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Thread: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

  1. #41
    Distinguished SOTW Member themacintrasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    I love my plasticovers, you can pry them from my cold, dead hands...

  2. #42
    Saxy since '89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Well it certainly seems as though all our experiences are different. That's to be expected, but it's almost to an extreme. As I've read all the other posts I don't think I've found anyone that's had the same experience I've had. Now, let me preface this all by saying I did all my experimenting on soprano, and the concept of tone that I have for soprano is vastly different than what I have for alto, tenor, and bari.

    My experience with Legeres was similar to others in the aspect that they did allow all the notes to speak with relative ease across the entire range of the horn, and the tip could withstand a lot of abuse. I also found that they were indeed louder than other cane reeds of the same strength, however, they were buzzier than I liked and overall, the tone was vacuous. I never really heard or felt the tonal center of any note I played. It was a loud, empty experience and this was AFTER the break-in period. Now, I never tried the studio cut, but I don't think they make a studio cut for soprano yet, or at least I didn't find them when I was looking for them.

    I tried the Bari ones too. I found they had more of a tonal center than the Legeres, but they were still somewhat empty and EXTREMELY stuffy. All the synthetic reeds played a half to a whole strength harder than they were labeled, but the Baris seemed to play extremely resistant. I tried it on all of my mouthpieces including a Rico Royal Graftonite B7, a Yamaha 4C, and my Runyon Custom (I didn't have my Super Session yet). I played it for a week and it's never been back on any of my mouthpieces since. I will also admit that I didn't try the Bari Star ones and they could be superior to the original Baris.

    Then came the Fibracell Premier. I actually read on this forum that the original Fibracells weren't worth the time or the money, but the Fibracell Premiers were the way to go. It was great advice for me. The Premiers have a good tonal center for me and weren't overly resistant or stuffy. They weren't that buzzy and actually remind me A LOT of cane reed. To my surprise they actually gave me a more mellow tone, something like a Vandoren blue box. They still gave me the synthetic-reed-accurate response and tough-as-a-tank tip. I actually prefer the Fibracell Premiers to cane reeds in this aspect, but when I want an edgier sound without going overboard I still haven't found anything that beats Rico Jazz Selects. Just my 2¢.
    Last edited by Saxy since '89; 03-19-2008 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Grammar
    "...if music is the universal language, what then are you, as a musician, saying?"

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Saxy, thanks for your post. I had been playing Rico Select Jazz reeds for quite a while. Then, thanks to what I was reading on SOTW, I started trying out other brands of cane reeds. I think I have all the different types of VanDorens in my gig bag plus some other brands - all going unused. I didn't find any of them to be better than the Rico Jazz. That's when I decided to try the synthetics. I like some things about them, mainly that they last and can take a fair amount of abuse and still keep playing. But I wouldn't say I prefer them over the Rico Jazz. Also, I bought a new metal Link STM NY7 mpc, then a Graftonite C7. But now I'm back to playing my old Berg Larsen stainless, the piece I've used for many years. Maybe we all just end up back where we started, with the gear that we know and like.

  4. #44
    Saxy since '89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    I know exactly what you're going through, Martin. I love and have almost always loved the Rico Jazz reeds, but the reviews I'd heard on this forum and the fact that I played synthetic bassoon reeds at one time persuaded me to try synthetic sax reeds. I tried other cane reeds too, but was rather unimpressed. I was always familiar with traditional Vandorens and never really liked them, even for classical sax (alto, that is), so maybe that created some bias against them when I tried Javas and ZZs. Overall, my experience was like yours, in that you really just end up going back full circle. I will say, though, that I do keep a couple Fibracell Premiers in my case just in case I have unexpected problems with my cane reeds, but by and large, I stick with RJS and Hemkes.
    "...if music is the universal language, what then are you, as a musician, saying?"

  5. #45

    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Recently I've come full-circle too. I used to play Fibracell exclusively for years, came back to real cane and stayed for the past couple years because the altissimo was so much more reliable on real cane (I like to use lots of altissimo). But I felt I was missing something in the normal register sound, and went through several mpc purchases seeking it. This week, I tried my old favorite short shank Soloist E again, slapped on a Fibracell 2 and voila there was the sound, thick and throaty but with lots of reed sound to give it edge. It was almost too easy to play, little resistance, so I could fly with much less air. But then the altissimo was much more difficult. I tried a 3 with a drilled base, but it was much more resistance. I've ordered 21/2s, which are what I used to use, and maybe that will solve it.
    I'd like to try the Plasticover, which size is comparable to Fibracell 21/2?

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by themacintrasher View Post
    I love my plasticovers, you can pry them from my cold, dead hands...
    Have you noticed a change in their quality in the last year or so?.....daryl

  7. #47
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    Default Intonation changes with synth reeds?

    Have any of you struggled with the intonation balances of your horns with synthetics?

    I've been happily using the Fibracell Medium (older) on my Selmer Omega alto/Beechler mouthpiece combo for about a year now. Very easy to play, projects well and feels like cane, but without all of the inconsistency.

    But the floor has fallen out of my lower register from (middle D) and down, gets flatter as I get lower and I'm a bit stumped. It is flat, flat, flat. I've had this horn and mouthpiece combo for many years (20+) and it still plays wonderful up high. Is reed strength a possible culprit here? My first Fibracell is worn out now so I'm willing to experiment a bit. But for my playing situation, the low hassle nature of synthetics has been wonderful - cept' for this one glaring issue.

    thanks,

    rmp
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    Akai EWI 4000s/Samson Wireless/Roland KC 350

  8. #48

    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    I've been using a medium Bari synthetic on my alto for years now with a Rico Graftonite C5 mouthpiece. It took some getting used to, but I love them. Altissimo has always been easy for me on them. Much easier than cane. There are notes I was never able to hit on cane that came to me with this set up. The lower register is where I had the most trouble with early on. As stated by others, there is a getting used to period but the results are well worth the effort.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Also see the "Dissapointed in Synthetic Reeds (sadly)" thread.
    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=82940

    I posted an update to my reed quest there. Short version: now I'm liking plasticovers. And the beat goes on ...

  10. #50
    Distinguished SOTW Member themacintrasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by wersax View Post
    Have you noticed a change in their quality in the last year or so?.....daryl
    Ya, the box I bought online with the new art is way worse than the old ones the music store still has, but I still love the sound.

  11. #51

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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Thanks Marty for starting this thread!

    I was using Ricos on my Tenor, but seemed to have trouble getting them wet and keeping them wet enough to play well due to the lack of time in set up and between songs. I hate squeaking into a mike!

    Then I was introduced to the synthetic world by someone who was using plasticovers. My first synthetic was a fibercell. It was great initially: always ready and great projection. The only thing I wasn't too crazy about it was the 'buzzy' upper end. I also noticed the lower end a little flat. Then I tried Legere. Felt kind of weird at first, but I loved the closeness to a cane reed sound. However, the sound felt muffled and it didn't have the great projection of the Fibercell. I know from reading the posts, and the instructions that I need to give the Legere more time and maybe try a different strength. I haven't thought of using the plasticovers, probably because I am not crazy about eating plastic. I haven't heard much about the Hahns either.

    Recently I have thought about trying Vandoran 16 and RJS for home use.

    I will say that the Fibercell sounds great on my Bari.

    Tenor: Keilwert EX90 Series II, mpc Ottolink 5, Fibercell 2, Legere Studio 1.5, Rico 2.5
    Bari: Buescher 400, mpc boxnaq(?) 5*, Fibercell 2
    Alto: York, mpc Selmer C*, 2.5 Rico

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
    I haven't thought of using the plasticovers, probably because I am not crazy about eating plastic.
    I've seen this concern about eating plastic while playing Plasticovers on this forum before. I just don't get it. I use Plasticovers on tenor and bari. Yes, sometimes small bits of the black plastic wear off over many plays of a reed. And yes, I suppose some of it is ingested rather than removed or blown into the mouthpiece/horn. But the amounts are so tiny as to be irrelevant. You probably take in more amounts of pollutants every day just by breathing. And if you eat any prepared, processed, or fast food, you are surely taking in small amounts of plastic and other non-food material. If you drink bottled water, you're taking in plastic. If you live in a pollutant-free environment and eat nothing but fresh, organic food, maybe you're not getting any non-food stuff in your diet. But if you play the sax in any place other than your sealed clean-room practice space, you're certainly ingesting something besides pure, unadulterated food anyway.
    The Martin "Official Music Man" tenor, Barone black tenor, The Martin baritone, Richards Martin Indiana alto, cheap Chinese soprano, Metalite mouthpieces, Plasticover reeds, Nord Electro 2, bunch of other instruments
    Wall Of Blues, youtube video, P-Town All-Stars, get Rich, Cannons (my band in the 60's) and Cannons record

  13. #53

    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Use to use Plasticovers many years ago. I remember the reed kinda staining my mouthpiece from the plastic. Is that possible? Lol. Also used fibracells. Worked great for a week and then all of a sudden no sound would come out. The idea of synthetics is great but it is harder to keep in tune.

  14. #54

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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Sorry Marty, I didn't mean to get you going.

    If you knew where I have been working, you would know that I wasn't that serious about eating plastic on the plasticovers. I have also seen someone writing on SOTW about the concern of eating plastic.

    Unfortunately, everything you stated is true.

    Sooooo, having said all that, I ordered my first box of plasticovers. I have been following your thread and path and I hope they are as good as you say they are.

  15. #55
    Distinguished SOTW Member RandyJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    I found Fibracells the only synthetic I liked when I had to use one. Forestone sent me some of their new 2nd generation reeds several weeks ago (did a thread here about them) and I'm really liking their sound...closest to cane I've experienced yet.

    JR

  16. #56

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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Well I received my first box of Plasticovers. Wow! Nice clean sound. Not as shrill in the upper range like a Fibercell and not at all muffled like the Legere'; kind of right in between the two. Even my number one fan (my wife) noticed the difference. Much more flexibility than a Fibercell: you can really bend the notes if you want to. I think this is where my journey through synthetic reeds ends. I'm very happy with them, however.....the only thing I don't like is that they are black and so is my mpc. It makes it kind of hard for me to set up the reed. (I'm blind in one eye and I can't see out of the other one.)

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
    Well I received my first box of Plasticovers. Wow! Nice clean sound. Not as shrill in the upper range like a Fibercell and not at all muffled like the Legere'; kind of right in between the two. Even my number one fan (my wife) noticed the difference. Much more flexibility than a Fibercell: you can really bend the notes if you want to. I think this is where my journey through synthetic reeds ends.
    That's exactly the reason I ended my journey in the same place.

    Quote Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
    I'm very happy with them, however.....the only thing I don't like is that they are black and so is my mpc. It makes it kind of hard for me to set up the reed. (I'm blind in one eye and I can't see out of the other one.)
    I know. Solution: get a metal mouthpiece or a Metalite, which is grey. I also have a red Runyon. The black looks really nice against that.
    The Martin "Official Music Man" tenor, Barone black tenor, The Martin baritone, Richards Martin Indiana alto, cheap Chinese soprano, Metalite mouthpieces, Plasticover reeds, Nord Electro 2, bunch of other instruments
    Wall Of Blues, youtube video, P-Town All-Stars, get Rich, Cannons (my band in the 60's) and Cannons record

  18. #58

    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    I just tried a fibracell on my tenor for the first time (med-soft) and loved it for about 5 weeks and now it's too darn mushy. That's about the kind of wear I normally get out of a cane reed, although there was a nice benefit of not having to break it in or keep it warmed up. Do you find that fibracells outlast a normal cane reed? Do Legeres last longer?

  19. #59

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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMusicMan View Post
    The Legere is very hard to blow - stuffy, lots of resistance - but I think I have better intonation with it. The info that comes with it says to keep playing it and it will soften up, but I can't play it for very long. It's so frustrating and I want to go back to the Fibracell or a cane reed.


    - peter
    I have a Légère studio cut and I find it is absolutely the easiest reed to play that I own. I like that it sounds constant over the entire range of the saxophone. Maybe you need a thinner size?

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    Default Re: Fibracell vs. Legere vs. Bari vs. plasticover vs. ?

    Differencetone, you quoted my post that started this thread over 2 1/2 years ago. Since then my opinions and preferences have changed several times, which you see if you look through the entire thread. I ended up with Plasticovers as my preferred reed, but I keep some of the synthetics in my reed case and try them out from time to time.
    The Martin "Official Music Man" tenor, Barone black tenor, The Martin baritone, Richards Martin Indiana alto, cheap Chinese soprano, Metalite mouthpieces, Plasticover reeds, Nord Electro 2, bunch of other instruments
    Wall Of Blues, youtube video, P-Town All-Stars, get Rich, Cannons (my band in the 60's) and Cannons record

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