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M/Pieces - Ligs Tenor vs Alto mouthpieces

Messages
62
Hello,

I’m finally succumbing to buying a tenor. After a long and mostly fruitless search to find a combination of mouthpiece and reed I liked on alto, I settled on a Vandoren AL3 and Vandoren blue reeds - essentially a more classical setup.

My question is whether all bets are off for tenor and we start again from scratch, or should I get a Vandoren TL3 and blue reeds and go from there?

Thanks,

Richard
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
507
What sound on Tenor do you like?
Personally, I like a classical sound on Alto but not on Tenor. So, AL3 and blue box suits Alto (and Soprano) but not Tenor for me. On Tenor I prefer a more open mouthpiece and Vandoren Red box or ZZ or D'Addario Select Jazz.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
62
My guess at the moment is a similar classical sound, but I guess time will tell. My goal is mostly to blend (or hide!) in a windband.

My question I suppose was how comparable in feel and sound would an AL3 to a TL3, or is just completely different.

Also I play a 3 reed, should I go for similar again on tenor reeds.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,846
A Vandoren TL5 would be another option. Or a Selmer Soloist C* or D. Or a Rousseau NC4.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,864
I have played tenor in a wind band and I ended up wanting a bigger sound to make some vague attempt at cutting through the enormous heavy brass department... I ended up with a Meyer M5 - but I spent several hours locked in a room whilst the shop gave me a pile of mpcs to try... some I ruled out immediately, others took a while. That was quite different to the Selmer C* I used on alto.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,691
It's very common to NOT match tenor and alto, although it may be common with classical setups if that is all you do. However even then, if sticking to the same brand/model I would also be tempted to go slightly wider on tenor.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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Messages
3,845
I started on tenor with a Vandoren T20, the T25 is almost the same. Not sure what differs between the two. But I preferred the T25.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
62
It's very common to NOT match tenor and alto, although it may be common with classical setups if that is all you do. However even then, if sticking to the same brand/model I would also be tempted to go slightly wider on tenor.
Thanks everyone.

I was unsure AL3 between TL3 because it is already wider 152 vs 176, or should I be considering something wider still?

I'm hoping to get something similar in tone, and ideally not too difficult to play - so an equivalent hardness of reed to my 3 on alto. Obviously I realise its not entirely possible given the different dimensions of the instrument.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
507
I was unsure AL3 between TL3 because it is already wider 152 vs 176, or should I be considering something wider still?
The tip width is relative to each instrument, Tenor or Alto. I play 254 tip opening on Tenor and 107 on Soprano (and my Vandoren V16 equivalents are T6 vs S6 is 250 vs 158). If Vandoren has the AL3 as 152 and the TL3 as 176 then they consider those equivalent tip openings for their respective instruments. But many players will prefer a more open piece than the equivalent on Tenor so you may want to consider and playtest a TL4 (195) or TL5 (205).
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,930
There's no avoiding it. My experience is that smaller saxes need a wider tip opening. Your experience may be different.

Baritone Selmer S80 C*
Tenor and alto custom facings
Soprano Selmer S80G
Clarinet Rico metalite M11
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,249
There's no avoiding it. My experience is that smaller saxes need a wider tip opening. Your experience may be different.

Baritone Selmer S80 C*
Tenor and alto custom facings
Soprano Selmer S80G
Clarinet Rico metalite M11
There's no escaping it, I'm exactly the opposite - I must be an anti-Bear.

Baritone 8*
Tenor 7*
Alto 6 ish
Soprano 5* ish

Rhys
 
Messages
188
Hello Sunsetandlabrea, honestly it it very difficult to help you because :
1 I don't know what sound you are aiming for. You told us that you want to blend in a wind band, but it's not enough.
You can blend in a section both with a darker more traditional timbre (think about Zoot Sims), or a louder and more muscular one (think about Eddie Lockjaw Davis).
Getting a certain sound is not only a matter of mouthpiece, but you must have a sound concept in your mind.
If I were you I would try something in the "middle of the road" with a 3 reed.
So a mouthpiece with a medium baffle and a medium tip opening.
Vandoren T7, OttoLink 7, or other brands based on similar design, like Drake and Jodyjazz, but they are more expensive.
We have plenty of options today...
On my website you can find some tenor mouthpiece clips, maybe it could help you


 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
507
There's no avoiding it. My experience is that smaller saxes need a wider tip opening. Your experience may be different.

Baritone Selmer S80 C*
Tenor and alto custom facings
Soprano Selmer S80G
Clarinet Rico metalite M11
Colin is a virtuoso soloist, wanting to brilliantly stand out, not blend in like OP (as if @Colin the Bear bear would ever want to be similar to almost everyone else!)

I'm suggesting that most players have increasing tip sizes with increasing instrument size and Colin is the "exception that proves the rule".

Can others pls post if they, too, have increasing tip size as their saxes get smaller.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
761
Colin is a virtuoso soloist, wanting to brilliantly stand out, not blend in like OP (as if @Colin the Bear bear would ever want to be similar to almost everyone else!)

I'm suggesting that most players have increasing tip sizes with increasing instrument size and Colin is the "exception that proves the rule".

Can others pls post if they, too, have increasing tip size as their saxes get smaller.
Not yet but I’m new to this GAS thing. Give me time.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
507
Not yet but I’m new to this GAS thing. Give me time.
For Soprano, I have 4 mouthpieces at the time of writing: Yamaha 4CM (1.25mm), Yamaha 5CM (1.30mm), Selmer Concept (1.07mm), Vandoren V16 S6 (1.58mm). I almost always play the smallest tip, Selmer Concept.

I have used multiple mouthpieces in a deliberate strategy to teach myself about the effect of embouchure changes on my tone.

I have found it useful to practice occasionally on the S6 wider tip to help improve my tone colour on the Concept but I've found intonation more of a challenge, where as the Concept tends to be locked-in in-tune below the palm keys. I've also practiced occasionally on the 4CM as a comparison with the Selmer Concept. The 4CM tends to be thinner in the second octave but using embouchure improvements from practicing on the S6 I feel I have been able to open up the 4CM in the second octave. That combination in turn has helped me get better tone throughout the range on the Selmer Concept.

Edit: Yamaha 5CM in the mail at time of writing. Yamaha 6CM may be in the mail by the time you read this. :rolleyes:
 
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