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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just tried my friends sanborn drake and wasn't impressed . in the past Ive used dukoff,bellite ,jody super jet,jumbo java, beechler metal arb.I can work with any of these pieces in my collection and have gigged with all of them.but always looking for something better(like most of us )the drake did play easy but the entire high register felt constricted and altissimo was non existent with this piece.at least with the soft reeds i use.my friend bought 2 of them a 6 and a 7 and put a bg bite plate patch on it and when he removed it the entire bite plate came off. mind you this is a brand new 575.00 plus tax piece!! I have been trying to decide on whether to try a marienthal retro revival.i haven't tried one and I'm not sure if they even have a return policy so Im asking if anyone has played these pieces or if anyone has an opinion on them.
it seems like with my collection of alto pieces they each do something that I like but none do everything.the closest one that does it all for me is the beechler metal ARB but its the least comfortable to play . jumbo has a nice sound easy to play and perfect intonation. with the right reeds the dukoffs are are great but reed picky. super jet is a great piece but you have to have a harder reed to get the altissimo . at least for me. the super jet is a super easy player and reed friendly though . bellites sound good but require lots of hard work and are pretty resistant pieces so I continue to look . so any info on the new marienthal piece would be appreciated. thanks
 

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The Drake takes some time to get used to it but what i feel you'd really like since to me its a jack of all trades is the Jody Jazz DV
 

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Are you playing newer Beechler Bellite or vintage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do like the super jet . I’ve had tons of old bellites . Most were resistant and required hard work to get the sound . I did like the sound . I played a bellite 6 for years beginning in 1980 but they run from more responsive to stuffy for me . None were free blowing. I’ve had a few Jody do and they play really nice but for me I couldn’t get the altissimo notes easily like I can with all the other pieces . I like more powerful pieces . The super jet smoked the DVD’s for what I like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Doesn’t seem like too many people play the retro revival marienthal yet. I’ve been playing the arb for like 8 -10 hours a day for 2 weeks trying to get comfortable with it . I’ve played it off and on for 10 years so it would be nice to find one that’s comfortable and does it all . I appreciate all input from my fellow sax players.
 

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at least with the soft reeds i use.
None were free blowing. I’ve had a few Jody do and they play really nice but for me I couldn’t get the altissimo notes easily like I can with all the other pieces . I like more powerful pieces . The super jet smoked the DV’s for what I like.

The Marienthal mouthpiece is not a high baffle mouthpiece... medium small chamber, long windows, with a nice floor slope.
It sounds clear but not bright all the time, even blowing softly.


The Drake is bright as a Dukoff clone has to be.
Soft reeds don't work on Drake.
As well as reeds with thin tip and thick vamp... they don't work properly.

Both can be great mouthpieces... but they are very far from each other in terms of design and sound concept.


To me, looks like you are more comforable with pieces with less baffle but smaller chamber. (according to the fact you prefer the Jody Jazz Super Jet and ARB/Beechler over Jody Jazz DV/Drake Sanborn).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought that all the mouthpieces I like are high baffle . Yea your right the drake doesn’t work with my reeds. The super jet, dukoffs , jumbos and arb are all high baffle pieces.the pics I see of the marienthal look like a high baffle piece to me . The drake was bright as it gets �� but didn’t cooperate for me in the high register. Kind of choked off and for the biteplate to come off an expensive piece like that made me wonder. Although the piece was high quality and impeccably finished
 

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The Marienthal is a medium bright mouthpiece... that can provide a bright sound quite easily.
It's clear sounding but not as bright as a Dukoff.
Because it was not designed for that level and kind of brightness, although the brightness range available is similar at certain dynamics.


A Dukoff clone is bright and ""shrill"".
It's a different type of brightness and it compress the air in a different way.
A Drake requires some resistance from the reed
Beechlers (and clones) provides more resistance due to their design (thinner but longer window, thicker rails... shorter facing...).
Softer reeds don't help on alto and altissimo... if the facing is longer.
Because the (soft) reed bends too much over the facing, leaving less space for the air to flow in.


To be clear:
Beechler "Custom", former Marienthal mouthpiece (I see no high baffle).



Retro Revival Eric Marienthal Special (I still se no high baffle):




ARB (I can see a high baffle):



Drake Sanborn (... high baffle)
 

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I currently own the brand new Sanborn Drake #7 .080, the brand new retro-revival Eric Marienthal #7 .085, and the Ted Klum contemporary Alto mouthpiece.080! In my opinion they are all amazing! I don’t believe I will ever sell any of them. If your an Alto player who likes metal.......then just keep them all. That being said...pick your favorite and just stick with it for a few months to get acclimated to it. I do want to point out JD that the new Drake “David Sanborn”mouthpiece does NOT have a bite plate. Your friends “Sanborn” is not the new one if it has a bite plate.....hence why you are not impressed. I will tell you that this new “Sanborn” mouthpiece is a home run and will do anything that you want on it. For me it is a very balanced mouthpiece....meaning that it’s not to bright and not to dark plus it’s reed friendly. Regarding the retro-revival Eric Marienthal #7 .085 (size that he uses) is a great mouthpiece. It is much darker than the Sanborn or Ted Klum Contemporary! That being said one must give it time before giving it a full opinion. I have not yet given it the specific time needed yet to get the full benefits. Just listen to Erick play it and you will understand that it’s not the arrow but the Indian. Great mouthpiece and very reed friendly! I know JD that you didn’t mention the Ted Klum mouthpiece but I feel that it’s in the same neighborhood to your liking. This Ted Klum “Contemporary” mouthpiece is outstanding. In my opinion it is nicely balanced and reed friendly. It has a beautiful sound and can do whatever you want on it. Home Run piece! I have not settled on one of them yet but I will say that the Klum is currently on my horn! Good Luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Agree with all of that but google retro revival pics . Most show a high baffle . This one that you show look different then most of the pics I found . You make valid points but I’m wondering if you have experience playing these pieces . Or just theorizing looking at pics . Dukoffs don’t always sound shrill if played by experienced players
 

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Agree with all of that but google retro revival pics . Most show a high baffle . This one that you show look different then most of the pics I found.
You are totally right.

I took the picture of the RetroRevival from their official website: https://retro-revival.com/products/rr-modern-line-eric-marienthal-special-alto-saxophone-mouthpiece
It seems to be confusing to understand the actual design of the mouthpiece for sale.
There are pictures of both... baffled mouthpiece (ARB style) and not baffled mouthpiece (Beechler style).
Go figure what you'll receive when you order it... :faceinpalm:



The original Marienthal mouthpiece by Beechler had no high baffle (not a low floor slope, but no high baffle).
 

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For anyone seeking that kind of bright, edgy "studio" sound, might I suggest the Bob Magnuson MAG Studio 1 mouthpiece? (dukoff clone)

Bob himself has a lot of Sanborn in his tone and style when playing that mouthpiece. They come in one tip opening only, 7* and he finishes them by hand. The way you can purchase one is pretty unique. He will video call you and playtest 4 mouthpieces so that you can hear how they perform and choose the one you perceive to be better. I'm thinking this type of buying procedure would eliminate most quality control issues since those would be apparent when Bob is doing the playtesting.

It's a very cheap alternative to the ARB and Drake mouthpieces, costing half as much. Look him up on youtube if you're interested.
 

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There is NO bite plate (!) on the actual Sanborn metal model (it's a solid metal piece, just like your Super Jet). There is a "resin Sanborn" model for far cheaper...maybe that's what you're talking about (?)...so it might be best to clarify you're not even discussing the Sanborn Master Series metal model...I'd humbly suggest that you clarify for the manufacturer's sake regarding quality. And if you are talking about the metal piece, I sure hope you're not talking about a trivial bite plate adhesive patch. For the record, I have zero commercial interest here.
As far as altissimo...facing curve length & dimension + tip opening + reed strength...Sanborn plays relatively soft reeds...on an 0.090" tip (relatively open for sure on alto)...the balance for executing altissimo involves tip/facing/reeds...he seems to be able to get around up there just fine...& note he rarely plays anything above D4.
If you're having trouble accessing that upper octave with a Sanborn metal 7...well, consider bumping up your reed strength even by a half, or changing reed source...then spend a few minutes/hours working on it. The Drake is not a Super Jet, not an ARB (I agree they can be resistant, but then again, Eric M. gets around just fine on that, & can blow the roof off).
 

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felt constricted and altissimo was non existent with this piece.at least with the soft reeds i use.
Did you play test your friends Drake Sunborn with 3 or 4 brand new fresh reeds? Fresh unused reeds are the only accurate way to know what a new mouthpiece is about.
 

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If you have the chance buy a fresh box of reeds in the size you use and a fresh box in half a size up. Then play test it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did you play test your friends Drake Sunborn with 3 or 4 brand new fresh reeds? Fresh unused reeds are the only accurate way to know what a new mouthpiece is about.
maybe for you it is I use softer fibracell sand have for over 25 years.they didn’t work on the drake and work will on other mouthpieces . Just didn’t like the drake. My friend who bought them is switching back to Dukoff’s too
Did you play test your friends Drake Sunborn with 3 or 4 brand new fresh reeds? Fresh unused reeds are the only accurate way to know what a new mouthpiece is about.
 

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FWIW I have the Drake Sanborn 7 tip VR arriving soon. I’ll pop up an audio of it once I’ve sorted reeds etc I haven’t played the RR Marienthal special. I have heard Eric on it and TBH I think I preferred the Bellite sound. I do have a Bellite in an 8 tip and it’s a bit reed picky but with the right one it records very well. I just have an issue finding an adhesive bite plate that’ll stay on for longer than 5 minutes. Playing without one is okay but not ideal.
 

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FWIW I have the Drake Sanborn 7 tip VR arriving soon. I’ll pop up an audio of it once I’ve sorted reeds etc I haven’t played the RR Marienthal special. I have heard Eric on it and TBH I think I preferred the Bellite sound. I do have a Bellite in an 8 tip and it’s a bit reed picky but with the right one it records very well. I just have an issue finding an adhesive bite plate that’ll stay on for longer than 5 minutes. Playing without one is okay but not ideal.
I too prefer his sound on the Bellite, to me it has a stronger V shape to the sound. More bottom end, and yet still more "sparkle" in the very top end of the frequency spectrum. I think his tone is more saturated with high mids with the new RR special.
 
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