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M/Pieces - Ligs first soprano on its way...looking for a decent mouthpiece.

zannad

Member
Messages
410
After years of Tenor and Alto playing I've decided to buy my first Soprano - a vintage Rampone Cazzani FISM which is arriving in a week or so.
I'm looking for a decent mouthpiece in the range of £40-70 - I guess I'd have to discard all facts/opinions coming from my knowledge build upon Alto and Tenor mouthpieces and looking for other brands?!
A quick search I find some Vandorens and Selmer and some chinese/taiwanese unknown brands: Delacole, Zhengao (already tried the latter on Alto and quite please with it)...then there are always the trusty Rico's (save some cash and then more).
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
I bought a Bari 64 rubber for the soprano on the suggestion of Sax UK - very nice but even better with a Rovner lig. I also tried a Meyer M8 which was OK but doesn't quite have the projection of the Bari and finally gravitated to a metal Link 7* - which I find perfect for playing with rock/blues groups since it really cuts through. Both the Bari and the Meyer should be close to your price range.

I have found that choice of mouthpiece is very critical with the soprano (OK it's probably just me!) - so I would suggest that you really take your time.
 
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zannad

Member
Messages
410
I bought a Bari 64 rubber for the soprano on the suggestion of Sax UK - very nice but even better with a Rovner lig. I also tried a Meyer M8 which was OK but doesn't quite have the projection of the Bari and finally gravitated to a metal Link 7* - which I find perfect for playing with rock/blues groups since it really cuts through. Both the Bari and the Meyer should be close to your price range.

I have found that choice of mouthpiece is very critical with the soprano (OK it's probably just me!) - so I would suggest that you really take your time.
Didn't know about Bari's - I'll check that...
Has anyone tried the Delacole metal by any chance?
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
How about £20? I'm happy with my Rico Royal (aka Graftonite) B7.
yep, the Rico are definitely worth considering - the A3 on tenor is one of my favorites (deep and dark) and I've always been a fun on the Metalite for Alto...I'll check the B7 and A7 too for soprano.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,057
I'm in the same boat as you. Just recently bought my first sop after years of alto, bari and clarinet.

I tried a rico graftonite which was good but was tempted by the metalite for a few pounds more. Very pleased with it. I went for the M7. I haven't had it long but the range of tone I'm getting is very pleasing. Everything from soft and breathy to strong and clear all through the range. Thomann have them in 24 euros. Worth a try.

The only down side to them is the colour, battleship grey.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
I'm in the same boat as you. Just recently bought my first sop after years of alto, bari and clarinet.

I tried a rico graftonite which was good but was tempted by the metalite for a few pounds more. Very pleased with it. I went for the M7. I haven't had it long but the range of tone I'm getting is very pleasing. Everything from soft and breathy to strong and clear all through the range. Thomann have them in 24 euros. Worth a try.

The only down side to them is the colour, battleship grey.
Good to know the Metalites are good on Sopranos...I have several of them for both Tenor and Alto and very impressed by how versatile and loud these can be - probably the most underrated mouthpieces around?
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,354
The Bari .58 is my current favourite soprano mouthpiece, but Yamaha and Vandoren are also good, I didn't get on with the Rico graftonite, but others like them. It's best to try some out before you buy, but if that's not possible, go for a Yamaha and see how you get on. Lebayle, Rousseau and Morgan are also supposed to be good, but not tried them - yet..
The Delacole you mentioned seems to only be available on ebay and might be chinese, but haven't seen any info on them
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
I've received the Rampone & Cazzani Soprano today....
It has a Coca-Cola tinge on most of the body (patina) while the engraving are still brass/golden - this accidental dual/coloring gives an hint of subtle sophistication - the round profile of the keys is very similar to the one found on Borgani saxes.
I've never realized how small the soprano mouthpiece can be - the one bundled with this Rampone says R3 on one side and France on the other...any idea what brand is it?
All in all I'm pleased of having bought a sax which doesn't require any maintenance (my loft is full of saxes waiting for some TLC) - this vintage plays right from the box - all range no problem - and the tuning is just spot on (who says Sopranos have tuning issues?!). The real problem right now is to find a pleasant tone...as this is my first sop this was expected. Puffing the cheeks adds some extra body somehow but maybe is just the way I'm deforming my embouchure. The overall tone is very variable from the sublime to the ghastly depending on some random factors (my control, or lack of it).
Then I'm puzzled by the sling...where do I attach this thing? This Cazzani doesn't have any ring for any sling - anyhow, one can play sopranos without any sling (I've just figured out) - no sling, no neck to mount/dismount, easy to clean and carry...are soprano saxes the most practical of the lot?
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,354
the R3 mouthpiece might be a Riffault, I've never played one, but they're supposed to be good. A rubber thumb rest cushion may come in handy if you're not using a sling. Good luck with your new instrument..
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
I've find out some info about this "R3 France" and apparently it's a Vito or maybe a Riffault (or maybe the two are the same?)...it is playable enough but I can't have any comparative parameter until I get some alternatives - the Metalite M7 is arriving soon...
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I've find out some info about this "R3 France" and apparently it's a Vito or maybe a Riffault (or maybe the two are the same?)...it is playable enough but I can't have any comparative parameter until I get some alternatives - the Metalite M7 is arriving soon...
I'll be interested to hear what you think of the Metallite. Not sure if it'll suit me.
 

AndyWhiteford

Senior Member
Messages
454
i use an older Bari hard-Rubber "66" piece on 3 sopranos- a yamaha 62R and a "pair" of 1920's vintage Conn and Pan-American sops, the one with the silver band on the shank- it works well for Jazz/ Blues /gypsy, you might want something else for classical, though I understand that a certain Mr. B. Marsalis from New Orleans used a Bari HR soprano piece on one or two of his classical albums. i have a yanagisawa HR mpc which plays very similarly,too.
I don't use a neckstrap on the conn&PA sops, i get enough stability from their Rh thumb-ring , which is handy for fast swapping instruments when gigging.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
i use an older Bari hard-Rubber "66" piece on 3 sopranos- a yamaha 62R and a "pair" of 1920's vintage Conn and Pan-American sops, the one with the silver band on the shank- it works well for Jazz/ Blues /gypsy, you might want something else for classical, though I understand that a certain Mr. B. Marsalis from New Orleans used a Bari HR soprano piece on one or two of his classical albums. i have a yanagisawa HR mpc which plays very similarly,too.

I don't use a neckstrap on the conn&PA sops, i get enough stability from their Rh thumb-ring , which is handy for fast swapping instruments when gigging.
Another thumbs up for Bari...that's interesting - not many would name this brand for Alto or Tenor (not on the top of their list anyhow) but apparently Bari makes good soprano MPs...(wonder how good are these Bari on baritone?).

After seeing Lovano playing his tenor without a sling I'm tempted to give it a go....I mean one starts with a Soprano without a sling for a month or so then the Alto and in 6 months the Tenor? It might work - can be very useful sometimes - have you ever forgot your sling going out gigging or busking? (I have).
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Here's a few pics of my newly bought Rampone Cazzani "coca cola" (love that tanned patina)....there are a few pics of the Rampone next to a Borgani - now for an Italian Job of Coca Cola & Lemon...

http://imageshack.us/g/59/1000885e.jpg/

Both saxes are de-laquered - but the difference in colour is quite marked...I've de-laquered the Borgani myself and initially it had a much lighter pinkish tinge - I wonder if it's going to get the tanned coca cola look one day (hope so).
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
When I got my first soprano - a Rampone and Cazzani R1 - I had the same mouthpiece (as far as I can remember) which was the stock mouthpiece, and not very good. I bought a Berg 65/2 which was excellent. Given your budget the Rico mpc's should work well.

Kind regards
Tom
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,057
I went for the curved soprano so a sling isn't a problem. I noticed on ebay the other day a clarinet sling. It fits round your lower thumb, by the looks of it, and helps take some of the weight that way. It might be something to think about or even make yourself. I've just remade my old alto sling with a piece of leather belt and some new black cord.

The Rico metalite mouthpiece is settling in well. It is very loud but very soprano sounding , if you know what I mean. I was struggling with the bottom but it has come right at last. I'm missing the top now. I think that says more about me than the mouthpiece.

Strangely the more I practice Baritone the better the soprano gets. I think it's because it takes me out of my comfort zone on alto and makes me more conscious of embouchure and tone.
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,118
One of the early mouthpieces I used was a Morgan "vintage". It's not expensive and tends to have a very controlled and centred tone. I had Bari HR, and a Lakey HR and liked them both, but for a different reason. They were extremely mouldable in terms of the sound so could be bright, dark, edgy, etc. This is interesting, but not necessarily a good thing as you need to concentrate too much on controlling the tone to keep it consistent. I've since had many of the "top end" mouthpieces. Some are wonderful like the Lamberson FMaj7, but extremely distinctive in their tone and not always what I want to hear. I find that I'm continually going back to the Morgan "vintage". It’s very free-blowing, has a sweet tone that is slightly dark, is extremely easy to play through the range of the horn, and in my opinion the best mouthpiece out there for the money. If one is just starting on the soprano, then this is especially the mouthpiece you want as it gives more consistency in tone and allows you to concentrate on all the other aspects of taming the little beast.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Tom:
The mouthpiece I've got is apparently a Riffault or a Vito and not bad at all for a classic sound...then I've bought the Rico Metalite M9 - much louder and grittier/bluesier - both complement each other quite well.

Colin:
Do you mean the sling attaches to the right thumb? Just like that? LOL...that's lateral thinking at its best! - sure it must help a bit - still, I'm quite happy to keep playing without any sling - the thumb get sore and numb after 1 hour but that's ok; in that case I take a 2 minute break and massaging my right hand helps a lot.

Wade:
Morgan not expensive? mmm, I can think of the Protone (maybe the only Morgan really affordable)...The Excalibur on my Tenor is one of my favourites but I think I'm going to take it easy with mouthpieces for my soprano: the Riffault and the Metalite are ok and I'm not going to buy anymore mp for another year - I swear (yeah right; ok, I'll try) - I have so many MPs to be tested for Tenor and Alto that it's just not practical - and one of the reasons for buying the soprano was it's practicality.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Wade, have you any idea how close in sound/playability the Morgan Vintage to the 7L (Jazz) I have for my alto? I don't want a squawky mouthpiece, but something warm and round.
 
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