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Discussion Starter #1
I have a scoop bill 105/2 with step chamber. I am considering to buy straight bill 100/3 with bullet chamber. I am hoping the 3 baffle will give a darker sound, and the very slightly smaller opening will make the low notes to come out easier. I don’t know how will the bullet chamber and step chamber sound different.

Do you think there will be noticeable difference between the two? I want a darker and more mellow tone.


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If you want the low notes to come out easier, have the facing checked out - and corrected as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you want the low notes to come out easier, have the facing checked out - and corrected as necessary.
There is no mouthpiece refacer in Vancouver. And assuming the mouthpiece is acceptable, a smaller tip theoretically allows me to use a harder reed, that to me means required less “chop”, am I correct?

But actually, this not the main reason that I want to try, because the difference is so small. I am more looking for the larger 3 chamber would give me a darker tone. Also, forgot to mention, the one I have now is SMS facing, while the 100/3 has M facing. I read somewhere that a longer M facing will help on sub tone. Is this also true?


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You need to have the mouthpiece inspected before buying.

It happens that what it's stamped on the shank of the Berg Larsen does not always correspond to what the mouthpiece actually is... both facing, tip opening... and sometimes chambers.

When I had to sell a Berg Larsen mouthpeice... I always provided the model stamped, pics and more pics... and the actual tip opening (measured). (I've started to do this with modern Links as well)
Some people just like to have a 105/1 M, no matter the mouthpiece really is.
Some other people (... rational) wants a mouthpiece with a real 0,105" tip opening and possibly a real medium small chamber.

This helped me a lot when I had to sell mouthpieces made with a... fuzzy logic.
 

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Having owned hundreds of Bergs over three decades, during my buying and selling of vintage mouthpiece days, I can assure you that the recommendation to try the mouthpiece first is the right way to go—-because those pieces can be so incredibly inconsistent.

Just because one is a two and one is a three, doesn’t assure you that the three will be warmer. It is supposed to be warmer but that is certainly not always the case. The sizes stamped are typically not correct either so it’s a complete crapshoot.
If you want a darker and more mellow tone, a Berg wouldn’t be at the top of my list. Those pieces have a punch and grit built into them so it depends on what your definition of darker and mellower are.

If you want to send me an email, I’m happy to talk about this with you. Happy to make recommendations, and get you in the right direction once I find out more from you.


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All the best, Mark
 

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...a darker tone.
In general it's true that a lower baffle with a bullet shape (as opposed to a 'step') will tend toward a darker sound. However, a smaller tip will tend to brighten the sound as opposed to a wider tip which would be relatively darker. But those are general tendencies.

You should definitely talk to Mark (10MFan) who knows mpcs (to say the least) and can give you some excellent advice!
 

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Also, forgot to mention, the one I have now is SMS facing, while the 100/3 has M facing. I read somewhere that a longer M facing will help on sub tone. Is this also true?
Yes, that is true as long as Berg built the piece correctly.
 

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It is possible that there was a narrow time period where SMS facing lengths were different than M facing length. But in my measurements of all eras of Bergs I do not see a pattern. The letters seem to be stamped on to a wide range of facing lengths.
 

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I'm playing HR Bergs on alto and baritone, the baritone is numbered 130/3/M and the alto is numbered 85/1/M. The numbers on a Berg aren't accurate most of the time, the norm is for Berg tip openings to be .05 smaller than stamped but on my mouthpieces the alto measures a true 90 and the baritone is at 135! My baritone has the largest Berg chamber (3) but I wouldn't call it a large chamber mouthpiece, it's very much a medium chamber. I tried two recently made NEW VINTAGE metal tenors and they failed to function as saxophone moutjpieces. I've noticed there is more consistency in hard rubber Bergs to work well vs the metals. One of my friends who buys Bergs said the offset stamped mouthpieces in his experience always played and you could buy them with confidence in knowing they would play. Buying Bergs can be tricky and expensive, unless I'm getting a deal, I would only buy one with the option of returning it.
 

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But when it starts working..oh yeah !

I just recently picked up a nice Berg SS tenor mpc..yrs ago I had lost my 110/2/M, long story short recently I wanted another, so I found a 110/2/M..looks refaced, rails are super thin, tip is perfect, facing is smooth as glass, actually measures at .105 which is very comfortable to play.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
But when it starts working..oh yeah !

I just recently picked up a nice Berg SS tenor mpc..yrs ago I had lost my 110/2/M, long story short recently I wanted another, so I found a 110/2/M..looks refaced, rails are super thin, tip is perfect, facing is smooth as glass, actually measures at .105 which is very comfortable to play.
Yeah, I just tried a Rico Jazz Select 2S on my Berg 105/2 SMS and absolutely love it. It is a stock piece without being refaced.

Given the success, I decided to give a try on the stock 100/3 M.


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I have a great SS Scoopbill 100/2/Offset SMS Berg that I got years ago and have always enjoyed playing. It's not one of the real old ones with denim table marks but the offset makes it quite vintage nevertheless. In any case it's a fantastic player. For that reason I have to admit that I've always wanted to get more Bergs--like the bullet chamber duck bill and other scoopbills of different sizes--to see how they differ or are similar to mine, but sadly I don't have that kind of cash.

However I do have an a vintage Berg alto piece, a HR one that's a 90/0/Offset SMS that I bought off another member but never played much. Now that I'm back playing alto much more which I'm really getting into it. It's got the bullet chamber and sounds great with just about anything you put on it. Right now I'm playing it with a Legere tenor reed and it sounds great IMHO. Frankly it's hard to beat vintage Bergs IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Although not scientific, I feel Bergs are more consistent than Link STM. I have a 7*, 6*, two 6* NY, and they all played different!


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I don't know if anybody had the same experience and, because you have had many BL during decades, maybe you noticed what I did. When they took the factory from England to Belgium, the tip of the mouthpiece got really thicker. Not talking about the tip opening, but the thickness of the tip. It had a lot more material and I just could not get used to that change of design. Jumbo Java since then for me. I loved those BL from the very old age. My favorite chamber was number 1, SMS facing.

Having owned hundreds of Bergs over three decades, during my buying and selling of vintage mouthpiece days, I can assure you that the recommendation to try the mouthpiece first is the right way to go—-because those pieces can be so incredibly inconsistent.

Just because one is a two and one is a three, doesn’t assure you that the three will be warmer. It is supposed to be warmer but that is certainly not always the case. The sizes stamped are typically not correct either so it’s a complete crapshoot.
If you want a darker and more mellow tone, a Berg wouldn’t be at the top of my list. Those pieces have a punch and grit built into them so it depends on what your definition of darker and mellower are.

If you want to send me an email, I’m happy to talk about this with you. Happy to make recommendations, and get you in the right direction once I find out more from you.


[email protected]


All the best, Mark
 
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