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M/Pieces - Ligs Tenor mouthpiece not satisfiying me...

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
I can’t believe I’m doing this...

I haven’t got a lesson now for three weeks and I decided to take advantage of this and rest the alto for a week or so and throw myself 100% into the tenor. I have a new book to be working though which is challenging in places but great fun, I am also working hard to discover my tenor voice though various exercises and general noodling, why is noodling easier on the tenor than the alto?

But satisfaction is not happening at the moment and it’s my mouthpiece that’s the stumbling block. I’ve had to make a paper collar to fit over the neck cork as the fit is too lose, not because the cork is compressed but because to tune the sax I have to have the mouthpiece on the very edge of the neck. With the paper collar it tunes but I can feel it rocking when I play which is not great.

My sound is nothing stunning which is not to be unexpected considering I’m on the end of it :w00t: But I’m beginning to wonder if my Jody Jazz and Sax are not happy together. I only have a Yamaha 4c for comparison, it tunes further up on the neck but I find the opening far too small, I’d also say it looks like it has a bigger chamber than the Jody Jazz and I’m wondering if that’s why it tunes up further on the neck.

Has anyone got any suggestions on what to try next, I’m 80% convinced a different mouthpiece is in order and one with a bigger chamber. I reckon the same or similar tip opening and the same general sound concept although if I could have a more buttery/fuller low end and a smoother top end I think I’ll be really smiling.

My set up, if that helps:

Sax: Yamaha YTS62II
Mouthpiece: Jody Jazz HR7*
Reed: Vandoren Java 3

Thanks,

Chris
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi there!

That combination of sax and mouthpiece is exactly what my teacher uses and sounds really great. He uses V16 2's, and also sounds good on Marca Jazz 2.5 reeds. An experiment with reeds may be worth a try, and be a cheaper option.
My own experience with reeds is that the Francois Louis Excellence should provide something of what you are looking for say 2 or 2.5 strength (available at Howarths of London).

All the Best
Tom:cool:
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Well I use a JJ DV NY 7* with Marca Jazz 3. The reeds work really well now I use the 'Alexander' method for breaking them in. The sound just keeps getting better and better as my 'chops' get stronger. Even had some proper sub tone down to C and B yesterday, though I lost it after a few seconds :D Sill no altissimo though :confused:

Before setting on the Marcas I tried a whole host and I have a few you could try if you like. PM me your address and I send you some through.


  • Vandoren Java & Jazz 2.5s
  • Zonda 2s
  • Hemke 2.5s
  • Marca Jazz 2 & 2,5s
 
OP
Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi there!

That combination of sax and mouthpiece is exactly what my teacher uses and sounds really great.
Hi Tom,

That's great to hear, I know my sax is capable of great things as Steven Howard demonstrated what it could do after setting it up for me, he then handed it back and with a smile and said he still preferred his Yamaha YTS23!

He uses V16 2's, and also sounds good on Marca Jazz 2.5 reeds. An experiment with reeds may be worth a try, and be a cheaper option.
My own experience with reeds is that the Francois Louis Excellence should provide something of what you are looking for say 2 or 2.5 strength (available at Howarths of London).

All the Best
Tom:cool:
Thanks, I’ll experiment with a few more reeds as you suggest.

Could I just ask, does your teacher have to tune his mouthpiece on the edge of the neck cork?

All the best,

Chris
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Well I use a JJ DV NY 7* with Marca Jazz 3. The reeds work really well now I use the 'Alexander' method for breaking them in. The sound just keeps getting better and better as my 'chops' get stronger. Even had some proper sub tone down to C and B yesterday, though I lost it after a few seconds :D Sill no altissimo though :confused:

Before setting on the Marcas I tried a whole host and I have a few you could try if you like. PM me your address and I send you some through.


  • Vandoren Java & Jazz 2.5s
  • Zonda 2s
  • Hemke 2.5s
  • Marca Jazz 2 & 2,5s
Hi Ian,

Thanks for the kind offer, I'll work through what I have first but you may well be getting a PM from me,

Thanks again,

Chris
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Pseudo-scientific investigation

After digging out the highly insensitive and never calibrated measuring equipment I decided to measure the internal volume of the Jody Jazz and the Yamaha mouthpieces. I found the Jody Jazz would hold 16ml and the Yamaha 19ml. The Yamaha is slightly longer so that might account for 1ml and would the larger tip opening of the Jody Jazz account for a bit as well? Well, even if it does, it’s not going to account for the 2ml remaining discrepancy.

I’m not sure this shows anything but at least in my befuddled mind it explains the relative tuning positions of the two mouthpieces.

All the best,

Chris
 

Martin

Member
Messages
212
Location
Grenada, West Indies
I can't say much about the sax/mouthpiece combination ('cos I don't know), but I've tightenned up the mouthpiece on my tenor by putting a blind whipping of heavy sewing thread (for sails) around the cork on the neck. The mouthpiece is nice and firm now and the thread is semi-permanent, unlike a bit of paper, or sticky tape that I was using before.

Martin
 
chris
I would revisit the crook cork, I have the same 2 mps as you and they fit fine on the Yamaha, I dont believe that the mp is to be used like a tuning barrel on a clarinet they fit together in one place because of the taper, tuning I believe is a product of mouth position and oral cavity, perhaps Pete will put in his comment here,
rgds
Clive
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
I can't say much about the sax/mouthpiece combination ('cos I don't know), but I've tightenned up the mouthpiece on my tenor by putting a blind whipping of heavy sewing thread (for sails) around the cork on the neck. The mouthpiece is nice and firm now and the thread is semi-permanent, unlike a bit of paper, or sticky tape that I was using before.

Martin
Hi Martin,

That's a rather neat solution, my paper jacket is holds up okay for couple of days but then need replacing and I think it's leaking slightly so it's not ideal by any means.

Thanks for the tip,

Chris
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
chris
I would revisit the crook cork, I have the same 2 mps as you and they fit fine on the Yamaha, I dont believe that the mp is to be used like a tuning barrel on a clarinet they fit together in one place because of the taper, tuning I believe is a product of mouth position and oral cavity, perhaps Pete will put in his comment here,
rgds
Clive
Hi Clive,

I was always under the impression the mouthpiece position was of crucial importance to the overall tuning of the sax, the oral cavity and embouchure are used to fine tune those notes that, due to the nature of the instrument, are out of tune.

If I push the mouthpiece on so that it sits comfortably on the neck I'll be too sharp. But I'm no expert so hopefully Pete or Phil might be able to shed so light on this.

All the best,

Chris
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Hi Chris
On my tenor the Vandoren mpc tunes nicely at the bottom end of the cork, and the Yamaha tunes a bit further up. Before I had the neck re-corked, the Yammi mpc was too loose, so couldn't play it in tune. It has been suggested to carefully steam the cork to expand it slightly, or PTFE tape round the cork.
Mpc's do seem to come with different bore sizes, a standard is required!
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi Chris
On my tenor the Vandoren mpc tunes nicely at the bottom end of the cork, and the Yamaha tunes a bit further up. Before I had the neck re-corked, the Yammi mpc was too loose, so couldn't play it in tune. It has been suggested to carefully steam the cork to expand it slightly, or PTFE tape round the cork.
Mpc's do seem to come with different bore sizes, a standard is required!
Hi Pete,

I hope the concert you guys did went well, I was hoping to get there but got caught up.

I agree, life would be so much easier if they could just agree on a standard bore.

Your Vandoren's a Java isn't it? I think they are generally longer and so tune further up the neck, well that seems to be the case with my Java's on my alto. Maybe I should be looking at a Java...

All the best,

Chris
 

koumou

Member
Messages
169
Location
Rhodes-Greece
I've got a YTS62II, and I have the same issues as you with the JJ HR 7*, pluss my intonation with it is all over the place. Vandorens work very well with my sax.
I have an Optimum TL4, a V16 T8 and a Java T55. Although I found the Java a little harsh sounding to begin with, after a while I learned to control it and it is what I settled on.

I think you can't go wrong with the Java T55 or T75 on the YTS62.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,413
Location
brighton by the sea
I've tinkered with JJ HR's quite a bit on alto and tenor &, in my experience, they're great pieces but a bit picky about reeds. I've found the capacity of a slightly sub-par reed to really mess my sound up on a JJ pretty severe (not ultimately a big deal but something worth brearing in mind).
also- there's a huge amount of psychology involved in mouthpieces- once you start to question whether an MPC is working, it usually doesn't. I did the same with my Berg earlier this year- i'm sure there was nothing basically wrong with it, but I'd spent a few days doing long tones to tuner- found it to not be as cleanly in tune as some other MPCs (MR Thomas' PPT for example!)- I immediately lost faith in it and totally went off playing on it....
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Now satisfied!

Well, it’s been a fraught week, the tenor seemed to be getting heavier and heavier, my dissatisfaction seemed to be increasing, was it me, the sax or the mouthpiece? Hayfever seems to have reached an all time high for this year and I honestly thought that it might be time to give in, put the sax away, turn on the TV and forget about it all. But I couldn’t, my TV’s not worked since I tryed to retune it after they did something to the transmitter back in March!

I did try several other reeds as suggested, which did, to my surprise, alleviate the problem a little but not convincingly so, I feel I may have fallen into the psychological trap nachoman commented on:
...there's a huge amount of psychology involved in mouthpieces- once you start to question whether an MPC is working, it usually doesn't.
And so a mouthpiece list started to develop, a PPT, Philtone Link, Vandoren Java & E. Rousseau Jazz, but I couldn’t jump because I really didn’t know which way to go. Fortunately events conspired to help me out, over the weekend I was having a chat with the owner of a local music shop and he offered to get me me in a Vandoren Java at a good price!

So I must have know what your advice was going to be koumou ;}
Vandorens work very well with my sax. I have an Optimum TL4, a V16 T8 and a Java T55. Although I found the Java a little harsh sounding to begin with, after a while I learned to control it and it is what I settled on.
It duly arrived yesterday and after the first few notes I knew I was set, in comparison to the Jody Jazz it felt solid and predictable, the resistance was consistent from note to note and I just didn’t want to put it down! It’s not as bright as the Jody Jazz and I’ll need to spend some time with it but I feel like I’ve got a good foundation to work from now.

Unfortunately the other mouthpiece will now be relegated to the drawer and will no doubt not see the light of day for a long while, but never mind, I really am so much happier with my new mouthpiece. So that’s that, I’m sorted... aren’t I? >:)

Thanks for everyone's help,

Chris

P.S When did I become a 'Senior Member'? Heck there's no extra responsibility is there?
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Chris!

Congratulations on finding a solution to your problem. I was going to PM you earlier as I have a Java T55 in my drawer - it was the one I started on and like it more for pop/rock/funk stuff, but it is 3rd in the pecking order overall. They are well made and a reasonable price too.

I hope that your playing settles down, and you produce some decent sounds as you get used to it.

Kind regards & God bless Koumou - he's a good man:welldone
Tom:cool:

BTW I think Senior Member is 200 + posts!
 
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koumou

Member
Messages
169
Location
Rhodes-Greece
Good to hear you are happy with the Java Chris.
Mine's a T55 and it sounds good with a RJS 2H or a Vandoren Blue 2 1/2.


Hello Tom...
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi Tom,

I went for the T75 as the opening is closest to the 7* of the Jody Jazz. I’d not thought to look at the T55, but I have no regrets, it feels solid and just the right balance between brightness and warmth which is great as my only fear was that it might be a tad too bright.
I hope that your playing settles down, and you produce some decent sounds as you get used to it.
Me too, time for some dedicated tenor action.

All the best,

Chris
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Good to hear you are happy with the Java Chris.
Mine's a T55 and it sounds good with a RJS 2H or a Vandoren Blue 2 1/2.


Hello Tom...
Hello Koumou,

I’m running on a Vandoren Java 2.5 at the moment, but I think I’ll have a little reed experimentation once I’ve grown accustomed to my new mouthpiece.

I’ve noticed you’ve put your Yanigisawa neck up for sale, did you try it on the Yamaha?

I hope you’re enjoying your new sax, all the best,

Chris.
 

koumou

Member
Messages
169
Location
Rhodes-Greece
Hello Koumou,

I’m running on a Vandoren Java 2.5 at the moment, but I think I’ll have a little reed experimentation once I’ve grown accustomed to my new mouthpiece.

I’ve noticed you’ve put your Yanigisawa neck up for sale, did you try it on the Yamaha?

I hope you’re enjoying your new sax, all the best,

Chris.
Hello Chris,

Yes I did try the Yani 65 neck on the Yamaha, as well as the Yani 92 bronze neck. The 92 is a little more freeblowing and has a more complex spread sound. I decided to stick with the G1. Messing around with equipment has been a very costly endeavour for me. I am going to put the bronze neck up for sale as well as some mouthpieces and a Walstein cornet.

As for the YTS62II, I am enjoying it very much, if only my playing was as good as the sax.
 
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