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Reviews D'Addario Tenor Mouthpiece

sax panther

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UK
I've got these in the pass around at the moment and have, via 2 gigs and a free Sunday, been able to give them a good test drive.

Before trying these, I usually alternated between 2 pieces - a guardala studio for noisy stuff (which ends up being most of my tenor gigs) and a Berg 110/2 for quieter things. I'd say the D'addarios slot between these two sound wise - more edge than the Berg, and not as direct as the Guardala. I prefer the sound of the D'Addarios to both of them, and I think it's versatile enough to cover pretty much every genre. It's got a thick, fat, bottom end, retains the richness up higher where other pieces I've tried tend to thin out for me, and it speaks very easily - articulation is great, even on the lower notes where I usually find it a bit harder.

First I played all of them very quickly between getting home from work and going to a rehearsal - liked all of them, couldn't hear much of a difference.

The next day I had a gig with my band playing on a local radio station to promote a festival. As they were so easy to play, I decided to do the gig on the D7. It sound good, played absolutely predictably.

Another gig the next day - playing on stage at the festival, 45 min set. Again, I took the D7 and was really pleased with how it sounded, and how easy it was to play. I'd actually just finished a 45 min set on alto and clarinet for a different band before doing the tenor gig - usually, wrestling with the Guardala for 45 minutes straight after another gig would leave my lips and cheeks feeling like I'd been punched by the incredible hulk, but I had zero fatigue with the D7. Could have kept going all day. The thing I really liked about playing it on this gig (part of an 8 piece, new orleans style brass band) was that when I was doing harmony/backing parts, it blended in really nicely, and when I took the tune or a solo, it had enough punch to cut through (we were mic'd up though).

Today, I've been whittling the pieces down a bit more - have pretty much discarded the 6 and 9 (nothing wrong with them, just seem to prefer the middle ones) and it's been a straight shootout between the 7 and 8. They both feel very similar, and sound similar when I'm listening to myself playing them, but I found the differences were easier to hear when I recorded them - the 7 definitely had more of an edge to the sound for me, and didn't seem to suffer from a lack of volume. The 7 is the one I keep coming back to, even though as mentioned usually I've been on a slightly bigger tip opening. I'm finding it quite addictive to play actually.

Below link is a quick blast through The Chicken on the D7 - apologies for the quality of playing, sax isn't my first instrument but I'm hopefully (slowly) getting better.

I'm using a 2.5 V16 reed and a Trevor James SR, recording was done on audacity with a blue yeti usb mic on the stereo setting in my spare room - nothing fancy. This mouthpiece is more than capable of playing in a more "understated" way, but it's just so, so easy and fun to play, it's just too tempting to let loose with some growl :)

mouthpiece trial - chicken.wav - Box

I'm definitely buying one of these, and I'm really interested in the brighter alto piece that David Roach mentioned. Thanks Aldevis for organising the pass around.
 

Karolis

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229
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Lithuania
Little background on my mouthpiece experience:

I’ve been playing my trusty old Berg 110/2/SMS for more than 11 years, since I’ve got it from a pawn shop for ice cream money ( the guy obviously didn’t know what he was selling, so I used negotiation skills to the best of my ability.) I’ve also had a brief but short affair with JJ 10* which now is caressed by someone else’s lips…. I’ve tried Yamaha mouthpieces that my students are playing and a Rico student mpc when I was young and able….( Just before Berg ). That will sum up my tenor mouthpiece experience.

However I do play the same D’Addario select jazz D7M on my alto for a few months now, and enjoy it immensely. So I was eagerly anticipating these…

I started with D7M. With a Vandoren Red Java 2, and quickly understood the importance of matching mouthpiece with a reed. The middle register wasn’t that bad but high and low needed more work. Luckily I did have a D’Addario select Jazz reed which improved things. But it didn’t make me feel comfortable with the D7M, so I changed to D6M and we were back in business! Seemed like a different mouthpiece to me. Played with ease, all notes responded quickly from high to low.

So the next day I compared D6M with D8M and then with my Berg which according to charts has the same tip opening as the D8M. Berg punched the D8M back in the corner very quickly. Yes the D8M was brighter and perhaps a little louder, but Berg was more fat, full round sound like a perfect slice of pie.

Up next D9M, Boy I had some fun with that! Especially on all those middle tempo Jazz standards like Doxy, Afternoon in Paris, Four etc…

So the ones I liked the most was 6 and 9 and I was switching between those two for the rest of the week ( or perhaps it was the same one, I just put it on backwards).

But it’s what you get used to that matters the most. I’m sticking with Berg…

P.s. I also must note that there were some scratches made by ligature from previous try outs with identical markings on D6M and D7M.

P.s.s.
I was felling very advantageous and decided to make sound clips with D6M, D9M and Berg. For all those interested here are short clips of “Giant steps” with these mouthpieces:
https://soundcloud.com/user-250259915%2Fgiant-steps-with-daddario-select-jazz-d6m View: https://soundcloud.com/user-250259915/giant-steps-with-daddario-select-jazz-d6m

https://soundcloud.com/user-250259915%2Fgiant-stepswith-daddario-select-jazz-d9m View: https://soundcloud.com/user-250259915/giant-stepswith-daddario-select-jazz-d9m

https://soundcloud.com/user-250259915%2Fgiant-steps-with-berg-larsen-1102sms View: https://soundcloud.com/user-250259915/giant-steps-with-berg-larsen-1102sms


Not much difference heh? You always sound like you. It’s what’s most comfortable for you to play that counts… So if you think that mouthpiece will radically change your sound it won’t…
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
Good. The difference is there, but subtle. Preferred the berg, but not by much.
 

spike

Old Indian
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2,249
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Half way up a hill
I must agree, I listened to these last evening but was hesitant to post a comment. The berg take sounds much more relaxed and as though you're far more comfortable on it. As a result you're able to voice the notes with more articulation. You're speaking as it were with more fluency. The notes were not as rushed.
A comment which may well apply to other threads:
To my mind there's no point playing a set up where you're fighting or struggling with the equipment in any way. The saxophone is one of the few instruments that's close to the human voice and as such you need to be at one with it and be able to play it as naturally as possible. When we speak we raise and lower and sing and emphasise our words, phrases and sentences. As we grow older we accumulate an enormous data base of vocabulary. And . . . We don't think about how we're going to manipulate our vocal chords. We simply use our voice to express ourselves quite naturally according to how we feel at the time. Anger, love, sympathy, explanation, help, agreement, hate, aggression, question, happiness, joy, fatigue, pain . . . the list is endless . . . that to mind is the way I need to be able to play and express myself musically. Full stop otherwise I'll miss the last bus home.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
When you play a mouthpiece for 11 years , you get accustomed to it. That's why I think it is better to stick with one set up for a long period of time. Get to know it better, deeper. You can craft your sound as you like over time.
Yes, like that for me too. I really like these mouthpieces, but liked the PPT more. Funny, was the other way around on alto.
 

Ivan

Undecided
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7,338
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Peeblesshire
Not much difference heh? You always sound like you. It’s what’s most comfortable for you to play that counts… So if you think that mouthpiece will radically change your sound it won’t…
Preferred Berg by quite a lot
 

Ivan

Undecided
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7,338
Locality
Peeblesshire
When you play a mouthpiece for 11 years , you get accustomed to it. That's why I think it is better to stick with one set up for a long period of time. Get to know it better, deeper. You can craft your sound as you like over time.
It's worked well for you
 

SaxDon

Senior Member
Messages
660
Locality
Portsmouth, Hants
In short, IMO I think these are very good mouthpieces, right up there with best production HR pieces; in fact probably the best of those I’ve tried on tenor. For me, today’s sax commerce world is a bit too full of people trying to fleece you of money for overhyped and/or unnecessary gear. So it’s nice to see a product like this out there: practical, suitable for a range of players/abilities, quality, reliable and relatively good value.

I tend to try and keep things simple, so when I returned to playing a few months ago I got myself a s/h Yam 275, flew into Howarth’s, tried 4 mouthpieces (3 HR) and settled on (the most expensive ) Vandoren metal. I liked the extra pop it gave me over the HR pieces I tried.

In fact I was playing alto up till 18 months ago and bought the Select Jazz without trying it as I just wanted a reliable mpc at a good price. It didn’t really give me that zingy lead alto sound that I like but I knew it would just work. If anything, it was a bit muffled on my RAW alto.

Which is a the reason I gave the tenor version a miss when I went into Howarth’s.... mistake!

For me this is a really easy to play mouthpiece that has a depth to sound, but it still has more than enough pop to cut through on non mic gigs when you put a bit of air through. Every register sung and the altissimo spoke clearer than my metal mpc oddly enough. I also found it very easy to articulate, even with the cheap lig I had on it. 7 and 8 worked best for me but they all had similar traits. Was still preferring ever so slightly the metal V16 but after my final practise session not so sure! Great stuff.

Will try to get some sound clips on Sound Cloud this weekend.

Be interested in buying either the 7 or 8 at the end of the pass around if feasible.
 

AlanU

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655
Locality
Enfield, North London
SaxDon, it's all so subjective isn't it.
I too bought a Select Jazz alto 5 without trying it, based on reviews etc.

It so suited me that I got rid of all my other mouthpieces, Berg Larsen, Meyer and several Selmers.
I find it really suits all my altos.
For me it's big and rich, more of everything and focused. Sweet on the Modele 26 and strident on the SBA.
Maybe it just really suits me?

I had been contemplating a Morgan, but really don't think I'll bother now.
 

SaxDon

Senior Member
Messages
660
Locality
Portsmouth, Hants
SaxDon, it's all so subjective isn't it.
Totally. The sound itself is mostly down to you. In fact, although I could feel and hear the differences between my mouthpiece and the Select Jazz, nobody in my band beyond one other sax player could tell the difference! :)
 

SaxDon

Senior Member
Messages
660
Locality
Portsmouth, Hants

GaryF

Member
Messages
157
Locality
Manchester
on a Hanson ST8. These were Java 3, V16 2.5, RSJazz 3m and 2s.
Hi Col - what are your thoughts about the Hanson ST8? I am seriously considering getting the 'new' Series VIII after having had a parp on one (and an LX) a few weeks ago. I am smitten. I found this post after having had a toot around on a selection of new MPC to go on my old horn. Had a play with a Vandoren T55 and a really gorgeous Select Jazz (D6M).

Cheers

:)
 

sax panther

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491
Locality
UK
Hi Col - what are your thoughts about the Hanson ST8? I am seriously considering getting the 'new' Series VIII after having had a parp on one (and an LX) a few weeks ago. I am smitten. I found this post after having had a toot around on a selection of new MPC to go on my old horn. Had a play with a Vandoren T55 and a really gorgeous Select Jazz (D6M).

Cheers

:)
Hi Gary

I've got an ST8 and have been playing a d'addario jazz select D6M on it for a few months now (although it's the marbled one, rather than the black ones that were in this pass around). I tried the newer VIII and an LX too while I was in Marsden - all three were nice, I ended up going with the original ST8 as it felt like I could get a bit more volume out of it.

I made some recordings using this combination recently as I had another jazz select mouthpiece (got a good deal on a pair of them) which was sold in the yardsale. There are six short recordings here - d'addario - Google Drive
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
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2,432
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Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Hi Gary
I'm glad you asked. Not that I can give you much comparison advice on the ST8 so much as that I haven't been on the forum for some months and your question has pushed me into returning. I shall make a suitable contribution to the Breakfast Room shortly.

The ST8 I have is an ex-demo model which before me belonged to a certain Old Git (late of this forum but very much not late of life). It's a silver plated model with gold keywork which I think makes it slightly heavier than some other tenors. It also tarnishes quite quickly and although that provides a nice patina; cleaning off some parts is almost impossible without dismantling. It gets nice comments though. As to playing, that's difficult, as it's the only tenor I have owned. Against other tenors I have played for a short time (Yahama, Mauriat) I would say the action is a little heavier (but that may just be how I have it set up), but it is all quite positive, if a slight fraction clunky. All notes play easily and intonation is good up to high C#, above which it is quite sharp and I have to lip it down and change the shape of my oral cavity quite a bit if I really need to be in tune with others. Having said that I suspect (and it is only that) it falls somewhere in the middle of tenor sax quality - there will be better and worse ones.

I am sorry but I doubt that helps much with your decision on buying an LX. I'm pretty sure there are several other Hanson players on here.
Cheers
YC
 
Saxholder Pro

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