovers over the last 2 decades but i was playing rock music where the exrtra zip they provide is welcome. now i am only playing alto and bass clarinet and need something tamer. i still prefer them on Bb clarinet for just noodling around. great for big band and jazz clarinet . i will try bravo reeds next. using legere on bass and alto

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-30 10:20

Hi super20dan,

I had no idea you could play rock music on a clarinet. Might it be possible for you to post a link to a recording or something? I would like to hear what that sounds like. I actually don't know much about rock music at all.

Thanks!

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-09-30 20:48

Hi,

I just tested a Legere signature 2.0 reed and it works remarkably well for me.

It is in tune all the way from the bottom right up to Gb6, which is as far as I go. I tried crossing the break legato from C4 to C5 and a number of other ones like that, and, if anything they were easier than my unadjusted Vandoren Classic 1.5.

At first the sound didn't seem to really ring nicely for me, but I think it got better and after a while I didn't notice much difference between them. I will need to try several times to really be sure of that.

I noticed that if the signature is at exactly the usual height on the mp it plays in tune for me, but if I move it up to have the tip of the reed level with the tip of the mp then it plays very flat in the chalumeau register.

Thanks to Beth for sending me in this direction. I like the reed. :-)

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-09-30 23:06

Happy to enable you, Jen. :) From my experience, it takes some time to get comfortable with synthetic reeds.

Now, please send some clarinet practice motivation my way. I spent the morning on recorder ensemble music, and I feel done.

Beth

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-10-01 00:04

Jen,

When I first started playing music, the tenor sax was a vital part of most rock bands. But after the Beatles hit the market, the sax was mostly used (with other brass and woodwind instruments) in the R&B world. I paid my way through college playing in rock and R&B bands in the Washington D.C. night clubs.

The Bb clarinet can play the same pieces as a tenor sax, the tone will be different, but you can still enjoy the music. Heck, I still use some sax charts as warm up exercises for my clarinet.

I remember the Moody Blues featured a flute solo in "Knights in White Satin" and it's low enough you can play it on the clarinet. Ian Anderson (also a flute player) is the front man for Jethro Tull.

In Other News - I tried a 2.5 Plasticover reed today. It played in tune, but wimped out after about 20 minutes. I will move it to a more open mouthpiece (B45 Lyre) and see if it works better there.

Also, I started playing a Yamaha CSVR. It needs breaking in, but it sounds very good and I can easily see it blending with the R-13s in the band. It also played a heck of a lot better than my last R-13 - which needed a full overhaul before I could play it for more than a couple of days. Ugh!

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-10-01 22:11

i just recieved a box of bravo alto sax reeds for my alto clarinet. i am highly pleased ! preformance is better than expected and will order a box of tenor sax for my bass clarinet asap. these play almost exactly like a cane reed in most respects. thank you sunny days!

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-10-01 23:31

Wow! This thread really worked out well for a lot of people! Yay :-)

Super20dan I'm really glad you like the Bravo reeds. That's great news, and I'm glad that helped.

Beth thanks again for the recommendation. I will be able to play much more now that I have a washable reed, espcially as everone in the house has just come down with the latest school cold. Yippee! I have no idea where to get motivation, but I'm glad you enjoyed your recorder playing.

Ron - thanks for explaining about that. I had no idea. I also got plasticover reeds today but I have put them away for Christmas, so that will be a nice thing to investigate in a couple of months.

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-10-01 23:33

btw Ron, that's great about the CSVR. I play a CX and I love it. I hope you enjoy yours.

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-10-02 02:24

supertramp used clarinet in several of their hits . when i played clarinet in a loud stage situation -i used either a lakey or rico metalite mpc with the plasticover reeds. this setup could strip paint!

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-10-02 10:56

super20dan that sounds brilliant! Now I want to try it too. :-)

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-10-02 16:59

the rico metalite for clarinet is very rare now. was only sold for a short while. lakey still in production https://justmusic.net.au/wp-content/uploads/IMG_1709.jpg

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: RKing 
Date:   2021-10-02 19:56

Those Rico Metalite mouthpieces were designed by Arnold Brilhart, the same guy who produced the white plastic Brilhart Tonalin saxophone mouthpieces that we all loved back in the 60s and 70s rock bands. I still have a few of those rattling around in my storage box.

The Metalites are hard to find, but you can find lots of the plastic Graphtonite mouthpieces around. They were copies of the Metalites and were made in the early 2000s, IIRC. I'm not sure that a "serious" clarinetist would use one, but they were great for high school and marching bands. I still have one of my high school Selmer "Goldentone" mouthpieces in a box somewhere, too. <LOL>

Unfortunately, I still have not been able to make the Plasticover reeds work very well for me. For some reason, they tend to dry out on me like regular cane reeds. But I am now solid with my Fibracell reeds and bounce them between my B45 and B45 Lyre mouthpieces with no problems. Now I just have to learn how long one of them will last. If I can do that, I'll probably just "Declare Victory" and stop experimenting until my saliva glands start working again.. if ever.

And the CSVR is starting to feel very good, too. Gotta love that Yamaha QC!

Ron

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-10-02 21:13

the metalite is very different inside vs the graftinite. its got a high baffel like a berg larsen or dukoff sax mpc. i kid not. this does take some getting used too and semi chokes off the low register but it really screams elsewhere. i was unable to find a pic of the inside but will look some more. its worth seeing. too bad the plasticovers didnt work for you. i know they arnt for everyone but work when you need to be heard over a big band etc and the instant playability is great for doublers. where they fail for me is the really high notes. here cane is far superiour. i even used them on eb clarinet in a german umpaha band. not easy to find they were. hope your recovery continues~

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-10-04 20:50

I just discovered a massive advantage of the fibracell 1 reed.

I was having fun with my son just now, with him teaching me the horn and me teaching him the clarinet.

Usually when we do this I really struggle because I want to give him a perfect reed that won't hold him back, but I don't really want to be sharing a reed with him in case one of us has something catching. It's a real dilemma with cane reeds, because I almost never find one that works right out of the box without some adjustment.

I imagine that with a school teacher who is teaching a lot of young children, this would be a huge issue.

So today I just got out the Fibracell 1. I know exactly how it plays, and it is washable, so I could give it to him in total confidence. I knowing exactly what the qualities of the reed are and also that it is clean.

That is a huge step forward in teaching school children I think. I think Fibracell is the only company that makes a super-soft synthetic reed, that I would trust for this job.

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-10-05 01:31

thats the main disadvantage with plasticovers. they dont all play the same and you get duds in a box as they come from real cane. i ordered bravos in 1.5 for alto as the 2 is still too stiff for some of my alto clarinet mpcs. i am dismayed i cannot get tenor sax in 1.5 as no 2 will be too stiff for my bay and vandy bass clarinet mpcs

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-10-05 05:09

Hi super20dan,

Have you considered buying the no 2 and sanding it down as though it was a cane reed? I think the plastic will not be denser in the no 2 so it should theoretically be possible to adjust it down. I did that with my 1.5 and it definitely improved the response.

Jen

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 Re: Fibracell Reeds
Author: super20dan 
Date:   2021-10-05 06:30

didnt know you could sand them. good to know

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