VENN Saxophone Reeds Review26th April 2022
With the arrival of the new VENN synthetic reeds for Saxophone we asked one of our own staff members to try one for a month and report back. How do they play? How does it compare to other synthetic and cane reeds? Over to Kasey to tell us her experiences…
My Reed History
Having played a cane reed since originally starting to learn to play the saxophone I was originally sceptical as to the overall appeal and standard of synthetic reeds. Roughly a year ago I started playing a Legere reed as an experiment. I found it to be very well suited to the set-up I had at the time (Cannonball T5 saxophone with Aizen SO mouthpiece and BG ligature). I welcomed the durability and flexibility that the Legere reed offered. I also found it offered a tone that worked well alongside the Cannonball T5.
Earlier this year I changed saxophone and now play a Yanagisawa TW010. I found the Legere reed had a compelling overall appeal on my previous set-up, but it didn’t seem to match up as well alongside the Yanagisawa. This left me with the Rico reed I was previously playing, which felt more well matched than the Legere, but it did feel like something was missing in terms of the overall tonal quality.
Trying the VENN Reeds
Knowing the minefield that finding the right reed can be I was loath to experiment too much and risk diminishing the impressive overall sound offered by the Yanagisawa TWO10. I became aware of D’Addario’s pending release of the Venn reeds just before changing my saxophone. I was intrigued at the time and was keen to see if it offered an improvement on the tone and response produced by the Rico cane reeds.
When I was able to try one of the reeds with my Yanagisawa I was immediately impressed. I have found that the Venn reed offers a well-rounded rich sound. It has already received compliments from other musicians I play with! After a little experimentation with different ligatures and mouthpieces I hit upon a winning combination. The Yanagisawa TWO10 saxophone with VENN 2 Tenor Sax reed, Vandoren V5 T20 mouthpiece and BG ligature which seemed to work very well.
In my opinion the VENN reeds do come up a little stronger than the charts suggest. I’d suggest you might require a half strength reduction from what you would normally play. This change is definitely worth it however as the Venn reeds offer a compellingly mellow sound. They also offer the long-lasting and consistent performance benefits of synthetic reeds.
Kasey – Dawkes Woodwind Specialist (April 2022)