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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering another basic piece like the S-80, one that gives a full sound, unmistakably soprano sax. I have good special jazz sounds with the Runyon smooth bore and custom. But I want a full-size HR piece for dark ballads. I looked at the Babbitt site and noticed they also make the Wolf Tayne and Guy Hawkins.

I liked a Link on tenor. How do they work on sop? Meyer's are good for alto, how about sop? How are the Wolf Tayne or Guy Hawkins? I have heard nothing of them.

Please compare to the S-80. I like the S-80 but its high register leaves something to be desired. The high register on the Super Session is so poor I no longer play it. My Runyons have great high registers - bright and crisp.
 

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The meyers on soprano on very nice. I prefer mine over the super session I have. The supersession gets more of a oboe-ish ducky sound kind of like trane on soprano. The meyer gets a more sax kind of sound and I like it a lot the highs are easy its more smooth and darker than my supersession also. It's been my favorite piece so far.
 

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Tom,

I've played the New Selmer Pieces, Vintage Pieces, Modern Meyer Soprano, and Modern Soprano Links. My FAVORITE all time soprano mouthpiece was a Pre Soloist TABLE F Selmer. Unfortunately I sold the piece to buy a complete wooden playset for my kids. Currently I favor the Tenney Blueprinted Link Tone Edge 7.

Here's the experiences I've had:

Modern Meyer 7 - Nice singing quality worked best with a Rovner to Darken
Modern Selmer C* (Go with a D or E) - Buzzy and bright - but that's just me
METAL SELMER D - Much Nicer tone quality - HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Soloist Selmers - Excellent the TABLE one are REALLY AWESOME
Modern Link - Darker than the Selmer or Meyer but you need a 7 Tip which is pretty big in the soprano world.
Tenney Link - Much more even then stock

If you can play metal (which I can not) The modern Selmer Metal mouthpieces have a great sound - really dark and focused. With a somewhat bright reed you can really get a beautiful expressive sound.
 

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I used a scroll Selmer for about 10 years and went to an S-80 for another 20 or so and then a super session. Right now my favorite is a Yamaha 4C cheapie......strange.
I think you're right Bruce, the5c as well is v/ good. I mentioned in a similar thread couple of weeks ago --by some fluke Yamaha have created a great stock- out the box- soprano piece it's cheap and it's plastic!
You know i think over the last few years we have all got carried away with this m/p business--i'm just as bad as the next guy--I can remember in the mid 90's i played a 5c alto piece on a 6mviii (foolishly parted with!) both Classical and James Brown!same horn same m/p but of course GAS ruled and like most of the guys i've now got enough m/p,s to open a shop with!
Regards and a happy New Year to all SOTW'ers BF
 

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I've tried esprit and s80 and morgan and runyon and dukoff and ss and, although nothing's perfect, the Link TE 6* is perfect enough. At least give it a try, and if it doesn't quite do it for you, have Mojo add a little rollover baffle. That's even more perfect enough.
 

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I think the Metal Selmer mpc is one of the best choices out there to develop your sound. Unfortunately I kept getting a "spitty" sort of sound out of it at the most undesirable moments so I switched to a vintage Selmer HR "E" that has more of an oval (rather than round) chamber. It is awesome but really expensive. So expensive that I'm paranoid about breaking it.... I tried a few Barone Vintage mpcs and they rock. They are reasonable in price and give me better control and a fatter sound up in the palm keys.
 

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I have tried everything you listed on soprano, pretty much, except Runyons. For a while I settled on a Phil Barone "Vintage" #7. It started to hurt my face, so I got a Morgan "Vintage" #7. Sounds just as good, but hurts less... hmm. Might want to pick up one of those if you can.
 

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Overall I view the Yamaha as a modern Brilhart Ebolin for soprano. Good direct sound with a cut when you need it. I havea 5C that is good also. For some reason I don't like the Custom models as well (4CM). The 4C is also the best mouthpiece I have found for a C soprano (someone here put me onto that).
 

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I've played for a good while on Links, metal and hr. The hr is a very nice piece, on the darker side, and does not generate a lot of volume. The metal piece cuts more and is louder, but considerably less stable. I found the facing to be much shorter on the metal piece and the squeezed throat to be a design that my horn doesn't get along with. A good reface and a little Dremel work and voila! I now use the hr piece on low volume gigs and a Runyon Custom on everything else.
 

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I think the Metal Selmer mpc is one of the best choices out there to develop your sound. Unfortunately I kept getting a "spitty" sort of sound out of it at the most undesirable moments so I switched to a vintage Selmer HR "E" that has more of an oval (rather than round) chamber. It is awesome but really expensive. So expensive that I'm paranoid about breaking it.... I tried a few Barone Vintage mpcs and they rock. They are reasonable in price and give me better control and a fatter sound up in the palm keys.
I have a metal Selmer E for my Yamaha soprano and I can also relate to that "spit problem". I use Vandoren Classic 2.5 reeds and some advice that a harder reed would solve that problem. I haven't tried that but I tried a trick that I read here somewhere. A very thin layer of cork grease to the baffle and no spit problems anymore! I also think that metal Selmers have wonderful sound! Great soprano mouthpieces indeed!

-TH
 

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I find metal Links very bright. Nothing like the tenors.

Do you want to head towards the Sidney Bechet/Bob Wilbur/Kenny Davern direction? You can consider a mouthpiece with barrel chamber design. There are several vintage ones (see Theo's site). A reworked Caravan or Rascher or Buescher blank might do it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I am tending to think a Meyer would be good to try. I have heard many positive things about them. I have tried a few of the others mentioned but they did not work out for some reason. I had a bad experience with the metal Selmer. It's a little too expensive to experiment with again. I have a Runyon Custom that I like but it is a little bright so I want smething dark to go to when that sound is desired. The full size of the barrel of the Meyer matches my metal tenor and the Selmer HR's I have used. I have many ligs for that size. My particular mouth configuration works best with the larger barrel rather than metal pieces.

Thanks again for the suggestions.
 

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Hi Tom,

In my opinion, you should also give a try to the more open standard Yamahas (i.e. the 6C and 7C). They are inexpensive, have a mellow sound, and are louder than the 4C.
 

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I've really been digging my Kessler HR mouthpiece, made in the spirit of a Ralph Morgan Soprano mouthpiece. Everyone who hears me is surprised that such an inexpensive mouthpiece that they haven't heard of can sound so good. It has a nice, thick tone, with a little bit of darkness and reediness in the lower register and a nice, sweet, broad tone in the upper register, without excessive shrillness, but a touch of edge to keep things interesting. Worth checking out, especially since it only costs $70.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I must say that Kessler piece sounds interesting. I may check it out too.

Well, I have received the Meyer 6 and spent a day working with it and comparing it to my other pieces. It is little disappointing in that it is very bland. But that is what I asked for - a basic mouthpiece. It is well-made and plays with the best intonation all up and down the scale compared to my others. Nominally speaking, its size at .054 is right between my Selmer S80E (.053) and the Runyons at 0.055. It has a nice clean sound with absolutely no edge. The S-80 has a prettier sound, a more interesting sound with a hint of flute. The Meyer sounds very much like a trumpet played with a big deep mouthpiece, almost like a flugelhorn. The upper register played well when I was fresh but not so well after my chops tired a bit.

I have found with all mouthpieces that it takes me several weeks of work to get really comfortable and to fit the piece to my style of playing for the type of sound it gives. This piece will fit with its small differences with the S-80 and the Runyon Custom which is a bit lighter and has more edge (even without using the spoiler).

I played the Meyer with a good Vandoren ZZ 2.0 and Rovner Dark and EVO-5 ligs. (I don't use brass ligs until I am sure I'll keep the piece.) This is probably a keeper.

I have begun using a new computer to compare the audio spectra of mouthpieces. I am not settled on a microphone yet. I have a good old one that catches a very realistic sound but the sound is a little weak and yet can easily overload the amp in the laptop PC. I have been directed to better mics and will get one soon. (They are about the same cost as a good mouthpiece.)

I have not yet settled on the best method to play for a spectral analysis. Playing a wide range of notes is interesting. But the most definitive test is just to play a few notes such as G1, E2, A2 and D3, holding each until the transient die away. The results can be frozen with screen prints for comparison. I use Windows Media Player showing bars > ocean mist for the spectra.

The spectral analysis has shown that the Runyon Smooth Bore is almost indistinguishable from a bright trumpet (shallow cup mouthpiece). The other pieces I have are quite different. I have not yet looked at the spectra of the Meyer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I checked on the Kessler mpc and it is too wide for me - 0.063.

My sprectral analysis is getting better. With recodrdings playing a set of long tones for each setup, I am taking screenprints of the notes during replay and making paper prints of the screenprints. Then I can sit and lay them out for comparison and study. By playing some octaves, I get a handle on the frequency scale which is a log scale (nonlinear).

I am getting to like the Meyer for soft jazz. Good intonation never hurts even on fast runs playing jazz. The tone may be bland but the music does not have to be!
 

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I like both the metal Links and the Yani HR. As Mojo says, the metal Links are brighter on soprano than for tenor (or alto) but still much more centered than the Dukoff metal pieces used by a certain Mr. G.
 
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