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Rico Reserve


Staff member
Has anyone tried the new Rico Reserve reeds yet?

I'm tempted but truthfully have decent luck with my various reed choices and get a high percentage of playable reeds.


Staff member
ZZ's on tenor but I have some Rico's as well.

On soprano I mostly play fibracells.

On alto I'm playing Hemke's because they are the strongest strength reed I had on hand and I've recently developed CHOPS OF STEEL! :)

On Bari I'm playing Rico Royals.
In my studio, I teach predominantly classical saxophone. For that application, I have switched to Rico Reserves. I have a number of advanced students who have as well. The seem to be a bit harder than Vandorens. I play on a reworked C* from the '60's and blue box 3.5s work well. In Rico Reserve, I play 3's.

I find that a higher percentage of reeds play right out of the box (than blue box Vandoren), and they seem to be a bit more stable. Additionally, they seem to last long too!

I have only tried them on alto saxophone, however.
Me, I'm really into Vandoren ZZ's right now.
+1! They are appear to be...dare I say it...bordering on hubris...c-o-n-s-i-s-t-e-n-t-l-y g-o-o-d. Surely, now the magic is gone. My philosophy on reeds before starting on the ZZs (don't even like the name) was to look at every reed as originating from a distinct subspecies of cane that grew on its own planet somewhere in outer space. I do like plasticovers as well but have found the same total lack of consistency as with every other brand of reeds I have tried.

Haven't tried the Reserves...yet.
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I have been playing Rico Reserve's on Bb clarinet for over six months and find them to play very well. I had previously played Vandoren V12's before I switched. I do find them a bit harder than an equivalent hardness number V12. I am playing them on a Stowell Wells Schneider-Chicago mouthpiece with a B3 facing and also on a Vandoren B46 mouthpiece.
I use grand concert selects on Bb clarinet, Rico Orange box on tenor and bari, and have since switched from Rico Royals's to Reserves on alto. They seem pretty consistent, and the ones that aren't are easily fixed under the knife in a few minutes max. I have never been a fan of Vandorens because of the cost and inconsistency. I figure the good Vandorens can smoke most Rico's anyday, but if I'm paying less than half per reed, and more reeds are coming out playable, then I can get over the minimal tonal advantage. The Reserves are coming very close to the good Vandoren's sound wise IMHO, and I'm getting at least twice as many playable reeds per box. Worth it IMHO.
I have tried Reserve reeds before. Did not like them, as they did not give me a good response. I am quite happy with Java Red reeds. Iv'e been using them ever since and love the way they sound
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