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Discussion Starter #1
Ladies and gentlemen, for the low, low price of around $20 you can have the first low-cost, mass produced sopranino saxophone mouthpiece! Okay, technically it's a Rico Graftonite soprano piece I sawed the back end off of. And I had to add Teflon tape to my neck cork for it to fit snugly, but it works. So make that $20 plus the price of Teflon tape and a cutting implement, if you don't already have them.

My Legere 'nino reeds were just barely wide enough, but still played top to bottom. Soprano reeds also work, obviously, but are a little long and may affect the octave mechanism.

Tuning is a little iffy, and my neck is bumping into the baffle, so a little chamber work may be needed. I've only put about 5 minutes of playing time into this, giggling like a child between notes. The B7 facing (.065") is a little wider than I'd like, really, but as a proof-of-concept I'm pretty happy with it.

The inspiration for this was an old thread where someone was looking for a large chamber 'nino piece (before the Caravan came out, I think), and someone recommended modifying a soprano piece to play. Graftonites are cheap, and I wasn't using it, and I'd already cut the shank off of a Metalite because it was a little long on my soprano, so I thought, "Why not put it on the 'nino?"

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I made the same at the time when I had a nino,
the mouthpiece didin't play good and in tune at all :|
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I put a little more time on it this evening, and honestly, I don't hate it. Could be nice for those jazz gigs where only a sopranino will do. Intonation wasn't terrible. Wasn't perfect, but with a little more practice I'm sure this would actually be a decent piece, even if only as a backup to leave in the case for emergencies. I do need to be a little more observant while applying teflon tape to the cork.
 

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IMHO the sopranino takes a lot of effort to play consistently in tune. You have the quirks of each individual instrument, the mouthpiece and the inconsistency of cane reeds. That's a lot of adjustment! The trick is to try to make as many of these issues consistent so that you have fewer variables. Using the same instrument and mouthpiece are obvious good choices. If you've got a good ear then you will (automatically?) adjust to the quirks of the instrument and the mouthpiece and only have to work on the reed to get it to the right degree of play-ability.

For some time I played a Yanagisawa sopranino. It's quirk was needing to massively tighten my embouchure for all notes above B2. That's fine, but then I moved on to other sopraninos and it took a long time for that "automatic" tightening for the high notes to go away. If you're using a sop mouthpiece and put in enough time you will eventually adjust to those quirks...which can be all over the place. If the mouthpiece is just OK, but not really that good, you could be doing yourself a massive disservice in having to adjust twice (to get it...then get out of it).

Take home message: have fun when goofing around with gear, but don't get used to it unless you REALLY want to just use that mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If the mouthpiece is just OK, but not really that good, you could be doing yourself a massive disservice in having to adjust twice (to get it...then get out of it).

Take home message: have fun when goofing around with gear, but don't get used to it unless you REALLY want to just use that mouthpiece.
The main reason I did this was to see if it could be done, and because I have too much free time. This mouthpiece definitely won't replace my Caravan, but it's better than the plastic stock piece that came with the horn. And again, as a jazz mouthpiece it's not so bad. Decent tone and intonation, easily plays the full range of the horn.

Next up I'm going to try reducing the bore with JB Weld so that it fits on my cork without needing Teflon tape, which will also probably change the tone and tuning. If it kills the piece I'm only out the $12 I spent on the rarely used mouthpiece plus the cost of the JB Weld and Teflon tape.
 
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