The secret to the success of Légère Reeds is a combination of a unique synthetic material, and meticulous computer controlled processing operations. Natural cane has a combination of high stiffness and low density that can be difficult to duplicate in a synthetic material. The manufacturers take advantage of the natural variation in cane to produce reeds of different strength. Cane reeds are graded according to strength: stiff cane is generally used to produce “harder” reeds.
We have successfully duplicated this property variation in our material, and because we can control the material properties very precisely we are able to deliver reeds of consistent strength – each and every time.
Légère reeds are made from polypropylene, which is approved by the FDA for use in direct food contact applications, so our reeds are completely safe to use. Recently, there has been concern expressed in the media about a chemical compound called Bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used to make some plastics. Polypropylene does not contain BPA. Those expressing concern about BPA in baby bottles often suggest polypropylene as a safe alternative.
We process our polymer in a special way that lines up the molecules themselves in order to precisely match the stiffness and density of moist cane. We do not add glass fibres or any chemicals. Some characteristics of our material:
- It doesn’t have to be preconditioned before playing.
- It does not absorb water.
- It is completely non-toxic.
- It can be sanitized.
- It is extremely tough and it will last a long, long, time.
Of course, the best thing about our material is its sound. Even with all of the advantages of a synthetic, you wouldn’t spot our reeds on the stage at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra if the sound wasn’t wonderful.
Légère reeds are cut from our own unique polymer on 3-axis, computer controlled precision cutting machines. We can also measure our reeds with extreme precision using computer controlled equipment, and this allows us to maintain very tight quality control.
We have created our own, customized profiles using a mathematical description of reed profile rather than a model or prototype. The result is a reed which is perfectly balanced, and has just the right combination of tip thickness, heart, and flexibility.