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M/Pieces - Ligs Mouthpiece upgrade query

Carter

New Member
Messages
4
Hi all,

I'm looking to upgrade my mouthpiece (I currently play a Yamaha 6C on my tenor) and due to current circumstances I'm unable to go to a shop to try one(!!) I'would like to stick with a more 'classical' sounding piece such as the Selmer Paris S80. Where I'm struggling is the tip opening; my current MP has a 1.90mm opening, and I'm wondering what is the best tip opening to 'upgrade' to. I appreciate the answer is far from black and white, and it's very player dependent, but any advice would be greatly appreciated! E.g do I go for something like an F, with a 2.30mm opening, or a C** which is about the same size as what I have currently?

Thanks!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,669
Is bigger better? No! The right size is best.

An S80 is a very marmite piece. Personally I love them.

Not being able to try before you buy is a handicap. It depends why you feel the Yam is holding you back. A wider tip opening can give you a wider more flexible palate of sound and more volume but I wouldn't be making a large jump too soon or in one go. Maybe try a D.

Be advised though that the Selmer S80 changes the length of the lay around the E. The larger tip openings have a longer and more gentle facing curve which makes them very playable.
 

majordennis

Senior Member
Messages
478
Many years ago I was in the same position as yourself but had the luxury of living a 10 minute drive from one of the best saxophone shops in the North of England, they put me in a practice room and provided several different mouthpieces of all shapes and sizes, there were a few that I literally could not get a note from and others which varied from average to acceptable. Most people in your position have a "sound" in their head that they are looking for and the only way to discover what is right for you is to play it,

I know the current situation is difficult but it may be worth waiting until you can get to a place that will allow you to try several mouthpieces before choosing.

Just as an aside and not a recommendation the Selmer "Soloist" was the one that I eventually chose and I have owned two over the years since.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
187
I believe the Yamaha Custom mouthpieces are like the Selmer S80's (search the forums for lots of comments). The Yamaha Customs are different to the Yamaha plastics. The customs have a square chamber like the S80s but are much cheaper.
 

Ne0Wolf7

Member
Messages
529
I agree that there is no comparison o trying a whole bunch of mouthpieces side by side to decide what you like best.

The only way I can think of to help you is to give you a list of mouthpieces intended for classical playing. I found this information very difficult to find with a google search, so hopefully it will aid you in your search.
Vandoren:
-Optimum
-Profile (eventually, only on alto and soprano at the moment)
Selmer Paris:
-S80
-S90
-Solist
-Concept
Caravan:
-Medium or large chamber variant
Rascher:
-Single variant
D'addario:
-Reserve
Rousseau:
-RC
-NC
-R

This list probably isn't exactly comprehensive, but it's enough to make your head spin for a while, I know mine did.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,989
Classical music on a tenor sax?! Tenor sax is a rock 'n' roll machine...Berg Larsen 130/0 (Lenny Pickett can't be wrong), vintage Brilhart Level Air (think Edgar Winter on Tina Turner's "Simply The Best") or Bobby Dukoff D9 (Dave Woodford on Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On")...if you want to play classical buy an oboe or farting broom stick (a.k.a. bassoon)...:rofl: (tongue firmly planted in cheek)...

Try a Rousseau or Vandoren for classical...:thumb:

Greg S.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,583
Classical music on a tenor sax?! Tenor sax is a rock 'n' roll machine...Berg Larsen 130/0 (Lenny Pickett can't be wrong), vintage Brilhart Level Air (think Edgar Winter on Tina Turner's "Simply The Best") or Bobby Dukoff D9 (Dave Woodford on Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On")...if you want to play classical buy an oboe or farting broom stick (a.k.a. bassoon)...:rofl: (tongue firmly planted in cheek)...

Try a Rousseau or Vandoren for classical...:thumb:

Greg S.
Andrew Clark ("Rock & Roll Saxophone", Saxophone Journal) is playing two duets with one of his students. Andrew is on a Dukoff D-8 mouthpiece with Lavoz M/H reed. Not a classical set-up? We need more power in classical saxophone?!?!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts85CImDlZU
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
13,358
and I'm wondering what is the best tip opening to 'upgrade' to.
There is absolutely no answer to that I'm afraid. Mouthpiece tip sizes (and just as importantly facing curves) are a matter of personal preference not something that you can generally speak of as an upgrade.

To me an upgrade is an upgrade if it ends up being better for your playing technique - whether it's a bigger/smaller tip or curve, more expensive or cheaper - it's very often just what suits you. It could be that you may not find an upgrade from that 6C.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,605
I do my best to try to play in both a "classical" and jazz style and have different set-ups for each. Sometimes I get the impression that "classical saxophone" is stigmatized as being just about playing solo literature. There are many settings for tenor saxophone in which an "edgy" or "bright" or "intense" sound is not appropriate for the style of music or the ensemble. These include saxophone quartets, saxophone choirs, symphonic bands and wind ensembles, pit orchestras for musicals, or big bands playing "vintage" big band swing charts.

As you search for a tenor mouthpiece that meets you needs you might consider one created and sold by James Houlik who is acknowledged as one of the world's leading classical saxophonists on that instrument. James Houlik Mouthpieces
 

Mat

New Member
Messages
21
I have both Vandoren TL4 and TL5 for when I need to behave. I can strongly recommend both. Obviously we all have different thoughts on what is "good"

I find with the TL5 I can just be a bit a little more expressive and dynamic. So for something with a bit "more" maybe consider a TL5. For just something a bit different TL4 has a really nice playability for me.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,395
@Carter - in what way would you like your new mouthpiece to be different from your Yamaha?
(e.g. Smoother?, louder?, more edge?, fatter tone?).
And what is your budget?

Personally, I can recommend the Rousseau NC4. Also Selmer soloist C*. But each of us is different.
 
OP
C

Carter

New Member
Messages
4
Hi all, thanks for the recommendations! I understand that classical saxophone isn't everyone's cup of tea but I'd like to get a good grounding in it whislt working on some jazz stuff. I currently play on a basic Yamaha 6C MP with a Java green Vandoren 3 reed. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll take a look at them. My budget is probably £150 or so, so I'll take a look and see what I can do, and try to resist until I can try one!!
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,426
Hi all, thanks for the recommendations! I understand that classical saxophone isn't everyone's cup of tea but I'd like to get a good grounding in it whislt working on some jazz stuff.
Although I've always played jazz almost exclusively, my teachers used to assign me classical pieces for practice. It develops good musicianship and is very nice music.
 
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