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Hey guys,

I searched and I couldn't really find a lot of information on the Guardala pieces by PMS. They're apparently laser-trimmed from original DG pieces and the ones handmade by Nadir Ibrahimoglu apparently come from DG's original "blank" pieces.
The page is here: http://www.pms-music.de/Mundstucke/...la_Mouthpieces/dave_guardala_mouthpieces.html

Well, I was trying to find someone who has played any of these pieces, and especially someone who has played all of them. How much better are the hand-made variants than the LT'd variants? And what's the major differences between the LT versions from PMS and the WW&B versions, which is "better"?

They're a bit pricey from PMS, but I'm sure that's because of their quality.

The reason I'm searching for information about it is because there is a man by the name of Hisatsugu Suzuki out of Japan who plays on one of these. He doesn't say which "manufacturer" his pieces are made by, but he lists the models. He uses the MB and the Crescent. He has the perfect sound I'm looking for. You can find him here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeW3xr3ibJ8 (Skip to around 2:10 to see a really great sax solo.) He's also on a 'five-digit' Mark VI which I'm sure helps his tone a bit, but I'm on a Reference 54 so it can't be too difficult to emulate his sound. It's dark, super-rich but full and complete in all registers. It has somewhat of a bite to it in the higher registers. What model do you think he's using in this video? The Crescent is supposed to be the darkest PMS-DG mouthpiece, but the BM is supposed to have a hard B Marsalis sound to it. Right now I'm on an Otto Link New Vintage 7*.

Any help would be appreciated. I wish there was a way to test these pieces too, as they're quite expensive and ordering one without playing it is a bit..."risky," so to put it.
 

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the largest handmade element on a modern made Guardala is the Lost Wax Guardala from Sakshama... ive compared them all,and the closest to an original DG is sakshamas....

http://www.sakshamamouthpieces.com he's a member of SOTW
 

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ADub1..... Man, I'm sorry to maybe burst your bubble, but for starters, I have NEVER understood this whole Guardala fascination thing. Listening to the youtube link you provided and to the Japanese tenor player, I honestly didn't hear anything special, unique, or "amazing" about his sound. Did he suck? Absolutely not, but I doubt if I'm the only one who heard nothing special about his sound. I remember way back in the late 80's when Guardala first came out with his 'pieces and couldn't believe how many people bought one thinking they'd instantly sound like Brecker, much less have his chops, technique, range, etc....only to find out they basically sounded the same on their new DG 'piece as they did on their old one, whatever it was. It was truly comical to watch and see.
Now.........are there tons of people (including ME) who once thought playing a metal Link would have them sounding like 'Trane? Yup. Guilty as charged, but I too quickly found out that no such thing was gonna happen. Does playing the same type of 'piece your biggest playing influence played on help you towards getting the general sound you're looking for? Sure, but please allow me to give you some advice.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem quite young.....maybe high school or early college age, correct?
I can't tell you how many 'pieces I've tried over the years......most of 'em when I was between 19 and 25......but there is no single 'piece out there that is perfect and will magically give you "that" sound. From reading your post and again listening to the youtube link, it seems to me that you want a brighter, more projecting sound. A more "pop" sound, if I may say so. How satisfied are you with your New Vintage Link? What are you missing from it that you think you'll get out of something else? If nothing else, as "sirspinbad" stated above, I'd also highly recommend Sakshama.
Oh, lastly.........please don't fall for that "5 digit Mk VI" crap!! I have heard quite a few 5 digit VI's sound great. I've also heard plenty of 'em sound like crap, but as I think about that, most of the crappy sounding 5 digit VI's I've heard were being played by not so good players. Bottom line.....while equipment certainly can make a difference ('piece and horn), the player.......YOU......are the one who ultimately makes the difference. I've heard far too many people who have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on mouthpieces (most of them sit unused in a drawer) who still sound like crap........because they think the equipment is the sole answer. It's not.
Good luck with your quest!

John
 

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ditto for me; I talked to Guardala only once, and he was the biggest schmuck I ever encountered in the biz.

however, these mouthpieces DO have an appropriate name....
 

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well,until i find another piece that gives me rockstadium projection immediately and excellent response and intonation in the high register the Guardala is for me ...

now at home....i NEVER play my guardala
 

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I have a B.P. NY STM 8, that in my opinion, has "rockstadium projection. But since I don't play in rockstadiums, I'm hesitant to use it, much. It's not for sale.
 

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Greg Vail has been playing Guardalas for a long time, read what he say about the PMS-Guardalas on http://www.guardala.net/:

"He (Nadir at PMS) took the basic design, hand finished them, started making them by hand, created new tip openings and then developed the lines further than Dave ever had. Nadir's craftsmanship is amazing. He even re built my original Guardala Tenor Crescent and it came back so beautiful I was hesitant to even play it much. He has the touch!"
and:
"If I had the money, I would have bought the NEW Alto Brecker mouthpiece by PMS - It was a little better and fuller sounding than my original Guardala."
 

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fyi -

SAX-CCESSORIES is a Dealer for PMS/Guardala -and- I have Greg Vail do different projects for me at times. I know what Greg has said about the "alto Brecker" a while back and I've discusssed this with both Greg and Nadir ... I think there was some confusion regarding pieces Greg was play testing and sampling at the time. Anyway, probably as I type here, Greg is sampling all of the PMS/Guardala alto pieces for me and will comment on each as well as provide an audio cut of each. This includes the Florida (handmade), New Crescent LT, Studio LT, and King LT pieces ... and brand new and just brought back - the Bebop/Traditional. Greg will also compare the new Bebop/Trad versus his Bebop/Trad that he has been playing for years. You can see photos of the gorgeous new handmade BeBop/Trad piece here:

http://www.sax-ccessories.com/products/1419/GUARDALA-PMS.html

I'll update the web page and add the audio clip as soon as received from Greg.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the largest handmade element on a modern made Guardala is the Lost Wax Guardala from Sakshama... ive compared them all,and the closest to an original DG is sakshamas....

http://www.sakshamamouthpieces.com he's a member of SOTW
Yeah, I checked him out last night after you posted this. Seems like a good guy. Unfortunately, he doesn't make the Crescents, but he did say that he can adjust the MB to be darker.

I posted some comments on the PMS Guardala Crescent vs WW&BW Guardala Crescent here:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...dala-question&highlight=Guardala+PMS+crescent
Ah, thanks for clearing up some questions of mine.

Oh, lastly.........please don't fall for that "5 digit Mk VI" crap!! I have heard quite a few 5 digit VI's sound great. I've also heard plenty of 'em sound like crap, but as I think about that, most of the crappy sounding 5 digit VI's I've heard were being played by not so good players. Bottom line.....while equipment certainly can make a difference ('piece and horn), the player.......YOU......are the one who ultimately makes the difference. I've heard far too many people who have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on mouthpieces (most of them sit unused in a drawer) who still sound like crap........because they think the equipment is the sole answer. It's not.
Good luck with your quest!

John
Of course, I'm accustomed to this old tale. The player is the ultimate producer of the sound, not the equipment. Hell, look at Charlie Parker. Apparently, at some point in his career, he didn't own a saxophone and used other people's. But, you also cannot get what is not there. I see what isn't there on my current piece, which could be because it probably needs to be refaced, but it has too much resistance. I've been with the piece for a few months and I like it, but there are better ones. My tone is somewhat weak and I feel like the air is thin, but that obviously is my fault. His sound isn't anything "special," but oh well. Practically everyone in the sax world plays sax and tries to mimic someone else's sound. Every player is unique, as certain players say. I, at first, didn't buy the Link because I wanted a Coltrane sound, I bought it because it was highly recommended. I don't have (m)any places around to try mouthpieces nor horns, so most of what I get is what I hear and read about. I was aware that the "Five-Digit" Mark VI thing was just a "hoax" believed by some players, which was why I put it in apostrophes.

I actually just thought of a good analogy for the "equipment vs. player" debate. It's like a fashion model. They wear clothes. You want to look like them, so you buy their clothes. But, if you're ugly yourself, you're unfortunately not going to look like them. However, if you don't buy their clothes. chances are you're not going to look anything at all like them.

Greg Vail has been playing Guardalas for a long time, read what he say about the PMS-Guardalas on http://www.guardala.net/:
Thanks for the link. I saw the site earlier from his "scammed" website, but didn't read it.

fyi -

SAX-CCESSORIES is a Dealer for PMS/Guardala -and- I have Greg Vail do different projects for me at times. I know what Greg has said about the "alto Brecker" a while back and I've discusssed this with both Greg and Nadir ... I think there was some confusion regarding pieces Greg was play testing and sampling at the time. Anyway, probably as I type here, Greg is sampling all of the PMS/Guardala alto pieces for me and will comment on each as well as provide an audio cut of each. This includes the Florida (handmade), New Crescent LT, Studio LT, and King LT pieces ... and brand new and just brought back - the Bebop/Traditional. Greg will also compare the new Bebop/Trad versus his Bebop/Trad that he has been playing for years. You can see photos of the gorgeous new handmade BeBop/Trad piece here:

http://www.sax-ccessories.com/products/1419/GUARDALA-PMS.html

I'll update the web page and add the audio clip as soon as received from Greg.
I was actually looking at your site before, but I didn't see that you had a BM piece.
 

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Yeah, I checked him out last night after you posted this. Seems like a good guy. Unfortunately, he doesn't make the Crescents, but he did say that he can adjust the MB to be darker
I can make any of the Guardala models Crescent included. I probably said I didn't have much call for it since for that kind of sound the market is wide open and there are many mouthpieces of different manufacturers already making similar concepts.
 

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When I saw the thread title I had to read it. I was expecting to see 'How dare you mention the unmentionable name of you know who? Why, I don't like him or his mouthpieces, so they obviously are no good. The mere fact that they consistently fetch the highest prices on the market can be of no concern, those are merely collectors, not players. Hmmmph. The very idea of dragging that skunk and his tinny mouthpieces into a respectable forum...Why, you may as well have mentioned the other unmentionable in the same breath...that soprano owner, you know, the non-bop guy who got filthy rich playing the saxophone and whose unmentionable name nevertheless has become a household word all over the world - and who can instantly sell out any venue he choses to play in.'

Well, I wasn't disappointed although it turned out that I was the only one to mention the other unmentionable. Hey, back to Guardalas, my go-to players for the last 25 years. Unfortunately, I haven't tried any of the special hand-finished Laser-Trimmed ones by PMS or the cast ones by the other guy. I have played the regular Laser-Trimmed ones, and keep a couple of them for back-ups. They are faithful copies of the real thing. While they play great, they seem to lack some of the nuances of a good original DG. However, they are in my opinion the absolute best value in a sax mpce. They have incredible consistency, so you don't have to try different ones of the same model. If you don't like a 'Super King', you won't like any 'Super King'. Try a 'Studio'.
A notorious mouthpiece maker who frequents this site also hates the first unmentionable and said about his mouthpieces 'They do so much for you that you don't have to struggle to get your sound' or something similar, implying that the struggle does something or other that must be done? To me, he said it all, but didn't mean to. Any of these pieces play easily (with the right reed), can produce plenty of volume and projection, and contrary to popular belief, can be played so they sound kind of, well, dark.
 

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I too recommend Sakshama for a Guardala type tenor mouthpiece. I recently purchased an MB style lost wax piece from him & am very pleased. I play it at home & at gigs, BTW.... :)
 

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Alert: every PMS' LT Guardala I saw (here in Italy) had the chamber of King/Super King (long high with bullet chamber + chamber restriction passage) also if it is marked as MB-II or Crescent.
I also see an original DG's LT MB-II with the Super King design.

Maybe outside Italy, there are less "problems" with the PMS' LT Guardala pieces.

My WWBW's MB-II had the original MB-II chamber design... at half the cost (of the PMS LT).
 

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The LT Guardalas made by PMS all have the same bullet chamber, but the handmade versions are faithful to the original chamber designs.
 
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