The Carbon reed has been a long-time product from Germany’s Fiberreed company which manufactures a handful of synthetic saxophone and clarinet reeds.
I wrote a full review of this Carbon reed here. Basically, it was the second model of reeds that the company came up with. It’s made from 100% carbon fibers with hollow fibers blended in. So it’s these carbon fibers that make it sound louder (and brighter) than other reeds I’ve played.
I wanted to tell you where I’m at these days with the Fiberreed situation. I started using them about two years ago. My favorite has been the Carbon Onyx which is this black one. This is the second one Ive been through and like the one before, this one has gotten a chip in it. After about ten months or so it chipped and that was right around the time it started to soften up on me.
So what happened was, I had to go and do some playing and did order some more Onyx reeds but didn’t get them, before I had to leave town so I started playing on this Carbon Fiberreed. I have had this one sitting around for a while but last time I played it, it felt hard and a little stiff.
I ended up taking it with me and since I had only softer Onyx reeds with me I started enjoying this one more. The funny thing that happened was when I got back into town my Onyx reeds had come. I was exited and when I went to do some playing with the new one I actually started missing the Carbon reed because I started getting used to it and it was giving me a louder sound and I was playing some rock and roll on a pretty big stage so it just felt and sounded right, more so than the Onyx.
So, I just kept using the Carbon reed. I want to show you the difference in sound to see if you can hear it. I just put on my new Onyx reed. It’s a Carbon Onyx medium which is comparable to a number 3 in a numbered reed system.
It feels more powerful, this reed. For some situations I want that. Maybe at home in a controlled studio environment the slightly softer reed could be better . Depending on the setup you’ve got going for recording and the type of music you’re doing and the sound you’re going after.
People have not been differentiating between the Carbon reed and the Carbon Onyx. Easy to do cause they both have the word “Carbon” in them. The Carbon Onyx is Fiberreed’s newer one that I’ve been bragging to you about and that I’ve been sold on for the last couple years. The Fiberreed Carbon is this louder one that I’ve just been blowing on. So now you know.