M/Pieces - Ligs Coming very soon...PPT soprano mouthpieces

Pete Thomas

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McLean, Virginia
These have now passed phase 3 of R & D, I have two second generation prototypes sitting here and I am very pleased, they are actually better than the first prototype.

These are not just a small version of the original PPT tenor (just like the baritone is not a larger version).

but, as with the tenor and bari, they are based off an idea I had to make a mouthpiece that was the ultimate for me. If other people like them, then that's a bonus of course.

The soprano piece is sort of inspired by a Selmer Soloist, but with a larger throat/chamber and different facing curves. production models will be in tip size 5 and 6.

Unlike with the tenors and baritones, I won't have any hesitation recommending these to beginners, though it is of course designed to be a pro mouthpiece.

I'm hoping to get them into full production within a few weeks. Priority orders to cafe members, so if you are interested let me know via PM.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,232
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Skabertawe, South Wales
Will they have a Jean Marc Ligature as standard.........or KevvyG's special KGB ligature......?

Good luck with the production! Any chance of a pass around?
Kind regards
Tom
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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12,846
Location
McLean, Virginia
Good luck with the production! Any chance of a pass around?
That's an idea, I could do that with these two prototypes.

I will make the passaround open (initially) to established cafe members, e.g. anyone who has more than 100 posts as of today. But fewer than 2,301.

(Only joking Tom)

Also open to any paid subscribers.

Please let me know via PM with subject line: PPT passaround

If you have fewer than 100 posts please feel free to apply also, but priority will be given to those more established members.

Send your address and whether you want to try the 5 or 6 (Otto Link sizes, roughly equivalent to Selmer D and E, 0.125 and 0.150)
 

Rikki

Member
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189
Location
Sydney, Australia
Hi Pete,

Just one question regards the PPT mouthpieces, is there any possibility that they will be available ever in metal. I have a Tenor PPT8, which I did drop on the floor once, landing on the tip. Luckily there was only cosmetic damage, but I would hate to drop it again and damage it as it is just perfect for me.

Rikki
 

rhysonsax

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3,689
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Surrey, UK
Send your address and whether you want to try the 5 or 6 (Otto Link sizes, roughly equivalent to Selmer D and E, 0.125 and 0.150)
I think that the tip openings for an Otto Link 5 and 6 are 0.050" and 0.060" respectively, and Selmer D and E are about 0.051" and 0.053".

My favourite soprano pieces are usually around 0.065" tip opening, so I will go for the larger PPT in the passaround.

Sounds like fun !

Rhys
 
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Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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12,846
Location
McLean, Virginia
Hi Pete,

Just one question regards the PPT mouthpieces, is there any possibility that they will be available ever in metal.
Yes, working on it right now. But bear in mind (or is it bare in mind?), if you drop a brass mouthpiece on its tip it will probably damage. If you drop a Onyxite it will get a compression mark, but most likely survive. I've done it with a baritone piece and it gets a sort of whiter opaque mark, but that's it.

I think that the tip openings for an Otto Link 5 and 6 are 0.050" and 0.060" respectively, and Selmer D and E are about 0.051" and 0.053".
Sorry, I was in metric. Should have said 1.25 mm and 1.5 mm, not thou. I normally prefer imperial, but Ed talks in metric. I get easily confused.

To avoid confusion from now on:

5 = 0.002 815 315 315 3 Roman cubits or 1.322156009e-19 light years

6 = 0.000 007 456 439 393 8 furlongs or 0.064 285 714 287 Vietnamese dongs (yes that really is a unit of length)
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,117
Location
United Kingdom
Hi Pete,

I’ve sent you a PM about buying a Soprano PPT 6. Could you let me know the O.D. of the mouthpiece where the lig sits as I'm interested in fitting it with a François Louis Brass "The Ultimate" Ligature.

Many thanks,

Paul
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
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1,416
Location
Daventry
6 = 0.000 007 456 439 393 8 furlongs or 0.064 285 714 287 Vietnamese dongs (yes that really is a unit of length)
Interesting, it's also the Vietnamese currency unit. I would love to give this a try, but only so long as it gets to me before September as I am then going to, er, Vietnam......
 

Chris J

Member
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198
Location
Southampton, UK
I got in sneakily before anybody else with trying the PPT soprano 6 as I could pick it up today, have a quick go, and let Pete have it back to wend its way around the country.

So I suppose it is only right I try a review.

I have not picked up my soprano for a couple of months, so a side by side test was as impartial as I could make it! I also only had a short time opportunity to play

Appearance - as per the photos you have all seen of the bigger brothers, it looks the same, but smaller (quality review, ehh?). My usual mouthpiece is a Ralph Morgan Vintage #6. Comparing length, the PPT is longer by exactly the length of the gold metal band. I usually have to push my mouthpiece right down onto the cork to be in tune. The bottom of the PPT had to go that much further down to tune it and I only had a couple of mm left until it hit metalwork.

In response to the question above about diameter of where the lig goes - 2.13cm at the top lig line, tapering out to 2.24cm midway between the lig line, and where the shank starts. But the size is totally standard to a HR soprano mouthpiece.

Playing it, it took a while to get used to it. I first tried my usual reeds (Alexander 3), but got an intrusive whistle above middle C and bottom notes were not happy. I then tried Vandoren Java 2 1/2 which helped it alot. I tried different ligs and reeds, and then came to the conclusion that 2 months of not playing soprano was probably the biggest problem, as it all settled on my normal set up.

More in the swing of playing sop, I could compare how the mouthpiece sounded on a couple of saxes.

My overall impression playing, was that the PPT was marginally brighter than the Morgan, equally easy on lower and upper range. Very easy to control at different volumes. To be happy playing a mouthpiece after a couple of minutes, and comparing it very favourably to a mouthpiece I have been using for years, says much in its favour. To me, they were very similar.

To go that one step further, I thought I would squeeze in 4 quick recordings. Now - I have never done this before for public consumption so I have had to quickly see how to identify an audio hosting site, and work out how to post. If the link below does not work, then I may need to enlist some help.....

Just so you know what is going on - I decided to be up close and personal to the mike (as you can tell from the breathing noises) which means it is all fairly unforgiving, as well as playing slowly, with no backing, so the notes can be heard. This after all is the point of the exercise. So single takes, no pyrotechnics (would that I could - I will leave that to someone else), no edits, no reverb or digital changes. Just naked noise.

Recording:
Zoom H2 recording direct by USB to Adobe Audition to old Dell laptop in a room with no acoustical merit to speak of

Saxes
1926 Buescher TT
1960s Couesnon Monopole

Mouthpiece set ups
PPT 6
Ralph Morgan Vintage 6
Both with Alexander Superial DC 3 reed and Rovner EDII (1RVS) lig with no metal insert

1. Morgan / Buescher TT - http://soundcloud.com/chris-j-1/morgan-buescher-tt
2. PPT / Buescher TT - http://soundcloud.com/chris-j-1/ppt-buescher-tt
3. Morgan / Couesnon Monopole - http://soundcloud.com/chris-j-1/morgan-couesnon-monopole
4. PPT / Couesnon Monopole - http://soundcloud.com/chris-j-1/ppt-couesnon-monopole

Now having typed all that, I have listened to the clips as they are on the links - and they sound flat and compressed compared to my 1MB recordings - so not sure you are going to tell much from them. If there is a way of getting the actual uncompressed recordings into the post, do let me know!

Chris
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Chris!

Many thanks for a sterling effort in being informative re the soprano set ups and new PPT prototype. I appreciate what you say about the recordings but, for me, the first recording sets the standard - excellent tone and very flowing playing. I thought that the TT had a nicer tone to it, and that the Morgan Vintage had a more convincing sound to it than the PPT in that test, whatever we can conclude from that. I look forward to giving the PPT a try on my soprano set up at some time in the future.

Kind regards
& many thanks!

Tom

I have played a Morgan Vintage 6, funnily enough, which I tried in relation to my V16 S6, and marginally preferred.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Folks!

The PPT soprano continues its journey from Wales to the SE of England, and this is the vote of the Skabertawe Jury!

I did a play test of the PPT in comparison to all my other soprano mouthpieces, on my BW Bronze Curvy with Alexander DC 2.5 reeds as follows:

1. PPT 6/ Jean Marc Lig.
2. Berg Larsen HR 70/1 Selmer Lig.
3. Vandoren V16 S6/Masters Ligature.
4. Soprano Planet Via Coro Custom 62/Jean Marc Lig.

APPEARANCE: the famous Onyxite colour with gold trim - not my favourite, but think it looks better on tenor.

SOUND: Pete has described the PPT as a darker piece and I have to report that it did not really strike me as such. In terms of the above mouthpieces I would say it was only below the Via Coro in terms of brightness, particularly in the upper register, and equal with the Berg in terms of brightness in the lower octave or so. The Darkest of the 4 was the V16 across the board, and all the others had quite a bright upper range. It took 3 or 4 days to get used to the PPT and I liked the sound which I was able to produce, especially in the lower register, but felt that the higher register was not quite a solid as either the Via Coro or Berg.

The SIZE of the mouthpiece was quite small - almost the same as the Via Coro, a little smaller than the berg and quite a bit smaller than the V16 (which is quite a fat little beast). As I am used to playing the Berg and Via Coro it was quite easy to play size wise, without air leakage.

CONCLUSION: Obviously a brief play of the PPT in comparison to three pieces I am used to playing is not overly fair, but I was happy enough with the sound. For bright playing my favourite is the Via Coro, made especially to suit my preferred sound, and which is easily the most assured and free blowing of the 4 from my point of view. I found the PPT was nearest to the Berg Larsen in terms of overall sound - brighter in the upper register, not quite as bright lower down. The V16 was the sole occupant of the "Dark" section - in both the lower and upper register, comparable to the Morgan Vintage. From my distant memory of playing a Berg 65/2 I would say that the PPT is nearer to the "1" chamber than the "2" in terms of brightness, but possibly "1.5" in the lower register.

Conclusion - A very enjoyable mouthpiece to play, but more bright than dark. Morgan Fry (I think) described the PPT Tenor as Berg like, and I would say the same about the PPT Soprano - a well made Berg "1.5" Chamber.

Thanks for the loan!
Tom
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,117
Location
United Kingdom
Great review Tom! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'm going to have to dig out my V16 again as I always thought that mpc was bright! Maybe try a different Lig to the Optimum that I currently have on it. Maybe I should have put my name down for the pass around.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Paul!

When I played a Berg 65/2 I used a Rovner Dark Lig - it had quite a good dark sound - maybe one for the V16 would work better. The J15 is the darkest of the lot, IMO, but is small, as you say

Kind regards
Tom
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,117
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks Tom! I'll get a Rovner Dark Lig when I place my next order later this week. If that can get it sounding more like my Brancher the PPT might be okay for me. I found the sound I wanted with the Brancher but its a hard piece to play straight from the Tenor!
 
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