Skip to main content

Fiberreed Carbon Onyx Reed – Chipped!

By August 27, 2018sax reeds, saxophone articles

Hey guys. I wanted to share something that happened recently. I usually keep my Fiberreed Onyx here on my mouthpiece, on my sax. I rarely take it off. We really should put it away but because of the way I work here in my studio I’m always picking up my horn for a minute or a few minutes at a time while working on a tune or arrangement so I don’t like to constantly pull the reed out and put it back on. So I just leave it on and these synthetic reeds are awesome for that.

So, I don’t know if this happened a day ago, a week or a month ago. This black Onyx reed that I’ve been using for a while now has this huge chip in it. Not sure if you’ll be able to see it in the video but I’ll take a photo of it and put it up just in case.

When you get a chip like that on a cane reed it’ll pretty much just stop playing for you. Depending on how big it is it might get you through the song or the set if you’re on a gig. You’ll lose most everything but the strange thing is, not sure when this happened but I never noticed it from the way it responded. It doesn’t feel any different so a chunk that big out of this Onyx reed is not even affecting it’s performance somehow.

I’m going to put it on and play it for you to hear what it sounds like….

So way up high in the altissimo no problem. Didn’t even feel a difference in it. Way down low in the bottom B flat I could play it perfectly. It’s so weird that you can get a chip that big on a saxophone reed and it’s still responding perfectly.


  • That’s incredible
    The ones I bought are working fine

  • lol, i had one too, but sanded it, it seemed to work better, may have raised its standard, from a soft to a med, either way nice

  • Don Gutheil says:

    That’s nothing, Johnny. I had a Bari tenor reed 10 years ago that I loved and played for years. Through quick and sloppy mp cap placing and accidental banging around, it eventually split in a couple of places and finally half of the tip just bent/cracked/fell over…… and it STILL played. Over the years, I’ve had several synthetics get damaged from sloppy handling and they also played. Since new reeds are always coming out, I eventually replaced those damaged ones. I’m thinking of making them wall displays.
    As an aside… I’m using the carbon reed now and it’s my “go to” reed. It’s true that it’s hard to beat a good Vandoren, but who needs the hassle?

  • sxpoet says:

    i don’t believe it, you can now buy saxophones made out of carbon fibre, that sound better than a selmer?

  • Derek says:

    Hi Johnny I just chipped another HEMP reed and decided to trim it back rather than throw it away. It was a massive trim back but is now playable so I use it as a spare and it plays pretty well. You said you did not notice your reed was split for a couple of weeks. Does that mean that you have not removed your reed in that period of time? I know Lenny Pickett and Dave Sandborn do that but is that a norm? I have always taken my reed off after every gig/ practice and cleaned the reed and mouthpiece. Does it make a different in playing to keep the reed on or is it that once you get the setting you like you want to keep it that way for as long as you can?

Leave a Reply