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M/Pieces - Ligs Baffles - and to what purpose?

Hallelujahal

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*stupid question alert*

Like I said in another thread, I don't actually know what a baffle is - nor what purpose it may perform? Can someone please take pity on this ignoramus and enlighten?
AL
 

Greg Strange

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It's a baffling question.

Usually baffles are used for more pop /rock orientated mouthpieces and it is the material just before the chamber of the mouthpiece. I would think a baffle would increase the speed of the airstream into the mouthpiece making it more brighter sounding and punchier sound. A mouthpiece with a large chamber and no baffle would be more suited to classical music and a mouthpiece with a baffle of varying sizes and a small chamber would probably peel the paint off a wall from 50 metres...

Somebody like Morgan Fry - mouthpiece maker would probably have a better explanation.

Cheers.

Greg S.
 

Greg Strange

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It's a baffling question.

Usually baffles are used for more pop /rock orientated mouthpieces and it is the material just before the chamber of the mouthpiece. I would think a baffle would increase the speed of the airstream into the mouthpiece making it more brighter sounding and punchier sound. A mouthpiece with a large chamber and no baffle would be more suited to classical music and a mouthpiece with a baffle of varying sizes and a small chamber would probably peel the paint off a wall from 50 metres...

Somebody like Morgan Fry - mouthpiece maker would probably have a better explanation.

Cheers.

Greg S.

Brilhart LA tenor.jpg

Here is a modern Brilhart Level Air mouthpiece with one of the interchangeable baffles (the black device) inserted in the mouthpiece. Most mouthpieces have baffles already built in - the modern Brilhart has a wedge type baffle and 'roll-over' type baffle that can be changed to supposedly vary the tone / sound etc.

Greg S.
 
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Young Col

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The Jody Jazz Classic has a removeable one as well. It's a plastic wedge with a metal tongue and actually looks a bit cheap. It does give a brighter edge to the tone which may be oK for solo work when you need to cut through the backing but also makes it a bit sharper and I have to back off the mpc from its usual warmed-up position. As I play mostly ensemble stuff I rarely bother with it.
 

Greg Strange

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The Jody Jazz Classic has a removeable one as well. It's a plastic wedge with a metal tongue and actually looks a bit cheap. It does give a brighter edge to the tone which may be oK for solo work when you need to cut through the backing but also makes it a bit sharper and I have to back off the mpc from its usual warmed-up position. As I play mostly ensemble stuff I rarely bother with it.

I have two modern Brilhart Level Airs and two vintage Brilhart Level Airs for alto and tenor respectively - the modern Brilhart tenor piece has ill fitting baffles and when playing it the baffle tends to get airbourne and 'float' in the mouthpiece sometimes restricting the playing to the point where no sound comes out of the horn, likewise I play with no baffles with that particular mouthpiece and does not play too badly cross between an Otto Link and a Dukoff type sound if you can image that (?)...

Greg S.
 

aaronrod

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If you want a cheap way to experiment without having to mess around with blu-tac, pick up a Rico Metalite mouthpiece - they cost jut under 27 GBP on amazon.co.uk, and even cheaper off of American sites (f you can get a good deal on shipping).

They have a very high baffle, so you should notice a difference in the feel from the first time you blow.
 

Greg Strange

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If you want a cheap way to experiment without having to mess around with blu-tac, pick up a Rico Metalite mouthpiece - they cost jut under 27 GBP on amazon.co.uk, and even cheaper off of American sites (f you can get a good deal on shipping).

They have a very high baffle, so you should notice a difference in the feel from the first time you blow.

That is correct - and designed by the late Mr. Brilhart himself...

Greg S.
 

kevgermany

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Did you check the link in the other thread?
 

Dr G

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A mouthpiece with a large chamber and no baffle would be more suited to classical music and a mouthpiece with a baffle of varying sizes and a small chamber would probably peel the paint off a wall from 50 metres...

You might think so but it's not entirely true (regarding the former). I have been playing a Morgan "C" chamber, opened to .088", for about 15 years or so, and have learned to control it sufficiently well to use it in modern big band settings as well as classical quartet. My other go-to 'piece is a Lamberson J7 (.110") with no perceptible baffle, undercut sidewalls, and an expanded chamber - it's sound fills space like no other.

I find that mouthpieces with high baffles and small chambers are also very effective door stops.

I apologize to anyone that heard me play in the early '70s when I was fielding a Brilhart LevelAir. That was a harsh time.
 

Greg Strange

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You might think so but it's not entirely true (regarding the former). I have been playing a Morgan "C" chamber, opened to .088", for about 15 years or so, and have learned to control it sufficiently well to use it in modern big band settings as well as classical quartet. My other go-to 'piece is a Lamberson J7 (.110") with no perceptible baffle, undercut sidewalls, and an expanded chamber - it's sound fills space like no other.

I find that mouthpieces with high baffles and small chambers are also very effective door stops.

I apologize to anyone that heard me play in the early '70s when I was fielding a Brilhart LevelAir. That was a harsh time.

I agree...different combinations of interior designs...

To me a Jumbo Java has a relatively flat baffle, and large step down to a rather large chamber - although I don't think I would use it in a classical context...:)))

Don't apologize about the Brilhart - I find vintage Brilhart Level Airs reasonable flexible and not too harsh - it's all about how much air you put through the horn - great examples of this is John Klemmer's "Touch" and "Barefoot Ballet" albums from the 1970s - one of my favourite tenor players.

Cheers,

Greg S.
 
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jbtsax

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It is interesting that no one has yet mentioned specifically what the baffle does acoustically---that is to increase the higher frequency overtones that are above "cutoff" that travel directly out the bell regardless of the fingering of the note.
 

thesaxman71

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It is interesting that no one has yet mentioned specifically what the baffle does acoustically---that is to increase the higher frequency overtones that are above "cutoff" that travel directly out the bell regardless of the fingering of the note.
indeed,
and the baffle also acts like a wind spoiler on a car streamlining the air going over it thus when no baffle there is a wider stream of air going through the mouthpiece, insert the baffle and the air stream is funneled and quicker and more powerful thus creating more projection too.
 

altissimo

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http://mouthpieceworks.com/Terms.html

"Baffle - The inside area of the mouthpiece that runs from the tip to the floor between the side walls. Baffles come in all shapes and sizes and have a tremendous impact on sound, resistance, response, and tuning. A high baffle is a baffle where the baffle is closer to the reed. A low baffle is a deep design where the baffle material is farther away from the reed. Generally, a lower baffle is darker, softer, less resistant, and gets a bigger sound. A higher baffle is brighter and/or more powerful (depending on design and location). Even though a higher baffle is more resistant, it may give the impression of less resistance because less effort (the player doesn't have to push as hard) is required to generate as much volume. A baffle that’s too high or uneven right behind the tip can cause squeaking."

http://saxgourmet.com/Runyon Mpce Articles.pdf
 

Ivan

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indeed,
and the baffle also acts like a wind spoiler on a car streamlining the air going over it thus when no baffle there is a wider stream of air going through the mouthpiece, insert the baffle and the air stream is funneled and quicker and more powerful thus creating more projection too.

This is something I see often which I don't get

I think of sounds as standing waves. Frequency dictates pitch and amplitude dictates volume

Why should the forward movement of air have any influence on volume or projection? I can see that you might produce more volume if more air passes by the reed but is the forward movement of air through the mouthpiece really a mechanism that affects the amplitude of a standing wave?

I don't think very loud speakers 'blow' air any more than quiet ones

Even if the air in the mouthpiece was traveling forward fast enough to get the sound to your audience more quickly (and that's be something in excess of the speed of sound) surely the very nature of the cone shaped sax is that this forward velocity (of turbulent air) would diminish very quickly as the bore opens up?

This isn't me contradicting but trying to understand
 
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kevgermany

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The sound comes from the reed oscillating, creating a standing wave, as you say - however the gap between the reed and baffle (as well as baffle shape) affect how the wave is generated. And the higher the baffle, the more instantaneous the wave generation is. Giving the edge/attack that high baffle players seek.
 

thesaxman71

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I don't think very loud speakers 'blow' air any more than quiet ones
try standing next to a sub bass speaker when quiet then loud, you will physically feel a difference and also feel the air pushed more.

Kev gave a good example in that the air pushes past the reed over the baffle faster and stronger and creates more projection.
 

jbtsax

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It took me a long time to understand waves and how they differ from moving air such as wind. An analogy that helped me was the waves in the ocean. A moving boat can push the water a mile off shore and eventually a series of waves will wash upon the beach. The water that the boat displaced is still in its original location a mile off shore. What travels to the beach is a wave which is a series of recurring contractions and expansions.

Inside a saxophone and its mouthpiece there is some moving air, but it moves quite slowly due to the reed acting as a valve rapidly opening and closing against the incoming airstream. Contrast that with the wave made up of air molecules contracting and expanding which travels at 345 meters per second. Again the air itself is not moving forward in a linear fashion like the sound wave, the air molecules are simply moving back and forth at the frequency of the pitch being sounded and its harmonics.
 

Hallelujahal

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Ok I get this much, that sound is a pressure wave so that as particles vibrate (in this case the reed), the air is displaced, creating sound. There is no such thing as a sound particle of course (unlike light). So am I right in thinking that the baffle creates/distorts the soundwave - and therefore it's that distortion that produces different effects depending on the shape, height and placement of the baffle?
AL
 

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