There are so very many different reeds available on todays market and so many are so good that they bear a bit of complinetary writing.
I had reason to purchase a plastic clarinet, a new one for an excellent price, and when it arrived, after trying it, I noticed there was a new mouthpiece included with the usual new reed affixed to it. For the very first time, I took if off the mouthpiece , wet it , put in on my mouthpiece and as they say, I was blown away!
What a great sound , even better response and superior articulation all on a reed that came screwed to a student mouthpiece. I removed it and looked at the back. It said something that I had never seen: the letters GC “thick blank” were on the back of the reed. I set about finding out what was the origin and found it to be none other than RICO, that scourge of my youth.
But this is a beautiful reed. I purchased a box, opened it and took the first two out, tried them and found them to be within the parameters of excellence that I had found on the one on the student mouthpiece.
For an old(read mature) man, that was all I needed. I will say, if you are looking for a mature piece of cane which blows very freely throughout the instrument, try this reed. It seems that it derives from France.
Next, I received a box of reeds “from our friends”, the name being Gonzalez from Argentina. Again beautiful golden mature cane, thicker blank and superb articulation and response. These come with the year of the harvest on the box. These were labeled 1999. Apparently a very good year.
The last of these new reeds are from Australia and they are magnificent as well but bear a bit more work, a small amount compared to the agony of bringing a Van Doren to life in the old days.
They are XL, either Vintage or not and they come with the year of harvest on the box. These are more vibrant, great cane and if they last and I think that they must they are all as good as anything I have played recently. For many years I played the Van Doren White Masters,(A German mouthpiece reed) yes on a French mouthpiece. The cane was so much better, the blank thicker, the only problem being that the reed was narrower and took very careful centering on the mouthpiece. However I say welcome to these new reeds mentioned above. Even the new Van Dorens are a bit better than in the past but they are outclassed by the Argentinians, and the Australians. G’Day, friends