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This forum is crazy huge, and I hope that I learn a think or two from all of you guys. Anyways, I joined to ask a bit of advice, since I find it quite difficult to find solid information on purchasing tenor saxophone mouthpieces on the web. I've been playing the tenor since March of 2012, and I've just picked up the baritone in October, so I feel fairly confident to experiment. I'm looking for a unique tone and outlook to my tenor sax playing, and I was wondering if you could help.

About two years ago I was given a 1977 Selmer Bundy II saxophone by a friend who had permanently switched to baritone, and felt bad leaving his old tenor in storage. It came with his plastic mouthpiece, and the mouthpiece definitely shows some pretty heavy wear and scarring. However, I'm fairly pleased with warm, cool tone of my saxophone, but another year with this mouthpiece and it's threatening to explode in my face. I thought I might as well look for something more permanent at this point.

I'm looking for something in the general sound of:


* Warm, round tone to compliment my model. (I've heard hard rubber is a good choice for this.)
* I'd like a run down on sizing of mouthpieces. (I've played a jazz alto piece with a larger tip, but it beats me on what I should go for here.)
* Brand options. (Ottolink and Vandoren Paris come up a lot, but I'd love to hear your experience!)


This is my first time purchasing a saxophone mouthpiece on my own, and I've only been able to scratch up a little information on what I might want. I'm still blurry on what I should be expecting, and I would very much appreciate all the advice you can give to a beginner buyer. :mrgreen:
 

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Try as many as you can, and look for a comfortable one that you feel flexible.
 

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Find an friendly and more experienced sax player and your area, tell him about your woes. Chance are he has drawers full of mouthpieces you can try, that should help you see things more clearly!
 

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The list will grow and grow as people tell you what worked for them.......

My thoughts.
I genuinely believe you could pick up a Saxscape Fatcat relatively cheap here or on fleabay, around a 0.102" tip opening that will suffice for a long while (or forever). Many are advertised as prototypes but they play fine.
My point is, they are excellent value for money on the used market. It's a low risk in case you don't get on with it.
The material is Delrin (spelling?) which in my experience means you'll want a mouthpiece patch on the beak.
Jobs a good'n!!
 

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I'm looking for a unique tone and outlook to my tenor sax playing, and I was wondering if you could help.
...
However, I'm fairly pleased with warm, cool tone of my saxophone
...
* Warm, round tone to compliment my model.
So ... unique, warm, cool, round. Anything else?

Do you play out, like in some kind of band, saxophone ensemble or something? Can you think of some reference that would give us an idea what you're up to? There's a very large range of possibilities here, and people will use terms like "warm" over a surprisingly large part of that range.

What are you playing now? Including tip opening - if it isn't marked, measure it if you can. (Well, if you can measure it, do so even if it's marked.) If you were reduced to just getting a nice new one of the same thing, what do you think you'd be missing? (Don't say hard rubber - if there's any difference, it's miniscule.)
 

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I agree with the other postings for good general advice for a beginner....I don't have a clue about a Saxscape Fatcat....but don't buy off the web until you have actually played the same mouthpiece and even then it's a crap shoot!.....unless it's dirt cheap or your just have a lot of money :) I played stock mouthpieces for the first 8 years before I played my first metal....an Arnold Brilhardt levelaire 4* for rock/jazz combo's. After 20 years my next piece for jazz was an Otto Link New York, Super Tone Master 7*, I went to a well stocked music store and test played about a dozen pieces before I found the one that felt the most comfortable with my reed type (always take your own reed(s). Not knowing how your sax instruction is being administered, and you've only just begun the journey, the main focus should be learning. If the sax plays easily in all registers, finding the right MP will be much easier.....having leaks or adjustment issues will make it much harder.....good luck!
 

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If there is a music store nearby that will let you come in and try a bunch of mouthpieces, do that. If you have a friend or a teacher who has some you can try, do that. If neither of these is an option, I would suggest ordering a Vandoren Optimum from an online retailer that has a good return policy. (There are several that will accept returns within a couple weeks, as long as you take care not to scratch or damage the piece.) The Vandoren is recommendable for a couple reasons: it's fairly reasonable, they have good quality control despite being a mass produced (and thus relatively cheap) piece, and it's balanced mp tonally that will not push you to one particular sound, which seems advisable for a player in your situation. If possible you might order a couple of them in different sizes, choose the one that works best, and send the others back. Just be sure to play them with a bite pad and it's also wise to use a little electrical tape to avoid ligature scratches.
 

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Selecting the correct reed for a given mouthpiece is just as important as the mouthpiece itself. I have mouthpieces that I did not like at all until I played them with a different reed. That means not only the strength of the cut of the reed, but the brand itself as well.
 

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All the mentioned sax players have given good advice, but the fastest way I believe you should go is as NakedConnArtist above says, I would get a well know MP and strength, then get a bunch of reeds I'd recommend Alexander superials or VanDorenJazz, start with a 1/&1/1/2 then increase the strengths to 2-2 1/2 and so forth. The mouthpiece you think is not good becomes your best with the right reed/mouthpiece hookup.. Good Luc, Youlls be buying these things the rest of your life searching for the Holy Grail of those two.
 
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