Home Forums Reeds Plastic reeds


This topic contains 65 replies, has 27 voices, and was last updated by  jake 1 year, 12 months ago.

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    Leo Jr

    I use a fibracell 3, on my Otto link 6 mouth piece. I am able to use a fibracell 4 on a simple plastic mouth piece.
    You can buy them on Amazon for abou $16 but the last for months.


    Noah Osnos

    I use Legere (2.5 or 2.75) on my tenor (MK6 with Lamberson SB7) and would never switch back to cane. I find Bari reeds to be rough on my lip and much more difficult to manipulate the sound. I did play on Harry Hartmann and Hahn reeds in the past, but the availability was tricky, so I settled on Legere. Nobody can tell the difference in the audience, and I don’t spend hours maintaining or finding a proper reed.


    Jazz Cat

    30 years ago plastic reeds were no good (shiny/plasticy thin cheap sound); I’ll try ’em again, just ordered 2.5 tenor fibracell and legere, will post back after testing



    Bill Mecca

    I played Fibracell for years. I found they were comparable to Vandoren V16s. then I wasn’t playing as much and they tore me up. I switched to Plasticovers and have had affairs with Bari and a Legere. I have sanded down the backs of the Bari and it makes them better, but still not there yet (wet sandpaper). Can’t do that with Fibracells, once the backing starts to peel they quack like a duck, made of cellulose and kevlar. Bari* are decent, better imho than the original Bari.

    I keep looking because I used to sand and clip cane reeds and spent all my limited time for playing futzing with reeds. Plasticovers work for me #3, they do break in a bit, but I haven’t had much issue with them getting too soft. Most cane reeds do over time as they get wet, and flex so I would expect no less from Plasticovers since they are real cane under the mystery coating. 😉


    many years ago when the plastic covers came out I used them a bit but they would split on me a lot when I screamed in the altissimo range so had to stop using them. still waiting for a synthetic I can really use that can take me away from the pain-in-the-but-canes! …so far no luck.


    Tom Lang

    Hi my name is Tom, and I have been playing the alto sax for8 weeks and had a hell of a time with real reeds. Whent to a plastic and made a big difference in sound and mouth control. I am 67 years old and have never played a sax ever but I have a pro teacher for help. I practice 3-4 hrs a day and just love it. Hard to find good beginner sheet music. Any help here would be nice.



    Hi Tom, I’ve been playing Alto for just over two years. It takes quite a while to develop the correct embouchure and to acquire the skill to properly control the reed, don’t be in too much of a hurry. In the beginning I spent a lot of time fiddling with things like reeds, when it was really just my lack of reed control which was limiting me. The good news is that the more time you spend playing, the sooner you will develop your skill. In the beginning it is very frustrating but when you begin to be able to play properly, man! its rewarding.

    Tom, see if you can find a copy of an old Baptist / Presbyterian etc. hymn book with the words and music. These tunes are familiar and easier to play as the range and style of the music is made easy for the congregation to sing. I play these to warm up on the sax before I go for the more difficult stuff. It also gives you some measure of progress as you master these tunes. You can also download these hymns from http://www.hymnary.org for free.


    Tom Lang

    Thanks for the heads up on reeds Jeff. but I will admit that I still love the Rico plastic reeds. My control of the reed has greatly improved. I find that if I blow sideways on the reed it makes funny sounds. Cheers Tom


    Jazz Cat

    just tried the fibracell & legere 2 1/2 on my otto link stm 5

    + my vandoren java red cane ones are still better
    + both plastic reeds were fairly good though, no complaints;
    might be good for a backup reed

    overall I’ll stick w/cane. well there went $30 on my experiment, lol.
    they’re actually decent, just cane sounded slightly better.

    i was hoping the plastic ones would help me hit high E/F/altissimo
    easier, no such luck; likely I need to develop embouchure better to use
    3s instead of 2 1/2s


    jak Swift

    I was going to ask who uses synthetic reeds. On a personal level ; Nooo Way !! In my opinion , horns are called ” woodwind ” for a reason. For twenty some years, I used orange box Rico. You can get them anyplace that stocks reeds; that was a plus. I recently switched to green box Java #3. On my offset Berg they sound great.AND they last. A 2\2.5 ; I could blow out in a couple days. I keep about eight in rotation, and have hit a great combo. Thanks for the breathing clip Johnny. I try to stay aware of blowing through the horn, not into it. All good. Take it easy. jak


    there’s a lot of poeple now using synthetic reeds.
    they are getting a little better but I am still only using
    cane reeds. the best ones for me have been Vandoren. green but also tried a red box recently and they’re pretty good too.
    we’re all very different especially when it comes to reed types etc…what feels perfect for you may not for me. these days there’s certainly enough sepection out there to please everyone….maybe too much selection!

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