Skip to main content

Home Alt Forums Reeds alto sax copper reed test

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #94523

      well the copper reed for my alto arrived today.

      I found too many problems with it, to even use it as a practice reed.

      I tried to play everything from low Bb right up to Altissimo D.

      Several notes didn’t want to play in tune, the reed was very unstable with certain notes and was continually jumping between way too sharp to way too flat. I wouldn’t have the patience to try and make those notes sound nearly in tune.

      It was useless at bending notes, it didn’t allow me to bend notes up or down at all.

      Flutter tongue would not work above High D, on the cane reed i can flutter tongue in the altissimo range.

      The reed didn’t respond well to any fast tip of the tongue movements on the reed.

      The next issue was altissimo, it wouldn’t play any altissimo above altissimo G, and i can play up to altissimo D on a cane reed.

      I also bought a box of cane reeds, took one out, broke it in and had none of the above problems.

      Sorry folks, i’ll just have to wait till the next synthetic reed comes out, and see if there’s an improvement.

      It could be they work better on Tenor Sax’s, definitely not on my alto, unless i got a bad synthetic reed.

      The reed was only suitable for playing from Low Bb to middle C

      I’ll give it another try tomorrow, just to make sure.


        Well i had another go with the copper reed.
        What i did do was checkout hartmanns website information for filling down the reed.

        So i filed down the reed and managed to get the reed working in the altissimo register – the only problem everything from middle D upwards started playing even more sharper.

        If i put the brand new cane reed on that i bought yesterday bottom, middle, top and altissimo registers all play in tune. I can only conclude that hartmann still hasn’t got the right balance of materials to get all 4 registers to play in tune properly.
        I’m willing to bet, he’s going to bring out more newer synthetic reeds later on, until he hits the perfect reed.

        Don’t get me wrong, when the notes are in tune, the copper reed sound very good, the only problem is, i cant get all 4 registers to play properly in tune.

        There’s nothing wrong with the sax as it works perfectly with ddario cane reeds that have worked out of the box every time in the past two years, with no filling of reeds, and they have lasted sometimes up to a year.

        Then i filed the reed a bit more, this allowed me to bend the sound, the only problem, if i blew harder on the reed, the reed suddenly went flatter – basically more filling had made it impossible to play a long tone ie i wrecked the reed ability to play a steady note. Its now in the dustbin.

        I’ve given an honest review, i am really disappointed, as i wanting the reed to work for me. Maybe they work ok on Tenors.

        I’ll wait until hartmann brings out his next creation, and give it a trial.

        Be interested to hear comments from alto sax players who have used synthetic reeds.


          wow, sorry to hear that JB…never heard anyone say that nothing worked on this reed and all good on this reed. The worst reed I ever played was the Legere synthetic and I hated it but I could still play everything I can play on a cane…just didn’t feel as good.


            Genuinely, it needed some work on the reed in terms of filling it down.
            Hartmanns website gives more details.

            Being a hobby sax player, i’ve got no experience in filling down reeds, i don’t even file down cane reeds as they are that delicate.

            So in filling down the reed, i wrecked it completely.

            On the positive side, I will say, the low notes that played in tune where very good sounding.

            It could be you use the copper reed for one type of musical sound, and then you use a different reed for another type of sound?

            Or it could be alto sax’s are more pitch sensitive than Tenor sax’s.

            I reckon he will eventually hit on a perfect reed.


              WOW. Love the copper reeds for my tenor. I did find that the sound was much more of what I was looking for when I paired it with my metal FB mouthpiece tho. I am still waiting on shipment to try on my alto. I currently use a Vandoren JumboA45 for the alto. Wonder how this MP will stack up?? Will be interesting to see how they compare. To be cont……


                I don’t mess too much with filing reeds etc, especially synthetics!
                Synthetics are supposed to be pretty much perfect…unlike most canes.
                the reason for filing cane is that it’s a natural material so will have deficiencies etc so we can make them perfect (or almost) by filing.
                When trying a new synthetic get 2; one that is very close to your cane strength and one that is the next size up, or down depending on the brand. One of these 2 will be perfect so getting them and filing straight away doesn’t make sense to me.
                A good reason for filing synthetic is if the reed that you got is just a bit hard, then makes sense to work it down a bit so you can still make use of it.


                  Well all said and done, i must have got a dud reed.

                  One thing that i noticed, it didn’t come with a protected plastic case like each cane reeds do, so coming through the mail, it could easily have had large objects sitting on it stressing it out.

                  It definitely didn’t work and did need filing down because it wouldn’t play above altissimo G, i couldn’t scoop notes, flutter tongue wouldn’t work higher up – it is possible the reed strength was way to hard?

                  I’ll try and get a lower strength reed, judging by a lot of online reviews of other types of synthetic reeds, some of the comments were similar to my problems

                Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.