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M/Pieces - Ligs What a difference a mouthpiece made...

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
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4,839
...Twenty-four little pounds
Brought the fun and the power
Where there used to be pain.

Well, actually it was £20 posted, but that didn't work in the above meter.

A brand new Yamaha TS-6C mouthpiece spotted in the free ads. Why? Because I just couldn't get on with my Selmer Soloist D, Windcraft Etude, or Windcraft student tenor MPs when blowing my new Jericho tenor. Tried whatever reeds I have, Rico Orange various strengths; Rico Royal various; Marca Jazz 2 1/2; RJS 2M (the best of the bunch) but still wasn't happy. So my thought was... go back to basics.

Oh the joy of a Yamaha plastic MP to come to my rescue. With RJS 2M (must get some more - I only have one!) I could bend notes, play softly, play loud, and all after just 4-5 hours on the new tenor, 2hrs of this on the 6C last night. (By the way, I usually play alto, PPT + RJS 2M).

Just shows how great these student MPs are.

Still struggling a little to come in on low D without a momentary higher octave grimmace, a little flick down of my tongue away from the bottom of the reed seems to be working. And the upper octave seems weaker than the lower, more air needed to get the notes crisp - is this me, tenors in general, or is there something I should check on the sax? Perhaps @Stephen Howard could advise what to check on the sax, if anything - he gave it a light tweak before it went back into the warehouse, according to Becky. Most likely to be my inexperience on tenor I'm guessing.

I solved my low D/E warbling issue by doing four things: 1/ removing the bit of fluff on one of the upper tone hole rims; 2/ Buying the 6C; 3/ Pushing the MP in further (the Selmer was a tight fit, the 6C much easier) ; 4/ concentrating harder on mouth cavity shape.

Anyway... having been initially disappointed in the first couple of hours with the Jericho I really can't see why I'd need anything more and I shall persevere with tenor as I was actually enjoying my own sound last night when I've played previous tenors and thought "why?"


:)
 

Adrian63

Senior Member
Messages
1,333
I too am the recipient of a new mpc : a Berg 130/0....it sounds like the very best of that classic Berg vibe...loud : gritty and thick..
For a wide tip its a surprisingly free and easy blow : I'm on med / hard La Voz and they are well suited.
I'm waiting on a PPT 10 which I'm looking forward too but I couldn't let this Berg go its the holy grail of mpcs...

So if the Berg comes in at 130 ; be interesting to find out what a number 10 comes in at...regardless : I'm sorted now for mpcs; two is enough and I still have the quantum which is going to seem real close...ho hum...
Oh ...I'm glad you are happy and sorted David...nice one !!
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,839
I'd like a PPT 7 to try on tenor, but it's a lot of dosh when I don't yet know if I'll stick with this model or go back to alto again. I think the Soloist may help fund it, but for now I'm going to sell a few more horns, stick to the SDA alto & Jericho, and get my recording "studio" up and running again. Still all over the place since we moved, and it's coming up two years now. The "Project" house is almost complete though.

Now, where's the best place for RJS reeds, now D'Addario Jazz Select iirc.
 

Adrian63

Senior Member
Messages
1,333
" reeds direct " have most every reed under the sun...find them on your search engine : bell them : order and next day delivery..
Be interesting to see if they have " Boston sax store " reeds yet...
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,789
Berg 130/0....it sounds like the very best of that classic Berg vibe...loud : gritty and thick..
Great. Now you're in the club as Plas Johnson, Clarence Clemons, Pete Christlieb, Lenny Pickett .... all Berg Larsen 130/0 players. Plas Johnsson is playing britone reeds and Pickett i splaying bass clarinette reeds. I have never played a 130/0. I was on 120/0 M facing when I started to play Rovner.
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
925
It seems weird that you have trouble with numerous respectable mouthpieces.
Have you adjusted/flattened your reeds?
Is your ligature holding the Reed right?

Strange articulation and warble at low E/low D at my experience can be .... That the mouthpiece isn't correctly positioned.... That the the Reed isn't seating well because it's swollen or that something is wrong with my lig.

Yamaha mouthpieces can be really forgiving. That's why they are the best for students!!!
 

davidk

Paints With Notes
Messages
354
Great. Now you're in the club as Plas Johnson, Clarence Clemons, Pete Christlieb, Lenny Pickett .... all Berg Larsen 130/0 players. Plas Johnsson is playing britone reeds and Pickett i splaying bass clarinette reeds. I have never played a 130/0. I was on 120/0 M facing when I started to play Rovner.
130 would imply a 10 opening on the Otto Link scale. However, the 130/0 SMS Berg on which the Drake Christlieb mouthpiece was based measured 0.122", putting it at a 9 on the Otto Link scale. (Source: Playing in the Attic by Paul Perez, who sourced this Berg for Drake.). So a 130 marking on a Berg mouthpiece tells you that it's open, but I wouldn't take it as an exact measurement.

I have the Drake Christlieb in the 120 opening (a Drake 120 as opposed to a Berg 120). It's a great mouthpiece, but I haven't got used to its narrow shape. It takes a ligature for soprano hard rubber mouthpieces.

My favourite baffled mouthpiece is the JodyJazz DV 8*, which has the low resistance and rich lows that I like, but the SYOS Zem Audu in a 10 is also an excellent mouthpiece for less money, and I'd recommend this for anyone interested in trying a baffled mouthpiece with a wide tip (don't forget to get a discount code from Taming the Saxophone if you do this). I'll use mine for outdoor gigs and those times when the reed might stay on the mouthpiece overnight.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,789
Thanks for pointing this out. Of course you are right about PC BL opening. I was just a "funny" input about BL 130/0 users. I got the information from John Laughters book "Contempoary Saxophone". "'C'est la vie', say the old folks, it goes to show, you never can tell".
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,839
It seems weird that you have trouble with numerous respectable mouthpieces.
Have you adjusted/flattened your reeds?
Is your ligature holding the Reed right?

Strange articulation and warble at low E/low D at my experience can be .... That the mouthpiece isn't correctly positioned.... That the the Reed isn't seating well because it's swollen or that something is wrong with my lig.

Yamaha mouthpieces can be really forgiving. That's why they are the best for students!!!
I tried a couple of ligs, many reeds, various reed positions. Being brand new the crook cork was difficult to compress with the narrow Soloist but after the warbling I pushed it further in, checked the tuning, and the warbling soon mostly disappeared.

The Soloist is my "go to" MP whenever a tenor horn passes through, but then part of the reason I sold my Freemont tenor was because I'd had a couple of tootles and put it back in its case.

Knowing the Jericho was well respected, brand new, and had been lightly breathed over by Steve Howard, I figured my initial warbling was down to me, not the sax.

It's been maybe 3 years since I sold the Grassi which was the last tenor I "trusted" and I don't recall any issues with the Soloist or the Etude on that, but I know from experience that some horns don't like some mouthpieces. But it's bound to be me being out of practice on tenor for three years and having to re-learn the different approach to alto. Going back to a basic Yamaha seems to have worked and confirms it's me, and after some more time on the Jericho I'll re-try the other MPs. I've also been chatting here with Richard from D'Addario who suggests:

"Worth having a go of the 2S. I'm not sure whether you prefer filed or unfiled, but the unfiled version may add some support too. Another to try would be La Voz. It's more similar to a Rico cut but it's a thicker blank than Rico overall so you get more from the sound without having to work too hard. A medium-soft in La Voz would be the comparable strength to the Select Jazz 2M. I know somewhere like sax.co.uk does reeds individually and they'll have good stock."

I've ordered the 2S and La Voz MS this morning.

Richard also advised that their Reserve reeds are more for classical and contemporary playing, although it's one of their most versatile reeds so always worth a try.
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,839
By the way...

Howarths were cheaper (including postage) than Reeds Direct and have emailed to say they've despatched my order already, 1st class post. :)
 
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