Synthetic clarinet reeds

I play a 3.5 Vandoren classic reed on clarinet. What would be a good equivalent synthetic reed? Which brand plays the most like natural cane?

I started to use a Legere Signature reed in September and I prefer it to cane. I was spending so long messing around with cane reeds finding the right one for the conditions, getting placed exactly right etc. Now I just put the reed on and play - and I think I’m getting a better tone too.
Legere produce a strength comparison chart https://www.legere.com/need-to-know/strength-charts/
I was playing on Rico Royal 2.5 but went down to a 2 when changing to Legere.

1 Like

Légère European cut 2.5 for me. Its superb. Was previously playing with a Rico/Daddario 2.5

1 Like

+1 for @Joy for reminding us to use the strength charts.

Every time I tried a Légère it was always too hard. I was probably not paying enough attention to it. Last year I picked up a bass clarinet Légère Sig, and had to exchange my first reed to a 2.25 to match the D’Addario 3, and it plays really really well.

Funny you ask this now. I have a Légère Sig for clarinet and Venn (D’Addario) coming for alto sax tomorrow. And an American cut Légère coming for tenor sax back ordered. I’m hoping I picked the correct size, but again I recommend using the exchange program if needed.

For whatever reason, I’ve never liked the Légère on my alto sax, due to how it felt to articulate, but it feels fine on the bass clarinet. I used one on and off for tenor early on and it was so/so.

FWIW
I tried a Légère reed #3 on my Tenor Saxophone. Played better than I thought it would but the middle octave range had a buzzy / edgy like sound to it. The longer I played the worse it got. Other than that I was impressed but not enough to give up on the cane reeds.

I forget which kind it was but I do know it wasn’t any of the jazz cuts.

According to Michelle Anderson (of Clarinet Mentors) the Legere reeds need to be fixed very tightly and right at the top of the mouthpiece.

2 Likes

Thanks to all for the input. I was not familiar with the exchange program and strength charts… Looks like Legere is the recommended brand as well.

I wonder if the European cut Legeres are significantly different to the signature range. My European cut is in the same strength as the Rico Royal I was using, and its fine.

I found with my Legere’s that you can’t shave them down really without ruining them (maybe it’s just me?). But for sure, I have to try my best to line the tip up exactly with the mouthpiece tip. This is hard because the plastic is sort of “milky” clear, not yellow like wood. To high or too low makes it quite stuffy.