Saxophone Forum


by JazzGal
(41 posts)
8 years ago

Rico Jazz select

Does anyone know anything about rico jazz select reeds? I want to know if it'd be a good idea to try them. I play alto sax, and I've been playing for 3 years, but I'm a serious jazz player. I want to know what soft medium and hard mean, and also what filed, and unfiled reeds are. Thanks :)

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  1. by JazzIsLife
    (3 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Rico Jazz select

    I play on Rico Jazz Select and I love them!!! I would definately suggest trying them!! .. I would suggest going for a 3 soft or a 3 medium.... Alexander Superials... or DCs are also great!

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  2. by jamterry
    (573 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Rico Jazz select

    Hi JazzGal, Don't worry about filing. People that worry about that fall into the category of frustrated players and collectors. I used Rico as a child, but when I progressed i switched to LaVoz and Vandoren. I thnk medium is a good place to start. I think LaVoz medium and Vandoren traditional 2 1/2. Knowing how to pick reeds is a big factor. The darker reeds are usually the best. look for an even curve on the butt and an even slope from butt to tip. All the best to you :) Terry

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    1. by CountSpatula
      (602 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      Err...Filed reeds will be a little bit brighter...it felt really similar to my vandoren javas...the unfiled are darker sounding. I also found the projection a little better on the filed...

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      1. by jamterry
        (573 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Rico Jazz select

        You don't need any filing . Just make sure you pick your reeds. When I don't like a reed i throw it away. Some of these high school kid experts are out to rewrite history. Thank God I never played in a high school band. :) Terry

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      2. by knorter
        (205 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Rico Jazz select

        Greg sax if I see another response like that I will have you removed. In the meantime I will remove your original response. Kristy

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    2. by blackfrancis
      (396 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      Jazz Selects work pretty well for me. Ther're fairly consistent and I like the sound. Filed- unfiled- no real difference that I can tell. Soft, medium and hard are an additional breakdown of the strength in addition to the numbering system. Hey Terry, if you could, just put those reeds in a box and send 'em to me rather than throwing them away...

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    3. by jamterry
      (573 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      Ok Francis I can do that :)

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    4. by JazzGal
      (41 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      lol, thanks guys. So if I play a 3 1/2 rico reed, what size should I try?

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    5. by jamterry
      (573 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      JazzGal I would like you to try out LaVoz medium and/or Vandoren traditional 2 1/2 Terry

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    6. by JazzGal
      (41 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      The 2 1/2 won't be too soft?

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    7. by jamterry
      (573 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      JazzGal I think if you can just buy one of each (LaVoz medium and Vandoren traditional 2 1/2), it would be cool. Look for the stuff that I told you about the color and shape. You play jazz, and I think 3 1/2 is too honky and stuffy for you. Good luck sweetie :) Terry

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    8. by JazzGal
      (41 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      Awesome, thanks a lot! I'll try those out. :)

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    9. by CountSpatula
      (602 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      "The 2 1/2 won't be too soft?" Depends on the mouthpiece facing...

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    10. by JazzGal
      (41 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      ah, I gotcha. I have a meyer 5

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    11. by CountSpatula
      (602 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      ricoreeds.com/products.aspx?productCategoryName=SaxophoneReeds Near the top right is a "Reed Comparison Chart". Just incase that might help=)

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    12. by knorter
      (205 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      Unfiled reeds are also called french cut reeds. It's a reed that has just the curve at the bottom and the bark removed from the curve up--sorry this is so hard to desribe in writing. Filed are the reeds that also have the curve but at the bottom of the curve a straight line is cut across the reed and some of the bark is removed from above that line too--extending the removal of bark to the sides of the curve. You kind of have to see it. Some people think removing that bark allows the reed to vibrate more than the french cut. I think they are a little brighter. I use the filed 3M but 2 1/2 is a good place to start especially with a meyer. I really like the fact that they come in soft, med. or hard. I think Terry was talking about using a reed knife and filing your own reeds. That's more about making individual adjustments to a reed that has a bad seal or is out of balance. The company Reedmate had a good book about reeds that's on the market if anyone is interested in working on reeds. It is time consuming. I go back and forth between just playing them out of the box and working on them. Good luck. Kristy

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    13. by jamterry
      (573 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      Hi Kristy, Do you buy an unopened box of reeds? Just curious. I know people in stores are paranoid about people handling the reeds. I buy reeds where they let me pick them. I still didn't get my photo on my profile. I'll get it one of these days. Back in the 60's the music stores were more Mom and Pop. I remember going to the store broke and getting reeds. I would ask the old man if i could pay next week, and he would let me get reeds. Terry

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    14. by JazzGal
      (41 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Rico Jazz select

      CountSpatula, Thanks alot! That's a big help. Kristy, I know what you mean about the french style cut, thanks for clarifying what filed and unfiled was. On another note, my music store doesn't let you hand pick reeds, unfortunately

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  3. by Donnie The B
    (282 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Rico Jazz select

    You've gotten some nice responses to your reed question. I just wanted to chime in with a couple of things. Your Meyer 5 is a fairly closed-tip mouthpiece - close to my Selmer Soloist C*. Incidently, Cannonball Adderley is supposed to have used an older Meyer 5. Such pieces will take a harder reed better than the more open pieces - or put another way, if changing to a more open piece you might want to try a softer reed first. I agree that the #3 1/2 might be too honky for jazz. That's close to the LaVoz medium hard I'd use -with the C* - in an oldies Rock 'n' Roll group. But I would usually bring the F facing or #7 mouthpiece to that gig anyway, and use a medium reed. I use a LaVoz medium (#2 1/2?) in a small jazz combo or big band setting. Generally, I've always thought of reed strength as how much air has to be pushed to get the reed to vibrate properly. The harder the reed, the more air is needed and the more difficult it is to play softly as in a legit or easy listening session. As to reed selection, I used to be able to pick through boxes to choose the singles I wanted. Now I have to buy the box. If able to pick and choose, my private teacher taught me to hold a reed up to a good light and look for uniformity of strands near the tip. You don't want thick strands of cane fiber just in small spots. And you want uniform thickness side to side. Hopefully, you have access to an older type of Mom and Pop music store so you can hand select. Good Luck.

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  4. by Ron_mooney
    (8 posts)

    8 years ago

    My experience...

    I'm a few months behind - I guess this conversation is now obsolete. But I also play jazz on a Meyer 5 (M) and I have been using a rico jazz for a couple of weeks. It is a 2 - I think it is a medium. It gets a much brighter, jazzy sound than the plasticover (3) that I was using, but it is too soft. Great reed, but if you play like me, get it a bit stronger. But now that you've probably already tried them, what did you decide on, and how do you like it? (And just FMI, what sax do you play on?)

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    1. by JazzGal
      (41 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: My experience...

      Yes, I have indeed tried them. I tried the unfiled, 2medium. I play on a 1958 conn 6m, and I changed my mouthpiece to a Meyer New York. I prefere the jazz selects on my new york, but i'm planning on trying some unfiled ones, to try to take away some of the buzz. They're great though, great projection.

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  5. by Saxall
    (17 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Rico Jazz select

    I just change a Selmer mouthpiece (S80/F) for an Otto Link hard rubber (7) and change the reeds to for Rico jazz select (3 soft/unfield) : the difference is between night and day... I tried Vandoren classic but there were too loud.

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  6. by cuber
    (653 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Rico Jazz select

    if you look in the dictionary, the definition of RICO is-CHEAP@#$ PIECE OF____ (fill in the blank) I play on a vandoren v16 or a D.C. Alexander (the black label)

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  7. by cuber
    (653 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Rico Jazz select

    everytime i hear rico, i admediatly cringe, due to my past with thoes peices of kindling. try vandoren V16's or Alexander DC's

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