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Synthetic (bass) clarinet reeds


I posted this one some other forum so might as well post here too. I'm looking for what strength to get from some synthetic reeds that would compare with Vandoren 2.5 and 3 for bass clarinet. The problem I have is cane reeds breaking while I'm playing. It can even happen during a concert and it's annoying start changing a reed (sometimes not really possible when this happens). I attached a photo that shows what can happen. It's not always as bad as this.

I tried Legere bass clarinet reeds and found that 2.75 works best but I didn't especially like them. I gave them a chance playing nothing but Legere for a couple of months. I recently tried some Legere tenor sax reeds but all were too hard (strength 3). A friend of mine changed to synthetic reeds for the same reason and likes Legere for tenor and soprano saxophones.

So I'm interested to know how other synthetic reeds compare in strength to those Vandorens, like Fibracell, even Plasticover, etc. and how durable they are. For those who play only "normal" things i.e. just blowing and staccato then even cane reeds probably rarely break. I'm wondering if anyone checked with more aggresive playing of the reeds.




Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
OMG, what are you doing unto the poor reed so that it breaks like this? I've had an accident or two with mine, but that was because I bumped its tip against a tooth when I was about to "clamp on", but apart from that mine simply gracefully expire.

(FWIW I don't use Vandoren)


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
I'm currently using the Legere reeds after Benedikt recommended them for the bass sax. I use Vandoren #3 ZZ on everything except for the big boys where I use #3 Legeres. If I have to play lots of really soft low notes, I'll often grab a #2.5. To date I've never broken either reed like the one in your picture. But I do change the cane ones pretty often.