My Masterpiece Reeds

Got a box My Masterpiece Reeds (3 1/2) for my Baritone Saxophone. Their reed strength charts states their 3 1/2 strength reeds are equivalent to a Vandoren (blue box) 3. However the ones I got from My Masterpiece are definitely harder than the Vandoren 3’s I’ve been playing on.

Anyone have any experience with their Alto or Tenor reeds?

I’ve never heard of those reeds. Though I did have a similar experience with Légère bass clarinet reeds (Signature, I think) compared the D’Addario reeds. I think Légère recently updated their strength charts, as now it looks correct (2.25 almost= 3). So glad I was able to exchange it.

Maybe the discrepancy is partially due to differences between reeds in the box? I’ve heard Vandoren reps explain that the strength number really represents a range of measurements, and that they put that full range within a box (some harder, some softer). So maybe the Masterpiece reeds ended up a little harder, but you’re comparing to softer ones from Vandoren? I’ve found Vandoren to be pretty inconsistent and switched to D’Addario years ago.

Read some stuff in “The Art of Saxophone Playing” by Larry Teal about reeds, testing for “flexibility and balance” etc. Sure enough the Masterpiece Reeds are more stiffer or harder on one side than the other. So far it’s been the left side.

Tried adjusting them with my Harbor Freight reed tool, to match the other side. So far so well! The reeds are playing much easier and they still don’t have the buzzy edge sound like some (not all) of the Vandoren (blue box) reeds.

As long as all of them have a nice tone to them I’ll give them a second try knowing I’ll have to make some adjustments.

That’s good to hear. Being able to adjust reeds is such an important skill to learn.

I started using a ReedGeek right before COVID hit. I still haven’t mastered it, but even just flattening the back of a reed made a big difference.

I’ve heard Vandoren reps say that within a box of reeds, they really deliver a range of strengths by design. That’s good and all, given the various scenarios, but I just wish the printed the specific measurement somewhere so you would know exactly how it’s may play.