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M/Pieces - Ligs Kanee Mouthpiece Pass-Around - Alto pieces reviews

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
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Kanee Alto Mouthpieces - Nigel's Impressions

My experience: Amateur - 4 years

There are three alto mouthpieces in the Kanee pass-around:
New York- Hand crafted - Large Chamber 6
CNC edition – New York - Medium Chamber 8
CNC edition – Studio 8

My current mouthpiece is a Rousseau NC4. I also have a Pillinger NYA6*

Caveat: I am a relatively inexperienced amateur, and I didn't try these mouthpieces for very long, so my impressions are not well-founded. But as I see it, part of the point of a pass-around like this is to get impressions from people with various levels of ability.

The two mouthpieces with 8 openings are too wide for me, so I couldn't try them properly.

The NY 6 mouthpiece has a larger shank diameter than my current mouthpieces, and I needed to wrap some plumbers tape round the cork to get the mouthpiece to seal and play in tune.

I had difficulty playing this mouthpiece at first, but it got easier after a couple of sessions. It seems to be quite intolerant of the wrong reeds - I started with a reed that was about 1/2 strength too hard and I was getting motor-boating and having a lot of difficulty. (My sax was serviced a month ago, and I am pretty sure it has no leaks.) The problems went away when I found reeds that matched. The best for me were Hemke. Once I found a reed that worked, things got a lot better, but I never felt comfortable with this mouthpiece. I could get a decent tone from it, but playing my normal mouthpiece feels a lot easier.

Since I have a Pillinger mouthpiece based on a vintage New York Meyer, I decided to compare it with the Kanee. This could be considered unfair, because the Pillinger is a much more expensive mouthpiece, but in practice they are not rivals. In fact they sound nothing like one another. The Kanee is much warmer than the Pillinger (Sherry, rather than Dry Martini). In tone it is closer to my classical Rousseau NC4 than to the Pillinger, even though the chambers of the two NY mouthpieces look alike to my untutored eye.

So for me, the Kanee New York 6 Alto was a warm, smooth-sounding mouthpiece with a sound that I liked; but it seems to be too reed-intolerant for me to want to own. It may well be that a better player will not experience any difficulties, but I would not recommend this mouthpiece to a beginner.
 
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Messages
373
Experience: Amateur player. Been playing just less than 2 years
Sax: Yanagisawa AWO2
Current Mouthpiece(s): Morgan Jazz 6M, 6ML and 6L (Now known as the New York) or Theo Wanne NY Bros 6; all have a 0.075" tip opening
Reed: Vandoren V16 2.5 (usually use ZZ 3's but hadn't played over Christmas so easing back into it)

As my Morgan's have a smaller bore than most mouthpieces I had to wrap a strip of a post-it note around the neck cork to ensure a nice snug fit with no air leakage.

NY 8M
Nice quick response which projects well. It has a bright tone but a warm centred tone. Was able to play no problem and didn't feel like a bigger tip opening and had a nice tone from top to bottom.

After playing for a while I slapped on a Vandoren ZZ 3 reed and it mellowed the sound a bit. It still had a bright core but seemed a bit smoother round the edges and less brash than the V16 2.5.

I have to say that this was the mouthpiece I couldn't put down and even the arl fella liked it (despite it being on alto (he prefers mellow tenor tones due to his hearing aid)) and if it is possible i'd be very interested in purchasing at the end of the passaround as I could see myself using this at outdoor gigs as it blended well with the alto section at rehearsals on Monday.

NY 6L
This was a bit warmer in tone than the 8M, but it would be as it has a large chamber. Switching to a Vandoren ZZ3 really mellowed the sound further. However, I constantly found myself comparing it to my Morgan 6L (same tip opening/chamber), unfairly as the morgan is 3 times the price of this piece, and it does not sound as good. But for the money it is cracking value and if you were on a strict budget then you could do far worse than this.

Studio 8
Arrrrgh, my ears. VERY bright and punchy. Even with a Vandoren ZZ 3. It has tons of projection - got it up to 90db with my current reed/horn setup - but it does, equally, play ppp very well if needed. An easy blow across all registers.

Just not for me as I veer towards the more mellow side of things.

All in all, an interesting exercise and thanks to Russ for making them available. I'd have no problems recommending the first 2 pieces to those stepping up from the Yamaha student pieces to something better as if they dropped them it wouldn't be a £200 mouthpiece they'd trashed, taking nothing away from these pieces, they are very good for the money.
 

Keep Blowing

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Thanks for the review Matt,
The Mouthpieces are being donated to the Café at the end of the pass-around so you will have the chance to buy the New York.
I haven't tried a Vandoren ZZ reed on these mouthpieces , I currently use Rico Royal 3 on a New York 8 and it is very mellow.
I have recently tried some Marca Jazz 3's which blow easier than the Rico and are much brighter with more clarity, I would like to find a reed somewhere between the two.

Keep Blowin'
Russ
 
Messages
373
Thanks for the review Matt,
The Mouthpieces are being donated to the Café at the end of the pass-around so you will have the chance to buy the New York.
I haven't tried a Vandoren ZZ reed on these mouthpieces , I currently use Rico Royal 3 on a New York 8 and it is very mellow.
I have recently tried some Marca Jazz 3's which blow easier than the Rico and are much brighter with more clarity, I would like to find a reed somewhere between the two.

Keep Blowin'
Russ
Maybe have a look at the Vandoren V16 reeds. They're brighter than ZZ but not shrill.
 

sax panther

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Horn - Hanson SA8
Reed used - V16 2.5
Usual mouthpiece - Vandoren V16 7

Hi

Had a quick blow of the alto pieces this afternoon and made some recordings. Same disclaimer as my tenor reviews - I'm no Charlie Parker but hopefully the soundcloud links should convey the different sounds of these mouthpieces.

Studio 8
This was a lot of fun. Lots of upper partials, would be great if you're soloing over a rock band etc. Not for everyone as it's pretty punchy. Most of my alto playing is done with a latin band and I've been wondering about getting something with a bit more balls than my current V16, so this immediately goes onto the shortlist.

https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909%2Falto-kanee-studio-7
New York 6L
Very easy to play. A bit dark for my taste, but lots of people will like that and I could certainly see myself using this in sax quartet/concert band situations, as well as moody jazz stuff. Very mellow, smooth sound.

https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909%2Falto-kanee-new-york-6 View: https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909/alto-kanee-new-york-6


New York 8M
Really liked this one. Seems like a very good all rounder, less dark than the 6L but not as deafening as the studio. I also preferred this to my V16 mouthpiece. Less resistant, but no loss of volume and maybe a touch brighter. Would be a great lead alto piece in a big band, and it would also hold its own in a funk band setting I reckon.

https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909%2Falto-kanee-new-york-8
Personally I think these are great value pieces. I enjoyed the tenor ones too, but I think the alto ones are really good.
 
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sax panther

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forgot to say...For some reason I really like the cardboard tubes they come in, and some (but not all - why?) of the mouthpieces have fancy engraving on the shank. I'm a sucker for stuff like that :)
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
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1,710
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forgot to say...For some reason I really like the cardboard tubes they come in, and some (but not all - why?) of the mouthpieces have fancy engraving on the shank. I'm a sucker for stuff like that :)
They're should be a cardboard tube for each one, 6 MPCs 6 tubes? Thanks for the reviews I will have a proper read and listen when I get to a laptop.
 

sax panther

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they've all got tubes, don't worry! I meant about the engraving on the shank - some of the mouthpieces have flowery graphics on the bottom (which looks cool!) and some just have the model name and the chamber size.
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
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they've all got tubes, don't worry! I meant about the engraving on the shank - some of the mouthpieces have flowery graphics on the bottom (which looks cool!) and some just have the model name and the chamber size.
That's good, the ones with the engraving have been milled and hand finished, the ones without are totally handcrafted, all the models will eventually be available, handcrafted or milled
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
Messages
1,710
Locality
Bottesford England
Horn - Hanson SA8
Reed used - V16 2.5
Usual mouthpiece - Vandoren V16 7

Hi

Had a quick blow of the alto pieces this afternoon and made some recordings. Same disclaimer as my tenor reviews - I'm no Charlie Parker but hopefully the soundcloud links should convey the different sounds of these mouthpieces.

Studio 8
This was a lot of fun. Lots of upper partials, would be great if you're soloing over a rock band etc. Not for everyone as it's pretty punchy. Most of my alto playing is done with a latin band and I've been wondering about getting something with a bit more balls than my current V16, so this immediately goes onto the shortlist.

https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909%2Falto-kanee-studio-7
New York 6L
Very easy to play. A bit dark for my taste, but lots of people will like that and I could certainly see myself using this in sax quartet/concert band situations, as well as moody jazz stuff. Very mellow, smooth sound.

https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909%2Falto-kanee-new-york-6 View: https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909/alto-kanee-new-york-6


New York 8M
Really liked this one. Seems like a very good all rounder, less dark than the 6L but not as deafening as the studio. I also preferred this to my V16 mouthpiece. Less resistant, but no loss of volume and maybe a touch brighter. Would be a great lead alto piece in a big band, and it would also hold its own in a funk band setting I reckon.

https://soundcloud.com/user-934945909%2Falto-kanee-new-york-8
Personally I think these are great value pieces. I enjoyed the tenor ones too, but I think the alto ones are really good.
Thank you very much for your reviews and the sound files are excellent! it is very much appreciated they all sound great..

Anyone else wanting to take part in the Pass - Around is more than welcome, just ask.
 

sax panther

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Thank you very much for your reviews and the sound files are excellent! it is very much appreciated they all sound great..

Anyone else wanting to take part in the Pass - Around is more than welcome, just ask.
no worries, thanks for letting us try them out!
 

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
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Greenfield, Nova Scotia, Canada
I have been playing for 3 years with no music background, not even a recorder. I have a Eugene Rousseau New Classic 4 and a Eugene Rousseau JDX6 . The latter has a high wedge shaped baffle, the former is designed for band use, it has a very slight roll over baffle.
I decided to compare the Studio , which also has a wedge baffle with my JDX 6 and used Legere Signature reeds . Both are loud and bright and will compete with a lead guitar. The Studio seemed to give a buzzy tone which I did not particularly like. They both seem to be equally easy to blow, however with careful attention to my emboucher I am able to mellow the JDX, I was not able to do this with the Kennee, though that may have come with practice.
I liked the New York 6 , large chamber, it gave me a rich dark mellow tone, darker than my NC4. I did not find it as easy to play as the NC4 despite trying different reeds. When I compared the tip gaps they look about the same however the facing curves are different. The NC4 is a little brighter.
The New York 8 med chamber seemed to be a middle of the road mouthpiece. I only used it for about 30 mins, it did not grab me. It seemed brighter than my NC4, but the tone did not seem quite so pure.
Like Nigel I would not recommend these to a beginner, I think you probably need a couple of years under your belt and then be prepared to spend time getting to know the mouthpiece and trying different reeds .
I think they are good value for money.
From a cosmetic point I rather like the engraving on them.
Thank you for arranging the pass around and give us chance to try them
 

Keep Blowing

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1,710
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Bottesford England
I have been playing for 3 years with no music background, not even a recorder. I have a Eugene Rousseau New Classic 4 and a Eugene Rousseau JDX6 . The latter has a high wedge shaped baffle, the former is designed for band use, it has a very slight roll over baffle.
I decided to compare the Studio , which also has a wedge baffle with my JDX 6 and used Legere Signature reeds . Both are loud and bright and will compete with a lead guitar. The Studio seemed to give a buzzy tone which I did not particularly like. They both seem to be equally easy to blow, however with careful attention to my emboucher I am able to mellow the JDX, I was not able to do this with the Kennee, though that may have come with practice.
I liked the New York 6 , large chamber, it gave me a rich dark mellow tone, darker than my NC4. I did not find it as easy to play as the NC4 despite trying different reeds. When I compared the tip gaps they look about the same however the facing curves are different. The NC4 is a little brighter.
The New York 8 med chamber seemed to be a middle of the road mouthpiece. I only used it for about 30 mins, it did not grab me. It seemed brighter than my NC4, but the tone did not seem quite so pure.
Like Nigel I would not recommend these to a beginner, I think you probably need a couple of years under your belt and then be prepared to spend time getting to know the mouthpiece and trying different reeds .
I think they are good value for money.
From a cosmetic point I rather like the engraving on them.
Thank you for arranging the pass around and give us chance to try them
Thank you very much for your reviews Rob it is much appreciated, I personally love the New York 8 Medium Chamber,
I would really like some beginners to try these Mouthpieces to see how they got on with the different tip opening, in fact, I think it it would be a good idea for a future thread to see what sized Tip opening people are using, from beginners to the more experienced.
 

Keep Blowing

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If anyone not wanting to get involved in the Pass-Around would like to try some Mouthpieces, you are more than welcome to come and try some, I have tip openings from 5 up to 8 in most models and I am available most Sunday mornings in Grantham.
 

JohnnyFletch

Member
Messages
70
I've just spent the afternoon round mine with Trimmy testing these out, very impressed overall with both the alto and tenor pieces.

A quick review for ya

ALTO PIECES

NEW YORK 6 (large chamber)
Darker sound, similar feel, tone and response to the LeBayle LR1 I'm currently playing on tenor. Very nice mouthpiece but the tip opening was a bit small for my liking, i thought the bigger tip on the next piece would rectify that.

NEW YORK 8 (medium chamber)
I found this piece less responsive and a bit stuffier, I can only think it's due to the medium chamber, not for me but a lovely mouthpiece non the less

STUDIO 8
Bright, punchy, free blowing, easy to play through the range, especially up the top of the horn, very nice tone and easy to play quietly and softly as well as incredibly loud. I usually go for darker pieces but this is the most versatile and fun of the 3 pieces.

TENOR PIECES

FLORIDA'S
Both of these weren't my cup of tea, nice pieces, nothing wrong with them, just not for me. Can't put my finger on why either.

STUDIO 7
Now this I like, same as the studio alto, bright, punchy, loud, controllable, complex sound, effortless to play, free blowing, lively, super responsive. An instant contender to be my new gigging mouthpiece. Personally I'd like to try a 7* and 8 to see if either fits me better as the 7 feels a bit closed off. If I can compare it to anything, it makes my Conn Selmer PTS-380V feel and sound to me like a Conn 10m I recently played. If only there were the other sizes in the passaround to try.

Oh and at these prices an easy choice as a first upgrade or a great bargain for the seasoned professional.
 

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
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1,710
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Bottesford England
I've just spent the afternoon round mine with Trimmy testing these out, very impressed overall with both the alto and tenor pieces.

A quick review for ya

ALTO PIECES

NEW YORK 6 (large chamber)
Darker sound, similar feel, tone and response to the LeBayle LR1 I'm currently playing on tenor. Very nice mouthpiece but the tip opening was a bit small for my liking, i thought the bigger tip on the next piece would rectify that.

NEW YORK 8 (medium chamber)
I found this piece less responsive and a bit stuffier, I can only think it's due to the medium chamber, not for me but a lovely mouthpiece non the less " I like the Medium Chamber pieces, I have tried various reeds and for me they work well with Rico Royals"

STUDIO 8
Bright, punchy, free blowing, easy to play through the range, especially up the top of the horn, very nice tone and easy to play quietly and softly as well as incredibly loud. I usually go for darker pieces but this is the most versatile and fun of the 3 pieces.

TENOR PIECES

FLORIDA'S
Both of these weren't my cup of tea, nice pieces, nothing wrong with them, just not for me. Can't put my finger on why either.
"That's interesting most people go for these, especially the Large Chamber"

STUDIO 7
Now this I like, same as the studio alto, bright, punchy, loud, controllable, complex sound, effortless to play, free blowing, lively, super responsive. An instant contender to be my new gigging mouthpiece. Personally I'd like to try a 7* and 8 to see if either fits me better as the 7 feels a bit closed off. If I can compare it to anything, it makes my Conn Selmer PTS-380V feel and sound to me like a Conn 10m I recently played. If only there were the other sizes in the passaround to try
" The Studio is popular In France and I have sold a few to people in Sweden ,. I will be getting a delivery of Mouthpieces in mid March and will be getting some 7* and 8's.

Oh and at these prices an easy choice as a first upgrade or a great bargain for the seasoned professional.

Thanks very much for the feedback, it was a nice bonus as I originally thought it would just be Trimmy trying them.
 

JohnnyFletch

Member
Messages
70
No problem KB, I love trying out new gear, an afternoon well spent and a nice surprise that they were actually very good, I'm always sceptical of new gear from manufacturers I've never heard of.

I deliberately didn't look at the price before playing them so as not to effect my judgement and to find out the price after liking the studio so much, well, I was even more impressed to say the least, I've just got to figure out how to get to Grantham to try out the 8 lol.
 

Keep Blowing

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Bottesford England
No problem KB, I love trying out new gear, an afternoon well spent and a nice surprise that they were actually very good, I'm always sceptical of new gear from manufacturers I've never heard of.

I deliberately didn't look at the price before playing them so as not to effect my judgement and to find out the price after liking the studio so much, well, I was even more impressed to say the least, I've just got to figure out how to get to Grantham to try out the 8 lol.
I will let you know when I get some 8's in stock (should be mid March). We'll work something out if you want to try one

Thanks again
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,386
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Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Not great at this reviewing malarkey but here goes....
NY6 large chamber has a warm sound using zz’s 2 and jazz select 2M, i likes this mouthpiece the best of the 3
NY8 medium chamber
[BGCOLOR=transparent]Not too fussy on this one don’t know why, probably just the sound i was making so didn’t spend a lot of time in this one.[/BGCOLOR]
[BGCOLOR=transparent]Studio 8 [/BGCOLOR]
[BGCOLOR=transparent]Wow !! This is loud, bright easy to blow, probably a bit too bright for my liking. [/BGCOLOR]

[BGCOLOR=transparent]I did use these mouthpieces on both a modern and vintage horn and they played no problem with either horn.[/BGCOLOR]

[BGCOLOR=transparent]Would like to try a slightly smaller tip than the 8’s, i think I’d be more comfortable on a 6 7 7* [/BGCOLOR]
[BGCOLOR=transparent]Thanks for the opportunity to try them out Russ [/BGCOLOR]
 

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