Filed vs. Unfiled Reeds

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Filed vs. Unfiled Reeds

Choosing a File Cut to Suit your Mouthpiece

There are many variances on types of reeds, and one decision you will have to make is choosing between a filed or unfiled reed to suit your mouthpiece. This decision comes down to personal preference and is subjective. Some may focus on the style of music. For example, classical music may call for a darker, more tonal sound, while you may desire a brighter, edgier sound for pop or jazz.

Filed Reed

Choosing a Filed Reed

Filed or French Filed Cut reeds have an extra strip of cane removed in a straight line just below the vamp allowing for more flexibility and a faster response time. Often, players who use moderately resistant and darker sounding mouthpieces prefer filed reeds. The file allows these resistant mouthpieces to blow more freely and produce a brighter tone and that's more focused.

Unfiled Reed

Choosing an Unfiled Reed

Also referred to as American Cut, regular reeds, or single cut are identified by their distinct “U” shape at the bottom of the vamp, with no line. This produces a more powerful tone. Players who use easy-blowing and moderate to bright mouthpieces often prefer unfiled reeds. Unfiled reeds give the player a darker tone and more resistance, producing a more robust sound and full sound.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Finding the right sweet spot for your tone may require some experimenting depending on your play style and personal taste. Here are some examples of filed and unfiled reeds. Happy playing!

Examples of Filed Reeds

Royal Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

D'Addario Royal

Royal Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$22.49

MSRP: $34.55

Hemke Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 5 Box

Hemke

Hemke Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 5 Box

$18.49

MSRP: $26.10

Rico Grand Concert Select Eb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Rico Grand Concert Select

Rico Grand Concert Select Eb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$31.99

MSRP: $45.30

Vandoren Traditional Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren Traditional

Vandoren Traditional Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$33.99

MSRP: $57.75

Vandoren Java Red Cut Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren Java - Filed

Vandoren Java Red Cut Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$42.99

MSRP: $72.75

Select Jazz Alto Saxophone Filed Reeds - 3 Medium, 10 Box

D'Addario Select Jazz

Select Jazz Alto Saxophone Filed Reeds - 3 Medium, 10 Box

$38.99

MSRP: $55.15

Vandoren V12 Eb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren V12

Vandoren V12 Eb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$38.99

MSRP: $66.25

D'Addario Reserve Eb Clarinet Reeds - #3-1/2+, 10 Box

D'Addario Reserve

D'Addario Reserve Eb Clarinet Reeds - #3-1/2+, 10 Box

$32.99

MSRP: $46.35

Examples of Unfiled Reeds

Rico Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Rico

Rico Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$18.99

MSRP: $28.55

Select Jazz Alto Saxophone Unfiled Reeds - 3 Medium, 10 Box

D'Addario Select Jazz

Select Jazz Alto Saxophone Unfiled Reeds - 3 Medium, 10 Box

$38.99

MSRP: $55.15

Vandoren Java Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren Java - Unfiled

Vandoren Java Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$42.99

MSRP: $72.75

Vandoren V16 Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren V16

Vandoren V16 Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$42.99

MSRP: $72.75

Vandoren ZZ Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren jaZZ

Vandoren ZZ Alto Saxophone Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$42.99

MSRP: $72.75

Vandoren V21 Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3.5+, 10 Box

Vandoren V21

Vandoren V21 Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3.5+, 10 Box

$43.99

MSRP: $75.50

Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic

Vandoren 56 Rue Lepic Bb Clarinet Reeds - #3, 10 Box

$43.99

MSRP: $75.50

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