The Vandoren V-12 reed seems to have been a response to the needs of plays several decades ago who turned to brands such as Olivieri and Morre. As a professional clarinetist who has played a variety of mouthpieces and reeds over the years, it has always been my experience that these thick-blank reeds work best on mouthpieces with a long facing, and usually a mouthpiece with at least a medium tip opening. The Vandoren V-12 reeds might not possess the mystique of the Morre (which were always difficult to obtain, but they are closer to the classic thick-blank style of the past than the Vandoren traditional cut reeds. Generally, I have found that the V-12 reeds are more consistent than Vandoren's traditional cut reeds. If you are a Vandoren user and never tried the V-12 reeds, just be aware that you may need to try a different strength than what you are used to. It has been my experience that the V-12 cut is more flexible at the tip, so (contrary to what conventional wisdom might suggest) sometimes people use a 1/2 strength higher with the V-12. In their packaging, Vandoren seems to be making a big deal about the consistency of humidity that is maintained from manufacturing plant to user in their new packaging. Frankly, I have noticed little difference. In any case, recent Vandoren V-12 #4 reeds that I've used seem to make producing a full, rich, consistently dark tone easy for the experienced player. Put another way: I've spent time using professional reeds from just about every company, but I keep coming back to the Vandoren V-12.
I studied seriously when I was in high school and college. I had to quit clarinet for my graduate work and starting my professional life. Vandoren makes an OK product; but just as I remember, their reeds are inconsistent. Before buying Vandorens, be sure to buy a reed knife and some fine sandpaper. The V-12s seemed a bit better than the blue box. But I've opened three, and at least one really should have been rated a 3 rather than a 3 1/2, which was the strength box that I purchased.These reeds have always provided me with the best sound and full tone I can possible get from these reeds. their individual packaging has helped keep the pre-use warping lower then usual, and 99.9% of the time, all of the reeds are in perfect, unmatched quality.These are the best reeds I've come across. I love the quality of them. They are much more expensive in stores, it's totally worth it to buy them here.
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