I've been trying my hand at the baritone for a couple of years now, long enough to realize that my problem is not likely to vanish any time soon. The problem is that my reeds are extremely prone to squeaking, and I mean seriously squeaking in the sense that they become all but uncontrollable. There's also a very strange feeling of losing the "core" of the sound and having to really struggle to keep the notes together. This concerns all registers.
I have not had this problem with the alto, and have therefore arrived at the hypothesis that it may be due to the larger size of the baritone reed and the consequent tendency to swell so that in the end the points of contact between the table of the mouthpiece and the reed are all too few and far between.
Maybe the problem is my embouchure (too tight, too close to the tip), but considering that I don't really have any particular problems in any of the registers, I doubt that is the sole solution. I've also been meticulously following my alto break-in process (a couple of minutes on the first day, another few minutes on the second day, and onwards as usual from there), to no avail. I soak my reeds in water before playing, to get rid of the wrinkles, if for nothing else. I use Rico reedguards for storing reeds, one of these has worked perfectly fine in the case of the alto. I've also tried to shave down reeds that are too hard to begin with, but it's just as much a matter of luck with them.
Thus, I would appreciate suggestions from more experienced baritonists on how to avoid the issue. Given the price of the reeds, I'd definitely like to get some more hours out of them. Every now and then I come across one that lasts for a few weeks, but they are rare. I'm thinking of going synthetic, but given my conservative nature, I'd still like to give good old cane a chance.
For the record, I use a stock Vandoren B95 and a Vandoren Optimum ligature (this one, alas, has been dropped and bent back to shape; but the problem was there before the accident).
Thanks for any help in advance!