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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard it said that older,(as in vintage) horns favor larger mouthpieces. Is this true? In what way? Tip opening? Chamber?
Just wondering what you all think.
Thanks!
 

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Not really. Where did you hear that?

Some favour large chambers, some don't. Tip opening is up to the player, not the horn.
Volume is also a factor of tip opening, e.g., a HR Link 8 has a larger volume than a HR Link 6 due to the additional reed compliance. If you really like a certain mouthpiece chamber type, but it is acoustically a little small for your horn, you can try a larger tip opening to make a better match.
 

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It also may depend on the shape and volume of the neck. The angular accuteness in curvature of a neck may lead a horn to "favor" mouthpieces of certain characteristics. Same with necks of large volume. I have a Cannonball tenor with two different necks. The "normal" neck seems to produce a more complete (richer) sound with small volume mouthpieces. The fat neck likes large volume mouthpieces. Of course, this is what I, an inexperienced player, hear.

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Some older sax players favor larger mouthpieces...:)
 

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Some vintage Conn tenors seem to do better with larger-chambered pieces, or at least seem less likely to have intonation issues than they do with smaller-chambered pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not really. Where did you hear that?

Some favour large chambers, some don't. Tip opening is up to the player, not the horn.
I was questioning altissimo response on my old Buescher and I was told that older horns like bigger mouthpieces by a reputable vintage sax dealer. Since then, I've solved that problem on my own...
 

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There is no question that there was a far different concept of saxophone tone in the era when many of these saxophones were made. That sound was in part created by the large chamber mouthpieces with narrow tip openings, the types of pads and resonators, and in some cases lower key heights.

That said, it is my belief and understanding that the volume inside the mouthpiece needs to be a good match for that of the missing cone of the instrument. I know this has been a hotly debated topic by some on this forum, but I am of the opinion that said volume matching of the mouthpiece to that of the missing cone can also be accomplished by a longer mouthpiece with a narrower chamber.

In my opinion, the factor most often overlooked when there are intonation problems when matching mouthpieces of newer design with older vintage saxophones is the mouthpiece input pitch which is largely controlled by the player. Essentially when the input pitch less than ideal, the saxophone is out of tune with A=440. To adjust, the player adjusts the mouthpiece placement on the cork to bring the tuning note in tune. This changes the volume inside the mouthpiece which in turn causes the pitch relationships of the sax itself to be out of tune with one another. Then the player blames the mouthpiece for the intonation problems because the "mouthpiece doesn't match the horn".
 

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There is no question that there was a far different concept of saxophone tone in the era when many of these saxophones were made. That sound was in part created by the large chamber mouthpieces with narrow tip openings, the types of pads and resonators, and in some cases lower key heights.

That said, it is my belief and understanding that the volume inside the mouthpiece needs to be a good match for that of the missing cone of the instrument. I know this has been a hotly debated topic by some on this forum, but I am of the opinion that said volume matching of the mouthpiece to that of the missing cone can also be accomplished by a longer mouthpiece with a narrower chamber.

In my opinion, the factor most often overlooked when there are intonation problems when matching mouthpieces of newer design with older vintage saxophones is the mouthpiece input pitch which is largely controlled by the player. Essentially when the input pitch less than ideal, the saxophone is out of tune with A=440. To adjust, the player adjusts the mouthpiece placement on the cork to bring the tuning note in tune. This changes the volume inside the mouthpiece which in turn causes the pitch relationships of the sax itself to be out of tune with one another. Then the player blames the mouthpiece for the intonation problems because the "mouthpiece doesn't match the horn".
Right John. The greatest saxophone can play no better than the match of it's mouthpiece. Oboists and bassoonists deal with this issue daily. Brass players are always "popping" their mouthpieces to check the input pitch. Clarinet players don't have to worry about it, since their instrument is cylindrical. Sax players, the babies of wind instrument players, need to grow up and learn these essential things about their instruments. :binky:
 

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Some vintage Conn tenors seem to do better with larger-chambered pieces, or at least seem less likely to have intonation issues than they do with smaller-chambered pieces.
I used to have an old conn, really old conn, really really old conn circa 1912. And the only mouthpiece that sounded good on that horn was a Double Eagle. Small tip really large chamber.

I really think that when some players buy vintage horns they want to have a vintage sound, so they pair them up with vintage mouthpieces. And the perception of sound for saxophone has changed a lot through out the years and with modern technology and modern materials, and of course the demand for a modern sound, players have started using smaller chambers for a slightly brighter sound with a bit more power. Again this is a personal choice and the idea of sound comes from within. It's your voice so let people hear it!!!
 

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...uhhh....what does missing cone of the instrument mean???
 

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There is no question that there was a far different concept of saxophone tone in the era when many of these saxophones were made. That sound was in part created by the large chamber mouthpieces with narrow tip openings, the types of pads and resonators, and in some cases lower key heights.

That said, it is my belief and understanding that the volume inside the mouthpiece needs to be a good match for that of the missing cone of the instrument. I know this has been a hotly debated topic by some on this forum, but I am of the opinion that said volume matching of the mouthpiece to that of the missing cone can also be accomplished by a longer mouthpiece with a narrower chamber.

In my opinion, the factor most often overlooked when there are intonation problems when matching mouthpieces of newer design with older vintage saxophones is the mouthpiece input pitch which is largely controlled by the player. Essentially when the input pitch less than ideal, the saxophone is out of tune with A=440. To adjust, the player adjusts the mouthpiece placement on the cork to bring the tuning note in tune. This changes the volume inside the mouthpiece which in turn causes the pitch relationships of the sax itself to be out of tune with one another. Then the player blames the mouthpiece for the intonation problems because the "mouthpiece doesn't match the horn".
Right John. The greatest saxophone can play no better than the match of it's mouthpiece. Oboists and bassoonists deal with this issue daily. Brass players are always "popping" their mouthpieces to check the input pitch. Clarinet players don't have to worry about it, since their instrument is cylindrical. Sax players, the babies of wind instrument players, need to grow up and learn these essential things about their instruments. :binky:
Surely there is a flaw if you use a mouthpiece whose extra volume is a result of length rather than extra volume on account of chamber and tip, in that volume affects tuning in the low register but length affects tuning in the upper register register.
 

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I had a 1939 Conn 10M that was probably the most "mouthpiece-friendly" horn I've ever owned. If the ergonomics weren't so bad I would have kept it.
 

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I've heard it said that older,(as in vintage) horns favor larger mouthpieces. Is this true? In what way? Tip opening? Chamber?
Generally, they mean chamber size. Some particular vintage horns are known to be quirky in this regard, but certainly not all. I use a vintage Buescher alto and soprano that both use modern styled mouthpieces. I've got an old Conn bari however, that will reject a modern mouthpiece like a bad liver transplant. It really depends upon both the make and type of horn you're talking about.

Often forgotten within these discussions is that you have to add in the varible that we all blow differently according to our unique physical make-up and style of play. That factor alone can override generalities in this regard.
 

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Brass players are always "popping" their mouthpieces to check the input pitch. Clarinet players don't have to worry about it, since their instrument is cylindrical.
That makes no sense to me at all. The brass "input pitch" is the pitch of the player's buzz into the mouthpiece. I taught brass playing for 32 years. One of the most useful drills for trumpets and cornets was to have the students take the mouthpiece off, buzz an F concert, and slowly bring the instrument and the mouthpiece together to "amplify" and "focus" the sound. The result is full and centered tone.

Surely there is a flaw if you use a mouthpiece whose extra volume is a result of length rather than extra volume on account of chamber and tip, in that volume affects tuning in the low register but length affects tuning in the upper register register.
This very topic has been the subject of a long and contentious debate on this very forum. From where do you get this information Pete?
 

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...uhhh....what does missing cone of the instrument mean???
Here is a simplified explanation paraphrased from the writings of Arthur Benade.

In order for the saxophone to behave harmonically as a completed cone, saxophone needs to "see" a cone to its apex at its truncated or cut off end. Of course the cone must be truncated for us to be able to attach a mouthpiece to blow into. The saxophone is fooled into thinking there is a completed cone at its end if the equivalent volume of the mouthpiece matches that of the hypothetical "missing cone" and when the pitch produced by the mouthpiece and neck is equal to the calculated harmonic frequency of the neck plus the missing cone. An illustration of the "missing cone" taken from Ernest Ferron's "The Saxophone is My Voice" which has some inaccuracies, but is a good starting text for anyone just beginning to learn about saxophone acoustics.​

 

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That makes no sense to me at all. The brass "input pitch" is the pitch of the player's buzz into the mouthpiece. I taught brass playing for 32 years. One of the most useful drills for trumpets and cornets was to have the students take the mouthpiece off, buzz an F concert, and slowly bring the instrument and the mouthpiece together to "amplify" and "focus" the sound. The result is full and centered tone.
Regardless of what is taught in Jr High/High School band class, every professional trumpet player I have seen in the last 40 years has "popped" their mouthpiece, to check it's "popping" frequency off the instrument, and for a very good reason. Benade devotes pages to describing the considerable significance of this in his highly regarded Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics. You should check it out, pp. 415-418, since you teach brass playing. This information is as essential as volume/Frs is for conical woodwinds.
 
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