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Vandoren ZZ's remind me of Rico's


Staff member
Having grown up with Rico and Rico Royal reeds I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Vandoren ZZ reeds remind me of them. The strengths are pretty similar as well with the ZZ's being just a touch softer than a given strength in the Rico's. The cane seems to be slightly better as well. In general I have never been much of a fan of Vandoren products. I have found blue box Vandoren's to be dead playing (at least for me), java's are better and V16's are better still. ZZ's work well for me.

I mostly have been playing ZZ's on tenor with some on alto once in a while and on bari. As I have a pretty large stash of reeds for these instruments I don't see changing over anytime soon.


Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
Ed .. I haven't touched a Rico or Rco Royal since 1982 when my private teacher put me on Hemkes - I now use alot of vintage Vandorens purple box, and some Hemkes, and Selmer Soloist.

Last year i bought some tenor Vandoren Jazz, ZZ, Java and V16 ? I prefer a thicker tip so the V16 was better for me.. but my old purple boxes were better yet.
I'm on the same page as you Ed. For tenor, I've tried them all and the ZZ's are my favorite. They do remind me of the good Rico's once made (new ones are terrible).

For alto & soprano, I prefer LaVoz Mediums.
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