I've played classical sax, not jazz or pop, and taught it, for 45 years. I'm an oboist and English hornist, and an accomplished reed maker. This Vandoren reed in the purple and sold box went through a prolonged poor-quality period for a several decades in the 70's to 90's, but in the past decade, they've really upped their game to regain their position at the top of the market. This is not the Reed you buy for jazz band or small combo. This is the reed you buy for concert band, for UIL solo and ensemble contest, for use with a classic mouthpiece vs jazz/rock mouthpiece. They are profiled to produce a mellow, dark sound, and not the raspy, throaty, or screaming sounds used in pop venues. They are still made of the better quality cane that the cheaper reeds are not made of, thus the price difference, and the cane quality is EVERYTHING in tone quality and longevity! They are as consistent from reed to reed as handmachine- profiling for mass production will ever yield. They will not all be great in every box, but there will be more usable ones in this box, less warpage in the cane, longer-lasting ones, and better-sounding ones in this box than in the cheap reed boxes. Bite the bullet and buy these, and find a teacher who can show you how to use a reed knife to adjust the justfair ones in the box.