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A Serious Question About Some Very Vintage ClarinetVintage, Stuff

#1
I happened across an Ebay Auction for a late 70's Vintage LaVoz reed guard and several boxes of unused Vandoren 3-3.5 reeds and a box of 2 1/2 Symmetricut reeds from the same period. The story on this was that they were found in an estate sale lot. I bid on the package for the LaVoz Aluminum Reed Guard and won every thing for 10.00 (free shipping from Michigan) The reed guard was worth the 10.00 alone. As I said though, I also got 7 10 packs of the VanDoren Reeds (all never opened) and the unopened 25 box of Symmetricuts.

My question is do you think that after all those years, these reeds would still be useable? I've yet to really go through each box of reeds as they just arrived less than 30 minutes ago via USPS but I am just wondering if reed cane would still be viable after 30 + years, Either way, I have an excellent reed guard. But if the reeds are still good, man what a find. :) What do you guys think?
 

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
#2
I'd think that if they weren't opened they'd probably still be useable.
Doesn't [MENTION=146]Steve[/MENTION] still use some purple box vandorens? At least I remember him using them from when he wrote his mouthpiece reviews.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#3
I've got a few
IMG_8720.JPG

Are they all perfectly good to use?
You'll have to do that on a reed by reed basis. Some may be really dried out and have weird colored strips through them. Others may be perfectly fine though dry.

About 6 years ago an old local music store went out of business. I bought them out of their reeds primarily for the 1970's Selmer Soloist reeds. They play great. I also got a ton of a variety of everything else you can think of. I also go about boxes and boxes of alto clarinet reeds .. luckily someone bought all those.

I really like those aluminum LaVoz reed guards. I use them all the time and bought a few from eBay. You got a good deal for what you buy, if I saw that I would have bought it.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#5
I'd think that if they weren't opened they'd probably still be useable.
Doesn't @Steve still use some purple box vandorens? At least I remember him using them from when he wrote his mouthpiece reviews.
I've been meaning (for years) to do a reed review with these old reeds. I have dozens of brands that you've never heard of.
I want to review the thin vs thick fibers in them and various cuts. Plus the really oddity ones.

Strength-wise, generally, I learned a several decades ago to look at the reed with a back light. you'll find (at least back then) that the higher quality reeds had much thinner reed fibers. And generally the reeds vibrate more "freely". Then cheaper ones have much larger fibers in the cane. And of course the various cuts. You can see all this stuff by backlighting the reeds.

A month ago when my daughter started clarinet I all had was 3-1/2 reeds. I used a flashlight and backlight the reeds and shaved them down until I was confident she could play them. Got them to around a 2-1/2ish from the looks of it, she was able to play them, then I shaved them down a bit more to about a 2 or so. Then she played them fairly effortlessly. Then I ordered a box of 2s so I didn't have to shave any more down. But I was able to accomplish that from just knowing what they look like looking through the reed without playing them.
 

TrueTone

College Student who likes wind instruments & music
#6
I've been meaning (for years) to do a reed review with these old reeds. I have dozens of brands that you've never heard of.
I want to review the thin vs thick fibers in them and various cuts. Plus the really oddity ones.

Strength-wise, generally, I learned a several decades ago to look at the reed with a back light. you'll find (at least back then) that the higher quality reeds had much thinner reed fibers. And generally the reeds vibrate more "freely". Then cheaper ones have much larger fibers in the cane. And of course the various cuts. You can see all this stuff by backlighting the reeds.

A month ago when my daughter started clarinet I all had was 3-1/2 reeds. I used a flashlight and backlight the reeds and shaved them down until I was confident she could play them. Got them to around a 2-1/2ish from the looks of it, she was able to play them, then I shaved them down a bit more to about a 2 or so. Then she played them fairly effortlessly. Then I ordered a box of 2s so I didn't have to shave any more down. But I was able to accomplish that from just knowing what they look like looking through the reed without playing them.
I'd be very interested in seeing reviews of some old reeds.
Only rarer ones I've really had contact with were with my Eb: a mix of "Leon Leroy," "Le Pactole," Buffet Soloiste, and (probably purple box or earlier) Vandoren.
Only 4 aren't broken, and I've never tried playing on them.

I got to see some older reeds in a store in Birmingham recently though, they were behind the counter, I specifically remember seeing several sealed boxes of purple box vandorens for bass clarinet, along with brown box ricos and a couple of.other odd brands.
 
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