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Discussion Starter #1
I did this comparison for a friend of mine who, just like me, likes to compare gear. I'm not that much of a player, but I thought it might be interesting to let you share this riddle. My friend wanted something like R&B or Funk so I found a funky playalong in the net and played some pentatonic lines alongside.
Horn is my wonderful 1953 (January) Selmer Super Balanced Action, and these are the candidates in the "metal parade":

Francois Louis Silver mouthpiece 0.111
Francois Louis Bronze mouthpiece 0.111 (the recent replica of the silver ones that FL does not manufacture anymore)
Freddie Gregory Super Deluxe Mark II Made in England (offered for sale here but will most likely be a keeper)
Otto Link STM Florida no USA 7*
Dave Guardala Dave Liebman/Crescent (this was Lieb's personal mouthpiece, for sale here like the FG although I'm not convinced of letting it go)

These are the links to clips (of course NOT in the order listed above). Have fun solving the riddle.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/imdmjy5ptzrbf8g/Metallparade 2.wav?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fyyrf47x6o1ltzu/Metallparade 3.wav?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fdquwrmk7j8sd4t/Metallparade 5.wav?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b2k0z6x8lrdc1w7/Metallparade 1.wav?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f6du6sdlua8gu3o/Metallparade 4.aif?dl=0
 

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The Link was the least one to me - sounded very resistant. The two FLs seemed about equal and I would rank them above the Link. I thought the Lieb/Cresc was very good for you and it made me want to play it although I've been playing a .116 for a long time. I was very surprised by the Gregory and I thought it probably should be at the center of your attention. Now, with that, it should be known that any of those pieces I would say are viable if a player wanted to concentrate on them and learn to bring out what they have to offer. At the same time, it would be hard for me to not simply pick the one of them that made me want to play it rather than try to force something out of another one.
That's the key for me - the mouthpiece, neck or sax that makes you want to play - not the one that you know could work and maybe should work because that's what 'everyone else' uses, but the one, whatever it is, that makes you want to not put the horn down. There's more to it - its the mouthpiece that leads you where you want to go and magically opens up avenues you never would have thought of with another one.
So that's what I was listening for, as well as the tone, etc. You tried to play the same thing over and over which of course is the thing to do for a scientific test, but with the DG and the Gregory, you went into different territory. Its hard to hide it when you really like a mouthpiece!

ETA: I listened again and I'm switching the DG to the top of the list - you really do have a more aggressive and clear sound with it and it brings out the 'Selmer' in that horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1saxman: the order of the clips is NOT the order of the mouthpieces listed above.
I'm 100% with you concerning that you can't hide which mouthpiece you like better than others...
 

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Oh, its a guessing game. Count me out.
 

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I listened to all of the them and frankly I can't tell you how they differ if they actually differ because they all sound pretty much the same except for maybe number 3 being not quite as bright. I don't know those mouthpieces anyway so I certainly couldn't link a clip to a mouthpiece. I guarantee you most of us could play five mouthpieces not just made by different makers but out of different materials and the clips would all sound the same if the player matched reeds to each to get "their" preferred sound. Blindfold tests just don't work out too well.
 

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I never listened to Francois Louis or Freddie Gregory mouthpieces, so I don't know their sound signature, and I won't attempt at guessing.
But I'll try to deliver my opinion about YOUR playing on each.

You sounded most comfortable and produced most pleasant tone with the least number of mistakes on the 4th clip, named Metalparade 01.
On your clips 1, 2, 3 and 5 listed above, you made too many mistakes (intonation, timing, sustain, unadjusted embouchure).
Of all of those, I would rate your playing to be second best on Metalparade 3, which was your 2nd clip.
Your third clip, named Metalparade 5, was nasal and too abrasive, perhaps the worst sounding of them all. Maybe a different approach is needed for that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
O.K. TheBrute, message understood: start playing seriously and stop thinking about gear ;-) . Thanks for listening though.

Mouthpieces (clips) are (top to bottom):

Freddie Gregory Super Deluxe Mark II
Otto Link STM Florida no USA 7*
Dave Guardala Dave Liebman/Crescent
Francois Louis Bronze
Francois Louis Silver
 

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O.K. TheBrute, message understood: start playing seriously and stop thinking about gear ;-) . Thanks for listening though.
Your conclusion is right but TheBrute seems to be a bit of a d*ck. Not duck.
 

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O.K. TheBrute, message understood: start playing seriously and stop thinking about gear ;-) . Thanks for listening though.

Mouthpieces (clips) are (top to bottom):

Freddie Gregory Super Deluxe Mark II
Otto Link STM Florida no USA 7*
Dave Guardala Dave Liebman/Crescent
Francois Louis Bronze
Francois Louis Silver
Discomfort with certain (difficult/unfamiliar) setup can cause mistakes I mentioned. If you noticed, I did not comment on your playing or musical skills, notes, progressions, etc., but only on mistakes common in interaction with (difficult/unfamiliar) equipment: intonation with a new mouthpiece, sustain issues, etc. are equipment-related.
When you become familiar with the setup, or, if the equipment suits you better, such mistakes are minimised. Finally, they disappear altogether when you focus on and master your chosen equipment.
Otto Link FLorida and FL Bronze to me sounded the best and you sounded most comfortable with.
I would be interested to read what is your level of comfort, control and satisfaction when you play each of those two.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
TheBrute, thanks for the explanation and the invitation to comment. The Francois Louis Silver is the mouthpiece that I have kept coming back to over the last months, and I have almost played it exclusively. It's certainly not the mouthpiece that has the least resistance, and the tip opening of 0.111 is the max of what I'm able to cope with right now. My background is that I'm 69 and have only been playing tenor on a more or less regular basis for about 10 years. I was a guitar player before I fell in love with the tenor.
I think it's the sound of the Francois Louis that invites me most to play. I do love all the mouthpiece I listed and have a couple of additional mouthpieces (a Florida Slant 8, a NY Slant 8 and a wonderful Navarro Bebop Special 7** that Rafy gave to me as a present 8 years ago).
I have decided to really stick with the FL silver but won't sell most of the other pieces because taste is something that is fugitive and I may change my mind one day.
 

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I didn’t get to check out the sound clips, but I’d offer that TheBrute in perhaps a not so tactful way was onto something; when I have recorded myself trying mpcs I can always pick out the one that I sound most comfortable on. Gotta go with that, provided the mpcs are all in the same ballpark I tend to think the sound will follow and I’ll sound the best starting with that criteria . You can’t make yourself sound better on a mpc that just isn’t as comfortable. I’ve tried! Ha.
 

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The only one I'll venture a guess on is clip #3. Since I like it best of all, and my ear is tuned to Links, I'll guess that clip is the STM. I'm basically a HR kind of guy, but that shouldn't affect my guess, since Links are about chamber size.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Guardala Crescent with a 0.107 tip opening and a moderate baffle was never as treblesque as other models like the King although it IS the brightest mouthpiece in this comparison.
 

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The Guardala Crescent with a 0.107 tip opening and a moderate baffle was never as treblesque as other models like the King although it IS the brightest mouthpiece in this comparison.
I don't know. To my ear, 1, 2 & 5 are the brightest sounding, with 3 & 4 lesser so. Some of it has to do with the way you play them, of course. Anyway, thanks for the game. Always fun trying to see how you hear things, compared to others.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I can offer another comparison, this time with a playalong of "Cheese Cake" by Dexter Gordon. Never mind the "bell" in between, it was an e-mail coming in when I recorded the playalong from Youtube... These are just sketches and I'm an amateur, so please forgive mistakes and uninspired improvisation. I just thought this might be a nice follow up.

1956 Selmer Mark 6/ Dukoff Stubby 6/ Woodstone 2.5

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfjumxgpkaj7fot/TOTM CheeseCake 180220.wav?dl=0

1953 Selmer SBA/ Francois Louis silver 0.110/ Woodstone 2.5

https://www.dropbox.com/s/27bjs386opw5y92/Cheesecake 220220 SBA:FL:U47w.wav?dl=0

1956 Selmer Mark 6/Freddie Gregory Metal Super Deluxe Made in England 0.105/ Woodstone 3

https://www.dropbox.com/s/idkoiugf60hyogo/TOTM Cheesecake Mk 6 FG.wav?dl=0

If I find the time, I will do clips of the Link Florida no USA 7*, the Guardala Liebman and the Francois Louis Bronze. Thanks for listening.
 
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