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M/Pieces - Ligs Graftonite for tenor

apinter

Member
Messages
74
After coming back by almost one year to the sax, I am trying to find a setup that is right for me. Not really a beginner but far from being advanced player.

I play now an Otto Link hard rubber 8* with reeds around 2 1/2 or 3. I think that is too much for me. The sound is great (to me) yet articulation and cleaness of attack not very good. I listen myself not comfortable.

8* I got thinking I like big fat sound and I should exercise until it is right for me. Softer reeds I don’t like, I tend to scoop too much with them.

So I begun to thought I should restart from a tighter opening, like 6* but I also do not like to throw a lot of money in mouthpieces as long I do not understand a bit which design works for me.

So I thought to graphtonite Rico Mouthpieces. With those I can afford to try different opening and chambers and when I am done with that and found my good size, I can try to upgrade, knowing more or less in which direction to go.

After this long introduction, the question is. What do you think of those mouthpieces? Are they good and reliable enough for this sort of experimentations? Or I risk to lose time and money and of any I should jump directly to a 6* otto link (I also love the d’addario select jazz) and see howit goes for me?
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,129
I actually absolutely DESPISE these mouthpieces. And let's face it, the SOLE reason they are out there is that they are so darn cheap.

Yes they are cheap, but there is 'cheap'...and then 'cheap'.

You need not go bottom-barrel 'cheap'. The precision and quality of manufacture stinks, the design is bizarre, and the sound they produce is awful.

Good cheap ?:

Yamaha 5C
Brilhart Ebolin 4
Bari Esprit
Clark Fobes Debut

are some that immediately come to mind. Manageable tip openings, consistently made, and they at least produce a tone which ranges from
'not offensive' to 'quite decent, actually !'. Get one of those.

Don't buy another Link or more expensive mouthpiece with smaller tip now....it'd be a waste of your euros.

I know, I know, inevitably I always get strafed for 'dissing the ubiquitous Graftonites (Metalites as well, equally awful). And trust me, YES, I have some here and have had some for over a decade and occasionally I STILL return to them just to give them yet 'one more' chance. Sometimes even, when a buyer asks if I can throw in a mouthpiece for free... I will take one out for a blow just because its absence would not bring me sadness....and after playing it on the client's horn...I just cannot bring myself to doing that to someone.
They still never cease to fail.

Do yourself a favor. Stay away. Why try to hammer a nail with a rock, when you can use a hammer ?

There are much wiser uses of $19. You could get 3 beers for that, for goodness sake....
 
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OP
apinter

apinter

Member
Messages
74
I actually absolutely DESPISE these mouthpieces. Yes they are cheap, but there is 'cheap'...and then 'cheap'.

You need not go bottom-barrel 'cheap'. The precision and quality of manufacture stinks, the design is bizarre, and the sound they produce is awful.

Good cheap ?
Thanks this is the sort of opinion I am looking for, in a specialized group like this.

On amazon they have decent reviews but here I think to find more competent people, on average
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,129
Also, an Otto Link 8 is something like a .110 tip opening, and that ...IMHO...is way too open for a re-starter.

the ones I noted have tips ranging from .07-.08, I believe. Another good one is a Hite Premier, with a tip of .085

Best of luck.
 
OP
apinter

apinter

Member
Messages
74
Also, an Otto Link 8 is something like a .110 tip opening, and that ...IMHO...is way too open for a re-starter.

the ones I noted have tips ranging from .07-.08, I believe. Another good one is a Hite Premier, with a tip of .085

Best of luck.
Yes, mine is .115. It is actually much easier to play than the Berg Larsen I played at my okd times. It is labeled .105 but I found it to be a tad more than .120.

Yet with my surprise I played that too, and also played it a bit when I restarted. Not easy but I did.

Now I am thinking I should look for somwthing around 0.90 - 0.95
 
OP
apinter

apinter

Member
Messages
74
[

Good cheap ?:

Yamaha 5C
Brilhart Ebolin 4
Bari Esprit
Clark Fobes Debut


—-

Of these I played the Yamaha, in 4C.
After a couple of days I came back to my Berg Larsen.

I really did not like the Yamaha, too close and almost had no sound out of it.
The Berg Larsen with its .120 opening is crazy now. The Link is easier and has sound I like but my control of it is not the best (of course I should exercise more but with this mp I think I am forcing me to do something too big for me)
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,129
Of these I played the Yamaha, in 4C.
After a couple of days I came back to my Berg Larsen.

I really did not like the Yamaha, too close and almost had no sound out of it.
The Berg Larsen with its .120 opening is crazy now. The Link is easier and has sound I like but my control of it is not the best (of course I should exercise more but with this mp I think I am forcing me to do something too big for me)
Yes I cannot say I love the Yamas, they are just user-friendly, consistent in build quality, and they don't sound offensive.

A 6C might have been more suited for you, then. Although if it were between a 6C and a Hite Premier, I would say go Hite Premier. It produces a warmer, rounder tone than a Yama.

the Brilhart 4 is around a .077 so perhaps a bit closed for you.

The Hite might be worth a try. At an ,085 opening as I said, it is equivalent opening to a Meyer 7...and usually not considered a 'starter' mouthpiece choice, but rather a 'second' or a 'step-up' one....
 
OP
apinter

apinter

Member
Messages
74
Yes I cannot say I love the Yamas, they are just user-friendly, consistent in build quality, and they don't sound offensive.

A 6C might have been more suited for you, then. Although if it were between a 6C and a Hite Premier, I would say go Hite Premier. It produces a warmer, rounder tone than a Yama.

The Hite might be worth a try. ,085 opening as I said, so it is usually not a 'starter' mouthpiece choice, but a step-up one....
Thanks. I am going to look for it.
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,008
I have a baritone metalite and a graftonite which I don't keep out because I dont play them. Just had another go...

I've had a day experimenting with tenor reeds and mouthpieces so I'm warmed up. I still can't get a decent sound out of the baritone metalite or graftonite. Back in the drawer they go
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,129
Bari is a mouthpiece manufacturer. It gets confusing when the abbreviation Bari is used for baritone. ;)
'cept he wrote "bari", not "Bari"....so not really confusing, eh ? (If Bari made a 'Graphtonite' model, heck I would probably try it....)

The only way to test a mouthpiece is to play it. ;)
Absolutely true. But the beauty of decent cheapies is you can pay around a total of $85 and get three of 'em.

If the selling venues do not have a return policy (although many do), worst thing which happens you resell the 1 or 2 you don't like for $15 or so each, and in the end it doesn't work out so bad....
 
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saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
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3,498
Top bad you made that very negative comment on the graftonite, I have a few in tenor hanging in there not being played... :w00t:

It's a process of trial and error. I have a lot of mouthpieces... Probably far too many but as I evolve, I am now able to get a completely different sound from some mouthpieces I didn't like or found dull a few years ago.

Like I have a couple of Brilhard Tonalin, one that rather wide open that I played with a Légère signature 2.0 a couple of days ago and I thought I should try the other that's much narrower with a 2.5 and it played great too.

Reeds are important too and I'm growing a very serious liking for the Légère Signature reeds. I have been struggling with cane for a while, almost 10 years and now that use Légère, it feels so good that I'm considering a sale or donations of my cane reed stock.
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
643
Im gonna disagree. If you like a link get a sane tip opening.

8* is too much even for a practicing intermediate player. Guys play them but they generally have a weak dynamic range...i.e they cant play quietly. Sell the 8* and get a tip that makes sense. If you are not an advanced player you have no business with an 8*. Many pros never bother with that size.

Sax playing is not like weight lifting.

Thats my 2 cents.

BTW...Hr links tend to sound sweeter at smaller tips anyway. You could grab a 6* or 7 and be good for a long time. Also you can always pick up one used. There are zillions out there.
 
OP
apinter

apinter

Member
Messages
74
Im gonna disagree. If you like a link get a sane tip opening.

8* is too much even for a practicing intermediate player. Guys play them but they generally have a weak dynamic range...i.e they cant play quietly. Sell the 8* and get a tip that makes sense. If you are not an advanced player you have no business with an 8*. Many pros never bother with that size.

Sax playing is not like weight lifting.

Thats my 2 cents.

BTW...Hr links tend to sound sweeter at smaller tips anyway. You could grab a 6* or 7 and be good for a long time. Also you can always pick up one used. There are zillions out there.
Yes, I also suspected that the 8* I got was not the best idea... now or ever.
But as it sometimes happens the temptation to go big won me.

For now I got a lightly used Hite at 19 dollars. That at least will show me now how it is to play with a sane opening (something that curiously I haven't ever done in my life, jumping from "student" no opening to the .120 Berg). Still mumbling about the fact that your suggestion (or maybe the D'addario Jazz Select, which I love played by others ;-)) in opening of 6* could be the right one.... and it was my doubt in fact.

I have few doubts I will arrive there quite soon :) and in this case, well, I'll be out of not too many euros for the intermediate step and I will have tried a mouthpiece more.

I am quite curious of the Hite, now that I read about it. I knew nothing before.
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,129
The way I look at it, the OP is trying to just 'get things under control' and realized his 8* is currently too wide a tip.
Also, keep in mind, this thread started with the premise of buying the absolute cheapest (name-brand) mouthpiece available...

So I think going with a $20 Premier isn't gonna be any sort of detour or digression, as he will have a respectable-quality medium-tip opening piece to see whether that improves things, at least from a blowability/control standpoint.

If it does, then when time comes he can embark on the pricier purchase.
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
837
Why not just visit a shop with a good selection? Trial and error of s/h mouthpieces may end up costing you more than 1 moderately priced new mouthpiece. The advantage would be that it is brand new and you a more likely to keep it longer.

The Link and the D'Addario are quite different, in my view you should add a Vandoren V16 , very consistent quality, well finished, close to the Link design, I really enjoy playing my T7..

On YouTube there's a guy who tests tenor mouthpieces under $200 (I think or thereabouts) and he tests some of the above.
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
643
I dont disagree that a cheap Hite or something may be just fine for a while. I just disagreed that its a good strategy to think of it as growing into an 8*.

My suggestion is to sell or trade the Link if he knows he likes the overall tone and get one the right size. If the OP is on a tight budget then maybe not...but between this and other forums it probably would not be a stretch to do a direct trade with someone who has had a small tip link sitting in their drawer because they now play bigger tips.

There are multiple options, it just comes down to budget and which direction the OP wants to go.
 
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