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How do you know if the reed is in a good or bad condition?

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So let’s assume we now have a reed that we know is nicely run in, and is playing well so this is definitely a reed we can use with confidence. However we are aware that reeds don’t last indefinitely (even synthetic reeds) but how do we know how long that is? We know when to change the ink in a printer because either there is a warning indicator or else we print a page and we can immediately see there is something wrong. Obviously we don’t know when that is going to happen as it is dependant on how much printing we have done, not how long the cartridge was in the printer.

Same with reeds: unfortunately we can’t say whether a reed will last two weeks or three months. It all depends on the amount of use it has been getting. And not just the amount of use in terms of playing hours, but in many cases the type of playing. getting back to our printer cartridge analogy, if you were printing pages of double spaced light grey text you would expect to get more pages per cartridge than if you print single spaced bold black text.

 

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