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M/Pieces - Ligs More on Bari Esprit mouthpieces

jonf

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Betelgeuse
Just received a couple of alto Bari Esprit II mouhtpieces, and a soprano Esprit in the post this morning. Three new mouthpieces, boxed, with ligatures and caps, delivered for thirty odd quid. Great service from John Packer, too.

Altos

I bought these to go with a couple of student alto saxes I'll be selling soon. The mouthpieces with these saxes were so poor I'd feel ashamed selling them. So, I tried one of the Baris with my usual RJS 2H, on a Hanson Gulf. Worked quite well, decent range of tone and tuning. I found the narrow tip opening a bit stifling, and I prefer a bit more brightness to the tone, but overall, pretty good. Miles better than the awful moulded plastic thing which came with the sax. Bottom Bb up to F# was all fine. Altissimo just about worked, very thin, I think either a bigger tip opening or a harder reed would be needed for me to play up there on this piece. Obviously this isn't an issue for a student. Tuning sounded OK right through, no issues at all. Not as loud a my normal piece, but that's to be expected. Actually quite a nice tone, bit like a Jody Jazz ebonite. So, all good for the money (very little money!).

Soprano

Used a RJS 3S on a BW curvy and an Elkhart curvy. Well, what can I say. This is actually a very good mouthpiece. Stands up fine against any competition at any price. Nice smooth tone with a bit of edge, played nicely in tune right through the range up to the palm keys. I have kids whose ears still work, so I wouldn't go up to altissimo on a sop. I felt immediately at home with this mouthpiece, and would be happy playing it any time. Tip opening is a bit smaller than I'm used to, but I didn't find it as noticable as on the alto, and not a problem at all. Absolute bargain. Think I'll order another one to keep as a spare mouthpiece for myself.

Final point, appearance. They even look quite nice, with a subtle matt finish and gold and red lettering. They both look and sound as if they cost a lot more than they really do.
 

TomMapfumo

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Skabertawe, South Wales
Glad you liked them, Jon! I think that they both stack up really well. The soprano did remind me a little of the Yani HR, and Jazz reeds seemed to give them a slightly brighter tone, which is not wasted in the final product.
 

Jeanette

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Cheshire UK
I've been testing a couple of expensive sop pieces and the Bari Esprit has stood up well against them.:)

Jx
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
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3,724
Locality
Betelgeuse
Update

Well, I sold the saxes with the Bari mouthpieces, but I was so impressed I bought a couple more, alto and sop. I've been playing the sop for the last few days, and I really am very impressed with it. OK, the supplied ligature is a bit crap, but then so was the one I got with a very expensive Dave Guardala tenor piece a few years ago. Found one that fitted better in my box of odds and sods. I think the tone of this mouthpiece on my curvy BW is great, smooth, with enough brightness when you want it. Loud enough too. Holds up better into the palm keys than most sop mouthpieces.

Tried some slightly more objective testing of tuning with my digi tuner. Needed to push the mouthpiece on quite a long way to get it in tune, maybe 4mm of cork showing. Well in tune across most of the range. Slightly flat at the bottom end. Don't know whether that's down to the sax or the mouthpiece, will cross check on another sop later on. Still within playability levels though.

So I think it's miles better than a Yamaha 4/5/6c, as well as the other cheapo sop mouthpieces I've tried, including the Graftonite and Metalite. For me at least, it is also much better than an Otto Link ebonite or Selmer S80 C**, both of which cost many times as much. I've counted up and I reckon I've had 24 soprano mouthpieces over the last 25 years, and the Bari Esprit comes in the top two or three of these, irrespective of price.
 

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