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M/Pieces - Ligs Upgrading mouthpiece

dolphesque

New Member
Messages
15
Hello all,

New to the forum and to the saxophone but up until recently I've done a bit of reading around and one point that was brought up is that most people have either hard rubber or metal mouthpieces and the plastic ones that come with new saxophones generally aren't used. One article seemed to suggest that they might negatively affect the tone of the saxophone.

If this is true, at one point should one start looking for a new mouthpiece?

A month?

3 months?
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
There's nothing wrong with plastic per se. I use (Rico) plastic mouthpieces on most of my saxes and get on fine with them. Like Colin said, it all depends. Some new saxes are reputedly sold with poor quality mouthpieces, some with quite decent onces (eg Yamaha).
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
If you feel like the mouthpiece is hindering your playing (for example I couldn't play low C and below quietly on the stock mouthpiece at first), then go try a new one. Of course if you've just started, everything will be difficult, but it might be worth to try out different ones.

The Yamaha 4C is the "standard" a lot of people start on, and that's actually what I usually use on my alto (tenor's my main sax). If TomMapfumo is reading this, he has a list of good alternatives to the 4C.

On the tenor, I'm actually back to using the crappy stock mouthpiece with the jagged, non-uniform edges, instead of the relatively expensive (150e or something like that) Vandoren mouthpiece I bought after 2-3 months of playing, because even though the stock mouthpiece screws up the intonation a bit and looks really cheap, it sounds really great in my opinion, now that I've learned to control it and compensate for the intonation problems with my embouchure.

Cheers,
Jori
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Hi,

I'm a newbie (six weeks in) and I have Yamaha 4c mouthpieces on both alto and tenor. They came highly recommended by sax.co.uk and also by my teacher. I am delighted with them. My Yani came with its own mouthpiece, but it was a bit too advanced for a learner. The stock mouthpiece on my Mauriat was poor quality. The Yamahas are inexpensive and can really help and will last until you know more about the sound you want, when you can make an informed choice.

Hope that helps.

Dee
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I use a plastic mouthpiece (Hite Premiere) on mine. I don't know if it is hindering me, or whether incompetence is to blame. My view is that, until I am fairly certain that a new mouthpiece would help, it is too soon to buy another. If I had more disposable income, that view might change rapidly... :)
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The stock mouthpieces that come with saxes seem to have improved (based on hearsay). At one stage it was guaranteed that you'd need to buy something better, along with the sax. Now many people seem to get along well with stock ones.

Tom Mapfumo sent me a Fobes Debut to try - I was amazed at how easy it was to play, and how good it sounded. And he rates the Hite Premiere better...

Don't get hung up on materials. Metal has the advantage that it's smaller in the mouth than hard rubber or plastic. Can also last longer/be less prone to damage from being dropped. If there are any effects on tone from the different materials, it's so minor as to be almost unnoticable. I've tried a lot of tenor and alto mouthpieces. My favourite tenor mouthpiece is my PPT. It's blue plastic. It's been through a few changes of material, from this blue plastic, through metal filled resins (bronzite), and the current onyxite (stone filled plastic) and metal. There's a comparison of the sounds between the onyxite and metal versions on Pete's site. http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-mouthpieces.html

The differences are realy minor, and probably more down to different makers or individual variation due to them being hand made than the material used.

So if you're getting on OK, don't change, if you're struggling and suspect it may be the mouthpiece, there are quite a few good, inexpensive mouthpieces to try. But also be prepared to experiment with different reeds/strengths. Rico Royals are good. But so are many others. My favourites are the Rico RJS, but it's not everyone's choice.
 

dolphesque

New Member
Messages
15
Wow lots of reply's and information! The guy I get my lessons from is also the guy who owns the shop where I bought the saxophone. It's an Artemis Alto Sax so I'm just using the one that came with it so I guess if I was looking to try different reeds and mouthpieces he'd be the one to ask. It might be causing me some problems, I do have an issue with squeaking, but right now it's 50/50 on whether or not I can get 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' right.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
I use a plastic mouthpiece (Hite Premiere) on mine. I don't know if it is hindering me, or whether incompetence is to blame. My view is that, until I am fairly certain that a new mouthpiece would help, it is too soon to buy another. If I had more disposable income, that view might change rapidly... :)
I have a Hite Premiere tenor mouthpiece in my unremarkable collection. It cost me about $28 new from a seller in the US. I bought this mouthpiece because it is sometimes listed among large-chambered mouthpieces. (I have in mind getting something more expensive, and this was simply a trial.) I think at that price the Hite is a great buy. Something to consider is that it only comes comes in an tip opening 0.090 or 230 if you prefer metric.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,287
One thing to think of is not to get a high baffle mouthpiece at this stage of your journey as this will only increase your squeaks and these can take a lot to control.

It is correct to say that mouthpieces that come with a lot of new saxophones are poor even some pro saxes only come with cheap mouthpieces exceptions being Yanagisawa and Selmer paris which both come with decent mpc's.

The mpc's mentioned above are all good starter pieces and will not break the bank.

One word of warning buying mpc's for saxophones is additive and it only gets worse lol.

Welcome to GAS
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Tom Mapfumo sent me a Fobes Debut to try - I was amazed at how easy it was to play, and how good it sounded. And he rates the Hite Premiere better...
Sadly, this is not the case. In fact I have never played the Hite Premiere but did notice a Youtube Video comparing the two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmO45LG-8s4 .

I do rate the Clark Fobes Debut very highly and those of us that have compared it to the Yamaha 4C do much prefer the Fobes - both are plastic, and the Fobes is hand finished by Clark himself.
There are other plastic mouthpieces out there (Bari Esprit II is especially good) and there is the infamous Windcraft Etude, which is Hard Rubber and retails for less than £50 at Dawkes, and is available on trial (my top rated under £100).

Hope this helps.
Tom
 

dolphesque

New Member
Messages
15
Sadly, this is not the case. In fact I have never played the Hite Premiere but did notice a Youtube Video comparing the two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmO45LG-8s4 .

I do rate the Clark Fobes Debut very highly and those of us that have compared it to the Yamaha 4C do much prefer the Fobes - both are plastic, and the Fobes is hand finished by Clark himself.
There are other plastic mouthpieces out there (Bari Esprit II is especially good) and there is the infamous Windcraft Etude, which is Hard Rubber and retails for less than £50 at Dawkes, and is available on trial (my top rated under £100).

Hope this helps.
Tom
Appreciating more advice. Choice is OVERWHELMING!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I can lend you the Bari and/or the Fobes for you to see for yourself - no problem.
Kind regards

Tom
 

dannieFiction

New Member
Messages
5
Squeaking can also be cause by accidentally by applying to much pressure to your reed. I had this problem as well! But you can do it! I personally mouth pieces ,yes if they are absolutely horrendus and hinder you and your sound. For how I feel about them They are more for a different sound, or timbre.
 

Reed Warbler

Senior Member
Messages
618
I've got a Bari esprit ll on my alto and it sounds fine, not at all plasticky. Try changing reeds before changing m/p. Your chops will change in time,as they strengthen so a different reed could make a big difference. If your teacher has a music shop he will be able to give you different pieces to try. Best of luck with your search.
 
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