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M/Pieces - Ligs Mouthpiece upgrade?

ESJohn

Member
Messages
191
Still working with my Yamaha 4c on my alto and I'm about two years in of playing and six months of being a part of a community band. What benefits would I realize by upgrading and what would be a good mouthpiece to choose?
Time for a PPT?
Thanks all!
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,630
It’s not really how many days or months but how much practice time a day that is relevant. If you can control your long tones keeping on pitch from p to f, if your intonation when you play is good, and if you know what part of your sound you want a new mpce to make easier, then you are truly ready for another mpce. If not, it’s fun to experiment, but it can make reaching a performance goalmore difficult..
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,930
There's two ways to go.
Go into a shop and try everything they've got with all the reeds you can find.

Buy second hand and sell on for a small loss or gain.

An upgrade on paper may not be, so trying them is the only way to tell.

You'll know when you find a keeper.

All that being said, there's nothing wrong with what you're using.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,846
There's two ways to go.
Go into a shop and try everything they've got with all the reeds you can find.

Buy second hand and sell on for a small loss or gain.

An upgrade on paper may not be, so trying them is the only way to tell.

You'll know when you find a keeper.

All that being said, there's nothing wrong with what you're using.

I've mainly gone the second-hand route. The trouble with this strategy is that I tend not to sell them on, so I now have an embarrassingly large number of mouthpieces. But it's a fun way to try out the various possibilities.
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
64
For 20 years, almost, I have been encouraging customers to take advantage of wwbw.com's "buy three, return two" program. I'm still doing it, even though I have no idea whether it's still in place. My recommendation was always: spend some time researching mouthpieces, as long as it takes to figure out what you think the right make/model is likely to be for you, and buy three of the exact same piece, send two back. I'm still recommending that, today, even though I have no idea whether that program still exists at wwbw.com (USA company).

That said, and I am not leaving anybody out intentionally, all of these are legit, IMO, and I'm speaking from personal experience playing/selling them (I'm only listing what can be purchased, to my knowledge, at under US$500 either new or at a discounted/sale price):

  • PPT
  • Philtone
  • RPC
  • Mouthpiece Cafe
  • 10MFan
  • Eric Falcon

These are legit mouthpieces/brands/makers.

I don't know the pricing for Ted Klum, yet, but if he's under $500 he would belong in this group as BARGAINS at the pricing.

Mouthpiece Cafe and RPC (before his unfortunate passing) were the most underpriced, IMO.

If I had to choose between 10MFan and MPC Cafe versions of the same type of piece -- with apologies to MPC Cafe -- I would go with 10MFan, but there is a price jump.

I don't want to get too crazy with this and step on anybody's toes, more than I already have, so I'll leave it here.

Another good strategy is to research refacers and develop a relationship with one, where you can send them a piece that isn't quite right, and get it refaced with good communication about what your needs are, what your goals and experiences with different pieces has been. "Dollar for dollar" this latter is probably the most bang for your buck, but I wouldn't recommend any brand if I didn't feel confident that anything you would buy from them would be a quality mouthpiece.
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
64
Oh: I used to have a piece made by Ed Pillinger in UK. His work was excellent, but this was 15+ years ago. His rates were very good then, no idea about now. The facing from that piece is likely still available from him, now. It was a Link variation that was very good on old Conns (i.e. Chu, etc.). I have no stake in any of the brands I mentioned. I carry some of them, purely because I like them and believe in them. There's hardly any profit margin in selling mouthpieces or reeds for boutique saxo stores. My wholesale cost on some items is actually, at times, higher than the retail from wwbw.com etc.
 
OP
ESJohn

ESJohn

Member
Messages
191
Many thanks for the great advice! One comment I heard on a youtube video was "It's not about the gear!" which means to me that I won't become a better player by using a new mouthpiece. I did notice a difference when I started using the 4c vs an old no-name that I had been using. I think it is just my desire to keep going with this journey that makes me want to look into this in the first place. I do have a trusted woodwinds instructor in the New Horizons band who happens to make mouthpieces, too. I may be checking with him as he would know what I am at vs. where I need to be in my playing. Appreciate all of you!
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,845
If you were here, I'd invite you to a mouthpieces tasting party:

IMG_20200620_163214714.jpg


I occasionally invite my sax mates to play test them, especially when I have some new ones. I did it too when we had the Kanee passaround.

Oh and for everyday use, here is the small version of the mouthpiece organizer:

IMG_20200620_163232415.jpg


I like to experiment a lot, probably too much for my own good, so I have build this rotating 'présentoir'... :w00t:
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
507
I think it is just my desire to keep going with this journey
What would you like from a new mouthpiece? Do you feel the 4C is restricting you? If so, how?

The 4C probably helps you make a sound that blends well in the community band. Do you do solos, too?

You might want to try a Yamaha 6C. The wider opening should enable a louder sound and slightly more flexibility to colour the notes while still blending.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,929
Still working with my Yamaha 4c on my alto and I'm about two years in of playing and six months of being a part of a community band. What benefits would I realize by upgrading and what would be a good mouthpiece to choose?
Time for a PPT?
Thanks all!
I went from a 4C to a Vandoren java (not jumbo java) many years ago and while I'd been comfortable with the 4C there was light years between the 2 pieces in depth of colour. So while I appreciate there are many many choices this proved to be a massive upgrade without trying to have a tendency to be a high baffled 'rock out' or no baffled open chamber 'dark' piece....No it simply upgraded and expanded everything a 4C could offer. Specifically I went for the A45 so a little more open. Worth considering.
 

just saxes

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
64
I went from a 4C to a Vandoren java (not jumbo java) many years ago and while I'd been comfortable with the 4C there was light years between the 2 pieces in depth of colour. So while I appreciate there are many many choices this proved to be a massive upgrade without trying to have a tendency to be a high baffled 'rock out' or no baffled open chamber 'dark' piece....No it simply upgraded and expanded everything a 4C could offer. Specifically I went for the A45 so a little more open. Worth considering.
IMO Vandoren are very trustworthy pieces, and perform consistently across varieties of horns, where pieces one (any one) might prefer on a particular horn might not perform as consistently across makes and models.

The downside is that for most off-the-shelf pieces whatever you can buy off the shelf probably would in fact be abandoned for a different piece if you just had access to playing 10 or 12 different quality pieces in the design mold that fits your playing and personal taste.

The whole Fats Domino band used to play Vandoren, but that is because when they'd go to France on tour they'd be welcomed to visit and they would get custom faced/retouched pieces on the spot.

I guess that's a universal reality: people with sponsorships often aren't playing what you are, and what is being marketed under their endorsement. Sometimes they are, but quite often they aren't, even when it looks like they are.
 
OP
ESJohn

ESJohn

Member
Messages
191
Thanks all! I'm still trying to figure out what I want. I think I'm doing too much window shopping and just wanting to have something new. I'm very content to have what I have but photos like the ones saxyjt sent just make me drool!
I do enjoy listening to big bands quite a bit and would love to play that well. Then again, marches and classical also perk my interest. I should probably just concentrate on my skills and not worry about the gear.
 
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