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Synthetic bass saxophone reeds

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
You may see this post on multiple sax discussion groups, but that's actually where I get my cutting edge news about equipment. Right now my cutting edge is a dull knife (James Brown said it best.)

I'd like to find a good synthetic bass saxophone reed because the cane
reeds are so expensive and inconsistent.

As far as I know, there are no true bass sax synthetic reeds. LeGere
makes a contrabass clarinet reed that is wide enough for bass saxophone
mouthpieces but it's not the ultimate answer for me.

As far as using baritone sax reeds, I have no problem with that, but
the side rails on vintage bass sax mouthpieces are often so far apart
that baritone reeds won't work. I've noticed that even Vandoren bass
sax reeds are too narrow for the old Conn bass sax mouthpieces.
Synthetic baritone sax reeds are often narrower than cane baritone
reeds.

I've heard that LeGere is going to make a bass sax-specific reed, but I
haven't seen it yet. Is there another alternative?
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
You may see this post on multiple sax discussion groups, but that's actually where I get my cutting edge news about equipment. Right now my cutting edge is a dull knife (James Brown said it best.)

I'd like to find a good synthetic bass saxophone reed because the cane
reeds are so expensive and inconsistent.

As far as I know, there are no true bass sax synthetic reeds. LeGere
makes a contrabass clarinet reed that is wide enough for bass saxophone
mouthpieces but it's not the ultimate answer for me.

As far as using baritone sax reeds, I have no problem with that, but
the side rails on vintage bass sax mouthpieces are often so far apart
that baritone reeds won't work. I've noticed that even Vandoren bass
sax reeds are too narrow for the old Conn bass sax mouthpieces.
Synthetic baritone sax reeds are often narrower than cane baritone
reeds.

I've heard that LeGere is going to make a bass sax-specific reed, but I
haven't seen it yet. Is there another alternative?
I just use a Legere bari reed on my bass, but I have heard the same rumblings.

I have some connections there, so I'll see what I can discover.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Geo Bundy Bass M/P

That's interesting Randy.

I have an original bass Geo Bundy m/p that came with my TT bass. It must be narrower than the Conn pieces, since I use baritone Fibracell reeds on it, and they are fit it perfectly.
 
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Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
Hmm... I've been using my bass clarinet legere and plasticovers. I'll confirm that tonight as I use so many kinds of reeds now-a-days.

Plasticover reeds are my faves but impossible to see in the pit as they are black and disappear on black mouthpieces. But I've discovered that feeling the rails rather than eyeballing them work better for me. So I now feel all my instruments mouthpieces when aligning reeds whether they are plasticover or not!
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
That's interesting Randy.

I have an original bass Geo Bundy m/p that came with my TT bass. It must be narrower than the Conn pieces, since I use baritone Fibracell reeds on it, and they are fit it perfectly.
The real Conn bass sax mouthpieces are easily identified by the width of the lay (much wider than the similar baritone mouthpiece) and the fact that they are stamped with a "B" near the bottom of the table. Of the last half dozen "bass sax" mouthpieces I've seen on ebay, over 85% of them were baritone mouthpieces.

Please understand, the old Conn (and Bundy) baritone mouthpieces can be made into good bass sax mouthpieces that use baritone sax reeds. I'm working on one myself. Sometimes the backbore is a little too narrow for a Conn bass, so you have to bore out the back. I'm not sure about Bueschers. If you can use Fibracell reeds, I think it's a plus!
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
The real Conn bass sax mouthpieces are easily identified by the width of the lay (much wider than the similar baritone mouthpiece) and the fact that they are stamped with a "B" near the bottom of the table. Of the last half dozen "bass sax" mouthpieces I've seen on ebay, over 85% of them were baritone mouthpieces.

Please understand, the old Conn (and Bundy) baritone mouthpieces can be made into good bass sax mouthpieces that use baritone sax reeds. I'm working on one myself. Sometimes the backbore is a little too narrow for a Conn bass, so you have to bore out the back. I'm not sure about Bueschers. If you can use Fibracell reeds, I think it's a plus!
Randy, I have a Buescher bass m/p. Same deal as the Conn - it's stamped with a "B" on the shank.

It plays with better intonation on my bass, but at the expense of the projection I need at the moment. It does seem to work well with Legeres though.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
After approaching bass saxophone from the loud side, I've been approaching it from the other extreme. The current bottom line is, I can still beat the old Conn bass mouthpieces everywhere with the new Zinner bass mouthpieces, especially in live performance. The Zinners are louder, probably because of more open facings and a tiny, short rollover baffle. The Zinners can use bari sax reeds, too.

I must admit that the old Conn and Buescher mouthpiece makers did a very good job. My next experiment is adding a tiny bit of modeling clay to raise the baffle of the old stock mouthpiece, about 1/2"-3/4" behind the tip. My first tries were very encouraging. There was a considerable increase in volume and presence, and intonation and depth were still excellent. I didn't use much clay.

Merlin - Try the clay on your old Buescher bass mpce. A smoothly blended layer of clay less than 1/16" thick will turn up the volume. If you hate it, wipe out the clay.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I've mentioned this before, but the New Wonder bass I played had an original Conn mouthpiece in the case and it was badly cracked. However, my Sigurd Rascher bari 'piece is bigger.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
LeGere bass sax reeds

I've posted this elsewhere, but it's good news for bass sax players.

When I got my Eppelsheim contrabass saxophone, Benedikt Eppelsheim included 3 of the new LeGere bass sax reeds with it, and I really like them. Benedikt Eppelsheim suggested some changes to the people at LeGere, including making the reeds longer.

These new reeds are completely different from the LeGere contrabass clarinet reeds that I tried before on bass saxophone, and they work much better on saxophone. They run a little softer than most cane reeds.
 

Merlin

Content Expert/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Guy Legere pinged me in facebook and said, "Jim Legere sells the Bass sax reeds directly. Retailers are not in the loop unless you are in Germany." I'm at work so I haven't had time to parse this yet. I need to do some searching on the internet.
I think Guy left out a comma between Jim and Legere.

Just got to www.legere.com...
 
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