Saxophone Forum


by Kitch22
(98 posts)
10 years ago

Dark Reeds

I play alto sax with a Custom Z and currently a Meyer 6M (which I'm quite satisfied with). I've been hunting for that perfect reed for quite some time now. My current choice of reed is La Voz med. I take private lessons and my teacher recently suggested me to switch to med from med hard. My teacher is really trying to get to play with a much darker sound (as my sound is more brilliant and edgy, so to speak). What type of reeds would best give me a dark, yet powerful sound? Thanks for the help.

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Dark Reeds

    the usual thing to try here would be the Vandoren Bluebox reeds. These are pretty much the default suggestion for dark tone. I don't really like those reeds, however. Now, they do last a while and are less messed up by humidity than most reeds, but they don't often play right out of the box and need some adjustment to perform well, and are quite inconsistant. Even after adjustment, however, they tend to play rather stuffy in my estimation. My favorite reed of Vandoren's are their V16's, which play brighter than the bluebox, yet a little darker than LaVoz in my experience. They also play well when new with little adjustment. Hemke reeds produce a very smooth, pure sound that is noticably dark. Not quite so dark as vandoren bluebox, but the reeds are very consistant, play well, and respond well. Their main drawback is that they dont' last very long. Alexander Classique and DC are good reeds that I find very consistant, but take a little while to break in properly. The Classique compares with the Vandoren BB for it's dark tonal colour, but it sounds more sonorous to me and vibrates better (even though Classique 3's are a tad harder than Vandoren 3's). DCs have the same element of sonority, speak well, are just as consistant, but are a little brighter and broader in sound. They tend to respond better down low than the Classiques (maybe I need to drop a half step in hardness for those, actually) and have the same break-in tendencies. I haven' been able to measure either of the Alexanders for longevity yet, but reviews tend to point to them being somewhere between the Hemkes and Vandorens for that. If I had to recommend one to you, based on what it sounds like your trying to do, I'd go for the Alexander DC reeds.

    Reply To Post


    1. by bronzemonkey992
      (22 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Dark Reeds

      I would suggest Zonda or Marca reeds. These are excellent reeds, and for me at least they have been very consistent.

      Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


    2. by South Florida Sax
      (10 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Dark Reeds

      Wow, It sounds like you've done quite a lot of research. I'm looking for a darker tone from my D chambered Dukoff and thought about switching mouthpieces but maybe I should look into these reeds. What is your experience level. What type of music do you play or what kind of groups do you play in?

      Reply To Post


      1. by definition
        (963 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Dark Reeds

        Get a Rovner dark lig, that'll darken both you guys up in a hurry, and improve your tone.

        Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM


        1. by mrd
          (137 posts)

          9 years ago

          Can you answer me on this mouthpiece

          I am just returning after many years. I am considering the Meyer Metal Tenor Mouthpiece. The tip opening is a 6J. Would this work for me and what strength reed should I use at this point? Please get back to me soon. Thanks

          Reply To Post


        2. by YanagisawA-901
          (312 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can you answer me on this mouthpiece

          i would say aside from spending a lot of money on reeds not knowing if theyll actually help. or even switching reeds if u can find them cheap. id try to open up your throte a lot more and breath all ur air into the deepest part of your lungs possible. when u breath your shoulders shouldnt move at all. your stomach should expand. then push out with your diaphram. that helped me get a much fuller, richer, thicker, but not so much darker. dark is a loose term to use. nobody really knows what dark is. is it round and brassy like a french horn? is it almost manufactured sounding? i dont know. my personal opinion of dark tone is tone with depth. its more than just a sound wave produced from a reed. its character, mysteriousness, filling your horn up with, hot, dry air. if that doesnt work id suggest the v16's. they are more of a "concert band" setting of a reed. but with ur edgy tone, and that setting, it should even out

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM ICQ