Re: Noob needs to go reed shopping! Advice from clarinet-doublers especially welcome!
Rico Jazz Selects are solid reeds, and their batting average is about 3 out of 5 which smokes Vandorens at 2 or 3 out of 10, plus the filed Ricos generally play well strait out of the box. Jazz Selects dont particularly color the sound, unlike Vandoren's jazz reeds, which are generally just bright.
The reed stregnth question is a little complicated to answer. The reed stregnths themselves are fairly proportional, but the instruments aren't. Since you seem to be an experienced clarinet player, I'd venture a guess that you play fairly hard reeds? While that's standard especially among classical clarinetists, not many saxophonists play harder than a 3.5, or 3H in jazz select stregnths. Your mouthpiece play a huge roll in your reed choice - what mouthpiece do you have?