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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have read threads on upgrading from a 4c and threads about the Vandoren v16 series. I'm really wanting to try the large chamber, but can't try one in person and don't want to get something way too far above me. I last played tenor 40 years ago - I was using a Link 8* with a 4 Rico reed (I think I have acid spit, I used to blow through them like crazy). That was on a Selmer Mark VI, which I unfortunately sold :-( So, my husband bought me a Jean Paul TS400 for Christmas, and now I am geeking out over mouthpieces. If there's one thing I love to do, it's research the crap out of things!

I'm taking some lessons to regain my tone from the university community ed, from a mainly clarinet guy, but plays sax, too. Last lesson he suggested a harder reed. I was using traditional Vandoren 2.5s, I'm awaiting the arrival of a box of 3.5 ZZs (today!). But I really think a mouthpiece would help out. I really like the dark sound from the large chamber, but would like some advice on tip opening. Everyone raves about the 7 and up, but I was thinking maybe a 6, mostly because of the large chamber. But I don't want something I'll outgrow in 2 months. Mouthpieces are expensive and I have a son in college.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.
 

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Hi,

from a mainly clarinet guy, but plays sax, too. Last lesson he suggested a harder reed. I was using traditional Vandoren 2.5s,
Clarinet players often think that way. IMO it's wrong, playing saxophone with a softer reed is difficult to do will, but the work on air support in order to do it and still maintain a good tone is worth it to get the versatility and dynamic range out of the saxophone.

I look on hard reeds as a kind of short cut when it's way better to actually do be able to play soft reeds. Obviously facing is important, forget about a lot of meaning in regard to tip sizes when comparing different makes, they mean nothing without also taking into account the facing curve.
 

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I'd recommend a New Vintage Otto Link hard rubber in about a #6 size, personally. Ditch the hard reeds, with what I'm recommending I'd be playing regular Vandoren 2.5s probably, and I've been playing regularly (no time off) since 1978 so I've got some chops.

Frankly, I'd be using Vandoren 2.5s on a Yamaha 4C too, probably.

Personally, as a person of robust constitution who can play really loud (I have been called the loudest saxophone player in the county) I have not yet outgrown the approx. 0.090" tip opening with #2.5 reeds on tenor yet, so I rather doubt you will, either.

The "harder is better" macho thing still hasn't died. Too bad.
 

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ZZ 3.5s will be a lot harder than the blue box 2.5s you are used to, so Im not sure how that will go. If you used to play Rico 4s then maybe it will work for you.

I have an HR V16, I really like it, great value, plays and sounds great (mines a T8), although ultimately I prefer my Morgan Excalibur. One thing to be aware with the V16 is these feel really quite large in your mouth, its physically a big piece regardless of tip size, which is one reason I like the almost Alto size of that Morgan.

One thing with V16s is they make a lot of them so there are nearly always used ones you can pick up, and if it turns not to be your thing you can resell and get your money back less the cost of shipping so no harm no foul.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ZZ 3.5s will be a lot harder than the blue box 2.5s you are used to, so Im not sure how that will go. If you used to play Rico 4s then maybe it will work for you.

I saw a chart that said 3.5 ZZs should translate to 3 Traditional. I'll find out tonight, if they arrive as promised.

BTW, I'm female, so not "macho" about reed strength :) Back when I played the Rico 4s on an 8* Link, it was before the internet or anything, so I wasn't competing! Actually, I ordered a different mouthpiece (I don't even remember how you "mail ordered" back in 1979!) and was accidentally sent the 8*. But it played great. I was probably using the Rico 4s on whatever I was using before. Back then, we just played what sounded good! That was high school and early college days.
 

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I play on a V16 T7L HR mouthpiece and I am very pleased with it. It is a very well made and balanced mouthpiece. It plays well in all dynamics, from very soft to loud. The upper range is full and can project without getting harsh. I use 2.5 V16 reeds on mine. I play 2.5 reeds and choose mouthpieces-openings that play well with them. A thing I noticed on the V16 L is that the beak is longer and lower than that on the medium chamber V16.
 
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