Keeping tenor reeds moist

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  1. #1
    Wailin''s Avatar
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    Default Keeping tenor reeds moist

    How do you keep your reeds moist when waiting to play...saliva doesn't seem to be the solution at all times. Sometimes the wait could be hours especially if there's no water around.
    JJ DV 8* - Saxxas lig Fibracell Premier 3.5

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    This worked great for me, before I switched back to synthetic reeds. Get a Francois Louis Smart Cap http://band-orchestra.musiciansfrien...LAID=322342779
    Take out the existing felt, and replace it with thicker felt. The type used for under appliance pads, available at your local hardware store, sold in small packs. The original felt pad in the cap when wet will keep the reed somewhat moist, but not really enough for what we need. Cut the thicker pad to shape, and glue it in using contact cement. I used Gorilla Glue with good results. The pads I had already had adhesive on them, but I didn't think it would hold up after repeated use. The Gorilla Glue held great. Hope this cap will fit your mpc, and if it doesn't you can bend the tabs a bit to get them to fit.

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Quote Originally Posted by Wailin' View Post
    How do you keep your reeds moist when waiting to play...saliva doesn't seem to be the solution at all times. Sometimes the wait could be hours especially if there's no water around.
    I have seen Bob Rockwell putting the cap on, and then a small plastic bag with a rubber band around the neck. Never done it myself though, but should work.And it is cheap ;-)
    /Jan

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Soak the reeds for a few minutes at home, play through them, keep the good ones in a vandoren reed case and put the reed case inside a ziploc bag. Pull them out, when your ready to play. Then make sure to use a mouthpiece cap that will hold moisture and not let the reed dry out...

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    Forum Contributor 2010 BbBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Quote Originally Posted by warnelee View Post
    keep the good ones in a vandoren reed case
    I thought the Vandoren Reed cases REMOVED moisture?
    Sop:Yanagisawa S992
    Alto: Yanagisawa AW020
    Tenors: Yanagisawa T9932J, Yanagisawa T992PG, Yanagisawa TWO20U, Selmer Ref 36 Flamingo, Selmer SBA, Keilwerth SX90R Shadow
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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Troy View Post
    This worked great for me, before I switched back to synthetic reeds. Get a Francois Louis Smart Cap http://band-orchestra.musiciansfrien...LAID=322342779
    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but Danny Troy (above quote) has supplied the answer.........use synthetics.
    If you feel that you are in full control..... you are not going fast enough.

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    I sometimes use one of those little plastic containers for films from those days when photos were not digital. I fill it with water, put the lid on and put it in my sax case. I can then put my reed in the water and keep it moist as long as I wish.
    But I play alto, so I'm not sure if the container is big enough for tenor reeds.
    For gigs with long periods of waiting I use Rico plasticover reeds. The response is great in all registers.

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    BbBoy - only if you use the dessicant insert. I take them out.

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    Forum Contributor 2010 BbBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    yeah, fair enough. but why are some of us trying to retain moisture in our reed cases (eg OP and, I believe Rico hygro cases) and others are trying to remove it (eg Vandoren with dessicant). Not sure I get it. Very confusing, so I generally just pop the reed back into the plastic protector it came in. Let it air-dry then stick it back on. Seems OK for me.
    Sop:Yanagisawa S992
    Alto: Yanagisawa AW020
    Tenors: Yanagisawa T9932J, Yanagisawa T992PG, Yanagisawa TWO20U, Selmer Ref 36 Flamingo, Selmer SBA, Keilwerth SX90R Shadow
    Bari: Yamaha YBS62

    http://www.youtube.com/user/entysax

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    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Quote Originally Posted by BbBoy View Post
    yeah, fair enough. but why are some of us trying to retain moisture in our reed cases (eg OP and, I believe Rico hygro cases) and others are trying to remove it (eg Vandoren with dessicant). Not sure I get it. Very confusing, so I generally just pop the reed back into the plastic protector it came in. Let it air-dry then stick it back on. Seems OK for me.
    What you really want is to keep your reeds at a constant level of moisture. None of the design of those cases you mention really do the trick. I use the hygrocase and it's close to working like I want but you have to monitor the humidity levels and either open the case to let dry air in your case - so what do you do when outside air is more humid than you want? - or put more water through that green stuff on the side of the case - which is, by the way of inferior quality IMO.

    I think the only solution that would really work is one where moisture is added when the levels are too low and removed when too high automatically. Good news! There is such a thing. It's called the Rico Reed Vitalizers


    It is really a re-branded and more expensive version of this exact same thing : Boveda humidity control packs meant for cigar humidification.



    You will notice the similarity in the logo on those two packs.

    Each Bóveda packet consists of a specially prepared saturated solution of pure water and natural salt. This saturated solution is contained within a water-vapor permeable “reverse osmosis” membrane. Within a closed desktop humidor Bóveda maintains a predetermined level of (RH) by releasing or absorbing purified water-vapor—as needed—through the membrane.
    the way these work is they have a set level of humidity (like 65%) and they absorb humidity when the levels are too high or release some when it gets too low.

    Now I just need to find a solution to store my reeds. Rico makes those pouches to put the vitalizers in and even a box I think but one is not protective enough and the other too big IMO (I think the hygrocase is too big too). So I've decided to make my own case.

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    Danny Troy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Troy View Post
    This worked great for me, before I switched back to synthetic reeds. Get a Francois Louis Smart Cap http://band-orchestra.musiciansfrien...LAID=322342779
    Take out the existing felt, and replace it with thicker felt. The type used for under appliance pads, available at your local hardware store, sold in small packs. The original felt pad in the cap when wet will keep the reed somewhat moist, but not really enough for what we need. Cut the thicker pad to shape, and glue it in using contact cement. I used Gorilla Glue with good results. The pads I had already had adhesive on them, but I didn't think it would hold up after repeated use. The Gorilla Glue held great. Hope this cap will fit your mpc, and if it doesn't you can bend the tabs a bit to get them to fit.
    Obviously, at the start of a gig, saturate the felt with several drops of water.....(forgot to mention that all important part). The felt stays wet for at least a few hours. Of course, use caution when placing the cap on the mpc, since the reed will be in slight contact with the felt.

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    I usually just give the reed a quick suck every so often.

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    Default Re: Keeping tenor reeds moist

    Letting a reed dry out is the kiss of death almost always. Reeds drying out = bad, reeds retaining too much moisture = bad. Reeds kept a constant moisture/humidity level = ideal (as someone mentioned). For me, I try not to let the reeds get oversoaked or water logged, seal them with the natural oil in my fingers by rubbing them, rinse them with water, wipe them off, and put them in a reed case inside a ziploc bag.
    The rico paks should work and so should the vandoren hygrocase. I tried them both and ended up going back to the old stand by...

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