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M/Pieces - Ligs Is a modern 'Selmer Soloist' that bad?

Alexandra

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Hi all

I'm looking for an alto MP for my Yany AWO10 that's good for playing Classical pieces, and the Selmer Soloist (D) seems like an inexpensive and appropriate companion piece to my current Meyer (6M) style set-up.

Is a Selmer Soloist (D) a bad idea? I'd have to buy it online but it'll be returnable. I know modern Selmer MP's aren't known for product consistency. I also find it suspect that there are so few reviews or videos of the modern Soloist!

I'm not wanting to specialize in Classical, but I do enjoy playing it. I don't think I want to stray too far from my wider tip openings during practice; that said, I've considered the Vandoren Optimum AL5 and the Selmer Concept. Put simply, I'm after a more focused, centred tone than my Meyer style pieces provide.

Can anyone offer some advice? I'm not wanting to break the bank on this piece so no Aizens, Pillingers or expensive vintage pieces are in the running (sadly)! Unless someone has something to sell me through the Yardsale!

Thanks! Alex
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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The best professional classical saxophone player I know (Gerard McChrystal) plays a modern Selmer Soloist on alto and sounds fantastic. He can fill a concert hall with it. But I remember that he said he tried several to find the best one. My teacher plays a Soloist for classical and also as lead alto in a big band.

Besides the Soloist, the Concept, and the Vandoren Optimum, a Rousseau NC4 would also be a good candidate.
I have tried an Aizen SO (their Soloist-like version) and it was much brighter than my Soloist.

I think if I had to choose one of these without trying it then I would choose the Vandoren, simply because they have a reputation for being consistently good.

If money was no object I would get a Morgan 3C. I got a second-hand 3c for my tenor and it is great.
 
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MarkSax

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If you find the perfect reed for the Soloist you will have found a good Mpc. Make sure you test on your own alto. Try as many as you can (afford).
 
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Alexandra

Alexandra

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I think my store has only one Soloist D in stock so I'll order it and hope for the best. If that doesnt work I'll return it and try a Vandoren as you suggest @nigeld. The Vandorens seem easier to get hold of.

Thanks again for all the advice everyone! :thumb:
 

Ne0Wolf7

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I dont know a lot about the selmer mouthpieces, but here's some information on the optimum:
AL3 is a very closed tip, so probably not what you're looking for. This is the mouthpiece I use.
The AL4 actually has a different facing curve than the AL3 and AL5, it is a shorter facing.
The AL5 would probably be your greatest interest because its the largest opening. It's the closest to the selmer C*, so not really that all that open anyway.

The vandorens are very consistent, my first one I bought online by teacher recommendation, and for the second one I went to a shop and tried 6 mouthpieces. The new vandoren is indistinguishable from the onld one when it was not damaged.

This is a thread I made about my visit to the shop, its about whatbinfelt about the 6 mouthpieces I tried (all smaller openings)
 

jbtsax

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I played a Selmer scroll shank C* and D on my alto all the way through college. When I moved to teach in an area where the local university saxophone teacher had studied with Rousseau, someone suggested I try a Rousseau classical mouthpiece which was popular. I was playing a Mark VI at the time, and I really liked the sound of the Rousseau which was not as bright as the Selmer, and especially the fact that it took less effort to play the lowest notes softly with control. That was over 40 years ago and I am still using a Rousseau 5R on my Selmer SBA alto.
 
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Alexandra

Alexandra

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The AL5 would probably be your greatest interest because its the largest opening. It's the closest to the selmer C*, so not really that all that open anyway.
Thanks for the info, very helpful. If it's a no-go with the Selmer I'll definitely give the AL5 a try.
 

Pete Effamy

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I think that the main problem with new gear vs old with the same name/model is that invariably the company has developed/changed it in some way thus giving a different sound or characteristic. I don't know if this is true of these mouthpieces but it certainly is for many - not discounting any quality control issues.
It's especially true with mics, companies producing a model now with the same name as one of its classics from yesteryear. Mostly, they are nothing of the sort. It's very misleading.
 

CliveMA

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Consider Selmer Concept, too. I use it on Soprano.

Selmer Concept Alto Mouthpiece Review
The mouthpiece combines the best features of the AL3 – even response, ease of articulation, consistency of timbre, and a stable low register – with the more exciting, extrovert, and protean characteristics of the Soloist. The sound is incredibly focussed, vibrato is malleable, and Selmer have genuinely managed to even out the vagaries of intonation across registers. These observations hold true even when putting high volumes of air through the instrument in large ensemble and solo settings.
According to Dawkes Music, Selmer Concept is more popular than either Soloist or S90.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pm411mVb4k
 
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Alexandra

Alexandra

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Because I'm still developing my alto sound on the Meyer style MP, my concern is that I'll disrupt my progress with a really small tip opening. I believe the Concept is 1.48mm compared to my meyer style piece at 1.96mm. Maybe it's not an issue? Just more (harder) reeds to buy!

The concept does have a wonderful sound.
 

CliveMA

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Because I'm still developing my alto sound on the Meyer style MP, my concern is that I'll disrupt my progress with a really small tip opening. I believe the Concept is 1.48mm compared to my meyer style piece at 1.96mm. Maybe it's not an issue? Just more (harder) reeds to buy!

The concept does have a wonderful sound.
I play the Concept on Soprano and a 6 opening on Tenor (D'Addario Select Jazz 2.54mm). I find playing both helps give me an adaptability. The Concept makes higher notes (and overtones) easier to voice and that experience has made higher notes much easier on Tenor.
 
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Alexandra

Alexandra

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Thanks @CliveMA , that's good to know.
And I've conveniently interpreted what you've said as another justification for buying a tenor! :thumb:
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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A few years back I purchased a YAS MkI and decided I would treat myself to a Selmer soloist C**. I was very disappointed! It should be easy to play but was anything but, so I continued with my Jody Jazz DV metal and if I wanted to sound nice my Selmer S90 170 with a 3.5 reed. In response to this thread I got it out once more nothing has changed but being older and wiser, I hope,I carefully examined it. To my surprise the table is concave and the lay a very short 15mm! Not what you would expect from an internationally renowned company. Too late to invoke warranty so it looks like a trip to the refacer. Lesson learned!
 
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