Saxophone Forum


by krzykrn88
(27 posts)
4 years ago

v16 vs. hemke

hello guys!! So here's my story. I have been going through my reed setup dilemma for about 6 years, and quite frankly, it is going no where, so help me out!! Currently, my setup is of following: 1st gen. yamaha 62, morgan excalibur 6e, and either gold or silver olegature. And as far as the reed setting, I rotate between the following: vandoren v16, hemke, and zz (all in size 3.5). So far, as much as I am satisfied with my reed choices, there are many things i am not satisfied with. For v16, it is simply the thickness. I love the bright, yet fat, edge, and "soulful" tone it gives. Plus, it is the easiest to play altissimo with. However, the same thickness of the reed also leads to my discomfort, slower response, sometimes to the extent that it is simply unbearable!! plus, my intonation tends to play flat, even with embochure change. although breaking in reed for about 15-30 minutes fix the issue and yield satisfactory results, i sometimes cant afford the time to do so, especially in performances. I am considering to downgrade to a size 3 from 3.5, but then i am afraid due to following reason: my experience with hemkes. For me hemke's opposite. at same 3.5 size, it is much more responsive, easier to play with, and for me, requires no break in; then, hemke's yield bright, smooth, yet very thin tone that i love from my v16. plus, hitting altissimo with hemke has been proven to be harder than it is with v16s. assuming hemke 3.5s are stronger than vandoren v16 3's, i am very reluctant to downgrade my v16 size because of it. lastly, as for zz, it tends to be in the middle of both in terms of tone's fatness, control, response. yet, the buzz sound i get from zz can be sometimes very annoyingly crisp for my taste. and plus, for me, they were too inconsistent, and didnt last long enough for me. Each reed do serve good purpose. if i am mostly playing gospel, rnb, funk, fusion, v16 is def. my choice, even if i need 15-30 minutes breaking in time to get the perfect sound i want. likewise, for smooth jazz, hemke did its job better. typically, during my practice, i start using hemkes, then end up dumping em in favor of v16. I frankly do not know whether this is a good thing, or a bad thing. i tried many other alternatives, such as alexander superial (which i coudlnt like at all, sorry superial fans..), zz (i really have a mixed opininon about these; they can be really good, or really sh!++y), and now, ordered java (both filed and unfiled) 3.5 to try em out. and i personally abhor synthetic reeds and plasticovers. I might consider buying rico select jazz (filed or unfiled? i dunno, help me out) as well. I will appreciate any help!! indeed, I can work some of the issues out with more practice. however, things like the general tone it gives are something i cannot really change...i think...maybe having two different reed setting is a great thing. but then, if i can find a reed that i can simply love using in any situation, that would be awesome!!

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  1. by jdcsax
    (14 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: v16 vs. hemke

    Sounds like your a Vandoren fan and you're trying everything that have to offer. The filed vs. unfiled is something to consider when it comes to reed choice and the response you get. Have you tried Rico Jazz selects? They have both filed and unfiled and you have the option of soft-medium-hard in each strength. I played Vandoren's all my life, but then they just weren't doing it for me and I made the switch to Rico Jazz Select and have been very pleased with my results. Hopefully you'll be able to find something that gives you the results you're looking for. Good luck! -JDC

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    1. by krzykrn88
      (27 posts)

      4 years ago

      Re: v16 vs. hemke

      thanks!! yes, i have started playing with vandoren ever since i started playing sax, so i am a vandoren fan. i did try rjs once, but then, it was during my learning stage, and just as i did with java, i couldnt tell much of a sound difference back then. i still remember loving java and rjs response tho. if my javas fail with my morgans, then rjs's, both filed and unfiled, are my next choices.=)

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