Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to try a Berg Larsen, mainly because I have been so curious about them for so many years, but have actually never played one. I'm not looking for a new piece - I've got what I like and need. I think my curiosity comes from the fact that almost ever player I've heard on a Berg gets this solid, centered core that I find appealing. They can be bright, but I've heard so many players play them and also sound big, warm, and lush, but that solid core always seems to be there. So I have a few questions for you Berg experts:

Are newer or current production Bergs OK, or are the vintage ones better? Would I be better off trying a newer Berg copy? The Saxquest Hoss comes to mind as an example.

Are the bronze models a newer thing, or did they always make them in bronze?

Do the "2" chambers only come in a drop chamber, or did they ever make them with bullets chambers?

Thanks!
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
17,768 Posts
I'm more a Link guy, but know a bit about Berg Larsen mouthpieces too.

First, check this information by Theo Wanne:
https://theowanne.com/knowledge/mouthpiece-museum/berg-larsen-mouthpieces/

Berg's are made from HR or (the metals ones) from Stainless steel. The Bronze ones are an exception.

The /2 chambers always have the drop chamber, the /1 and /0 have the bullets chamber.

Berg tips and facings have always been a bit tricky, same goes for SMS or M facing length (they are often not as indicated).

I've played a few of them (both vintage and modern) and didn't find much differences in performance, but in general players find the vintage ones better.

Best is to play test one before buying (if possible). Otherwise you could be better of with copy from a brand with better quality control.

Here are two (amateur) clips I did on two of my different big tip Berg Larsen mouthpieces:

1. Blues in Gm (modern Berg Larsen 150/2 SMS - La Voz medium):
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13545660

2. Blues in Gm (vintage Berg Larsen 140/0 SMS - La Voz medium):
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13555344
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
997 Posts
I had a hr Berg 120/2 m that was bullet. Also note that facing lengths are sms (shorter), & m (longer). I find that the Berg chamber is too small for my taste. A "copy" with a slightly larger chamber would be my choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
My vintage (1960s?) hard rubber alto Berg 85/2 has a bullet chamber. Can't see the facing designation, it's obscured by a brass ring on the shank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the input. Mrpeebee, your sound clips sound great and are especially helpful.

FWIW, a buddy of mine does have a stainless steel Berg in a 2 chamber with the bullet configuration, and he sounds fantastic. But, that is a bari mouthpiece, not a tenor.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008-2017
Joined
·
2,244 Posts
I played them for years. Loved the pieces but, IMO, those made in England were way better than those made in Belgium. I noticed tremendous differences on them at the degree I switched for Vandoren.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,052 Posts
Just as an FYI, Im coming out with a HR Bergish tenor piece...The Impulse. I should have the first batch in a couple of weeks.

If you go for a standard berg find one that has been refaced well. Bergs have a huge number of problems.

Also, I like the HR ones better since stainless is a nightmare and expensive to reface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,487 Posts
I have owned about 40 Berg's from different eras in metal and HR and played countless more. I can tell you 100% that the vintage ones are better, but just like Links, different vintages are significantly different in design.

I prefer the '50s Bergs. They seem to have the largest chamber and speak well. Modern Bergs have a significantly smaller chamber and just don't get the same vibe. Some of the '50s ones have quite a big chamber and can really get a fat sound! That being said, the ones from the 60s can play quite well too. The 40s Bergs are cool, but have a lower floor and a much more ovaled chamber, resulting in a different sound. Different than the one Berg came to be known for.



Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Back when I was playing mostly bari, I played on a berg Larson. Probably one of the best pieces I have every played on, especially for bari. I could just get such a nice fat sound on it, but had a lot of control on it....not sure why I haven’t tried a berg on my alto...

Hmmm...maybe I should go shopping haha


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,558 Posts
The best stainless steel Bergs are the vintage ones with the narrow side rails, beautifully and finely crafted tip rail, offset M or SMS, and denim table. When you find a great one and original condition there's nothing else quite like it. They are very special. Sam Butera had the best tone of anybody on a stainless steel berg .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
Back when I was playing mostly bari, I played on a berg Larson. Probably one of the best pieces I have every played on, especially for bari. I could just get such a nice fat sound on it, but had a lot of control on it....not sure why I haven’t tried a berg on my alto...

Hmmm...maybe I should go shopping haha


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Ugh, I got a Berg for Alto and hate it. It was a recent Berg, though...man quality control I TELLS YA
 

·
Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
8,034 Posts
Vintage Offset M HR with boat table are fantastic. I found one that had been refaced by GW with a 110/2 facing is easy to play as soft as I want and as fat and loud as needed in electric situations.

I like it so much that I am considering have a brass or bronze casting made as a companion piece.

I did not like the Bergs on Soprano or Alto but on my tenor its been my go to piece for 2 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
not to be the downer at the party, but, is the rap/glass half empty thing with Bergs is that they tend to be "noisy" or raspy or clanky or ?

If so, I'd bet that is partly based in what seems to be a theme in this thread, of inconsistency/QC in them, generally.
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
17,768 Posts
Thank you all for the input. Mrpeebee, your sound clips sound great and are especially helpful.

FWIW, a buddy of mine does have a stainless steel Berg in a 2 chamber with the bullet configuration, and he sounds fantastic. But, that is a bari mouthpiece, not a tenor.
Thanks!

I could be wrong about /2 chambers not having a bullet configuration (maybe that's only valid for modern ones, I now remember I had a vintage HR 90/2 SMS years ago with a bullet chamber).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Just as an FYI, Im coming out with a HR Bergish tenor piece...The Impulse. I should have the first batch in a couple of weeks.
That is very good news. After a lot of Links and Linkish pieces I happened to play a Berg copy by Drake in 110. That is very easyblowing, has a supernice lower register on my SX90R and can really project in my mostly electric band, it has this certain shovel of dirt. I bought it immediately and never looked back. Rigotti Regal Queen in size 3 fit very well. However, it tends to be quite bright, for more gentle stuff I have to pay attention to keep it tame. So, a Bergish piece with a bit less baffle or larger chamber would be great. Just keep us posted, Phil, and count me in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
The new Bergs are hit and miss. Somewhere here I posted about my experience ordering 6 HR pieces from WWBW and only one of them being a piece I would actually perform on in a gig. I have been playing a 110/1 SMS hard rubber for a while now and love it. It is a good player but it still could use some TLC from a re-facer to get it even better.

If you want to try the new Bergs, order them in multiples or find a store that might have a bunch you can try. The odds are against you finding a decent one on the first shot sadly.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top