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Thread: Rico vs. Vandoren?

  1. #1

    Default Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Which is better in your opinion? My experience with Rico has always been better for me. The sound I get with a Rico always seems better than that with a Vandoren.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    for some reason, I consistently prefer Vandoren on alto and Rico on tenor...

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Technician. Oric Muso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I prefer Gonzalez on alto and Gonzalez on tenor :0)

    (Used to like La Voz but since the company got sold they never had the same tone.)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I have always preferred vandoren. Ricos have always seemed dull to me.
    Website: http://www.soulfulhorns.com
    Horns: 1951 Selmer SBA Tenor, Handmade Guardala MBI; CE Winds Artist Series DS Baritone, Dukoff D7; CE Winds Omega Curved Soprano, Barone Vintage HR, Akai EWI 4000S

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I switched from Vandoren to the Rico Reserves when they first came out a few years ago. I, again, switched from Vandoren to the Rico Reserve Classics for a month or so before switching back to Vandorens recently. I really liked the Rico reeds, but they seemed to soften way too quickly and would start chirping when I played on them. Perhaps I just haven't found the proper balance of reed size to my mouthpiece and the humidity levels where I play.
    Alto: Selmer Super Action 80 Series II ; Selmer S80 B* Mouthpiece
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  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member Agent27's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    It's all a matter of personal preference and what works for you. There is no right answer. I know that I much prefer my sound on Ricos over Vandorens across all saxes and clarinets, jazz and classical. If you think you get a better tone out of Rico products then you already have your answer.

  7. #7
    elmiguel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent27 View Post
    It's all a matter of personal preference and what works for you. There is no right answer.
    +1

    I'm a Rico fan, however. Funnily enough, I found that Ricos generally played better on my Vandoren mouthpieces than any Vandoren reeds did…

    Although, I sometimes think that if I had begun playing saxophone with Vandorens rather than Ricos, I would probably be a Vandoren fan.
    S - Yani S991, Drake SoS 8, RSJ 3H Filed/Gonzalez 4
    A - Ref. 54, Drake VR Jazz 8, RSJ 3H Filed
    T - '70 Mark VI, Drake NY Jazz 8, RSJ 3H Filed

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Rico here as well. I never managed to get along with Vandorens.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I can honestly say that I hate most of the reeds Rico produces. Before they released Select Jazz that would have been 100%. Now I prefer the RSJ over my former favorite Java. In the end it depends on the player as so many have said before.
    Selmer series II Tenor, Runyon Metal Spoiler 11, Ponzol M1 115, Rico Select Jazz 2M.

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jazz House's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Vandoren, but I think Alexander is better than either of them.
    Soprano: Jean Baptiste Deluxe Curved Soprano, Bari Gold #8,#3 Alexander Superial reeds
    Tenor: Conn 10M Naked Lady, Sakshama Shorty 7*, #3S RJS reeds

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I play on Rico on my Tenor and Vandoren when I play classical clarinet. When I play jazz clarinet I use a plastic reed (Bari). I use the plastic covered Rico on the Tenor. Vandoren tenor reeds don't cut it for me on the sax. Classical clarinet the Vandoren is superior. Great power in the uppers, rich deep sound in the throats. Can't play without both companies.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I tend to prefer Rico on sax, I have switched a few times between Rico Jazz Select and La Voz (purely to give myself variety in my tone!). I just find that Ricos seem to be more consistant, I have far less trouble with a bad reed than with Vandoren, and I find them better to play (more responsive etc.) However, when I'm playing clarinet I prefer Vandoren, I play Vandoren V16s and I find I can get the best tone out of these.

    I suppose it depends a lot on personal taste (what sound YOU want to achieve) and style, embourchure and mouthpiece. There are many different factors that can affect what reed you choose. Just go with whatever you think sounds best, at the end of the day that's all that matters.
    Sam Neal - Saxophonist and Composer
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  13. #13

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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Vandoren. Java on alto & tenor, blue box on soprano, and ZZ on baritone.

    Used to like LaVoz on alto when I played HR pieces, but they really never worked very well with my Guardala. Have never really been able to get on with Ricos of any stripe, though I gave Rico Royals a valiant effort for a few years on tenor.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Which Rico and which Vandoren? The comparison is too general, imo. I like Vandoren V16, but not so much the Javas, for example. And the RJS is a pretty good reed, in my experience, but I haven't tried all the other Ricos.

    And for a time I prefered the RJS to V16, now I prefer the V16.

    Hope that helps!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    For tenor, I get good mileage from - La Voz MH, Rico Royal 3 -3.5
    I also like V16 3-3.5.

    They all deliver good meat in the tone, for me.
    My wife, whose ears I trust, said that my sound is much fuller, richer, more powerful and resonant on this set up.
    ... but really folks... my wife said, " It sounds like a saxophone ".

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I like Rico Jazz Select unfiled reeds for tenor. I prefer the tone I get from the RJS, but I do find Vandoren reeds to be more consistent.

  17. #17

    Default

    Vandoren; it was pushed as the "better reed" when I started band. Rico's marketing was pretty poor back then, with the boxes full of reeds, separated by only tissue paper. I always hated that the music store had to put them in fragile paper sleeves. Individual packaging is where it's at.
    UNT Jazz Grad Student/Freelance Saxophonist - DFW Private Lesson Instructor
    Selmer Series II alto / Morgan Jazz 7M - Java 3
    Yamaha 82Z tenor / Vandoren Java T55 - Java 3 / Guardala MB II - Java 3

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    I will play whatever plays. I buy Rico because they're less expensive and no more inferior. Or maybe I just cant tell the difference.
    "The key to improvising is being able to play and listen at the same time."

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Too much variance in the set ups and players to say one is definitely better than the other unless we discuss consistancy from reed to reed.

    But personally I try different reeds and lately it seems from one box to the next lol. I used to avoid Ricos back in the eighties because I hated what you guys think of as "edge" and I think of as the sound of shaken spare change. That there was far too much of it. I played various Dorens over the years and recently tried Ricos again. Ricos have been a bit more consistant than my recent experience with Dorens but I like Hemkes best for what I play. Although I was handed a free box of V12s the other day and the first reed seems refreshingly nice. We'll see how consistant the box turns out to be.

    Harv

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Rico vs. Vandoren?

    Quote Originally Posted by number58 View Post
    I like Rico Jazz Select unfiled reeds for tenor. I prefer the tone I get from the RJS, but I do find Vandoren reeds to be more consistent.
    I find that most RSJ's are pretty consistent. Even the so so ones became playable pretty quickly.
    Selmer series II Tenor, Runyon Metal Spoiler 11, Ponzol M1 115, Rico Select Jazz 2M.

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