Yo! Short update on the new brand of reeds I'm now totally digging. After years of being a Vandoren convert and playing on the standard blue packets, I then discovered the different flavours like ZZ, V16 and Java. I loved each type for a fair time until discovering the next.
V16's were brilliant and powerful, but lacked finesse. The ZZ's produced a lovely tone but gave me less power and I'd find they were blown out after a couple of particularly lively funk shows. The original Green Java's were the first variation I tried and I must admit I was never truly taken with them. They played a bit harder than the vanilla version, but nothing really leapt out.
However I saw the Java Reds on Reeds-Direct.co.uk and gave them a go. They have an amazing balance of power and finesse, being great for both hard funk and smooth jazz. They bed in and warm up quickly, but like all reeds you do get some duds in the box. At the moment of writing on average 1 or 2 per box of 5 warp the minute they're wetted or are woolly sounding, but the rest are sharp and clear.
I play these at 2.5 on my Series II Selmer Tenor and plan to replace the ZZ's I'm running on my other horns when I run out.