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Joshua - Jazz Ensemble Library Level 4
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Vandoren Tenor Sax V16 ReedsThe Vandoren V16 tenor sax reed is the thickest Vandoren reed cut. The thicker cut creates a deep, harmonically rich sound with lots of attack. It addition, the thicker cut lends a depth and color to the sound that is truly special. Some saxophonists prefer a less ornamented sound than the one that V16 reeds promote, but if you can become accustomed to the V16's properties and tame them, it just may become essential equipment for your unique signature sound.
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I've been a tenor saxophonist some 30 years and played most of the major reed manufacturers' products. Vandoren standard has emerged as my favorite for producing a big dusky classic tenor sound. Recently, my local supplier ran out-- so I tried some V16s. I found every single one of them to be weak in the tip--unamenable to restoration. Waste of $$.
I got these reeds by mistake the first time, but when I played them I got the rich, bold sax sound I wanted. I play tenor and I really recommend them to intermediate saxophonist and pros alike, for the student I recommend Vandoren Traditional.
I?ve been playing for quite while and started using V16's in high school. I recently had to switch to another brand temporarily (very popular for beginners R ** O)because I forgot to re-order and didn?t get my V16's on time, and the only music store open that day only carried (cheap) reeds. Oh what a difference it was. I went thru 3 in one show. 1 didn't play worth a darn; the other two wore out fast. I would almost have rather not played. Ok just kidding show must go on right. Long story short- the tone and response on the V16's is hard to beat- and at the price they are offered here from WWBW you can't beat that anywhere. If carrying a horn section on your back and have the need to belch out some fat sax licks you won't find much anything better for the price. I give V16's my highest recommendation and look forward to using what?s left of my box of R**o's for something more suitable... Like starting my BBQ grill.
If you are looking for an aggressive, thick sound, these are the reeds for you. The middle register is very muscular, much more so than a lot of other reeds, like ZZs or Javas. I spend a lot of time in the altissimo register(probably more than I should), and with less work than with most reeds I've played on, I can access my current range of up to the high Eb above the natural range of the horn. The only downside is that once you get down to low C# or so and lower than that, the sound can be almost too chunky, and difficult to control until you get used to it.
I've used these tenor reeds for years with great results. Very robust sound that is perfect for the R&B type playing I do. But I do not like the new packaging at all.....it is total overkill. The box is much larger than it needs to be (very wasteful) and the wrapping of each reed in an individual foil pouch (also very wasteful and a nuisance) to seal it at a supposed "ideal" humidity level is a crock in my opinion. The reeds play exactly as they did before. Tell Vandoren to go back to the old packaging (a lot more eco-friendly I'm sure) and lower their already ridiculous prices!!
I am not primarily a sax player, but my position requires a lot of sax playing in a VERY STRONG section, and I find these reeds to be the most suitable of all I've tried (and believe me I've spent the GNP of a small country trying different sax reeds). They are stable in pitch, responsive in all registers, and can be as up front as you need them to be without sacrificing controlability. As a great bonus, I find them to be more consistent reed-to-reed than most others, although you're still likely to find one seriously too hard or soft in each box.
Ever since the new individually wrapped reeds came on the marked these reeds have been HORRIBLE. I used to play V16s (3.5) on tenor with a Vintage Otto Link Rubber Piece and found them to have a nice full sound. Since they've been individually wrapped, the cane doesn't age right or something, and every reed arrives as a soggy mess. Honestly, I went through 2 full boxes recently and did not find a SINGLE reed that didn't feel like I was playing a stick I could have picked up from my lawn.
For shame, Vandoren! I really believe they have sacrificed the quality of their cane, probably cutting the requisite aging time down to get more reeds out the door. I will say that I tried the new red box java reeds and they play great. I've realized the most important factor in a good reed is not it's cut as much as it is the quality and density of the cane. The more dense, the more focused and resonant the sound (generally). You can tell this by putting the reed in your mouth and sucking. If you can easily pull air through the reed, it is very porous and not dense. That's the problem with these Vandorens. I am VERY disappointed with Vandoren, and am now buying Rico Reserve (great cane quality, plus they tell you on the package when the reed was made).
I agree with all of the other positive reviewers of this reed. Just recently I was reminded of how good this reed is when I had to use another brand for a few days. I was so glad to get my next box of V16's in the mail! I immediately tossed the other brand and with relief, put a V16 on my tenor saxophone!
This is a great reed! I have been playing for many years and really have a big sound when it comes to pep band. It really amazed me how thick this reed was compared to my other brands. A few days to break it in and when I tried it out for the first time at pep band, my sound overwhelmed the gym, absolutely crazy. The V16's really got something else, your volume can just keep going up and there is no limit. Very precise articulation. Also, my pep reeds usually get dinged up a bit and I am amazed how many times i bumped it, thinking I had chipped the reed, but alas! The reed survives and is STILL in perfect condition after 4 months, getting played 2-3 times a week! Very impressed by the quality of the Vandoren V16 reeds.
In my 18 years of experience as a saxophonist, I've not come across a finer reed. The response of the V16 series of reeds allows for better control and intonation. I especially recommend the V16 series for the soloist, as it produces a rich and full tone that you would need to fill a stage with sound.
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