10 Best Saxophone Reed Reviews 2019

Best Saxophone Reeds & Best Saxophone Reed Brands

Best Saxophone Reeds & Best Saxophone Reed Brands

The saxophone is played by using a mouthpiece, which comes in different sizes and shapes to suit the mouth of the player. But, the mouthpiece is not enough to make the instrument sound good. You will also need a reed.

After introducing the reed in the mouthpiece, there will be a small space between the tip of the reed and tip of the mouthpiece. When you blow air into the mouthpiece to play the instrument, it will pass through this space and will produce vibrations.

Thus, the smaller the reed is, the stronger it will vibrate in the action of the incoming air and the higher the produced amplitude will be.

What are the Best Saxophone Reeds to Buy?

2) D’Addario Woodwinds RJA1025 Rico Alto Sax Reeds

  • Thin Design
  • Sounds with higher pitch
  • Made out of French cane
  • Ease of play
  • High Quality

1) Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds

  • Extremely Flexible
  • High Quality Reeds
  • Clear and rich sounds
  • Contain 10 pieces

3) Glory Reeds Alto Saxophone Reed

  • Contain 10 pieces
  • High Quality Reeds
  • Made out of cane
  • Three different sizes
  • Soft

There are several factors you will have to look at when choosing your saxophone reed. First of all, there is the thickness of the reed. This detail will be expressed with the help of a number. Thus, you will find reeds with numbers starting with 2 and going up to 5. It is worth knowing that a reed with a thickness of 2 is the thinnest, while 5 represents the thickest type of reed, also being harder.

As you can imagine, thin reeds will produce bright and high pitched sounds, while thicker and harder reeds will come up with deeper and bigger tones. However, as a beginner, you should opt for the thinner and softer versions, as they need less effort to vibrate, making the saxophone easier to handle until you acquire all the required skills.

You should also take a look at the material from which a saxophone reed is made. There are synthetic reeds and natural reeds, made out of cane. Synthetic reeds are used rather often because they are much more resistant in time and they are not affected by moisture and temperature.

They are also slightly more expensive than cane reeds, but there’s no need to change them too often. Cane reeds are softer and will produce a specific sound, but they will get damaged quite fast, being affected by the humidity of the air we introduce in the mouthpiece. In the end, it is a matter of personal choice, so do take a look at the list below.

10 Best Saxophone Reed Reviews and the Best Saxophone Reed Brands

1) Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2.5; Box of 10

Taking into account the thin cut of these reeds, it is easy to tell that they will allow you to be more than flexible when playing your saxophone. Thus, you will find it easier to perform a staccato with reeds of this particular thickness.

The company makes traditional reeds in this case, so it means that they will be made out of cane. The package will contain 10 pieces, so you will be covered for a while. This brand is known for their high-quality reeds, which provide clear and rich sounds, so it may be worth giving them a try on your instrument.

2) D’Addario Woodwinds RJA1025 Rico Alto Sax Reeds

These saxophone reeds from D’Addario are excellent not just for beginners, due to this thin design, but also for players that are looking to enjoy sounds with a higher pitch. The manufacturer brags with the cut of these reeds, which makes sax playing a very easy and pleasant task.

The truth is that 2.5 reeds are very easy to use during performances, as you won’t need to deposit a considerable amount of effort for playing the instrument. Still, it is worth mentioning that the reeds are made out of French cane, so you may want to opt for a package containing a higher number of reeds, as they will have to be changed periodically.

3) Glory Reeds Alto Saxophone Reed Size #2.5, Box of 10- size 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3

The manufacturing company allows you to choose saxophone reeds from three different sizes. So, decide which one will be better for your performance. Just do bear in mind that all the reeds within a box will have the same thickness. Thus, you won’t receive reeds of different thicknesses in one single box.

If you want to experience playing with reeds of various thicknesses, you will have to buy separate boxes. But, considering that they are made out of cane, so they are quite soft and susceptible to alteration due to humidity and temperature, having a higher number of reeds will actually be practical.

4) Vandoren SR263 Alto Sax JAVA Reeds Strength 3; Box of 10

Although we are talking about reeds with a medium strength, these reeds have what it takes to vibrate easily and for longer periods, providing a beautiful bright sound. When using these reeds, you will like how the saxophone is responding to your commands and you will sens an improvement in your usual performances.

They may have a slightly elevated price tag, but the quality of these reeds will not let you down. Also, they come in an adequate package that will keep them unspoiled for extended periods. If 3 is not your desired strength type, feel free to order the same product but with a different strength.

5) Hemke Alto Sax Reeds, Strength 3.0, 5-pack

Made out of cane, these reeds have a thinner tip and shorter vamp, which makes them easy to control while allowing you to enjoy richer and deeper tones. It won’t be difficult to make your instrument respond as desired when using these reeds, as they are highly flexible but very well balanced at the same time.

They are probably not the cheapest out there, considering that you’re going to get just 5 reeds in one pack, but you will enjoy their quality and the way they make your instrument perform each time.

6) Vandoren SR423 Tenor Sax ZZ Reeds Strength 3; Box of 5

Because they have a medium strength, these reeds are best for those that already got some sort of saxophone playing skills, as they will require a bit more force when it comes to pushing the air into the instrument. The reeds are tightly sealed inside a special package that preserves their freshness in an adequate manner.

Considering that they are made out of cane, a natural material that can easily absorb moisture, such details count more than you may think. And it is worth taking good care of this little item as it is responsible for the kind of sounds your instrument is delivering.

7) D’Addario Reserve Alto Saxophone Reeds, Strength 3.0+, 10-pack

Slightly thicker, these reeds made out of cane will make your instrument produce beautiful sounds with a richer and deeper tone. If you already acquired some skills in playing the saxophone, you may want to upgrade to this type.

The manufacturer provides a pack of 10 pieces, as cane reeds tend to get used faster than synthetic reeds. However, there is something special about the sounds produced by natural reeds. So, it may be worth giving them a chance.

8) Royal by D’Addario RJB1030 Alto Sax Reeds, Strength 3.0, 10-pack

Are you looking to play jazz or classical music with your saxophone? Then perhaps you need to check out this particular type of reeds. They have a Rico cut performed in a traditional manner and they have a strength of 3, which provides richer tones.

So, it would be really great to know what kind of music you’re looking to play and the kind of tones you want to obtain from your instrument. Knowing such details will allow you to make a wise choice when it comes to your reeds.

If you already have some sax playing skills, switching from 2 or 2.5 reeds to a strength of 3 can be a great move that will help you improve your playing abilities.

9) Cecilio Alto Saxophone Reeds, 10-pack with Individual Plastic Case, Strength 2.0

Ideal for beginners, both due to the affordable price tag and very thing design, these cane reeds will help one perform in an easy and comfortable manner. Although they are all nicely packed inside a box, each reed will also come with a protective plastic case, so that its shape won’t suffer any changes until you will have the occasion to use it.

This is one of those details that can make the difference between enjoying a great reed or a reed that will alter your performance in an undesirable manner. Yes, a small piece like the reed will impact the way your instrument sounds.

10) Kormest Alto Sax Reeds 2.5 

Soft and thin reeds are highly recommended for beginners, as they will make the instrument respond faster and easier. Thus, this is the kind of reeds you should be interested in if you are just looking to start learning how to play the saxophone.

They are great even for those that play this instrument as a hobby, as each reed comes packed in an individual plastic case. So, even if you don’t use the saxophone on a daily basis, the reeds will be neatly stored so that they keep their shape and, therefore, their properties intact.

Choosing the Best Saxophone Reeds

As a saxophone player, you should be aware of the importance of the reeds in the way your instrument delivers sounds. Considering that air vibrates as it passes between the reed and edge of the mouthpiece, it is easy to tell that the reed will have a word to say in the performance of your instrument.

2) D’Addario Woodwinds RJA1025 Rico Alto Sax Reeds

  • Thin Design
  • Sounds with higher pitch
  • Made out of French cane
  • Ease of play
  • High Quality

1) Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds

  • Extremely Flexible
  • High Quality Reeds
  • Clear and rich sounds
  • Contain 10 pieces

3) Glory Reeds Alto Saxophone Reed

  • Contain 10 pieces
  • High Quality Reeds
  • Made out of cane
  • Three different sizes
  • Soft

As you can see, they come in packages containing a high number of pieces, so you won’t have to buy them too often, even if you will have to change them in a periodic manner. Just decide on the thickness that will work best in your case.

If you are just looking to start out, consider taking the softest reeds available, as they are the easiest to handle. As soon as you learn to control your instrument, you can move to reeds of a higher strength.