Lupifaro Evo Tenor and Alto Saxophone Reeds Review

Today, I am reviewing the Lupifaro  Evo custom saxophone reeds sold by Lupifaro reeds in Switzerland.  Lupifaro reeds reached out to me a few months ago and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their saxophone reeds.  They sent me a box of five 2 1/2 and a box of five 3 strength tenor saxophone and alto saxophone reeds to try and perhaps review.

Lupifaro Evo Tenor and Alto Saxophone Reeds

Lupifaro Evo saxophone reeds are made from arundo donax cane, which originates from the Rigotti reed factory in Cogolin, France (on the French Riviera).  I found this interesting website at bassooncane.com that has some interesting details on the arundo donax cane and the plantations that grow it.

The Rigotti company is in the Provencal town of Cogolin to the golf of Saint-Tropez. Franco Rigotti and his son Daniël have a modern workshop where not only arundo donax is processed, but also where tools (for making reeds), and accessories for wind instruments are produced.-bassooncane.com

Rigotti sells their products and different cuts of saxophone reeds to companies such as Lupifaro, Boston Sax Shop, Ishimori, Roberto’s Winds, as well as their very own brand of Rigotti Gold Jazz and Classic saxophone reeds.  I have tried all of these brands I have listed above and hope to complete a comparison review of all of these reeds at some point in the future.

Rigotti Arundo Donax Cane for Reeds

Here is the description of the Lupifaro Evo custom saxophone reeds from the Lupifaro website:

“Lupifaro Tenor Evo saxophone reeds are an evolution of our previous Lupifaro Tenor Jazz saxophone reeds. We modified the cut in order to obtain even more vintage sounds and a feeling closer to old school saxophone reeds.

To obtain this new cut the milling machines’ settings were pushed to their technical limits and some reeds may present an irregular cut on its back (more square rather than “U” shaped like classic unfiled cuts). This unusual aesthetic difference does not affect in any way the sound quality and shall not be considered a defect. The cane we used is a natural raw material and is never perfectly regular in shape.

Lupifaro Evo Reeds give an unparalleled steady and balanced response throughout the whole registry, keeping the sound full and compact. These reeds are hand selected and the quality check is as strict as it has always been.”-Lupifaro Reeds

Lupifaro Evo Tenor and Alto Saxophone Reeds

Lupifaro saxophone reeds don’t come in soft, medium and hard strengths per half size like Rigotti Gold and Roberto’s Winds reeds do but come in half sizes (2, 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, 4).  Although some players like the more precise strengths offered by Rigotti and Roberto’s Winds reeds, other saxophone players prefer the simplicity of only having to choose between half sizes.  I have found that no matter what reed brand you choose, the most important aspect is dialing in the reed strength you prefer. Lupifaro, BSS and Ishimori Woodstone reeds all come in only half sizes but once you dial in the perfect strength for you, they are very reliable and consistent saxophone reeds.

Lupifaro sent me five 2 1/2 strength reeds and five 3 strength reeds for both tenor and alto saxophone so I can only judge their consistency by those five saxophone reeds of each strength which is not a large sampling unfortunately.  I can write that the five saxophone reeds in each box were very consistent in strength and playability for me.

In general, the Lupifaro Evo 2 1/2 tenor saxophone reeds felt softer to me than Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 strong, BSS 2 1/2 or Roberto’s Winds 2 1/2 hard reeds.  The 3 strength Lupifaro Evo tenor saxophone reeds felt a little bit harder than Rigotti Gold 3 light reeds, about the same as Roberto’s Winds 3 soft reeds and softer than BSS 3 saxophone reeds.

You can find specific sound clips of me using the Lupifaro Evo  saxophone reeds in the sound clips at the bottom of these reviews I have done since December.

Lupifaro Evo Reed Comparison Chart

As far as the reed strength comparison chart above, I would agree with the comparisons of the Lupifaro 2 1/2 and 3 tenor saxophone reeds with the Vandoren Java tenor saxophone reeds.  Of the Vandoren reeds, I have the most experience with the Vandoren Java reeds and the Lupifaro Evo 2 1/2 reed is indeed similar in strength to the Vandoren Java 2 1/2 saxophone reeds.  I also found the Lupifaro Evo 3 strength saxophone reed to be softer than the Vandoren Java 3 tenor saxophone reeds I have tried as the chart above states.

As far as tone and sound, the Lupifaro Evo saxophone reeds seemed to be less bright and edgy than the Rigotti Gold reeds but not as dark or warm as the BSS reeds or Roberto’s reeds that I have tried.  The Lupifaro Evo reeds have a thick core and complexity to the sound that I really loved.  The articulation was clean and crisp.  (*My favorite sound clip above was the 10mFan Celebration sax mouthpiece with the Lupifaro Evo reed)

It is important to note, that although the Lupifaro Evo, Roberto’s Winds, Rigotti, Ishimori and BSS reeds are all made with Rigotti cane, I found them to all be  different in response and tone.  Sometimes I found the differences to be slight and sometimes the difference was huge depending on the mouthpiece I was trying out.  The advantage of reviewing so many saxophone mouthpieces here at neffmusic.com is that I can try each sax mouthpiece with a variety of saxophone reeds and choose the best reed for each mouthpiece.

For the sax mouthpieces reviewed above, I tried a variety of reeds and for whatever reason the Lupifaro Evo reeds proved to be the best on those mouthpiece reviews I listed.  I write all this just to point out that your individual choice of saxophone reed is dependent on a number of factors such as the mouthpieces you use, the facing curve length, the tip rail shape and thickness, the baffle, the chamber, your preferences and playing habits, your anatomy and even the weather.  A review such as this can help point you in the right direction for a reed choice but the bottom line is that you have to try these saxophone reeds out for yourself to make your own decision.

Lupifaro Evo Tenor and Alto Saxophone Reeds

The Lupifaro Evo saxophone reeds seem to last a similar length of time as my other Rigotti cane reeds I have tried such as the Rigotti Gold, BSS and Roberto’s Winds saxophone reeds but I really can’t give an exact measurement on this just because I review so many saxophone mouthpieces and have not yet played any of these Lupifaro Evo sax reeds to their death (meaning they become too soft for me).  I will state that the Lupifaro reeds I have tried so far are still in reed cases in the hopes that I will be able to use them again on future sax mouthpiece trials and reviews.

Lupifaro Evo Tenor and Alto Saxophone Reeds

If you are interested in the Lupifaro Evo custom saxophone reeds,  you can order them from the Lupifaro website.  They come in strengths from 2-4 and are made for all the saxophones (tenor, alto and soprano saxophone) I have searched on Google for places in the United States that carry Lupifaro Evo reeds but as of this review, I have been unable to find any retailers in the US.  If you know of any retailers here in the US please let me know and I will add them here in the review.

Thanks to Lupifaro for sending me these great playing Lupifaro Evo saxophone reeds to try.  I am very grateful to have the chance to try these reeds as they give me another choice of saxophone reed when reviewing all of these sax mouthpieces I review each month.

If you try the Lupifaro Evo saxophone reeds, please come back and tell us what you think of them in the comment section below.    Steve

Disclosure:  I received a sample package of Lupifaro Evo tenor and alto saxophone reeds in two sizes for free in the hope that I would try them and perhaps review them here on my blog.  Regardless, I only review products that I believe will be good for other saxophone players to try also.     Steve
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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Avatar Angelo Yodice says

    Hi Steve, About a year or two ago I believe you had made available to your followers the opportunity to purchase all sorts of brands & models of saxophone mouthpiece.
    Will you make that offer again in the near future?
    To you and your family stay well Steve

    • Angelo, I’m not sure when I will be listing mouthpieces for sale but if you are ever interested in something I review just let me know through the contact page on my website. Steve

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