M/Pieces - Ligs So, the time has come to start looking at new mouthpieces..

FirstyB

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I've been playing (tenor) for about a year and a half now, and have progressed quite a bit. I've been playing on the Yamaha 4C since i started, but now i think it's time I had an upgrade.

It'd be great if I could get some recommendations from all you lot! I guess i'd prefer a more mellower sound sound than a bright one (Ben Webster is abit of an idol of mine..), but i also like to play abit of funk and some Bluesy rock.

I'm looking to spend about 100 pounds, but if i find one that's significantly better, i'd be prepared to part with alittle more. I'm going to go check out Sax.co.uk's new bottom-floor shop next weekend and try out some mouthpieces, and it'd be good to have a general idea in my mind, or a list of good mouthpieces to try. I'll put my set up below.
EDIT: Sax.co.uk are currently doing a half-price sale on Yanagisawa mouthpieces, putting them quite nicely on my price range. Any one have success with these?

If I could get any help on this, it would be very much appreciated!

David

Set Up:
Sax:- Tenor Trevor James "The Horn" Rev II, Silver plated
Mouthpiece:- Yamaha 4C
Reed:- Vandoren ZZ Jazz
 
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ManEast

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Hi 2 U
I would have had you off of that 4C a long time ago.(unless you are 10-15 yrs old)
4 on Tenor is not Nr enough resistance to build a good working embouchure .
I keep some plastic M.P’s that I lend out ...i.e. a 6 and a 7(on tenor). To step students up to a respectful size.
I think that is what you should do before you buy that ultimate M.P.

There are players that use a 10 M.P. with a #2 reed or on the other hand a 4*M.P. with a #5 reed , but most have established a working embouchure first.

Just my thoughts.

ManEast

P.S. Some food for thought Pillinger NY & NYHB . Vandoren H.R V16.
Jody Jazz H.R.
 

jonf

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EDIT: Sax.co.uk are currently doing a half-price sale on Yanagisawa mouthpieces, putting them quite nicely on my price range. Any one have success with these?
Hi

Yanagisawa ebonite mouthpieces are pretty good, and their metal ones are superb. The only thing is, the sale ones at sax.co.uk are for size 8 and 9. Neither is gigantic, but will be a big difference in opening compared to a Yamaha 4. I'd suggest you just go along their and try as many as you can - they have a great range, practice rooms and are very helpful.

Jon
 

Phil

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I can make you a hand faced custom piece for that price. If your interested take a look at my page.

Dont get carried away with big tip sizes. Growing into a mouthpiece is about as pleasant as growing into shoes.

Pardon my shameless self promotion.
 
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FirstyB

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ManEast:- Thanks for that, i really didn't know that i should be stepping up my yamaha, my teacher didnt really mention doing, but has been quite vigilant with keeping a good strong embouchure, so i think it might be easier to step up to a larger one. What sort of mouthpieces or these plastic ones you are talking about? Are they a certain brand, or just generic? Also where could i get them, and roughly how much would they be?

Jonf:- I'm hoping to just try a large range when i get there, but i think if the Yanagisawa 8 and 9's are good mouthpieces, then i'll see if i can handle the big jump. I've heard alot of things about metal mouthpieces, would there be a definate different sound between the same mouthpieces, but with a different material? Some things i've read say that the material doesn't contribute greatly, thoughts?

Phil: thanks for the offer, i might take you up on that later, but for now i think i first of all need to be finding what it is i actually want, then get taylored to that.

Thanks all for your suggestions
 

ManEast

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ManEast:- Thanks for that, i really didn't know that i should be stepping up my yamaha, my teacher didnt really mention doing, but has been quite vigilant with keeping a good strong embouchure, so i think it might be easier to step up to a larger one. What sort of mouthpieces or these plastic ones you are talking about? Are they a certain brand, or just generic? Also where could i get them, and roughly how much would they be?

Jonf:- I'm hoping to just try a large range when i get there, but i think if the Yanagisawa 8 and 9's are good mouthpieces, then i'll see if i can handle the big jump. I've heard alot of things about metal mouthpieces, would there be a definate different sound between the same mouthpieces, but with a different material? Some things i've read say that the material doesn't contribute greatly, thoughts?

Phil: thanks for the offer, i might take you up on that later, but for now i think i first of all need to be finding what it is i actually want, then get taylored to that.

Thanks all for your suggestions
Hi
Sorry to take so long .

The M.Ps I use as step up are made by Lucien. Cheap but nice.

In my book (8 Is big)and(9 Is very big) maybe in a few year's when you have the Wolf Blues bar-walk going.
The 7star Otto Linksize should be a target for you at the mo. its has been the Standard (most used) Tenor size for years. In fact I still play 7star along with 1000s of other tenor players.
That offer from Phil sounds very nice of him. The M.Ps. that I listed before Come in at about £130...I think ! I.M.O dont get tempted to buy a M.P. with a high baffle, some guys jump onto this far too quick and never learn how to develope a nice sound.

Always happy to help

ManEast
 

TomMapfumo

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In similar vein I'd recommend a Peter Ponzol Vintage (hand made) from sax.co.uk (with Rovner Ligature). For a bargain a Morgan Vintage (about £60 from Howarth's of London (who lend out to try beforehand).

I would also commend Phil Tones pieces - excellent reputation; I was very keen on an alto piece a year or so ago but did not want to import one at the time, and got a Ponzol (brilliant - prefer it to V16 or Selmer Super Session on my Ref54 Alto). Really glad he is appearing in UK land now - Welcome Phil!:welldone:w00t:

For seriously mellow there is also the Beechler Tonalex and Lebayle Jazz HR pieces. My only concern with Links are the quality issues that feature often ( I rejected at least 3 of theirs). I have played a Yani HR (came with my Yani sax - just a bit too dull/neutral to my taste but warm enough. Never tried a Yamaha.

Happy hunting!
Tom:cool:
 
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FirstyB

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Ah thanks for that ManEast, i'll be sure to try out a range of link 7* openenings when i go to the store. I had a look at Phil's site, and thought it would be really good value, the only trouble is, is that i'm not actually sure what i'm after, and i think i just need to try a whole bunch'a mouthpieces before i start thinking about custom ones.

What would a high baffle give you? Is there sort sort of number for this, like for the tip openings?

Also, Wolf Blues bar-walk? i get the feeling i'm missing a joke here :p

Thanks for you help
 

ManEast

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My only concern with Links are the quality issues that feature often ( I rejected at least 3 of theirs). I have played a Yani HR (came with my Yani sax - just a bit too dull/neutral to my taste but warm enough. Never tried a Yamaha.

Happy hunting!
Tom:cool:
Hi Tom
Yes tom you are right...New Link's have got quality issues.
I did not make it too clear. I did not want him to buy a new Otto Link. Just use a 7* Link as a model.

ie. 7* Ed pillinger NYT is based on a 7* Otto Link STM...and a very good one at that ! Just had a look at Phil's web site, and his standard M.P look's like it is based on a STM too.
But Phill we can't see inside the thing...need to have a pic looking down the back end.
 

jonf

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Hi

Big baffles tend to give a brighter sound. Some people like them, some don't. The thing is, though, there is always one other key variable - the player. Two players could each play an identical sax and mouthpiece, and each sound quite different. So although players can give you their view, it's just an opinion and there's no substitute for doing exactly what you plan to do - go to a decent shop and try a load. If what suits you happens to be different to what someone else recommends, then so be it. A lot of people get awfully dogmatic about kit - particularly on another forum I won't mention - but really they tend to just talk about what suits them, not you.

One thing though. I hope you have some self restraint. Mouthpiece purchasing can be addictive.

About the material, it doesn't really make much difference to the sound per se, although a lot of brighter mouthpieces are made from metal and a lot of more mellow ones from ebonite. That's just a very rough generalisation though, and you can get very bright ebonite ones and very soft sounding metal ones..
 
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FirstyB

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Brilliant, this is all really helpful info
I'm going to go on saturday to the store, now i just decide which one! Had a look on the Howarth page, looks like they do a really good selection, and it looks like its a little bit cheaper than the sax.co.uk store. I'm probably going to be asking whoever i see a whole bunch of questions, and wanting to try a whole bunch of mouthpieces, which place would you reccommend?
 

TomMapfumo

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I've bought from both, been to neither, and had good experiences with both. For me it would depend on my short list. A Ponzol would be a must try and on that basis I would go to sax.co.uk (who also have several other decent pieces). If I was further away I would go for Howarth as they do allow trials, and have no restocking fee - I chose my own tenor mouthpiece that way and tried the following with them: (in order of preference!)

1. Francois Louis Spectruoso ML280
2. Vandoren V16 T8
3. Lomax NY 7
4. Lebayle Jazz 7* HR
5. Lomax LA 7
6. Brancher L 270 HR
7. Brancher J 270 Metal

For mellow I recommend 4 particularly, 6 & 7.

So given that Sax.co.uk have Ponzol and Lebayle Jazz, that is where I'd go.
 
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FirstyB

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Thanks for that Tom. I think i'm going to go to Sax.co.uk first (i live about 20 minutes away from both of them, so there's no sense in not going at some point)
I'm also thinking of upgrading in half a year to a year, and would really like to try a P.Mauriat 66R. from what i've read and seen and heard, it seems perfect, so i might see if they'll let me get my mits on one. (fingers crossed)
When you say trial, do you mean they actually let you keep it for a while to try it out? Sounds great if they do!
Also, re-stocking fee? I feel like i'm going to start to need a saxophone dictionary now, i'm obviously not being impressive at all :D
 

TomMapfumo

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Hi Dude!

1. Trial is on a loan basis for up to a week with Howarth.
2. Restocking fee - you get charged by several retailers if you try a mouthpiece and then return it. some charge £3 or so (Dawkes) and one that I have used charged 20% of the cost (Woodwind and Brass), which was £24 the one and only time I tried it (for about 15 minutes!). It should become clear early on as to whether a mouthpiece has the type of sound you're looking for, especially when you compare a few.
3. I've not tried a Mauriat 66R and my favourite is an Alto anyway - good luck with that - may also be worth trying the new Chiltern saxes by Howarth, who are a very respected woodwind instrument maker, and producing a sax for the first time.

Night night
Tom :cool:
 
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ManEast

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Hi All
Just thought to add a few words on the subject from one of the most respected M.P.s makers in the world, Phil Barone For the few of you that do not know Phil's work. He is at the very top of our craft, hand making M.Ps (of many types) working with and helping some of the worlds finest Saxophone players.

Larger chamber pieces with low baffles take time to get used to and while they're not immediate will give you much more satisfaction over the long run. They get better and better and will continue to grow with you as you get better as a player.

High baffle pieces will give you immediate results and these are the ones that people buy because they're loud and are right there but they don't change over time very much. When the piece is too easy to play and it does all the work you just can't develope your own sound on it. At least not nearly to the same degree to a Link style piece or the Hollywood in this case. However the Hollywood does give you much more than a Link in terms of volume and brightness only you do have to work at it but not nearly as hard as a Link.

Even though it came about as a mistake I'm still very proud of it. Looking back I can't remember ever getting one back and I've made over five hundred of them. I see them on eBay from time to time but considering how many I've made there's very few being sold. I'm also very proud that Mike Brecker was playing one even though he wouldn't endorse it. P.Barone

The Hollywood is just one in the barone line of M.Ps
 

TomMapfumo

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Well, I'm beginning to really warm to it - just trying it this morning with a Marca Jazz 2.5 and the depth of sound continues to develop - very rich and resonant and full bodied - sounded unlike a Yani T901 to my ears, which is brilliant (just has a depth of sound that really satisfies, and really working on the lower notes until they sound quiet and breathless (god, what a trombone does for breath control...!) - great feeling. Then playing Blue Trane on my bone (just like the original track!). What a morning so far!

Cheers
Tom:w00t:

BTW what happened to the Menal Note that you had made....?
 
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FirstyB

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I've started to form quite a long list now (growing bigger all the time) of mouthpieces to try. Had a look at sax.co.uk again, and saw their little bit about famous saxophonists and their set up, co-incedentally 4 of my 5 top idols (Ben Webster, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young) All use Otto Links... Are they really that amazing as everyone says they are?
 

TomMapfumo

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Two things to remember.

1. In the Old Days there were about 3 mouthpieces..........
2. In the Old Days Links were properly made...........and can command very high prices.

Therefore a lot of current mouthpieces could be said to represent well made equivalents of older Links & Meyers - such a Ponzol, Barone, Vandoren V16's and many others.

So do bear that in mind and do read up on some of these before going to try!

Regards
Tom;}
 
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