The best synthetic for vintage mouthpieces
The newest reeds from Harry Hartmann, the Natural Classic Alto Saxophone Reed features a warm and dark sound. The Natural Classic cut has a strong heart while featuring a steep angle to allow for a flexible tip and quick response. The Natural Classic reeds lend themselves well to classic vintage mouthpieces with smaller tip openings. On larger, more open mouthpieces, the saxophone player will find that the tone achieves a wonderful vintage feel and sound.
Natural Classic Fiberreed Soprano Saxophone Specifications:
- Last 20-30 times longer compared to a cane reed
Plays 100% from the first second
Extremely durable and resistant against splitting
Never dry out because they do not absorb moisture
Easy to clean and therefore hygienic and odorless even after a month of use
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Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Harry Hartmann Natural Classic Fiberreed Soprano Saxophone:
Can't tell you how terribly glad I am to have found these reeds. They were recommended by Theo Wanne, a maker of what are pretty much the best sax mouthpieces in the world. When I told him I used Fibracells for years, he recommend that I try the Hartmann Fiberreeds, so when I looked them up and saw they go for $25 to $30, I thought 'no way'!
But after many recently frustrating years with inconsistent Fibracells which recently have developed the additional problem of going completely limp after a couple of months of playing, I was desperate enough to order two (alto and tenor).
The carbon reed was to edgy for my Meyer 6M sound (on a Selmer Mark VI alto) but played amazingly well, so I ordered the Natural Classic (vintage jazz) style reed instead and Holy Cow!
It was suggested by many on Hartmann's website that one order a half-grade harder than usual, but I don't recommend that. I found the reed strength to be right in line with my cane reeds and preferred the medium-soft for my Meyer, altough the Medium that I first ordered blows ok too, but it blows so hard that I can't use it for cocktail and jazz stuff. It's good for funk and rock instead.
I tried the carbon fiber reed for my tenor and was happy with that too. The edge it imparts is perfect for my Selmer Mark VI tenor with a Ponzol M1 metal mouthpiece, although I once again ordered 1/2 size up in strength and had to re-order for my regular (medium) strength.
With these sucesses I decided to get one for my Selmer Mark VI soprano (Ponzol mouthpiece) and was happy for the first time in many YEARS when I tried it out last week. It felt like an old friend right out of the box and blows low Bb and High F with equal alacrity, something I have never had any other reed do (except for a really good cane reed).
In short, I am SOLD on these reeds from Harry Hartmann. Pony up the $25 and order one for yourself (at your preferred strength) and be amazed.
One caveat: If you are familiar with synthetic reeds then you may be aware that they don't feel the same as cane when you blow them. Hartmann's reeds feel stiff and require a pretty health bite pressure to make them work. I'm used to BARI, Legere (hate them) and Fibracell reeds and these blow a lot like the BARI ones - they have a strong vibration and will eat into your lower lip by the end of a gig, so practice with them and build up your lip strenth and toughness a bit and then enjoy them. They're a little extra work to blow, but they'll give you the whole range of the horn with a very round and smooth sound that I love for my soprano and altos.
For tenor however, try the carbon fiber ones first unless you KNOW you want a very smooth Getzy kind of sound. Good Luck!