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Java Reds

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I use Vandoren's Java line on soprano (Super Session J and Morgan Vintage 7) and alto (Super Session F and Meyer 6S-M) mouthpieces.

Lately, I've been using Vandoren's ZZ line on select soprano mouthpieces (Morgan Vintage 6 and Runyon Custom) and an alto Don Sinta mouthpiece.

I've been told (and found some truth in it) that the ZZ line is a bit thicker in the heart, thus a stronger reed than the Java.

These seem to work better on the listed mouthpieces while the Javas seem to work better for me on those I mentioned.

I have done less adjusting with the ZZ's. They seem to play better right out of the box than do the Javas, but again, this is very personal AND it all depends on the mouthpiece I use with each line.

I have done some minor work on the ZZ's but not to the extent that I need to do for the Javas. It all depends on the mouthpiece, in my experience. DAVE
 

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Silly me . . . I thought you were asking about Java REEDS but when I re-read your title-line, I see you were asking about Java REDS. Never heard of those. DAVE
 
They're supposed to be filed JAVAs and cut slightly different than JAVAs. The Vandoren site has them up already. And according to that, they're barely an eighth of a strength harder than regular JAVAs. Vandoren also released V.12 for alto. I might try them when stores here stock them.
 
Am thinking about trying both the JAVA Reds for commercial demands and the V12's when I need a more classical sound. Would also be interested in hearing the results of trials of each from any of you,
 
A box of 3-1/2 Reds for tenor arrived today. I'll let you know in a few days how I like them.
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Anyone else finding that the Vandoren Java Reds die faster than any other reed? Mine seem to go bad after two uses/gigs. Dunno what that's about.
It's a Vandoren! :emoji_smile:

I grew up on Rico's. The only Vandoren reeds that I like are ZZ's.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
I grew up on Rico as well (they were the only reeds stocked at my primary jobber when I was a sprout), but have preferred the purple box products since. I find them to be consistent enough for my purposes at least. I haven't dabbled much with specific cuts (other than the German one for my Teutonic clarinet), but the Vandoren product works well enough as is.

However, I only own fifteen mouthpieces (for all horns, including one bassoon and one oboe single reed mouthpiece each), so I'm not much of an experimenter with such things.

I was very tempted by Legere (being a big time doubler with three or more horns to keep ready to go at times), but after a broad band trial on clarinet, bass clarinet, alto and bari (involving a wide spread of reed strengths for each), I gave up on them as going soft after too short of a time. In some cases, they would go flat on me after a half hour's time.

I also tried synthetic bassoon reeds back in the day when I spent a lot of time on the bundle o' sticks, but never found one that was even close to cane. If I was ever in the mood to experiment, this would be where I would go.
 
I grew up on Rico's.
Me too (and Vibrators, but I preferred Rico). For a number of years I have used LaVoz, Grand Concert Selects, and Gonzalez. Last week, on a whim, I picked up a box of Rico Reserve clarinet reeds. First impression is "Wow".
It's too early to tell how long they last, or how consistent they are, but I'm certainly going to find out.
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
I've been using Mitchell Lurie Premiums on clarinet. Alternating between a Bay and a vintage Woodwind Company G8.

I have a box of 2007 Rico Reserves for alto. At some point my Henke's will give out and I'll have to try them.
 
Anyone else finding that the Vandoren Java Reds die faster than any other reed? Mine seem to go bad after two uses/gigs. Dunno what that's about.
Well, it may be still early, but I LOVE my tenor sound now with the Java Reds. Don't know if they are going to die quicker than the Green box versions. BUT...they darkened my tone with my metal Berg but still provide the projection I need. SO...at this point I'm a Java Red fan.

Will post an update again in a few days.
 
I like the new alto Java Red and the V12. It seems though whenever a new reed is introduced, Rico and Vandoren use their best cane. I'm going to stock up because this quality and consistency never lasts.
 
Just received a box of Java Reds. I haven't used vandorens for awhile. I had a bunch of boxes. This is the first of the hermetically sealed/individually wrapped boxes I've received. I hate this packaging enough that I may not order any more vandorens.

I haven't had a chance to try them, because they're alto reeds, and gigs lately have been on tenor, so I haven't had the alto out. This week for sure...
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
I still prefer the old style packaging. Reeds in a box with some tissue paper (or whatever it was). I suppose the new plastic holders (that have been around since the 80's) keep reeds from being damaged in transit. :emoji_smile:
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
I would imagine that the new packaging, no matter what the "reasons" offered by the company, was in large part driven by the needs of educators. 'Round these parts at least, schools stock the reeds for their band students, doling them out in ones and twos as needed. With the health considerations operative these days, having them sealed up individually is a good thing.

Sure, it's wasteful (in the eyes of someone who buys up a whole box at a time). But, we whole box consumers are probably a small minority compared to the school market.
 

sideC

Artist in residence
Distinguished Member
I still prefer the old style packaging. Reeds in a box with some tissue paper (or whatever it was). I suppose the new plastic holders (that have been around since the 80's) keep reeds from being damaged in transit. :emoji_smile:

Yeah, me too. Everything was environmentaly friendly and it was neat looking at the reeds laying there in the box, family style.

But Terry's right. I never thought about it like that. I guess that health concerns are a lot more of an issue today then they were in the past.

I use green box java number 3 for alto. I use the knife to shave them down to where I like 'em, and then I go to town. I use every reed in the box, and they seem to last much longer since I've been shaving them.



Julian
 

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Julian: I agree about reed shaving and prep. I too use every reed in a box because I work each one of them into playing shape. DAVE
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
I seldom have problems with any of the reeds that I have purchased. Other than a few experiments along the way (none of which have proved to be more satisfactory), I have stuck with the base Vandoren product for many, many years. While there might be a better reed (or reeds, even) out there, it's just not worth the grief to adjust to a whole new system of strength (and cut, and even length).

Once in a great while, I'll get one reed of a batch that is flawed (due to some chance of grain or whatever), but I've never found a single one out of the box that was "unplayable". Some may be better (and occasionally, much much better), but for the greatest part I get my money's worth.

That's a good thing, for those baritone reeds get expensive, even when buying in bulk. Not as bad as a good bassoon reed or bass sax reed, but still...

What I hate is when I get a reed scotched when it is on the horn. I generally lose them through stupid actions, like stabbing myself in the face with the baritone mouthpiece, rather than through someone or something else making contact with an unprotected mouthpiece.
 
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