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I have been buying V12s for yearsAfter buying V12s for years, and modifying my reeds by hand for about the last decade, I didn't really think I needed to try any new reeds. However, in trying to get my strength up to 3.5-4 range, I was having some difficulty. I decided to grab a bunch of different reeds to see if that had any difference, and was super pleased with these 56s. I run a 3.5 now, with ease. One trick for those trying to build up strength- drop the reed a little bit lower on the mouthpiece than you normally would.5Reed My Lips: I Love These!The packaging on these reeds is always a bit overkill, along with any other kind of Vandoren reeds. However, the reeds play well, and I love the full, rich sound I get with them. As with all boxes of reeds, not every single reed works out of the box. Most will need to be broken in, and some will need to be finished.Don't try a reed and then throw it away if you don't like it. The more time you put into your reeds, the fewer you'll have to buy.4Only the best.These are the best reeds out there for aspiring mid- to upper-level players. Our clarinet teacher highly recommends these, and they have served very well. I doubt that we will ever buy a different reed. Great performance. Have used with Vandoren mouthpieces and with a David McClune custom. Sound is excellent.5Great Reeds!We got these reeds for our grandson. He kept going trough ones that his mother bought him. Finally our daughter decided to ask my husband (band instrument repairman) which were the best for the cost and usage. He gave her a list depending on what she wanted to spend and decided on these. So we ordered them for her and she paid us for the reeds. Our grandson loved how long they lasted. He was so pleased that he started to tell his friends about these reeds. Our grandson gave some away to a few of his friends, and mamma got mad. So guess who he came to on the side when he didn't want mamma to know that he ran though his box of reeds. Grandma & Grandpa to the rescue. They are also coated on the tip of the reeds.5Nice sound! Helped me get back into playing.Nice sounding reed. I usually use 3.5 V12 s but haven t played in a few years and needed something quick. Decided to try something different. This fit the bill! The box was fairly uniform. Undecided as to which of the two types I prefer...maybe V12 s but both are enjoyable to play.5Love these. Listen to vid for sound! Great reeds, especially for vandoren m30. Works well on BD5 too.The vid (for sound only) is from a live concert, playing these reeds on the M30 mouthpiece and R13 Buffet clarinet.As you can see from the pictures, these are well polished reeds with consistent characteristics like density, fibrosity, thickness and finish. Each reed comes individually sealed and with a plastic holder.All reeds are made of cane, known as Arundo Donax. It is not wood or bamboo, but more closely related to tall grasses. It grows around river banks and lakes with moving water. It absorbs the water for growth and nutrients. It MUST be properly collected when the stalk is drained of water in the winter (dry season) and it must be drained and dried to avoid including biological and chemical impurities. The climate also affects its density, which limits where good reed stock can grow. Cane will absorb whatever is in the water where it grows.Good reeds should have a smooth vamp (shaped upper part) and have a golden- yellow or light yellow color without much variation. The bark can be of varied tone (glossy-looking bottom part). That's OK. You should not be able to see longitudinal lines or fibrous streaks on the vamp (part that goes inside the mouth). Green looking reeds have not been properly dried and drained. Throw them away. Grey looking reeds or ones with dark spots or streaks may have mold. Throw them away also. (This is highly unlikely in Vandoren or Daddario reeds).Good reeds are expensive. However, with proper care, you CAN make them last months.. or longer. Just teach your kids proper care skills. It's a wonderful way to teach being responsible.Always take the reed off after playing. Always put them back into the holder (or get a special case). NEVER touch the tip of the reed (I see kids do it all the time.. and they break the reeds). Practice securing the reed to the mouthpiece with the ligature without tripping the tip. Carefully wash the reeds with water once a week, wiping with clean fingers, bottom to top. And lastly, don't play one reed all the time. Have a few ready to go and rotate them. If you do this, or teach your kids, a box of quality reeds will last you a very long time... and you won't have to buy cheap non-reeds made in china..5My daughter, the clarinet student, prefers theseMy daughter is an all-region clarinet player with much higher aspirations. She prefers these reeds to any other she has used. While Vandoren has the reputation of being the most consistent across a box (and that generally means 2-3 playable reeds on opening and 3-4 that become playable over time and with a little work), the Rue Lepic reeds seem to be of a higher and more consistent quality control - as only 1 reed in her first box required any adjustments to get to play very well. The second time we purchased them, two reeds needed superficial "work" - still a much better rate than even other Vandoren products.5Finally found my reedReeds are a personal choice, and after spending several months trying out a wide variety of reeds, I've settled on these for the time being. They're consistent and don't require too much adjustment, they produce a nice tone and are very responsive. On my Rico Reserve X0 mouthpiece the 3.5 is about the right strength though I might try some 4's as well. 56 Rue Lepic's aren't right for every player, but they're definately worth trying if you're in search for a new reed.*UPDATE - I reduced my rating down to four stars for the following reasons.After using these reeds for a while I became less content with their reliability, after having several broken-in reeds behave erratically during performances. While they are good reeds, and can produce an excellent tone, I've moved on to synthetic reeds, which I find work significantly better and more reliably for me. 56 Rue Lepic reeds are definately worth a look, but they're not perfect for me,4Smooth clear soundWas previously using Vandoren 21. Tried the combo reed packet, like the Vandoren 56 the best.5Chosing your reeds is a very personal thing.I started learning the Clarinet about two years ago. It has been an interesting experience in trying many different brands and models of reeds. For me the Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic #3.5 are a very good fit at this level of stiffness. I find them just slightly softer than the others that I've tried - which is perfect for now.If I have one complaint, and it's a small one, It would be that Vandoren doesn't sell their reeds in quantities of less than ten. When you are working with a limited budget you do not want to buy a lot of reeds you might not use. I was lucky. I wrote the company and they actually sent me a couple of samples which I tried out.I do wish that the manufacturers would produce sample packages of their reeds so it would be less expensive and easier to give them a tryout. After all who needs a lot of reeds you won't use.4
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Vandoren CR5035 Bb Clarinet 56 Rue Lepic Reeds Strength 3.5; Box of 10