Today, I am reviewing a product called the ReedJuvinate Woodwind Reed System. As a woodwind player, you are probably already aware of what a pain reeds can be to keep and store. How do you best store them?
I’m always curious about the different ways people store their reeds when not in use. I’ve seen countless methods used to store reeds including one guy who kept them fully submerged in a jar of some mysterious cloudy liquid. (I tried this when I was in college and my reeds got so waterlogged I couldn’t even play them……… ) I’ve also tried other self made methods when I was in high school that seemed like a good idea until I opened the container and saw that all my reeds had a black greenish mold on them………Gross! Since those days, I have collected quite a few different reed cases. I have a drawer full of Selmer, Protec, Vandoren and other miscellaneous cases next to me in my desk.
ReedJuvinate Woodwind Reed System
The ReedJuvinate system caught my attention in that the description of the system describes the reeds as never drying out or warping. It also claims to preserve your reeds so that they last much longer. I have long believed that the continual cycle of wetting, drying, warping, wetting, drying, warping………. of the reeds has a negative effect on their longevity and quality so I had to give this new system a try.
The ReedJuvinate Reed System comes in an orange leak proof container that screws together securely. Inside the container, are three reed clips that are red, blue and white. These clips fit together and then fit snuggly into the orange container. There is a space in the center of the reed clips that a long triangle shaped sponge can slide into. All the pieces of the ReedJuvinate System look like common items you might find at a dollar store or Staples but I am impressed by the ingenuity and creativity of the system.
ReedJuvinate Woodwind Reed System
The ReedJuvinate can be used in two ways according to the directions that come included:
Method #1-Immersion (reeds have higher water content)
With this method you fill the ReedJuvinate container with 1/2 water and 1/2 Listerine. You then slide your reeds into the clips with the tips facing downwards and some of the base of the reed showing at the top so you can grab them and slide them out again. The reeds are always submerged in water and the Listerine kills any bacteria or mold that might be tempted grow.
Method #2-Vapour Phase (reeds have lower water content)
Insert 3 reeds into the reed holder and then fill the ReedJuvinate container with Listerine. Soak the reeds for 10 minutes and then pour out the Listerine leaving the sponge moist. Screw the cap back on. The moist sponge has more than enough moisture to keep the reeds wet inside the enclosed container.
Method #3-Steve’s Method
As I experimented with the Reedjuvinate system, I realized that my own personal preference is to have the reeds moist so they don’t warp but not soaked. I feel like when a reed is soaked it can feel sluggish and lose some of the crisp attack and highs in the sound. What I did to keep the moisture at my desired level is to take the sponge out of the container and dip it in a glass of Listerine. I then took it out and let the excess Listerine drip off the sponge before placing it back in the ReedJuvinate container. I felt like this method worked great for me and my reeds were always moist and never dried out.
ReedJuvinate Woodwind Reed System
The ReedJuvinate directions say to replace the Listerine on the sponge about once a month but I have to admit that I have gone over two months with my same first soak of Listerine. I just checked the reeds and they are still moist, flat and there is no signs of mold at all after 2 1/2 months!
What were my results with the Reejuvinate System? Well usually, I go through a reed in about 3-4 days of practicing. Sometimes less, sometimes more but on average about 3-4 days I would say. With the ReedJuvinate System I used the same reed for about 3 weeks before I moved up to Vermont last month. I think that was a record for me. That original reed is still in the case and I took it out this morning and it played just as well as it did a month ago. I am sold on this system! If I can keep my great reeds working longer then I will use it that is for sure.
The only downside I see with the system is that I can only store 3 reeds in the container. The reality though is that if you have one mouthpiece you use and 3 great reeds stored in the ReedJuvinate then you should be all set.
ReedJuvinate Woodwind Reed System
The ReedJuvinate Woodwind Reed System is a simple yet great idea. You can find out more information and purchase the system at www.ReedJuvinate.com. I hope you enjoy the system as much as I have………….
Let me know what you think when you try it out for a little while. Thanks, Steve
I ordered one a couple days ago after reading this post. I’m a sucker for anything that might make my reeds better, especially when it’s endorsed by a serious player. I’ll report back when it arrives and I’ve used it for a while. BTW, Steve, Welcome to Vermont! I’ve been here a little over a year and absolutely love it. I’m down by Montpelier but I get up your way often for gigs. Would love to get a private lesson from you sometime if we can work it out.
I have started using a storage method I learned on the web from the saxophonist Andy Sheppard (UK) http://www.andysheppard.co.uk/ , and it is working for me so far (about a month). When the reeds aren’t being played, I drop them in a jar half filled with vodka, and screw the lid on. To play, I just wipe the reed with a cloth. The vodka keeps the reed moist and mould free, and doesn’t taste too bad.
Steve using your system do you put the reeds in wet and play them first or do you put them in dry.
I put them in wet after I play them. The Reedjuvinate only has space for 3 reeds so I want my 3 best in there. My goal is to find 3 “killer” and then have the Reedjuvinate prolong their life as long as possible. So far it is working great!
This system works quite well no matter how you use it. I bought 3 of them… 1 for each horn. You can also do this using a Pelican Case 1010 ($12) and a sponge that you cut up and put in the case. I put the sponge at both ends of the case and on top of the reeds.
I can store about 10 clarinet reeds and about 8 alto reeds. For tenor sax I use the 1020 case, which is a little bigger.
I used Listerine and just keep the sponge moist to the touch. It seems to also help to
soak the reed in Listerine before storing it in either the Reedjuvinate or the Pelican case with a sponge. My reeds are ready to play and do last 2x-3x times longer. Its nice to just put the reed on the mouthpiece and have it play great without any adjustment. The constant wetting a drying is a definite reed killer… keeping it moist is the best way to go.
Hi Steve – Thanks for the interesting and clearly written review. Are you still using this system and what is your opinion now that it’s been a few months? I’m fascinated by the idea and am considering ordering one of these. I just find it curious that no one in my world (the clarinet world) seems to be talking about this concept.
Andrew, Yes, I’m still using this system for my tenor reeds. I actually haven’t even resaturated the sponge with Listerine yet. It’s been like 4 months and no sign of mold or anything. At this point I’m kind of curious how long I can go on this one batch of Listerine…………..
Any apparent difference in reed longevity and consistency?
Just an update on the Reedjuvinate. I played 5 two hour concerts, plus practing, and the reeds still sounded good today when I tested them against some new reeds I was checking out. So 3 reeds lasting for 2 1/2months now and holding up well.
I keep 3 reeds in the Reedjuvinate case and another 8 in my Pelican case.
Its hard to imagine reeds lasting so long…. I have a pile of unopened reeds that may take years to finally get around to using.
John Harris says
Fascinating. As a former bassoon player, (what a beast of a horn!) I was taught to soak the reeds in peroxide. The chemical starts working immediately by “bubbleing away BACTERIA.
There have been times where in a bind, I had to regen sax & clarinet reeds.
A $.99 bottle of peroxide, always saved me.
that review was awesome – it got me getting some Reed Juvinates and that’s the way to go when it comes to reed management! Far beyond all other options! I use Listerine cool mint soaking only the sponge. A growing number of friends fell in love with the Reed Juvinate… Thank You for that great hint!
I agree Walt. I use mine all the time. My problem is that it only holds 3 reeds and I am switching mouthpieces so much that they all prefer different reed sizes and brands. I look at my Reedjuvinate as a motivation to get back to playing one mouthpiece and one reed size again………..Maybe someday…….
Just read the whole review after seeing your post on FB (Saxoholics) Thanks much for the thorough review. Looks like I need to try a couple.
Skip, Yes, they are very good. Let me know your results if you try one. Thanks, Steve
I ended up with moldy reeds after a couple of months! I think it’s probably important to re-soak the sponge with fresh Listerine once a month, as directed. I failed to do that. Happened when I went on vacation without playing for a few days.
Wow, really! I have never had any of my reeds get moldy in my cases. I’ve been lax at renewing the Listerine also but no problems for the last year………..
Steve, if you don’t replace the Listerine or the Vodka on the sponge then yes you may get mold, after time. I’ve had mold twice using the Pelican case and a sponge. One fix to this is to dip your reed in either the Listerine or Vodka after each use, then put it away.
This system still works great to keep your reeds playable and ready to go immediately.
My reeds still last much longer even if occasionally I get mold.
lea macquarrie says
Mine arrived in a clear plastic tube, with the product inside of it. I cannot remove the product from the tube. I have tried everything, tools, etc. The clear plastic tube has a plastic handle on top that will not turn or pull off. Also, there do not seem to be any directions included, unless they are inside of the product itself (the orange tube).
Warren Keller says
I really like it too! I’d suggest they lose the lanyard and the magnet. I’d like to see it expanded to hold more reeds. I felt like the holders could be beefier and not tend to pull out and come apart when a reed is removed. And, it is pricey. All in all, I like it and will order a second one.
Don Kubec says
I purchased 3 ReedJuvinates about 4 or 5 years ago without reading any reviews or knowing anyone that had the product. (I’m a sucker for new stuff) Alto, Tenor and Bari are the only horns that I use cane on. The Soprano, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet have gone the Legere way. The ‘cane ‘ reeds are PlastiCover which I’ve been using since the came out. I did a lot of doubling and they were perfect.
To say that the ReedJuvinates worked successfully would be an understatement. I got more life from the reeds and they were always ready to play. You would expect ‘ready to play’ from PlastiCover, but those who use them know that after you use the reed for several weeks the plastic comes off and they almost act like a regular reed as far as needing ‘wetting ‘ before playing.
I experienced some health problems recently and didn’t touch my horns for almost 18 months. I got the Alto and Tenor out and the reeds in The ReedJuvinates worked immediately. I had used the damp sponge Listerine method. ( It was still damp. No mold!
Thank you ReedJuvinate for taking the reed issue off the list of me getting my chops back.