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M/Pieces - Ligs More on tenor mouthpieces

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
I have three tenor mouthpieces that I like. They are a Vandoren V5 T20, V5 T35 and a Phil Barone HR Vintage *7. Their tip openings are, respectively, 81, 90 and a 100. By way of comparison, the PPT7* is 105. The reeds I use are a Legere #2 and a Legere Signature #2 1/4. It doesn't seem to make all that much difference which one I use, but the Signature is definitely better for the Phil Barone. Overall, however, after about three weeks of comparison, I find what seems to be easiest to use is the combination of T20 and Legere #2.

When I look at the tip openings and reed strengths people report as part of their set-ups, I find that without a doubt my combinations are at the small end of things. In fact, my preferences of my sort are reported but rarely. Yet what I use is very comfortable. I play what broadly would be called classical music where the passages can be quite long.

Now, I am not in any way suggesting that my set-up would suit others, but I wonder whether the people bothering to report their set-ups tend to be those who use wider tip-openings and harder reeds. In other words, is there likely to be a bias in the reporting? Please note that this not about optimum combinations. There is no exact answer to that.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I posted what I was using because otherwise there are too many questions. I'm amazed you can use such soft reeds on these mouthpieces. I guess your embouchure must be superb. I found I didn't have the fine control for the narrow tips, so moved towards larger openings. Something that's happened with alto as well.

Each to his own, it's not a bragging effort (I hope).
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
For years I've been using a Yanagisawa 7 (which I think is 90) with Alexander Superial and recently Alexander DC 2.5 reeds on my old tenor. Pete our revered leader allowed me to try his PPT 8* and 9* on my new Hanson ST8 as the yanag didn't seem to sit well with that instrument. Even though the 9* is considerably bigger than the Yan it was so easy to use. It just goes to show it is not only the tip opening to consider but the design of the mouthpiece which alters the efficacy and ease of use of the mouthpiece.

I still like to use the yanagisawa 7 on my original tenor as I'm so used to it.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
For years I've been using a Yanagisawa 7 (which I think is 90)
.
Depends on whether it's metal or ebonite. Metal 7 is 2.4mm, ebonite 7 is 2.3mm, which equate to 0.95 and 0.90 respectively.

I play a modified Link STM, with a tip opening of 120. Nothing macho or boastful about it, I use a RJS 2s or 2M reed, and I just find it an easy, controllable blow. I find narrow tip openings very difficult to play as I want.
 

Koen88

Sax Drinker / Beer player
Messages
426
Depends on whether it's metal or ebonite. Metal 7 is 2.4mm, ebonite 7 is 2.3mm, which equate to 0.95 and 0.90 respectively.

I play a modified Link STM, with a tip opening of 120. Nothing macho or boastful about it, I use a RJS 2s or 2M reed, and I just find it an easy, controllable blow. I find narrow tip openings very difficult to play as I want.
I had a 8* New Vintage Link (.110) but it wasnt the sound I was looking for. now I use a Guardala LT studio refaced by brian powell to a .105 with a tenor Legere 2.5.

typically I use relatively larger alto mouthpieces, (about .95 and .90 ) and one is even .110 (with a Lgere 2¼)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Depends on whether it's metal or ebonite. Metal 7 is 2.4mm, ebonite 7 is 2.3mm, which equate to 0.95 and 0.90 respectively.
:w00t: Someone's got a big mouth aound here!!! That's nearly an inch :D
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
...snip...

When I look at the tip openings and reed strengths people report as part of their set-ups, I find that without a doubt my combinations are at the small end of things. In fact, my preferences of my sort are reported but rarely. Yet what I use is very comfortable. I play what broadly would be called classical music where the passages can be quite long.

Now, I am not in any way suggesting that my set-up would suit others, but I wonder whether the people bothering to report their set-ups tend to be those who use wider tip-openings and harder reeds. In other words, is there likely to be a bias in the reporting? Please note that this not about optimum combinations. There is no exact answer to that.
Or maybe more people here mainly play rock and/or jazz than classical music, and find wider tip openings more suitable for that?
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
You saying I've got a big gob?
Outside, now!

(I think it's 2.5 centimeters to the inch Kev not millimeters)
0.95 are almost 1 inch, about 25mm, 2.5cm, 0.025m.... mouthpiece openings are usually 0.095"

about half a gallon...
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,667
25.4 mm =1" is the usual conversion factor in day to day usage.

Now playing a .95 mpce ....that would take a lot of support and big lungs.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
This is brilliant. In my first post I suggested that players with larger tip openings were more likely to report their set-ups. Everyone who responded seems to be in that category.

Now what could be the reason for that? BigMartin suggests one: choice of music. Another reason could be that players who like larger tip openings are the more experienced types, and that gives them confidence to report what they have.

BTW, that doesn't mean that players preferring smaller tip openings have not got it right. I suspect that in many cases they are using what they should, but they are are either at a different stage of their playing career or they play music where this is just about required, such as baroque material.

Please note that this is not about being big being better or not. Nor, pace Kevegermany, is a competition.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
they are are either at a different stage of their playing career or they play music where this is just about required, such as baroque material.
A never met a saxophone player specialized on baroque music, I must confess.

Before the 60s, large opening were simply not available. A good example of the turning point is the Shorter/Coltrane relationship. Coltrane played a 5, Shorter something much bigger (he usually is on a 10).

An interesting factor to keep in mind, is how loud is music nowadays. Saxophone players are supposed to keep pace with other players. Almost every instrument is louder now than it was 40 years ago (fashion? hearing problems among the audience?).

I am among the worst offenders regarding big tip openings (I have a Spinal Tap Link) and the reason is the dynamic range that they give me. A friend of mine (we have a very similar sound but he is on a 7*) yesterday tried a Slant Link 5: wonderful tone, but unidimensional. On the other hand, plenty of contemporary alto players still use small tips, so this is probably a strange debate.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
This is brilliant. In my first post I suggested that players with larger tip openings were more likely to report their set-ups. Everyone who responded seems to be in that category.

pace
In my case its because I've got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about small tip opeinings being regarded as essential for beginners. I can't ever manage to pass up the opportunity to say that a wider tip opeining is easier to play.

pace What's that?
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508
The loudness requirement I think is the critical factor. I played the Link 5* on my tenor for years in section work - and then I started playing with guitar groups.

I needed something more and went to the local store to try what they had - actually a pretty thin selection in Hong Kong. My wife - a non-musician but (I like to think) a keen listener to my frequently futile efforts - came along (there may have been a financial imperative working here as well).

I warmed up on the Link - status quo - and then switched to the Dukoff D7. She literally nearly fell off her chair with my first note.

Did I then - as is frequently claimed in this sort of debate - over time revert to my previous volume/tone? I really don't think so.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Altissimo: thank you for these two sites. They illustrate, among other things, just how much choice one has.

Aldevis: you may be right aboutnot many saxophonists specialising in baroque music. Still, some players like to do arrangements of baroque music.

jonf: pace is pretentious academic jargon for "I don't want to offend you, but it has to be said anyway". The literal meaning is as Kevegermany said.

I reiterate that i am not questioning the appropriateness of this or that tip opening. It obviously would be silly to persist, for example, with a Yamaha 6C if, as was the case with Kingsleyhk, a Dukoff 7 feels so much better.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
BigMartin suggests one: choice of music.
We are all differnt. For me is about to play LOUD (full-tone, engery ...) because that's my thing. I tried to play in classical sax ensembles but it was not "my cup of tea". So I need setups that I can match my personality and tone/sound.

I bought American vintage saxes (from the 20's) from a guy who is a classical saxplayer. And in the cases there were always two or three mouthpieces and suitable reeds for classical saxophone (big chambers, narrow tip openings, soft reeds). I can't play on these mouthpieces. And I'm so impressed by players who can.

Thomas
 
Saxholder Pro
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