Even the sound of a SYNTHETIC REED is improved with the A.L.E. Reed Balancer!
Sean Ti Panlilio
(Assistant Band Conductor of the Presidential Security Group Band Philippines)
Music Educator and
Smooth Jazz Artist
NEW Review By James Bunte
A Great Review from Jazz Hall of Famer Joe Riposo
Joe Has Performed With: Frank Sinatra Jr., Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Natali Cole, Mel Torme, Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Anka, Connie Francis, and Johnny Mathis, just to name a few!
When I viewed the demonstration of the ALE Reed Balancer I was immediately impressed with the concept. I saw the answer to all the problems reed players’ experience. It is my opinion that there is no such thing as a perfect reed. If one is lucky, out of a box of ten reeds you may find one or two reeds that play well and all the others need work or you throw them out. All reeds need to be adjusted to suit the individual needs of the player. Some players need to perform with a dark sound, some with a bright sound, some with a big full rich sound etc. I have been a reed player for many years and I admit it was always a tedious job to work on my reeds to reach the desired results. What caused the frustration were the tools at my disposal (Reed knife, razors, blades, sand paper etc.). To quote one of my teachers, ”you can take it off but you can not put it back on,” thus causing the problem. I never felt, with the traditional tools I used, I had complete control of how much was coming off the reed. As soon as the Reed Balancer I purchased arrived, I tried it on a few reeds and after a few tries I discovered I was experiencing the control I never felt before. I found several reeds that I would normally throw out and began to adjust them. With the control I was experiencing I was able to make these reeds playable. I can now see how I am going to save money by being able to play more reeds out of a box then ever before. I would encourage all reed players to experience this reasonably priced tool. I only wish I had the Reed Balancer many years ago. It would have made my playing life more rewarding and more affordable.
Working woodwind player
An Excellent Review From Broadway Pit Performer
and College Professor of 30 Years,
There have been a number of useful reed adjustment products that have come on the market in recent years including the Reed Geek, sanding sticks, and sanding sponges. One can now add the A.L.E. Reed Balancer to that list. This very handy and compact piece of steel with a very fine cutting edge on one side became available last year. It works beautifully in removing wood from any part of the reed in a very subtle and efficient manner. Conceived by multi-reed player Marty Giaimo, it is the perfect size to slip into any saxophone or clarinet case and travel to any job with. At the very affordable price of $20, I believe that it is a valuable addition to the reed adjustment tools available and it will last forever! Added features that one can opt for include a personalized name engraved on one side of the tool and various holders in the forms of a leather pouch, keychain, or lanyard.
- Ed Joffe
It's the greatest reed tool! Now all my reeds are playable!!!! I had some crappy reeds in a box, and I used the A.L.E. Reed Balancer on them and they became some of the best reeds of ALL TIME!! Remember, the flat side must be flat and the reed edges must be even. This reed tool is perfect for those adjustments and you can even put it on your keychain!
- Grant Koeller
I've added a wonderful new tool to my reed preparation routine, the A L.E. Reed Balancer. Marty and Dominic have developed a tool that allows me to fine tune a reed by removing minute portions without gouging. I will be using this from now on in my reed prep and I would highly recommend it.
- Pat LaBarbera
I love my A.L.E. Reed Balancer! It is easy to use and control to make those pesky adjustments and get a reed playing just right. I use it every day!
- Harry Allen
This unassuming small tool is amazingly effective at removing just the right amount of material utilizing the very precise machined burr edge. Inconspicuous and handy enough to be used on the bandstand, I keep one in every saxophone case! Highly recommended for every saxophonist!
- Ted Klum
We are Proud to have Robert Anchipolovsky Great Jazz Bebop Alto Saxophonist/Clarinetist as an endorser of our A.L.E. Reed Balancer.
Here are Robert's Comments:
I worked with two reeds this morning and it sounds totally incredible! and improved projection! I never worked on my reeds, I used to throw reeds that didn't play well in the Garbage, now I can fix all of them! I highly Recommend Saxophone and Clarinet players to purchase this valuable tool to get all your reeds to work.
- Robert Anchipolovsky
As a player, our time is so valuable when we get in the practice room. Having a simple and dependable tool that can increase the life and enhance the playability of a reed is crucial. The ALE reed balancer is a fantastic addition to any saxophonist’s arsenal that provides an easy way to get the most out of one’s reeds efficiently and reliably
- Jack Finucane
Owner of Boston Sax Shop
I am a saxophone player in NYC and my daughter is a music teacher in the Department of Education for NYC. Jillian plays Oboe and we both use the A.L.E Reed Balancer to modify our reeds. On the saxophone, often there is a build up of saliva on the flat surface of the reed. The reed balancer not only cleans the reed but makes it adhere to the table on your mouthpiece for a firmer seal. This optimizes the vibrations for a richer sound, and gives you the option of developing your sound to what you hear in your head, or minds-eye. This tool is developed so you don't gouge the reed but carefully remove minute layers from the reed's surface, on both front and back. I don't know of any other product that takes off the wood in fine layers, as precisely as this reed tool. Jillian uses this tool in school with elementary students because you can't cut your fingers when working on your reed, but still be able to modify the surface. If you find reeds inconsistent, then this reed balancer helps you to fine tune your reeds and ultimately your sound. It is real easy to use and gives you the ability to develop reeds to last longer and always sound great!!
- Larry and Jillian Ballow (Woodwinds)
The ALE Reed Balancer is a perfect and tiny tool to carry to gigs! It is easier to use than a traditional reed knife and leads to a perfectly balanced reed without taking off too much wood. I am also impressed by how well the sharpness has held up after using it for a long time now.
- Joseph Weisberg
I've been working as a music educator since September 1980 - nearly 40 years. Over the years I've tried many different reed shaping products, for myself and for my students, with varying degrees of success. Professionally (for my own playing purposes) the Reed Balancer, without question, is one of the best items of its’ kind on the market. Educationally (as a tool for my students, and to use at school) this item is without parallel. Other reed shaping gadgets have razor sharp edges that are very dangerous and in most cases (and quite understandably) won’t even be allowed into schools. MOST IMPORTANTLY it is safe for ANY student (who is at an age where they would need and use a tool such as this) to use - worry free!!! I've had several administrators observe me, as well as my students, using the "Balancer" in class and checked it out - all walked away completely satisfied and content that the children were safe - positively. I've recommended the Reed Balancer to my educational colleagues, as well as to my peers in the professional arena. They have all relayed their satisfaction because... it just works! I not only recommend, but highly endorse this product.
- Thomas E. Meaders III
B.S. Music Ed.
M.A., M.S. Ed.
This reed balancing tool is what I have been looking for!!!! Being a woodwind musician/teacher, I have many students that I do not feel comfortable with using a reed knife. It can be very dangerous, and very difficult to learn the proper technique in order to not damage the reed and make it worse than it was from the start. These reed balancers work perfectly!! They are safe. There is no way for a kid to get injured handling one. It is easy to little by little adjust your reed without taking off too much. I love using it with students, and it is way better than using sandpaper like I had previously been doing. It is slim and small in size, fits on a key chain, or slides right into a case. Just perfect!!! Awesome, even for younger students!
- Chris Garone
I've never been someone who worked on my reeds; though I've always complained about how so few good ones come in each box. The ALE Reed Balancer is simple to use and improves the sound of the reeds I have used too long cause I like them; and has prolonged them to last and have saved me from buying another box of reeds. At $30+ a reed box it is very expensive when you play alto, tenor, clarinet, and bass clarinet. It was worth the money. I go slowly; one or two passes on the reed at a time. There are not that many gigs right now, so I do not want to spend too much on reeds just practicing at home. The ALE Reed Balancer has helped.
- Clifford Tetle
The A.L.E. Reed Balancer is an exceptional alternative to a very expensive reed knife. For those who prefer to scrape their reeds with a traditional burr, the A.L.E. Reed Balancer is a convenient and high quality option that will fit on your keychain or even in your wallet! Highly recommended.
- Sebastian Knox