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M/Pieces - Ligs Is it worth considering mouthpiece upgrade?

Loony Moon Hare

New Member
Messages
24
Hi all.

I have a Trevor James Classic Alto and still using the mouthpiece it came with - the Esprit Bari II.

I am returning to the sax after many years away from playing and I have been in daily practice for a couple of months.

A quick read and research reveals that a mouthpiece upgrade is recommended by sax teachers and I have heard good things about the Selmer S80 C* being an ideal first upgrade mouthpiece.

I just wondered what you more experienced players thought to this mouthpiece and whether it would make a big deal of difference from the Esprit Bari II.

Many thanks for taking the time to read and I look forward to reading your comments.:)
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Hi all.

I have a Trevor James Classic Alto and still using the mouthpiece it came with - the Esprit Bari II.

I am returning to the sax after many years away from playing and I have been in daily practice for a couple of months.

A quick read and research reveals that a mouthpiece upgrade is recommended by sax teachers and I have heard good things about the Selmer S80 C* being an ideal first upgrade mouthpiece.

I just wondered what you more experienced players thought to this mouthpiece and whether it would make a big deal of difference from the Esprit Bari II.

Many thanks for taking the time to read and I look forward to reading your comments.:)
The problem is that you've read about it :w00t:
Forget it! Get on with what you have and enjoy it. There are loads of mouthpiece recommendations flying about, half of them by people who just want to say something!...... (I've had a bad day >:))

John:):);}
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Well, I'm having a good day, so I'll add something.

There are sooooooooo many mouthpieces out there, some great, some not. But more than anything, it all depends on what you, the player likes. Something which some players love, others will hate. I, for example, particularly dislike Selmer C* mouhtpieces, with their tiny tip opening and conservative designs. Others really like them.

If you really want to try another mouthpiece, my sugestion would be to go to a decent music shop and try a dozen or so, and see what you actually like.

Otherwise, as John says - shut up and play yer sax!:D
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Hiya,

I was advised to change the mouthpiece when I rented a Trevor James, as so many are. I bought a Yamaha 4c, often recommended by teachers. It's around £30 so cheaper than the Selmer, which is the other one oft recommended for beginners.

I don't know if you've seen other threads but there are two shops, Dawkes and Howarths, that offer a week's free trial and will post out to you to try - useful if there isn't a shop with a good selection near you.

Ultimately everyone will recommend what they like playing, so have a go on a few if you think your current piece is not to your liking.

Dee
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,079
The Bari Esprit II is a very good student mouthpiece. Very "goldilocks" not too big, not too small, not too bright not too dark.

The S80 is a marmite mouthpiece. Nobody is indifferent about them, they either love them or hate them.

I'd stick with the Bari for now and develop your embouchure. Further down the muscle development road you might want to try different mouthpieces. Bear in mind that the number on any mouthpiece is relevant to the lay or tip opening. The bigger the number the larger the opening. If you do go for a Selmer S80 the C* lay may not be right for you.

A cheap way to try different pieces is to buy second hand and sell on the ones you don't like.

If you don't mind playing in a shop a trip to a good supplier and try a few is the other way.

http://www.saxophon-service.de/homep/mundverg/vergl-as.html

From memory I think the Bari is 0.065". The selmer C* comes in at 0.067" so not much difference and you should be able to blow it, if you want to try one.


http://www.thomann.de/gb/selmer_s80_c_alto_sax.htm

Not cheap new. Alto's go around £25 to £40 sh on ebay.

Edit. I thought this post might be coming across as anti S80. To clarify I play an S80 on Baritone and tenor and like them muchly.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
A friend bought a Selmer Series 111 alto that came with an S80 C* mouthpiece and he sounds great. He describes it as a good all rounder and he plays all styles of music with it. Enough people like the C* to make it a best seller.

Jim.
 

Loony Moon Hare

New Member
Messages
24
Thanks for the feedback guys. I have heard it is a good all rounder and many recommend it as a first upgrade. I'm keen to look into the try out at home option on a few - so thanks for the tip on that.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The S80 C* is good and you can go a long way with it. It has a lot of resistance, something which doesn't suit everyone, and a neutral/classical sound. If you're looking at Selmers and prepared to pay the price, consider the soloist as well. Much rounder/sweeter sound to my ears and probably more potential.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
I've been playing tenor for over 50 years. I bought an alto (off Pete actually) and of course had to mess around with mouthpieces. I finished up with a Bari Esprit II - and then bought one for my tenor as well!
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Well, I'm having a good day, so I'll add something.

There are sooooooooo many mouthpieces out there, some great, some not. But more than anything, it all depends on what you, the player likes. Something which some players love, others will hate. I, for example, particularly dislike Selmer C* mouhtpieces, with their tiny tip opening and conservative designs. Others really like them.

If you really want to try another mouthpiece, my sugestion would be to go to a decent music shop and try a dozen or so, and see what you actually like.

Otherwise, as John says - shut up and play yer sax!:D
look lots of people will tell you to upgrade
but if youve never tried another mp then how do you know whats great for you??????

Go to a good sax shop and try other mps on your sax ..........only then..... will you know if what you have is worth changing.
Mps are like spouses ........ you have to find the right one or your just gonna finish up divorced.
Regards
Allansto
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,285
Mps are like spouses ........ you have to find the right one or your just gonna finish up divorced.
Regards
Allansto
I am so glad i haven't had to change my wife as often as my mouthpieces,think of the cost.

Like some have said go to a music shop try some and see if its worth changing,bear in mind mpc's can be costly and depending on your musical level you might not get the best out of a better mpc,but personally i would stick with what you have got .
I also dislike Selmer S80's but this is only my personal opinion.
 

Loony Moon Hare

New Member
Messages
24
I'm not going to rush into buying one just yet. I may try a few at home, to see what sort of style I like or suits me or if I prefer the one I have now.

I'm just coming into a bit of inheritance you see, and after doing boring grown up stuff like saving and paying bills I thought I'd treat myself to something. After a browse around this morning, that 'something' may end up being a tenor to keep my alto company!

Lots to think about anyway.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
Unless you're having problems with it, stick with the Bari. I've not tried the Esprit, but my favourite soprano mouthpiece is a Bari and the Esprit is well regarded - http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?7008-%A315-Beginner-Alto-Mouthpiece-Review!

When people recommend upgrading beginners mouthpieces, they usually mean something better the cheap unbranded ones that come with the sax. The Esprit, along with the Yamaha 4C, Rico Graftonite, Runyon 22, Selmer S80 etc are the usual upgrades.
Any of these will do the job well, many players continue to use these pieces for the rest of their careers and never feel the need to try anything "better"
A lot of musicians get caught up in "gear fever" and start to believe what they read on forums and become convinced that what they really need is a vintage Otto Link or whatever's being raved about, when what they really need to do is stick with what they've already got and practice more.
It's nice to try different mouthpieces to see what the difference is between a Meyer or a Berg Larsen or a Dukoff etc, but it isn't necessity and won't make you a better musician.
Enjoy your instrument - that's the important thing..
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,552
I am so glad i haven't had to change my wife as often as my mouthpieces,think of the cost.
.
For what it cost to change my husband, I could buy a gold played Baritone sax! :)))

However, back on topic, the Selmer S80 C* is a good allrounder, you can play a bit of classical or a bit of jazz and it sounds good either way. I have had one for my alto ever since I first started playing 4 years ago, and have never desired to look into changing it.

I got a Selmer soloist D for my Tenor as a Christmas present (my request) and really enjoy that too. It definitely sounded better than the Yamaha 5C that I previously had on my Tenor.

My Bari is hoping that I might invest in a better mouthpiece than its Yam 5C, but Selmers come out rather expensive for a Bari, and the Yam sounds OK enough! Maybe next Christmas?

As others have said, it's a good idea to try as many as you can first before investing.
 

arock

Member
Messages
110
For what it cost to change my husband, I could buy a gold played Baritone sax! :)))

However, back on topic, the Selmer S80 C* is a good allrounder, you can play a bit of classical or a bit of jazz and it sounds good either way. I have had one for my alto ever since I first started playing 4 years ago, and have never desired to look into changing it.

I got a Selmer soloist D for my Tenor as a Christmas present (my request) and really enjoy that too. It definitely sounded better than the Yamaha 5C that I previously had on my Tenor.

My Bari is hoping that I might invest in a better mouthpiece than its Yam 5C, but Selmers come out rather expensive for a Bari, and the Yam sounds OK enough! Maybe next Christmas?

As others have said, it's a good idea to try as many as you can first before investing.
I haven't posted in a while. I feel very low on the pole compared to most of you.
This is the first post I have seen that showed a bit of negative responce to the Yamaha 5C.
I am a ++ beginner on an Alto sax. Many years on Clarinet. I have a 50 year old Brilhart with a .063" gap. I use a number 2 Vandoren.
I heard so much good about the enrty level C4 and C5 that I ordered a C5 last week thinking it might be similar and better than what I have. It is a staring point that most of you, out there, seem to be familiar with. The price is right for an experiment. My instructor says I need to play softer but the Brilhart wants me to blow on it. A C5 and a 1.5 reed might help me do that. I wanted more than the C4 seemed to offer. And I want something that will be good as I advance. At my point, big bucks on a mouthpiece doesn't seen logical.
I will post my opinion next week.
 

arock

Member
Messages
110
For those interested, it is better than my 1950's Brilhart. It has a much larger chamber. It is easier to start a note on. I can play it at a softer tone and it will let me blast out notes. I can't go wrong for the price.
On my journey to getting better, I will follow the advice of many who post here. I will never purchase a $500 mouth piece. Maybe a $100 but certainly not without trying it.
$25 with positive input from others, was a definite step up for me. I bought the Yamaha ligature also.
Thank you all.
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,340
For those interested, it is better than my 1950's Brilhart. It has a much larger chamber. It is easier to start a note on. I can play it at a softer tone and it will let me blast out notes. I can't go wrong for the price.
On my journey to getting better, I will follow the advice of many who post here. I will never purchase a $500 mouth piece. Maybe a $100 but certainly not without trying it.
$25 with positive input from others, was a definite step up for me. I bought the Yamaha ligature also.
Thank you all.
Good to know you found what you were looking for
 

arock

Member
Messages
110
Can't say I found what I am looking for. That might take a long time. How about a Magic Horn that makes me sound like Kenny G.:D
It was just a step up for very little money.
 
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