Légère Reeds LTD, has become one of the most popular synthetic reeds on the market today. More and more saxophonists have made the switch to Légère due to the many common problems and inconsistencies they have faced while dealing with traditional cane reeds. I have tried various Forestone, Bravo, FiberReed and a few other synthetic reed brands in the past but actually have not had a chance to test play the Légère Signature Series reeds until today. I will be providing a product overview on the Légère Signature Series reeds for alto and tenor saxophone as well as my overall thoughts. Légère, was nice enough to send me a few different reed strengths for both alto and tenor saxophone so I could find the best one that works for my setup.
Many players who play Légère, tend to prefer the Signature Series reeds, which produce a warm and rich tone across all registers. The Signature Series reeds are made from a stiffer material and are cut thinner than the Classic reeds. “These attributes make the Signature Series reeds more flexible across the tip which results in a full spectrum of overtones and a beautiful sound with minimal effort.” Regardless of which cut you choose, you will always receive the same Légère quality and the durability that Légère has come to be known for. All Légère reeds are offered in ¼ strengths and are available for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone (please see the saxophone reed chart below for comparison).
Légère Reeds LTD: Reed Strength Chart
Légère Signature Series Overall Thoughts
Tenor & Alto: I typically play between a 2.5 to 3.0 strength cane reed across various brands (Vandoren, D’Addario. Lupifaro, WoodStone, Rigotti, Roberto’s, etc.). I found when test playing the 2, 2.25, 2.5, 2.75, and 3 strength Légère Signature Series reeds, that the 2 strength played the best from top to bottom on both my current setup’s (Vintage Slant Link (7) on tenor and Phil Tone Custom Meyer (6) on alto). I thought the 2.25 Légère would have been the right strength for me but it was a bit too resistant and not as easy to play throughout the entire range in comparison to the 2.0 while test playing. In terms of responsiveness, I found the 2.0 Légère Signature Series reeds were very free-blowing from top to bottom and incredibly easy to play in the altissimo register even more so then I have found on traditional cane reeds. Sonically, I found the Légère Signature Series played a tad brighter in the low, mid and high register compared to my traditional cane reeds. I found the sound was more spread rather than focused and although the Légère Signature Series reeds sounded very close to traditional cane, there were various timbres and overtones throughout that were not as present compared to traditional cane. The Légère Signature Series reeds did not feel like cane when first test playing but after playing for a few minutes, the Légère reed felt comfortable on both alto and tenor.
I would like to thank Chis Kortschot, Marketing Manager at Légère Reeds, for sending me the multiple Signature Series reeds to test play for alto and tenor saxophone. I highly recommend trying synthetic reeds in general even if traditional cane is your preference because it’s valuable to understand how these reeds play in comparison. When testing the Légère Signature Series reeds, I strongly recommend that you play one for a whole practice session and over a few days so you can make an informed decision whether the Légère Signature Series synthetic reeds work for you or if traditional cane is still your preference. Personally, I am not a traditional cane purists, but for my setup, I still prefer traditional cane over the Légère Signature Series reeds and other synthetic reeds being offered on the market today. With that being said, I would still recommend trying out various synthetic reeds as well as keeping one in your case like the Légère Signature Series synthetic reed in case of an emergency. I will continue to try synthetic reeds due to the inconsistencies I find dealing with traditional cane reeds and believe one day I will find the synthetic reed that works best with my setup. What is your experience with Légère and other synthetic reeds?