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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The title pretty much covers it. I have modeled 7-10 revisions of my mouthpiece depending on how you count, but they are all between 1 and 1.5 steps flat when using my normal embouchure. I am looking for anyone with general knowledge on how saxophone chamber measurements are determined, how they affect intonation and sound quality, and things like that. I am an novice-intermediate player with extremely limited knowledge on the actual workings of a saxophone.

If you're interested in looking at the model, the thingiverse link is here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2093296

That model is outdated and I have yet to upload the most recent version, but it may give a general idea as to what it looks like. I can provide specific measurements if need be.

Since that post was a little incoherent, I am really looking for someone to PM or email or reply to this thread that wouldn't mind me bouncing a few question off of them.

Thank you for any help, I really appreciate it! I love this project but don't quite have the knowledge necessary to complete it!
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Essentially what I do is find where the the mouthpiece needs to be so the horn plays in tune with itself (so notes with all or most pads closed are in tune with the octave higher notes with most pads open) and then see whether the whole horn is sharp or flat compared to A=440 or whatever your tuning standard is. That will tell you whether you need larger chamber or smaller chamber. If you already have too large a chamber, you can keep adding small amounts of beeswax or putty to reduce the chamber volume and then adjust the mouthpiece again to where the horn is in tune with itself. This spot will change with the chamber volume --- small chamber mouthpiece will not affect the notes where the horn is long (all pads closed) nearly as much as it affects the notes where the horn is short (most pads open).

Another way to say this would be to adjust the mouthpiece until a low Bb is in tune -- then check the intonation on the highest notes (C to F) and if they are all sharp or all flat -- and then increase or reduce chamber volume and check again ... you'll need to shove the mouthpiece on further with more volume in the chamber and you'll need to pull the mouthpiece out more with smaller chamber.

At least that's how I do it and it works for me.
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

The title pretty much covers it. I have modeled 7-10 revisions of my mouthpiece depending on how you count, but they are all between 1 and 1.5 steps flat when using my normal embouchure.
What do you mean by "steps?"

If the mouthpiece is flat overall, then try pushing it on further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

What do you mean by "steps?"

If the mouthpiece is flat overall, then try pushing it on further.
By steps I meant scale degrees. If I'm playing a G, alto pitch, it may sound between an F# and an E. Pushing it on further has mitigated this but it's not enough. The chambering needs to change I just don't know how to do it while maintaining a good sound.

Thank you for the suggestion though!
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

By steps I meant scale degrees. If I'm playing a G, alto pitch, it may sound between an F# and an E.
Wow.

Have you tried comparing your output to a modern, middle of the road, mouthpiece? What is your model based on?

I find it incredible that your mouthpiece could be so far off. Something is really wrong.
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

By steps I meant scale degrees. If I'm playing a G, alto pitch, it may sound between an F# and an E.
So that's F, you mean it sounds either a whole tone or two semitones flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

So that's F, you mean it sounds either a whole tone or two semitones flat.
Ah I knew what I said was wrong I just couldn't think of the correct word! The more you know! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Wow.

Have you tried comparing your output to a modern, middle of the road, mouthpiece? What is your model based on?

I find it incredible that your mouthpiece could be so far off. Something is really wrong.
Yeah it's really something to listen to. I guess the chamber is just huge. I took measurements off my old student mouthpiece because I wanted to be able to not worry about damaging it by sticking a sharp caliper into it. The measurements may be very imprecise, and they could be perfect in the model but the print warps dimensions. I've no clue what they are supposed to be in the first place though, so that's why I came here!
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Yeah it's really something to listen to. I guess the chamber is just huge. I took measurements off my old student mouthpiece because I wanted to be able to not worry about damaging it by sticking a sharp caliper into it. The measurements may be very imprecise, and they could be perfect in the model but the print warps dimensions. I've no clue what they are supposed to be in the first place though, so that's why I came here!
What is the point of your endeavor? Is this just for fun? Surely there must be a production mouthpiece out there somewhere that would fit your needs without trying to reinvent the wheel without any wheel education.
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

If the chamber is huge, try copying a mouthpiece with a huge chamber design like a Rascher or Buescher to see what they did to make huge chambers work - scooped side rails comes to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

What is the point of your endeavor? Is this just for fun? Surely there must be a production mouthpiece out there somewhere that would fit your needs without trying to reinvent the wheel without any wheel education.
Purely for fun! I wanted a modeling challenge and a mouthpiece seemed like an interesting irregular shape to attempt! There are definitely production mouthpieces that would play so much better than this but I wanted to see if I could do it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

If the chamber is huge, try copying a mouthpiece with a huge chamber design like a Rascher or Buescher to see what they did to make huge chambers work - scooped side rails comes to mind.
Interesting idea! Do you happen to know if I could find specifications on their websites?
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

I'm not a mouthpiece maker, but how is this for a quick test of chamber size. Take a known quantity piece like a Meyer. Put waterproof tape over the table to seal it up. Fill it with water from the shank end, pour into an accurate liquid measuring device. Repeat for your mouthpiece and compare. I realize chamber shape can affect things, but it may give you an idea how far off you are.

Cool experiment though. 3D printing is changing the world.
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Purely for fun! I wanted a modeling challenge and a mouthpiece seemed like an interesting irregular shape to attempt! There are definitely production mouthpieces that would play so much better than this but I wanted to see if I could do it myself.
Ah, in that case, have fun, experiment and report back.
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Interesting idea! Do you happen to know if I could find specifications on their websites?
I know you can email the people who oversee Rascher mouthpiece production here at their contact page - http://www.raschermouthpieces.com/contact.html

Buescher mouthpieces haven't been made with a large chamber for 70+ years but they're identical in design to these Rascher mouthpieces essentially. These are made according to Adolphe Sax's patent design calling for a mouthpiece with an excavated interior chamber. I think the issues you're having with the entire mouthpiece being too large on the inside could be an issue of "too much in one place, too little in others" and I think you can get exact specifications or measurements from the folks at Rascher - 3D printing could offer an interesting sonic alternative. If you're successful (and remember to push the mouthpiece really far onto the cork) you will have made a mouthpiece that will work on a horn made 100 or more years ago - now your next goal will be to find an 1800s saxophone and go try it out!
 

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Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Yeah it's really something to listen to. I guess the chamber is just huge. I took measurements off my old student mouthpiece because I wanted to be able to not worry about damaging it by sticking a sharp caliper into it. The measurements may be very imprecise, and they could be perfect in the model but the print warps dimensions. I've no clue what they are supposed to be in the first place though, so that's why I came here!
If you need to map the difference due to shrinkage, compare the printed version to your reference. Adjust parameters and iterate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

Ah, in that case, have fun, experiment and report back.
Thanks! I will do. Once I get it to a level of quality I am satisfied with, I'll post the model for free on thingiverse on the same account as the link above. If you get access to a printer feel free to try it out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

I'm not a mouthpiece maker, but how is this for a quick test of chamber size. Take a known quantity piece like a Meyer. Put waterproof tape over the table to seal it up. Fill it with water from the shank end, pour into an accurate liquid measuring device. Repeat for your mouthpiece and compare. I realize chamber shape can affect things, but it may give you an idea how far off you are.

Cool experiment though. 3D printing is changing the world.
Just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly, you're suggesting filling it with water to check the volume of it? That's really neat! I would have never thought to do that! I'll add that to the list of things to do :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: A little unconventional... but can anyone help me with Alto chambering? I have 3D modeled and printed a mpc but its

I know you can email the people who oversee Rascher mouthpiece production here at their contact page - http://www.raschermouthpieces.com/contact.html

Buescher mouthpieces haven't been made with a large chamber for 70+ years but they're identical in design to these Rascher mouthpieces essentially. These are made according to Adolphe Sax's patent design calling for a mouthpiece with an excavated interior chamber. I think the issues you're having with the entire mouthpiece being too large on the inside could be an issue of "too much in one place, too little in others" and I think you can get exact specifications or measurements from the folks at Rascher - 3D printing could offer an interesting sonic alternative. If you're successful (and remember to push the mouthpiece really far onto the cork) you will have made a mouthpiece that will work on a horn made 100 or more years ago - now your next goal will be to find an 1800s saxophone and go try it out!
Do you think they would freely give me specs? That would be sooooo cool to do, play on an 1800s sax. I have no idea where I can find one! I'll definitely look into that, but for right now my goal is to get a mouthpiece working with my current sax, and then modify the chamber to make a studio/classical/jazz mouthpiece. I'll add "1800s mouthpiece" to alternative versions to make!

Thank you for the help!
 
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