Synthetic Saxophone Reeds

Reeds

Synthetic mouthpieces, so why not synthetic reeds?

Traditionally woodwind instruments such as the clarinet used mouthpieces made from wood in combination with cane reeds. A big problem was always that natural products such as wood and cane were not only inconsistent, but also unstable – prone to warping, cracking, and sooner or later just wearing out – sooner rather than later in the case of reeds as they also deteriorate due to various digestive enzymes in the saliva.

Christmas

A minor Blues

Legere Logo
Disclaimer: Since writing this article I have become a Legere endorser.

As soon as a viable alternative for mouthpieces was found – ebonite (hard rubber) – it very quickly superceded wood as the main mouthpiece material. In the case of saxophones, metal also became popular for mouthpieces as an alternative. Both ebonite and metal were quickly accepted as an ideal solution to the problem of replacing an unstable material, as the sound was either not affected or to many people?s ears, the sound was actually better.

This is not the case with reeds: most players still prefer the sound (and response) of cane reeds, and for years manufacturers have been experimenting with synthetic materials in order to provide a stable long lasting product that not only sounds like a cane reed, but has the same “feel”. So far the big problem has always been the enormous difference in sound, usually perceived as a negative difference. But as well as the difference in sound, another problem is a difference in how the reed responds, or feels to the player.

Can you tell the synthetic?

Reed 1a

Reed 1b

Reed 1c

Reed 2a

Reed 2b

Reed 2c

Which is which? Click here.

Reed 1 is a Legere Signature

Reed 2 is a Rico Jazz Select

Synthetic Reed Recommendations

The only synthetic reed I have found so far that sounds very close to a cane reed, and responds in the same way is the Legere Signature. I tried Legere reeds a year ago and was not totally convinced, but they seem to finally have found the right formula with a new model, the Legere Signature.

Close behind is the Hahn Fibre Reed, I played one of these and liked it a lot when I test played one at the Frankfurt Musikmesse fair, but when I ordered one to play at home, it seemed completely different. Although the sound was good over some parts of the range, the higher notes seemed to close up and play slightly flat. Altissimo was very difficult to get at all (unlike with the one I previously played). When these are more consistent (and there is no reason why a synthetic should not be consistent), then these will be a very close competitor to Legere.

Vintage Plastic Synthetic Reeds for saxophone
“Betcha”, one of the earliest synthetic reeds:

Subscribe To Our (very occasional) Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news, tutorials and special offers!
No Thanks
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Our
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
Frequently Asked Questions
I did not receive the email with with my download link

Please check your spam folder.

NB: Purchased downloads are also available to download directly from your customer account area.

I am having a problem downloading to iPad or iPhone

This is a common issue and affects all downloads, not just our products. In order to download anything to iPad etc. you will need an app that can handle .zip .pdf and .mp3 downloads.

See this article and/or this app

It may be easier to download to your desktop and then transfer to your tablet.

Download expired, reached its limit
  • The download may actually have  expired. Download links are valid only for a certain number of days and have a limit on number of downloads - please contact us with your order number and date of purchase to reset it. (Ideally reply to your order confirmation email)
  • Download manager/accelerator  software or browser plugin is interfering with the download. If so try disabling it.
  • The files did actually  download, but very quickly and you did not realise. Please do a search of your download destination directory before contacting us.
Do you sell outside the UK?

Yes, we sell internationally. Your currency will be automatically converted at the current exchange rate.

Saxophone Instruction DVD region compatibility

This is a PAL all region DVD so will not require you to reset your DVD player/computer region.

However as it is PAL format it may not be compatible with some older U.S. TV sets which are NTSC only, please check if your TV and/or DVD player is compatible with PAL format.

If not, it should still work on any computer with DVD drive (anywhere in the world). Please note we have only tested the DVD by playing on DVD systems or playing on computers with standard DVD hardware and software. We cannot guarantee that files extracted (ripped) from the DVD will play successfully. Sharing of copied DVDs or ripped files is illegal.

How much will postage cost?

After adding an item or several items to your cart, click on the Calculate Shipping button and choose your location from the dropdown menu. This will give you the postage options available to your country.

When will I get my stuff?

Products in stock

We usually post within 3 days of receiving an order. We are unable to give exact delivery times, but generally packages to Europe can take 2 - 7 days, outside Europe 4 - 14 days. Under exceptional circumstances (weather, strikes, customs delays) it can take longer.

Out of stock (backorders) or special orders

Out of stock books and DVDs are generally restocked within a week. Out of stock or special order mouthpieces can take between 6 and 10 weeks for manufacturing.

From time to time we have a holiday, in which case items will take longer, look out for any noticesd at the top of the page re:holidays.

How do I find out the price in dollars, yen, euros, dirhams etc?

The checkout pages shows prices in GBP (£). Your bank, credit card company or Paypal take care of the actual conversion, so you can pay with your normal account in your own currency. We don't publish actual rates in different currencies as this is constantly changing so we advise you check with a live currency conversion site such as xe.com

Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
×
×