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M/Pieces - Ligs Looking for mouthpiece advice

D

David321321

 
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Hi all,

Just joined the forum after years of reading.

I've been playing now for 2.5 years (tenor) and have tried a variety of mouthpieces and reeds. I recently stumbled upon an ESM Jazz 6* and snapped it up. Like it, but want to try a 7* or something with similar charactoristics. Why? I've read that the 7* just "feels" better.

Don't have a large budget (maybe 80€/$ £70).

The sound I'm after is a bright, but full one, with complex tones. A little/medium fuzz/buzz, but not too much. Easy blowing. Quiet and medium volume capacities - meaning, not interested in loud, marching band scenarios. Actually, also after more "dynamics", by which I mean, colour/sound changes with changes in emboucher and amount taken in (sorry for bad description).

I've settled with Java green 2.5 on every mpc I've had (even though they seem to wear out quickly). Open to suggestions if reed "matches" the mouthpiece well for the sound I'm after. I like Java for their instant response, brightness and buzz. Also like that the subtones come out easily.

I mostly play song melodies (soul/Motown, funk, pop), with piano, guitar and ukelele accompaniment.

So that's about all I can think of for now. This is the first time I've actually put into written words what I'm looking for.

Heard Jumbo Javas are similar to ESM, but more info would be good.

Thanks for reading (and responding).
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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Reading that a mouthpiece is better than the one you have can be misleading.
It may well be better for the writer but,
they don't have your chops, your physiognomy or your idea of the sound wanted.
The description of the sound you're looking for can't be bought. It may be several years of dedicated practice down the road.
If you have a comfortable mouthpiece, I would suggest that the flexibility of sound you're looking for is in the manipulation of reeds.
Selecting and adjusting reeds is a skill many overlook.
And then there's just the practice and keeping your horn regulated.
 
MikeMorrell

MikeMorrell

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Hi David,

I've played an ESM 7*(Jazz) for years. It turned out (years ago) to be my most preferred mpc during a 'mpc test'. It's a little known brand so it's great to hear that someone else is playing an ESM!

A couple of years ago, I bought a PPT 8* (with Pete's advice) which is now my much preferred mpc. It's much more flexible in terms of tone and volume but I do need to keep up my 'chops' to play it well. Whenever I fall out of practice, I fall back on my ESM.

Just a few comments (no advice)
  • the 'fit' between mpc's and players is IMHO very personal : try before you buy!
  • if you're generally happy with your ESM mpc, you could consider an upgrade
  • use the cafe to narrow down what kind of 'sound' looking for and get some suggestions
 
Steve Marshall

Steve Marshall

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For reeds I'd give Gonzalez RC a try. Similar to Java green, but for me they have better tone.
 
D

David321321

 
Messages
41
Hi David,

I've played an ESM 7*(Jazz) for years. It turned out (years ago) to be my most preferred mpc during a 'mpc test'. It's a little known brand so it's great to hear that someone else is playing an ESM!

A couple of years ago, I bought a PPT 8* (with Pete's advice) which is now my much preferred mpc. It's much more flexible in terms of tone and volume but I do need to keep up my 'chops' to play it well. Whenever I fall out of practice, I fall back on my ESM.

Just a few comments (no advice)
  • the 'fit' between mpc's and players is IMHO very personal : try before you buy!
  • if you're generally happy with your ESM mpc, you could consider an upgrade
  • use the cafe to narrow down what kind of 'sound' looking for and get some suggestions
Hi Mike,

Thanks so much for this. I've seen the PPT mpcs before, but never gave them a thought. After reading your post I went digging for more info. Sounds like that 8* might be what I'm looking for!!!

Still want to try and have a Keilworth/ESM Jazz 7* , but definately going to look for a PPT 8* now.

Thanks again!
 
D

David321321

 
Messages
41
Reading that a mouthpiece is better than the one you have can be misleading.
It may well be better for the writer but,
they don't have your chops, your physiognomy or your idea of the sound wanted.
The description of the sound you're looking for can't be bought. It may be several years of dedicated practice down the road.
If you have a comfortable mouthpiece, I would suggest that the flexibility of sound you're looking for is in the manipulation of reeds.
Selecting and adjusting reeds is a skill many overlook.
And then there's just the practice and keeping your horn regulated.
Thanks Colin,

I always mess with my reeds - either to get them playing, or for better responsiveness, regardless the brand and model.

Trouble is, there's so much variation between each reed in a box, and after trimming, well, let's not even go there. Right now I have one super bright and buzzy and another "dull" but both played kinda the same before trimming and "messing with".

Thanks for the tips either way!
 
D

David321321

 
Messages
41
For reeds I'd give Gonzalez RC a try. Similar to Java green, but for me they have better tone.
Thanks Steve,

Someone suggested once that the Gonzalez Jazz Local 627 were similar to Java Green, but don't don't hear it or feel it. Consistency-wise, fair enough - 4 out 5 kinda ready to play, but otherwise the Greens do it for me.

Now I'll HAVE to try the RCs. Thanks for the tip!
 
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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I'm looking at used. Here in Spain various Jumbos sell or between 50 and 70 euros.
In which case definitely consider a Rousseau. Or a PPT (of course I would say that) but would hopefully run you a little bit more but who knows?
 
D

David321321

 
Messages
41
In which case definitely consider a Rousseau. Or a PPT (of course I would say that) but would hopefully run you a little bit more but who knows?
Which Rousseau? The E. ROUSSEAU JAZZ MODEL JDX8?

Yes, Am now super interested in the PPT now, thanks to Mike's post above.
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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Shopping for mouthpieces like a butterfly...
We've all been there, but remember, only one opiniin matters. Yours.
 
Steve Marshall

Steve Marshall

Member
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224
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Cumbria, UK
Thanks Steve,

Someone suggested once that the Gonzalez Jazz Local 627 were similar to Java Green, but don't don't hear it or feel it. Consistency-wise, fair enough - 4 out 5 kinda ready to play, but otherwise the Greens do it for me.

Now I'll HAVE to try the RCs. Thanks for the tip!
The 627 Jazz reeds are more like Red Java IMHO. Similar to other jazz reeds - Rico Jazz Select etc. These can give brighter sounds or cope better with wider tip openings. Reds are brighter than Green Java for me.
The RCs are stiffer and you may need to come down in size - they do quarter sizes. It should offer the fuller sound.
Other two I'd recommend trying are the Vandoren V16 and ZZ. Both brighter than the Gonzalez RC.
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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Red and green are french cut and regular (american) cut. I forget which way round.
 
Dr G

Dr G

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Northern California
Hi Mike,

Thanks so much for this. I've seen the PPT mpcs before, but never gave them a thought. After reading your post I went digging for more info. Sounds like that 8* might be what I'm looking for!!!

Still want to try and have a Keilworth/ESM Jazz 7* , but definately going to look for a PPT 8* now.

Thanks again!
You’ve gone from a ESM 6* to an PPT 8* in a week based on reviews. Realize that the dominant character of a mouthpiece comes from its chamber, not its tip opening. You might be completely happy with a PPT 7*, and be better able to play it comfortably. It’s difficult to give you better advice, since we don’t know what else you’ve been playing in your 2 1/2 years.

G’luck in your quest.
 
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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You’ve gone from a ESM 6* to an PPT 8* in a week based on reviews.
I agree that reviews are not a good thing to base mouthpiece purchases on. (Hmm why do I have all testimonials on the site then? Good point)
 
Dr G

Dr G

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I agree that reviews are not a good thing to base mouthpiece purchases on. (Hmm why do I have all testimonials on the site then? Good point)

Cheers, Pete. I see in a parallel thread your comments regarding brightness of the 8* vs 9*, and that the PPT is not intended to be a good beginners piece. Thanks for sharing that. The good/bad bit of reviews is that we often don’t know the reviewer. I put a lot more weight on comments from the designer if I know them to actually play the horn. Respect to you.

Yeah, the ol “Don’t judge a book by its cover” vs “Why do books have covers?”
 
T

turf3

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Earth
So, if I understand, you have all of 2 1/2 years playing experience, and you've got a mouthpiece you like but you want to change to a wider tip because some guy on the internet said "it feels better"?

If I tell you that a Meyer 8 on tenor feels better than any other mouthpiece I have, will you run out and buy one of them?

I'd suggest you pick one mouthpiece, one reed brand and strength, and focus on playing the horn.
 

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