Synthetic Reeds: how do they play? Which synthetic reeds?

I am very pleased to present you with the results of my review of the following synthetic reeds that gave satisfying results: Silverstein Alto Ambipoly 3 1/2+, Légère European Signature 3 1/2, Playnick Master Cut MH, Forestone Traditional MH, Fiberreed Carbon H and Fiberreed Hemp H. I examined those through playing, doing some measurements (Young's Modulus, weight, curves), recording, spectrograms and comparison with cane reed: D'Addario Evolution 4. I used several mouthpieces: D'Addario Evolution, Selmer Concept, Vandoren BD5, James Kanter 715, Playnick Nommos B2, MoBa Arabesque (with info on the mouthpiece dimensions). You can work your way through the website to look and hear all the info.

The audio are recordings of the notes legato, staccato, octaves and  a throat multiphonic on E3 on all reeds and all mouthpieces, plus fragments of the Mozart concerto on two mouthpieces and all reeds. 

 

I used a Blue Yeti USB microphone in close range, a calibrated mg scale, the Perfecta Reed, a reed strength tester

gauge for the mouthpiece and personal materials.

For learning more about the vibrating behaviour of reeds this is very interesting: 

Measurements of resonance frequencies of clarinet reeds and simulations (Pierre-André Taillard, Franck Laloë, Michel Gross, Jean-Pierre Dalmont, Jean Kergomard)

The spectrograms (with the app SpectrumView) are made one the notes C4, E5 and E6 for each mouthpiece, using the cane D'Addario Evolution reed 4 as reference. This represents the harmonic series where you notice the differences, keep this in mind when you listen to the audio.

The mouthpiece section informs you on the tip opening and curve of the facing using the Erik Brand method. 

More detailed measuring will follow soon.

This is by all means not a scientific study and the reflections are my personal comments and are therefore subjective but in using 6 mouthpieces it could be useful feedback. 

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