support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

mouthpiece madness

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
2,740
Locality
london
Morning all,

I have been playing alto for about 2 years and haav just moved onto my tenor... I want to get a good set up and put it back under the bed and finish off my alto journey; whwther that will happen is anyones guess..lol.. Anyhow i have a vintage selmer soloist c** and a kanee im happy with both of these and i am relatively squeek free on the basic notes.. I ws going to sell the soloist and a guy came to buy it to cut a long story short he didnt and i ended up buying his meyer metal mpc its a 5 with a slide on lig... Im not sure how to down load pics otherwise i would. Its a very small mouthpiece but i do squeek on it although this is getting better. I then saw a brilhart 6 metl mouthpiece and bought it as it came with a ligature.. On receipt the lig is to big, i am unsure of the brilhart model its a size 6 the Meyer is a 5j.. I know ideally I should go to a music shop and try mpces and i will do when i am good enough to pick my final mpc (like thats ever going to happen) my questions are

Is the meyer j5 an ok mpc or difficult to play.. the reeds seem wider than the chamber.
does a lig make a lot of difference i seem to prefer the two screw basket type to the leather ones
I paid £100 for the brilhart is it worth getting a lig to see how it plays or return it..
Will a soprano lig fit a metal tenor mouth piece. I lookked for a contact no for Brilhart but couldnt find one..

Help I always get great advise here

Eddie
 

Alice

Psychedelic
Messages
5,577
Locality
Kent
Someone will be along soon who might answer your specific questions, but my advice Eddie is that when you stop playing with something and stick it under the bed for x amount of years, it doesn’t matter what set-up you found suited you before you did that deed because if you take it out again in a year’s time, two years or ten or heaven forbid - right at the end of your Alto journey - that ideal set-up will most likely have changed due to your lack of practice. My advice is to have the horn checked over and start with a basic set-up for a beginner and then practice that horn as regularly as you do your Alto. When your emboucher is ready for change, you will know. Mouthpieces and reeds are a mine field unless you have put in some solid practice first.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Messages
2,419
Locality
Hampshire
You aint ever gonna reach the end of the Alto journey, so I agree with @Alice
It would make more sense to take out some cash, put it in your Tenor case and stash it under the bed and when you come to take it out again, look for a mouthpiece then.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,853
Locality
Hamilton, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
Is the metal Brilhart like this...?

Brilhart Mouthpieces | Theo Wanne

Scroll down for the metal Level Airs...

If it's not the vintage "wedge shape" design for want of a better phrase it maybe the model Selmer reintroduced in the early 1990s which look nothing like the original Arnold Brilhart Level Airs and were supposedly made by Runyon with two interchangeable plastic baffles...I have four - two modern and two vintage one each for tenor and alto...

Greg S
 
Last edited:

Bob M.

Member
Messages
55
Locality
At my house
im happy with both of these and i am relatively squeek free on the basic notes..

That coupled with you sayinmg you are just going to stuff it under your bed tells me you just simply are not at the level of really being able to gauge a correct fit of a mouthpiece for yourself at this time. a mouthpiece is not going to make you sound like <insert favorite player here> at your level, Do they make a difference.? absolutely, without a doubt....but is based really on you and your development.
You clearly have not developed your 'sound' yet and I'm sort of guessing you havent really developed any sound yet really per say...everyone goes through that while learning so that is perfectly acceptable and expected, but until you do then I'd just stick with a mouthpiece you can play on and gain the chops, unless you check out a mouthpiece and it really plays well for you , and then I'd make sure I stuck with a cheaper one because your abilities are going to change and grow a lot in these initial stages,
Once again try as many as you can, some mouthpieces may play easy for you or not, and get to also understand the makeup of the mouthpiece and what each part of it is and the sizing. then you will be ready to buy ones that you want and make a informed decision. Be aware that your reed will have to also match the mouthpiece.using one reed from one mouthpiece doesn't necessarily mean it would be the right one for the new one, see how the cut matches, if it seals properly/etc. I have known people who have tried completely wrong reeds with a mouthpiece and claimed it was the mouthpiece that was horrible.


does a lig make a lot of difference i seem to prefer the two screw basket type to the leather ones

Extremely little to none, actually. convenience a little bit, or if it is some really messed up one perhaps, but you can use a shoelace or a cotton string as a lig and play just as well as one that they try to sell for $300 (And some actually buy for that.) pretty much.
 
Last edited:

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,785
Locality
Sweden
Is the meyer j5 an ok mpc or difficult to play.. the reeds seem wider than the chamber.
For me a metal mouthpiece is easier to play.

does a lig make a lot of difference i seem to prefer the two screw basket type to the leather ones
Yes. Most two screw ligatures are doing the same job. But a ligature must fit the mouthpiece and hold the reed in a good way.

I paid £100 for the brilhart is it worth getting a lig to see how it plays or return it..
Try to play the mouthpiece without buying a lig. Maybe another saxplayer has a lig that you can borrow.? Sometimes I've used duct tape (silver). It holds the reed ok and leaves no scratches. When I play a new mouthpiece I want to try it with diffent reeds as well, so duct tape can be tricky.

Will a soprano lig fit a metal tenor mouth piece. I lookked for a contact no for Brilhart but couldnt find one..
I think a soprano ligature is to small for a slim metal tenor mpc. But I'm not sure.
 

Bob M.

Member
Messages
55
Locality
At my house
I paid £100 for the brilhart is it worth getting a lig to see how it plays or return it..
Will a soprano lig fit a metal tenor mouth piece.

Sorry, just use a rubber band. seriously try it, it works fine. it is only a hassle unwrapping it, but to just try out a mouthpiece it is plenty good enough.

Oh, and above I mentioned the reed sealing properly, but didnt mention how you can easily tell if it is. put your wetted reed on like normal, cover the shank hole airtight, then suck on the reed end, drawing air out of the chamber. then open your mouth, and the reed if properly sealed should wait a bit of time, then 'pop' open. the longer the time, a second or whatever the better it is sealed. no pop or wait means not sealed so well and it is leaking.
 
Last edited:

vries1

Member
Messages
291
Locality
Montpellier area, France
+1 on the rubber band for trying mouthpieces. Plays fine and is a good cure for ligature GAS. Just less practical when you want to adjust the mouthpiece on the neck/crook (for tuning) without messing up where and how the reed sits.
 

ESJohn

Member
Café Supporter
Messages
608
Locality
Ohio USA
I'm not sure if my post calls for a new thread or if it belongs with this one. I've enjoyed reading the comments here, as I have found myself now drooling over mpc's and reeds instead of saxes, as the comment made by someone in another post was that these have much more effect on playing than the instruments themselves (I suppose barring any leaking issues). I have two mpc's, both unbranded. The smaller one is 3 3/8" in length with an opening that tapers to 5/16". It is coupled with a metal two-screw ligature (also unbranded). This is my most used mpc. The other is 3 1/2" length and the opening tapers to 3/8". It employs a fabric ligature with one screw. I'll try the larger one from time to time and have some ability to play, but I seem to be much more comfortable with the smaller one. I generally use a 2 1/2 but can use a 3 with moderate success. I was looking at reeds on Amazon, primarily Yamaha 5c and 6c, as they appear to be beginner/intermediate quality and moderately priced (under $50). Should I expect any noticeable difference with either of these?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,306
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I'm sure that any set up is fine for under the bed. In fact , no set up is fine for under the bed. Don't expect your alto journey to have an ending. It's an endless journey. The tenor is a fine companion for an alto but the best way to travel is with a quartet of Baritone , tenor , alto and soprano. You may need a bigger bed ;)
 

Bob M.

Member
Messages
55
Locality
At my house
The smaller one is 3 3/8" in length with an opening that tapers to 5/16". It is coupled with a metal two-screw ligature (also unbranded). This is my most used mpc. The other is 3 1/2" length and the opening tapers to 3/8".


There are a lot of aspects to a mouthpiece that are important to how it plays as well as sounds.
i believe it is important to understand your equipment and what makes it, what it is so that you can make informed decisions about it, at least on a minimal scale. you mentioned certain measurements but missed others that are relevant more than likely. larger or smaller air chambers for instance will, just like a water pipe does with water, change the volume of air allowed through, and the differences of the chamber and the throat as well as baffles change the air pressure and speed. This effects many things in and of itself. the distance from the reed tip from the tip rail of the mouthpiece when it is setup will also majorly effect how it plays. this is often the # associated with the mouthpiece. ie if it is a 4 compared to a 7, generally speaking a 7 will have more distance, more distance means the reed actually has the ability to flex more obviously. coupled with the stiffness of the reed of course. and the length of the beak coupled with the break and curve of the face effects playability a lot, how far you put the MPC in your mouth and is comfortable to you. natural to you, etc.and this explanation is just the very basic involved. I cringe when people ask "Hey is this a good mouthpiece" in every thing but the basic of senses, because it really is a personal thing. but in the basic senses, the quality of the make, materials, if it is finished by hand or 100% cnc'd (Finished by hand which many are, is less 'consistent' then 100% cnc'd, if your hand finished mouthpiece gets run over by a truck and smashed, ordering one from some seller online even if the same type/model/date will not mean it will actually play the same, though it will more than likely be really close, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. ) etc. and thus give you a idea, but they cannot tell you how your embouchure and mouth and playing will meld with it. There are no 'magic' formulas for what is best, heck it changes by the song you play also, imo.
The good news is, when you learn to play well, you will play well with pretty much any horn, or mouthpiece or setup...you may not play perfectly though, so if you are learning...you just do not need to be perfect. You do need to play well though regardless of such things, so get the playing well down first, imo, plus many aspects of playing well just have to do with spending the time on the horn and building your chops which takes time usually. lots and lots of time, and nothing is going to allow you to be perfect without it.
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
2,740
Locality
london
Is the metal Brilhart like this...?

Brilhart Mouthpieces | Theo Wanne

Scroll down for the metal Level Airs...

If it's not the vintage "wedge shape" design for want of a better phrase it maybe the model Selmer reintroduced in the early 1990s which look nothing like the original Arnold Brilhart Level Airs and were supposedly made by Runyon with two interchangeable plastic baffles...I have four - two modern and two vintage one each for tenor and alto...

Greg S

Hi its nothing like any of the level airs ive seen it only has the no 6 on the main body and BRILHART in capitals on the bit that goes on the cork its silver nd really hevy but gives a relly bright tone... have you heard of any fake ones it seems odd there is no serial no..
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
2,740
Locality
london
well that was fun as usual....lol... For clarity i always new i wanted to play tenor so bought one when funds enabled: and put it under the bed.o_Oo_O as i didnt want to have the "madness" of trying to find a set up that i could play interfere with the alto journey........ However my mate also bought a tenor and hence the chaos began, reeds mouthpiece etc that enabled me to get a nice tone out of it.. I have been learning the alto for about 18months but am a way off being able to hit all the notes high d, e, f constantly or if at all. The tenor came with a vintage soloist c** mouthpiece and i just didnt like it so bought a Kanee ebonite Florida which i love. I wanted to try a metal mouth piece which was the (possible) Brilhart again i really like this both with a 2h Daddario select Jazz reed. I just thought it would be better to put the tenor away now its set up for a short period and focus on the alto until i can at least play all the notes... I was also looking for advise on whether anyone had heard of fake brilharts.. Eddie
 

Phil

Senior Member
Messages
1,231
Locality
France
Level Airs are to cheap to copy. They are not terribly sought after. All Brilharts are not serial numbered. I have not played the alto versions but the tenors will rip paint off the wall.
 
Top Bottom