Thanks for any insights in advance. I was studying overseas for a while (in Europe), and got set up on black master Vandoren reeds as I switched over to a german mouthpiece.
My problem is that I had to order them in my home country recently. I ordered 5boxes from the US and 3 of the boxes so far have been absolutely terrible. All the reeds are too difficult and very woody in sound, dying quickly. Even after sanding, sure they are clearer but, it lasts a day and they turn back to the rubbish they were.
I'm really confused, because overseas I would buy these reeds often and they suited my mouthpiece perfectly- have 8 useable , decent sounding reeds per box. I haven't honestly found, one, in the boxes I've opened and it's really frustrating as I can't buy german reeds here and I don't know what to do. Whether I buy more from somewhere else or change mouthpiece. It's not helpful that I have an audition next week. GR
Is it possible, this batch have been messed up somehow? Has this happened to anyone else? The size is the same as normal...
If you are using a German mouthpiece you might want to go to a smaller number reed. Even though the numbers are the same, the reeds actually are different. So if you are using at German Vandoren blackmaster 4 you should try an American Vandoren blackmaster 3 or 2.5. I believe Vandoren makes a sampler pack. You might try one of those and see which reed fits best.
Also the cane used for German, Italy, and American reeds are all different because of the environment. It is very difficult to play an American cane reed in Italy and vice versa.
It is unlikely the batch is bad - it's just cut different and is different cane. Unfortunately you are going to go through a long process of finding what works on your German mouthpiece here in the USA. . . .yeah, it sucks.
The thing is, I have bought a size two box , that is what I would buy in Europe. I still have some left over and the reeds are significantly different- the left over ones , are clear, nice sounding..these ones are just crap.
I bought the same brand, same size, but are you saying the cane - because the order came from the US, could be manufactured in the US and be different to the one I would buy in europe? -even though the box/size/make is identical?
Yes, I am saying even though the box is labeled exactly the same strength; cut, and type of cane can be different.
As you know when you started using your german mouthpiece the length and gap of the facing are quite a bit different. And now I'm wondering about the rails of your reed and if they match your mouthpiece facing.
IDEAS that might help you save what you think are bad reeds:
*You should take 5 to 6 days to break in a reed slowly.
*Are you trimming the end/tip after you sand the back?
*If you are closer to sea level than you were in Europe you might try going to a stiffer reed.
*Let the reeds dry out an extra day.
*On American reeds you might try moving the ligature up higher by 1 milimeter or so.
*If you are using sandpaper on the back, you might try using a file instead.
*Take a couple of those crappy reeds and brush them with a toothbrush and a little toothpaste and see if that doesn't help them a little bit.