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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

I've been searching the forums here about Antigua horns, and since they seem to be the price/performance leader for sub-$1,000 horns, I went ahead and got one from Kessler Music in LV.

Overall, I've been pretty impressed with the workmanship, though the register key on the curved neck isn't quite aligned on the tone hole. It seals up though, since the lower register speaks easily. The overall sound is centered and round, and I think it may be a keeper.

My issue is this: My setup is a Link ebonite 8* mouthpiece with VanDoren Java 2-1/2 reeds, and I find to get the horn in tune I have to get the mouthpiece all the way on the horn, which is made difficult by the somewhat thick corking on the necks. Also, the horn seems more sensitive than most I've played to temperature...once warmed up, the intonation comes up a bit.

I tried the stock mouthpiece that came with the horn, which was stuffy and gave a thin sound, but the intonation improved, which leads me to conclude that my mouthpiece may be causing me to play flat on soprano. Does anyone else have a similar experience?

Fellow Antigua owners, please chime in with your "out of box" experience with your sopranos.

Thanks,

Dave
 

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I have the LQ-590. For my metal Link STM, I've found that the "sweet spot" on the neck cork is about half way out. The same was true for the Selmer SS that I tried. This is different than most larger-chambered pieces I've tried. These can go most of way up on the cork. My RIA #9 is this way.

Bottom line is that the thicker cork seems to be needed if you are using a smaller-chambered piece since it has to set further out on the cork. For this reason, I'm going to get my soprano necks recorked a little thicker for a more secure mouthpiece fit.
 

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Dave: I have a 590LQ, purchased at Kessler's store. Before buying it, I tried several 590's (in all finishes) and a 582 (the single-fixed-neck model). Of all the Antiguas I tested that day, only the 582 gave me intonation problems and that was because the neck cork was so fat, I couldn't shove on far enough to come to pitch. We chose not to alter the neck cork because it wasn't a purchased horn yet. Dave Kessler has discussed 582's intonation issues in other posts.

My 590 plays to pitch regardless of what mouthpiece I put on it. I need to shove on far up the cork, but I do that with all my sopranos (six at last count). The pieces I've played on the 590 are Super Session J, Morgan Vintage 6 and 7, STM Link 8*, S-80 G and J, Runyon Custom 7, and several others.

At the NAMM Show last January, I came across the Antigua display and tried one of their 582 models. This one had a neck cork that worked with the set-up I had with me (S-80 G with a soft Fibracell reed). The 582 played perfectly - every bit as good as my 590. I was impressed.

Everyone reacts differently to mouthpieces, but I've never played a Link "ebonite" that played as open as my other pieces. Maybe you need a harder reed with that Link . . . or a different mouthpiece, one that will shove on far enough to play to pitch. If the cork is too tight, sand it down a bit. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, all, for the info.

Per Dave's recommendation I sanded down the corks a bit, and my mouthpiece goes on easier now. I also put a new reed on there, and while I still need to get the mouthpiece pretty far onto the neck, the intonation has improved.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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DaveS: For what it is worth, reeds vary. If I were you, I'd spend a day testing SEVERAL reeds, prepping them, rating them, and storing them in a reed-guard with your soprano. That way, you can rotate among many good reeds. Reeds vary so much that just picking up the next reed in a box and going with it may give you false impressions of your horn, your mouthpiece, AND your own playing.

My working soprano cases each have a couple of reed-guards containing reeds I've prepped just for that particular horn and mouthpiece combo. DAVE
 

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I have been playing a 582 Antigua for a couple years now... I do have to push the mouthpiece on 3/4 of the way or more for it to play in tune. It was even worse at first, before I learned to hold my embouchure tight enough. Playing it more often helps. The stock mouthpiece was probably easier because it has a smaller opening (and smaller chamber) than the link. You might try a Link 7 or Bari .064 and a slightly harder reed. I use a morgan classical chamber with a 6 opening but that's a bit unusual.
 

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I have no undue intonation issues on my 582. Yes, most Soprano mouthpieces save for those with the longest shanks require that you push it down onto the cork quite a way to get it tuned up. A few mouthpieces I have sampled made the palm keys play a bit flat, but that is not the norm.

I've had my Antigua purchased from Kessler for a few years now, and am still very pleased with it.
 
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