Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bari Reed - pretty impressive!

So I'd a go with the Bari Plastic reed today and it's actually quite good! First thing I noticed is how easy it is to blow, from bottom Bb to high F#, it seriously was effortless. Even more amazingly, I was able to get middle D in tune, without pushing the mouthpiece all the way into the cork. Hmm.

It is much brighter than the Legere Signature though, and has a very very tiny touch of buzziness to the sound. The most stand out feature though, is the volume. It is LOUD, easily giving me 3dB or more in terms of volume. The setting where the legeres were peaking about 2dB below 0dB at ff, the Bari was already peaking when I was blowing an mf. On the flip side, playing soft was quite challenging. I felt the reed presented a wider dynamic range, and it could take alot of air without choking up. This free blowing characteristic has a downside, some longer passages I usually finish with a bit of reserve on my Legere, I ran out of breath very much faster on the Bari. Mrrr.

All in all, in terms of synthetic reeds, I'm still keeping the Legere at number 1, with the Bari a very close second. Here's my personal chart of the reeds I've tried, keep in mind that I'm playing for less than a year, and the following is my experience on a Hanson SA5 on a Vandoren V5 A27

Characteristic/Reed Legere Signature Bari Plastic Fibracell Hahn Synthetic
Body/Core *** ** ** *
Buziness * ***
Brightness * ** * ***
Volume * *** * *
Free Blowing * *** * **
Intonation ** *** ** *** (with reservations)
Ease of Articulation * *** * ***
Price * *** ** **
Looks like a cane reed ***

Intonation: While the Hahn could achieve reasonably good intonation over the range, even the pesky middle d, playing with it felt weird to the mouth and ears... Can't fully explain it.

Buzziness: Playing the Hahn on the V5 reminds me of playing, say, the Legere on a Lebayle Studio mouthpiece - it gives a very contemporary edge to the sound.

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