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From another thread Mojo had suggested that the differences in my mouthpiece samples might have more to do with me altering my playing than the actual mouthpiece per say. I decided to put up a blind test on my website. I played 8 pieces some of which are admittedly pretty similar some that aren't. I tried to play the exact same phrase the exact same way and used the same reed and tried to blow with the same air. I have to admit I can hardly hear a difference in the recordings. http://www.neffmusic.com/cms/index....task=blogcategory&id=88888893&Itemid=88888908 Steve
 

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Yikes - I thought #3 sounded a little more forward at first listen but not so much different on second hearing.

Amazing to consider the breadth of designs - from the LAW Buzzer to the Lamberson J7.

I guess it'll be easy to clean the ol' mouthpiece box after this, eh? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm trying to figure out how to get a wav file to play on there. the other thing is I recorded them about a foot from the mic but I was in a garage with a slight echo. I'm wondering if I was in a dry room and a little further from the mic if that would make a larger difference.
 

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Hey Steve listening to these clips was a little bit reveling....they sounded very similer to me....I was almost afriad to vote...I liked #6 and the last time I remember that I liked the Hard Rubber LInk so I wonder where I stand this time.....very interesting ehh..:?

Steve
 

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I enjoyed that. I won't say how I answered as I think it's good for people to make up their own minds without prejudice. I do think however that a large part of our tone is generated by "us" not our equipment!
 

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Thanks Steve, this was very interesting. I kept on clicking for about 15 minutes I think and after that I went for the one that I thought stood out on my first run. But it seems they sound like you for sure. :)
 

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I love this from Steve's website:

Tenor Saxophone Selmer Super Balanced Action tenor - JVW refaced STM Metal Link 8 + others
 

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The other day I played around with a bunch of mouthpieces in my drawer and I definitely sounded different to myself whilst I was playing - I emphasise that because I do think as Steve himself said on his web page that the player might get all sorts of different feedback that the listener may not be getting. Also, 5 or so out of the 8 of Steve's mouthpieces are very much subtle variations of the same theme of course. I think at that level it really is at least as much about player feedback as it is about actual tone or projection differences.
 

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They do all sound very much alike. I think part of that has to do with the recordings, my computer speakers, and hearing through an electronic medium. I'd bet some differences might be more apparent in a live setting, especially without a microphone.
 

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JL said:
They do all sound very much alike. I think part of that has to do with the recordings, my computer speakers, and hearing through an electronic medium. I'd bet some differences might be more apparent in a live setting, especially without a microphone.
Yea, with differences as subtle as you are trying to hear it helps to have a nice pro recording setup and playback gear... it sounded fine to me, though, and I could hear differences... I think it's easier to judge maybe though if you use the mouthpieces to play a live whole performance instead of just a pattern.
 

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coolsax2k7 said:
I could hear differences...
Really? Start with the easy question, please. Tell us which ones are the J7 (no baffle) and the LAW Buzzer (high baffle).
 

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I can hardly hear a difference. I think a few of them do sound nicer up in the higher register. One seems to be just a TAD darker than the rest and I like that one the best. All extremely simliar though. A LAW buzzer and a selmer soloist can sound the same?! This is definitely a GAS killer.
 

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I heard differences but they were subtle and I would hesitate to attribute them to the difference between mouthpieces against the different time around of performance. Even if there are perceivable and distinguishable differences it's plainly evident that they're very subtle - I really cannot imagine an audience noticing in the slightest.

BUT... in this experiment Steve was deliberately "playing the same" on all pieces. Of course in reality you pick the piece to suit the situation. I wouldn't say that this experiment therefore completely rules out the value of different styles of mouthpiece, but I would say that it's definitely showed just how much of our sounds come from us not the piece. Personally I think that's great news!
 

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#1

I liked #1 the best. Good on top and bottom with a rich soung.

#7 & #8 were on the bottom of my list. All the others sounded about the same.

I really don't know how well computer speakers reproduce sound but it can't be all that great.
 

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Perhaps we should be trying to get a mouthpiece that is comfortable to use and blows the way we like in terms of resistance and response etc and develop our tonal concept through technique.
 

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spiderjames said:
Perhaps we should be trying to get a mouthpiece that is comfortable to use and blows the way we like in terms of resistance and response etc and develop our tonal concept through technique.
Now there's a thought!
 

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You sound stellar on all of them Steve.Choosing one would be a mood of the day thing. I agree, an audience probably would find little to no difference.At best they could guess right and say that you are playing a tenor sax.It sure is tough choosing a fav.I went with #1.
 

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Thats it I have decided that I will stick with the very next mpc I play.(any bets) yeh right
 

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Dr G said:
Really? Start with the easy question, please. Tell us which ones are the J7 (no baffle) and the LAW Buzzer (high baffle).
I wasn't inclined to listen or think about it that carefully. What I meant was that I could at least notice a little difference between them, which sounded like it could be from changing mouthpieces. They didn't all sound like the exact same setup, especially some of the clips stood out slightly.

But, maybe he is fooling us all and they are all the same exact setup and he hasn't told us yet. Fess up, Nef!
 

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I liked 2 and 4 the best with #4 edging out #2 because #2 had a slightly nasal quality to it. 2 and 4 sounded fuller and rounder to me than the others.
That said, the differences were subtle enough that a bad soundman (or playing with other people)would make any difference unnoticeable.
 
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