The fourth review of woodwind equipment contains accessories that can be of tremendous value to any woodwind doubler or single-reed specialist. Like previous equipment review articles, I am not a paid endorsee or have any personal involvement with any of the companies whose products I recommend. The products are listed alphabetically.
Behn Reed Cases for Clarinet and Saxophone
Brad Behn has once again come up with a novel approach to improving a reed player’s life. His new reed cases for all clarinets and saxophones incorporate many of the wonderful recent discoveries to improve a reed’s life and performance. Smartly designed in a variety of styles and colors, they contain either 6, 10, or 20 reeds. All cases allow for a humidity pack to be set in between both sides of the perforated reed tray, allowing for the backsides of all reeds to gain the benefits of the humid packs. The case is airtight, rubber gasket-sealed to establish a constant humidity for the reeds while avoiding any mold buildup. The wonderful aspect of this product is that it is very portable and can fit into any case. The cases range in price from $30 up depending on the reed size, number of reeds, and case color one wishes. Highly Recommended!
Jazzlab Saxholder Pro
The myriad of sax straps that are on the market make it difficult to choose one that is right for a particular saxophone and player. However, the Jazzlab Saxholder Pro saxophone harness is a very good product. I have found that that it is most effective when playing alto or tenor saxophone for multiple hours. The strap is constructed so that it is anchored in a tripod-like fashion and is very light. It has two padded handles that can be molded over one’s shoulders and a 3rd adjustable handle for anchoring the strap down the length of one’s chest as far as the upper abdomen. This takes all the weight off one’s neck, which is the largest benefit, AND results in better resonance since there is no weight impinging on the breathing column. Once the individual adjusts the strap to their body, the angle of the saxophone neck/mouthpiece to the lower jaw can remain the same as the angle one might be accustomed to with a traditional strap. It costs approximately $60 and is well worth the investment.
Lomax HumidiPro Piccolo Case
Mark Lomax is well known in the woodwind world for his unique clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and reed cases. However, his fantastic case for piccolo is not on the radar of many flute players or doublers. Good news—this is the best case possible for maintaining and storing one’s wooden piccolo! The HumidiPro piccolo case comes equipped with a digital hygrometer/ thermometer as well as a compartment for a large humid pack. This helps create a stable atmosphere for the wooden piccolo body and its pads which results in a more consistent performance from the piccolo. The air-tight case is exceedingly light weight at 1.4lbs but made of sturdy material. I have had my HumidiPro piccolo case for several years and have been knocked out by the consistency in my 100 years-old piccolo’s condition. The case costs $175.
Protech Woodwind Mouthpiece & Ligature Case
For those who are always searching for the perfect mouthpiece and/or ligature and wishing to try out their success on gigs, Protech has come up with an answer to that conundrum. Their mouthpiece/ligature modular case allows one to store 5 saxophone/clarinet mouthpieces along with 4 ligatures in a lightweight, portable case. Housed in a ballistic nylon fabric, this case also has a zippered pocket on the outside for accessories like reeds, cigarette papers, reed knives, etc. The dimensions are small enough (9.5”x5”x1.5”) to allow anyone to transport this case to gigs with no problem or to keep it on a shelf at home without taking up much room. Priced at $79, this is a good product for the working single-reed musician.
Yamaha Flute Inner Cloth
As one would expect from a company dedicated to refining every piece of equipment that they produce, Yamaha has developed a cleaning cloth for the inner flute that is superb. A lightweight, self-absorbent microfiber cloth that is designed to remove moisture and dirt from any “C” flute, this product is excellent and dries quickly. It allows for multiple uses during any one practice session or gig. Priced at $17, it will last a long time and is well worth the money.