Friday, April 13, 2012
Rico's Reed Storage Case with Humidity Control
On day two of using the case I pulled out the reed I had just played the day before and the tip was warped. It wasn't warped significantly, like a reed that you leave out of the case overnight, however the tip was noticeably warped with minor ripples along its full length. It took a few minutes of wetting, straightening, and playing to get the reed back to its ideal state, or as near to ideal as possible after being warped.
What caused the warping? I believe there is one major design flaw here. The floor surface that the reed sits against is lined with long vertical minutely lowered slots which allow the reed to breath and air out underneath as well as above. I have used multiple reed cases with this design, and in my experience it always allows the tip of the reed to warp. Even when the humidity is well regulated the results are apparently the same. The ideal solution would be a flat hard, yet breathable surface, which would provide an unyielding surface to prevent warping that would still allowed the reeds to release moisture from underneath. That day has not arrived yet, at least not with Rico's storage case.
The Answer to Humidity Control
Conclusion: Rico's reed case fails to deliver on its promise of preventing warping, however the Vitalizer humidity control pack does do a fantastic job of stabilizing humidity, and I recommend using it in a context other than Rico's case.