Re: Plastic Reeds
Let me start by saying that I played a Bari reed with a classical mouthpiece for jazz band in college. Awesome projection!!! Horrible tone!!!! It was great for rock and blues-oriented numbers, but terrible for more traditional swing-style pieces. It was also great for when I covered a few gigs in an R&B band. It gave me that great dirty-funk sound with incredible volume.
With that said.... I don't think I'll ever use it again, and I'll NEVER use one for my alto or tenor. For one thing, that reed took a LOT of work to learn to control. And for another, like I said, it's too brash for half of the stuff I now play. I had to play much softer and open my throat a lot more than normal to get a half-way decent tone for more mellow stuff. This led to shaky pitch and squeek control.
Like I said, they're good for certain types of music, but not most. When I finally bought a metal jazz mpc, I tried the Bari reed with it, and it just sounded like a duck eating burritos.
If you want to try one out, go for it. Who knows? Maybe it'll give you the projection you've been looking for, but IMHO, they're MUCH too harsh and definitely NOT versitile.