Clipping Hahn reeds.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Has anyone here had experience of clipping Hahn reeds? Is it possible, practicable or even sensible? One would imagine that a standard reed clipper, intended for cane, would not be up to the task of dealing with Kevlar.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Beeflat View Post
    Has anyone here had experience of clipping Hahn reeds? Is it possible, practicable or even sensible? One would imagine that a standard reed clipper, intended for cane, would not be up to the task of dealing with Kevlar.
    Clipping is a bit of an art, but certainly possible on Hahn reeds--I've done it for years, just keep the clips incremental & play test
    after each clip. Sanding/filing is also effective on Hahn reeds. Hahn suggests a wet-grinder, but fine sandpaper works well too. You can take a stuffy reed and make it speak, but you should do some research on what parts of the reed can be sanded effectively--that information is on the web. Take an old reed & experiment, it'll probably get better. When you go too far you'll know it, because it gets worse again. Clipping can tame a too responsive reed, sanding can make a stiff reed more responsive.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Thank you Martin....exactly what I wished to know.
    I have experience of sanding a Hahn to soften it, but never clipping to harden it.
    Nail clippers presumably would be the correct tool.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Danny Troy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    I've clipped all major brands of synthetic reeds. As far as I remember, the only ones that resisted clipping were Fibracells. If you don't have a high quality clipper I think that would help. Plus, it's an accessory you will have forever. Glad I bought a good one about 40 or so years ago!

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Danny. Thanks for that. I do have a high quality clipper but I still have doubts about it's capability on Kevlar.
    I once failed miserably when using it on a Fibrecell which I "clipped" by burning off the end between two coins....ugly but effective. I think that the burning process welded together the laminations because that reed still works....but lives in the "good spares" box.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Not to make you switch brands, but Legere is coming out with their Signature series for tenor. For me, Legere reeds are super easy to work on, whether sanding or clipping, and they sound great. I'm patiently waiting for a Signature sample from the company.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Danny.
    You know how it is.....once you have found the ideal reed there is a great reluctance to experiment with anything else....however good it's reputation.
    It took about five years to wean me off Fibrecells, &, five years before that, Plasticovers.

    It occurs to me....Have you played both Hahn and Legere? if so, then your objective views would be much appreciated.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Danny Troy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    I hear you with regard to Fibracell. I used them exclusively for many years. After 9/11 they changed their formulation (confirmed by company employee) and I wasn't able to use them at all after that change.

    I tried all major brands, including HH Carbon and other HH reeds, Bari, Hahn, and one or two other brands, and I settled on Legere. Funny, because I discounted them initially, when using them with my SR Tech Fusion mpc. They would at first play great, and somehow while on a gig they seem to bend, closing the opening. I use soft reeds, so that may aggravate the problem. For whatever reason this isn't happening with my Otto Link STM mpc, even though I'm still using soft reeds. So I'm a happy camper with Legere. If the Signature line is even better I'll be even happier. But whatever works for you. That's what counts.

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    I've played them all, too, and settled on Legere. The give me the best all-around performance, and a warm and full sound. Plus, super easy to clip and sand.
    Stop before you're done. (Miles Davis to David Liebman, on soloing)

    Leon
    > Mark VI soprano (107,465), Morgan J8, Legere reed
    > Yanagisawa SC992, Drake "Liebman" .080, Legere reed

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Hmmmm. Thank you Danny.
    I say hmmm because I too use a Fusion; therefore, in view of your observation, I will stick with Hahn.
    I now see a reason not to change, rather than the converse.

    segaleon.
    May I ask which mouthpiece you use?
    Also, how long do the Legeres last, compared with the Hahn?
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Forum Contributor 2011 Bob M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Capt. Bb - Are you using Hahn baritone reeds? I've picked up a baritone 1.5 and 2.5 and a tenor 2 to check out. My set up these days is a Plasticover 2.5 baritone reed on a RPC 120B. My only complaints are that I'm finding that the baritone reed wears out pretty quickly when used on tenor and the coating seems to come off the new Plasticovers (red box) than it did several years ago.
    “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Yes Bob M; I have, for many years now, used baritone reeds on my tenor mouthpieces.
    I have been using my 2.5 Hahn on either a SR Fusion 115 or my S/S Berg 100/2.
    Strangely, the difference in tip opening appears to make little or no difference; both pieces play well with this reed. Both will subtone & also scream out clean altissimo. Idleness forces me to use the slightly easier o play Berg.
    It is so long ago that I used Plasticover that I am not qualified to comment upon them.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Forum Contributor 2011 Bob M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Capt. Bb - I found it interesting to note your offer to trade your SR Fusion 115 for a 108 and that you indicated a preference for the 100-2 Berg with the 2.5 Hahn bari reed. Over the weekend, I checked out a Hahn 1.5 on my RPC 120B and found it to work great; much easier to play than the 2.5. I may check out a Hahn 2, but the 1.5 seems to work really well.
    “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob M View Post
    Capt. Bb - I found it interesting to note your offer to trade your SR Fusion 115 for a 108 and that you indicated a preference for the 100-2 Berg with the 2.5 Hahn bari reed. Over the weekend, I checked out a Hahn 1.5 on my RPC 120B and found it to work great; much easier to play than the 2.5. I may check out a Hahn 2, but the 1.5 seems to work really well.
    Bob.
    Very well spotted. You are nearly, but not quite, correct in your diagnosis.
    I prefer the Berg only for the ease of playing....in every other respect I prefer the Fusion.
    In the absence of anyone who wished to swap a 0.108 for my 0.115, I did as you have done; I have softened the reed.
    In all probability it is about a No. 2.
    With this soft reed, my horn will whisper down to Bb yet all the altissimo is still easy & the sound is just as I want it....the moral being "why struggle"!

    PS. I had a 115b RPC which measured 122....perhaps your 120b is closer to 130; why not measure it?
    Last edited by Captain Beeflat; 02-15-2010 at 09:57 PM. Reason: punctuation.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Forum Contributor 2011 Bob M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Capt Bb -

    Yes I mis-spoke in my reply, as I did understand that you found the Berg easier to play, not that you necessarily preferred it otherwise to the Fusion. I've never tried an SR Fusion. How do they play in comparison to an RPC?

    Do you find that Hahn reeds break in? I'm asking because last night at rehearsal (of a blues/RnR/R&B band I'm in) the 1.5 seemed a bit soft on my 120B. I'll be using this set-up tonight for a big band gig, so it will be interesting to see if I feel the same way. In any event, I ordered a 2 today. Another thing I've noticed about Hahns is that they are quite narrow. The baritone reed fits a tenor piece well and a tenor reed fits an alto piece well. Interesting!
    Last edited by Bob M; 02-17-2010 at 07:03 PM. Reason: hit send too quickly
    “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Bob.
    I prefer the SR Fusion to the RPC....just. It must be remembered that hand fettled mouthpieces like the RPC were initially built to to the particular requirements of the initial customer, with the result that they all vary. That original buyer's requirements could easily differ from mine; but it was a very good mouthpiece..... but did not have the bottom end control that I sought. The Fusion however, CNC milled to +or- 0.00047 of a milliblean gives 100% consistency between mouthpieces. Without doubt, if I were to wait months then Ron could make me an RPC to exactly what I require.

    With regard to the softening of Hahn reeds, it may be an illusion. If playing in a loud amplified band I always fit a reed half a strength harder than "perfect"; & it always works.
    I imagine that we all have our own little mouthpiece tests apart from the usual tone, control, subtoning & altissimo ability. My checks involve a two octave jump from high B down to low B & back up again....in an instant. Another check is it's ability to achieve a seamless gliss from middle D to high D.
    Both the RPC and the Fusion could do this, but it is somewhat galling to find that my "girlie" 100/2 Berg (which has languished in my mouthpiece box since 1885) does it better!
    I honestly believe that mouthpiece "improvements" involve diminishing returns....nothing is streets ahead in all areas. I have a Jody Jazz 8* DV which is currently on eBay!. This mouthpiece has the best & cleanest altissimo of any mouthpiece that I have tried.....but I dislike everything else about it.
    Being endemically lazy I will settle for 97% perfection with 40% effort, over 99% perfection 90% effort.
    Why therefore should I use anything but the Berg? I guess it is the niggling feeling that my Carlos Fandango mouthpieces cost ten times what my Berg cost....therefore they must be ten times better!
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    I've played and owned both the RPC 115B and the SR Tech Fusion 108. They are both great mpcs, although somewhat different. They are both very well made, and as said, although the SR Tech Fusion isn't hand finished, it's a very nicely made piece. Truthfully, they both deserve a try. Easy to do with the SR Tech. Not so easy to do with the RPC, unless you have a friend that plays one. Of the two, the RPC is freer blowing, and that may be of a benefit (or hindrance) to you. I've play many, many Bergs, both metal and HR over the years, but haven't touched one in many years. For me, they weren't very reed friendly, but that was years ago, and I wouldn't have known enough to bring one to a refacer for a tune-up back then. Right now I'm having a lot of fun with a plain old Otto Link STM (new model) with a baffle made by yours truly.

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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Back on topic for a moment if I may.....clipping Hahns.
    A nail clipper works well; also having the advantage of being the correct radius for baritone reeds on a tenor mouthpiece.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Captain Beeflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clipping Hahn reeds.

    Progress Report
    --------------------

    My Hahn reed is now 14 weeks old.
    Played every day for between 1 to 2 hours, it is still perfect.
    So far, it has cost £1.16 per week....& falling.
    Not only good value for money but it has that priceless quality....consistency.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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