Copper Carbon Fiberreed Review

By April 11, 2020April 13th, 2020sax reeds, saxophone articles

The Copper Carbon Classic – Fiberreed’s New Creation

At first you might have thought they started making reeds out of copper! Not the case.  Fiberreed’s last creation was the Carbon Onyx a few years ago.  The Onyx became my favourite synthetic reed. In fact, it was the one that allowed me to switch over from my all-time favorite cane reed, the Vandoren Java.

Copper? I was so curious how that even came about that I had to ask the man himself…

Interview with Fiberreed’s Creator Harry Hartmann

Harry Hartmann

I was lucky to get an early sample of this new Copper reed and was soon very eager to ask it’s creator Harry Hartman a few questions about how and why this new idea for a reed came to be.

1. What inspired you to make this new Copper reed?

“… As an inventor you always get new ideas. So I tried different materials which you can add to the resin. The idea for the copper came when a mouthpiece maker who uses copper for his mouthpieces asked me to make some material for him.

The first idea I had was to add copper to the carbon/resin mixture. I tried different degrees of fineness of the copper and different percentages of copper. Finally I found a material that worked.

Later I was working with the American classical sax player Randall Hall. He was here at my workshop to develop a classical reed. I made some prototypes out of the copper material. He liked it a lot. So we developed a perfect cut with him and then launched the new Copper Carbon Classic fiberreed.

2. What are the differences between it and some of your other reeds such as the Onyx and the Carbon?

“… The copper is very similar to the Onyx material. Just with some added copper powder.

3. Why am I really liking this reed in some ways better than my other favorite the Fiberreed Onyx?

“… The cut of the Copper has more heart, more core and a thin tip. That gives it an easy attack and a bit of resistance at the same time.

For more information and ordering page go to the Fiberreed page here

Video transcript;

Hi guys, I have the Copper Carbon reed here. Here’s the black Onyx of course and you can see the Copper is a really dark brown….like copper I guess!

I started hearing about in late 2019 and then managed to get one I n late January. Quite a few of the most recent song videos I’ve put up I’ve been using this new Copper reed. I’ve really been enjoying it. What I’m gonna do now is compare it to my Onyx cause that’s the one I’ve been using the most over the last few years.

Later I’ll edit this and put the two examples a little closer together so you can hear it a little easier.

I’ve always found the Onyx to be really full-bodied and really close to a cane reed and find it quite easy to blow in all the ranges. From the low B flat to the highest altissimo notes. It has a quite full and warm sound and easy to play.

The Copper reed as soon as I put it on the first time and I still feel that way to this day, a few months later. It’s even easier to blow than the Onyx because the sound just kinda shoots out at you. I think especially in the lower range.

There’s a bit more of a top end to it. Maybe a little brighter….I don’t know if bright is the right way to describe it, or brighter than the Onyx. I think it is a little brighter. It’s more that whole upper end kind of range. Upper end frequency range. Not the upper end high notes of the sax, I mean the upper end spectrum of the frequencies where it’s possibly brighter.

Even closer to feeling and sounding like the perfect, from what I remember, the perfect Vandoren cane reed was. Which for me was years ago. So that’s my feeling on this Fiberreed Copper Carbon reed. I’ve been using it for a few months now and my last 10 to 12 song video uploads I’ve done this year, I think I’ve used the Copper reed on most of them.

Under the video I always put what my setup is. My sax doesn’t change much and neither does my ligature but once in a while I will change the mouthpiece, although I’m usually using my Michael Brecker Guardala mouthpiece.

I have switched the reeds back and forth a little bit but eight or nine times out of ten I may have used the Copper reed. You can check out those videos for the sound if you want.

Generally I think if the tune is going to be a little bit quite and bluesier I might opt for the Onyx because it might have a warmer sound. If it’s more of an up tempo, swing, or rocking’ little number I’ll usually want to use the copper because it does stand out a bit more I think and it sounds a little bit punchier.

3 Comments

  • Ron Jacobs says:

    Thank you Johnny! – Many thanks to you I got introduced to Fiberreed earlier last year and LOVE these reeds! Last Fall, I started playing the Onyx which has such a beautiful sound. I just got the Copper reed a week ago and agree with your review. It is hard to explain for me but the Copper reed plays just a little different yet amazing, and is now my go to reed.

  • Johnny Johnny says:

    ya Ron I feel the same way

  • jake jake says:

    Holy crap. I play fibracell 3 reeds. Just got my copper reed. Dam! Ordered 3 more. At first blow could feel the difference. This is going to be my go to reed now. The stiffness compared to the fibracell makes the notes pop without fear of closing up. The altissimo were effortless for me. Love these reeds. Needed to have a supply on hand. Love these.

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