Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reed review

A high-quality classical clarinet reed is equivalent to the quality of music it produces. The Vandoren CR8035 Bb clarinet V21 has stood the test of time, and maintained its quality and has become a favorite for all classical clarinetists.

The Vandoren V21 is the best of both worlds as it combines the profile of the V12 and gives you the sound of the 56 Rue Epic. It is like playing two instruments in one, but what caught my attention is the large intervals that produced even and rich tones. It is easy to confuse between the traditional Vandoren and the V21, but they aren’t the same. I think the V21 is the perfect instrument if your performance requires large intervals. In this post, we shall look at everything there is to this instrument, so keep up.

Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reed Breakdown and overview

This instrument is the perfect combination of warmth and depth in sound. The clarinetists who have had the privileged to use this instrument can attest to its ability to pick up quickly and how easy it is to control. It comes in the conical shape of the 56 Rue Epic and the V12 profile. With a power combination like that, all registers are easy to access, and an even tone is produced. The reed is sealed and come fresh and ready to jump right in.

This clarinet reed works best for professional players who are required to play in large intervals. It is a hard reed of 3.5 strength, so a beginner might struggle with it. It weighs 0.0007 ounces and mostly comes in black. This is not a new product in the market. It was first availed to users in 2015. If you have been in the music scene for a long time, you would know that Vandoren is a leading brand for clarinets and other musical instruments and accessories.

Most users have found that it plays easier and has a quicker response compared to other hard reeds on the market. The higher registers are particularly strong, and the toning is sharp and pleasant. The best way to play is paring it with a Vandoren mouthpiece with hard rubber. The sound quality will be distinguishable, and you will hear the difference. If you must purchase this reed, ensure that your embouchure is well-balanced and you can handle hard reeds. If you are yet to get to this level, you might want to try other beginner reeds.

These reeds are a little pricy, but the quality is worth every penny. They give you a dynamic tonal response that keeps you wanting to play more. If you have tried the V12 and found it missing out on something that you can’t lay your finger on, this is the right reed for you. You will find wholeness in the Vandoren V21.

On the downside, some reeds in the box were not quite optimal. We found a few chipped pieces, but all the others worked great. Some are also a bit too hard to play, and it can be a disappointment, especially with a highly ranked brand as the Vandoren, but the other good ones cover the shortcomings of the bad ones.

What we liked

  • The easy and quick response
  • It has an even tone
  • Picks up well in large intervals
  • Perfect for the upper registers
  • The thickness of the tip that increases its duration

What we didn’t like

  • It is expensive
  • Some reeds were chipped in a box


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Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reed Specifications

Model Vandoren V21 Bb clarinet reed
Model number CR8035
Strength 3.5
Sound Dark, Rich tone
Pack 10pack
Registers All
Level Advanced
Key B flat
Weight 0.007 ounces
Dimensions 2.38 by 4.38 by 1.13 inches
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Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reed Features

Design and Build

These reeds take a conical shape that resembles the 56 Rue Epic. The box comes with ten reeds in a sleek blue color. The tip thickness is 0.10mm, and the heel thickness is 3.25. This reed pack comes with 3.5 strength, making it suitable for advanced players. It is light and easy to hold in the hand. It takes the thicker tip of the V12 and the thicker heel of the 56 Rue Epic. Like all other Vandoren reeds, the V21 is also made of cane. This material is 100% natural and is grown in France.


The Vandoren V21 is famous for its rich, dark tone that accentuates perfectly in the upper registers. If you are required to play on large intervals, this is the perfect reed for you. Your embouchure must be strong to handle this kind of strength. You will notice an even tone that comes sharper than other reeds of the same strength. The best clarinetists produce a warm, centered sound. We liked the sound projection that brought so much clarity to large rooms. It is clean and precise in articulation. It is also consistent and offers the right flexibility for all registers. This reed is perfect for those looking to play classical music. In a nutshell, the sound is warm and focused.


The cane is the raw material for Vandoren reeds. This is a durable natural plant grown in France and offers superb resilience to the reeds. With skilled craftsmanship, these reeds can last for years. The secret lies in the storage. You need a reed case that is anti-warp and has a hard exterior. Most reed cases come with compartments for each reed to avoid bending. However, synthetic reeds go a long way in durability. In recent times, the durability of cane has been improved thanks to the introduction of synthetic coatings and penetrating resins. The 10-pack is meant to give you alternatives to rotate, as using a single reed can wear and tear. Do not use one reed for a long time without rotating to get the best of the V21 reeds pack.

Ease of play

A good reed offers its user comfort and ease while playing. This is the ideal reed if you want less resistance than what a V12 gives. It is easy to play on the upper registers and offers smooth control. The transition between registers is smooth and sharp. You will play with an amazing presence with great resistance if paired with an equally good mouthpiece. We found it especially easy to play on the detached, clear sound. This one assures you of great comfort as you serenade the audience.

Vandoren CR8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Reed Alternatives

There are reeds in the market that are comparable to the V21. Some are equal in quality, while others have proven to be better. Some of the best alternatives include the Royal Bb clarinet reeds by Rico, the Vandoren CR1935 reeds, and the D’Addario Mitchell Lurie premium reeds. They all come in a ten-pack except the D’Addario, which comes in a five-pack. The Rico and Vandoren CR1935 are both 3.5 in strength, while the D’Addario is 3.0. These reeds all play in the B flat key.

Vandoren Cr8035 Bb Clarinet V21 Alternatives Features

Model Rico Royal Bb Clarinet Reeds Vandoren CR1935 Bb Clarinet V.12 Reeds D’Addario Woodwinds Mitchell Lurie Premium Bb Clarinet Reeds
Strength 3.5 3.5 3.0
Sound Clear, Classical Deep, rich Warm, bold
Pack 10 10 5
Best Registers Low registers Upper registers All
Level Beginners/Intermediate Advanced All levels
Key B flat B flat B flat
Weight 0.35 ounces 0.80 ounces 0.65 ounces
Dimensions 3.06 x 0.87 x 2.68 inches 1.5 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches 3.06 x 0.87 x 1.36 inches
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Final Verdict

The V21 reed is a leader in the market due to its combination of two great reed qualities. The sound is great and has a smooth resonance. The resistance is not as much as in its predecessor the V12, and this makes it easy to play. However, it might be a little too hard for beginners whose embouchure is still weak. We recommend it for classical music due to its sharp, clear, and warm tone. The professional clarinet players who play in large intervals have found solace in the reeds. They are pricy compared to other reeds of the same level, but the quality speaks for itself. It is made of cane so it might not be as durable as the synthetic reeds available. However, they can last for a reasonable amount of time when well stored and maintained.


Is Vandoren V21 reed good?

Yes, it has a clean, warm sound with an excellent projection that works well for classical music.

What is the difference between the Vandoren V12 and V21?

The V21 combines the shape of the 56 Rue epic and the profile of the V12, making it perfect for all registered, while the V12 is a hard reed that works best in the upper registers.

What is the price of the Vandoren V21 reeds?

A box will set you back $29.99 on Amazon.

Is the Vandoren V21 Reed used by beginners?

No, these reeds are designed for professionals and advanced students.

Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

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