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Discussion Starter #1
It's now nearing the end of my senior year in high school. After realizing how much I actually enjoy playing, I've recently started to get serious about it. Getting a full ride to college on a music scholarship didn't hurt my motivation either.

Well now that I'm more serious about it, I'm not entirely happy with my tone or current set up. My saxophone I'm perfectly happy with. I just can't seem to find a decent ligature and mouthpiece combo that I'm happy with. Granted, I haven't tried too many examples. So far I've tried a Brilhart Ebolin (came with my first Bundy tenor), a WWBW generic piece they sent me with the tenor, a soloist C* (way too bright for me - sold it on eBay), and my current piece: Selmer C**. I switch back and forth between a Rovner Dark and a Vandoren Klassik string ligature. I use a Vandoren 3 or 3 1/2. I know good tone starts with the player, but I think I could do a little better at least with a new mouthpiece and/or ligature.

Now, after scowering the forums, I've narrowed it down to a couple choices: Morgan 3C or Vandoren Optimum TL3. I'm open to others, but I liked what I read about those.

The tenor sound I admire the most is Yasushi Arai (Trouvere Quartet - Nobuya Sugawa's group in Japan. Also, if anyone has any more recordings of these guys, PM me please. I only have the one I got while I was in Japan and I can't find any more.) Well anyway, a mouthpiece that would get me somewhere close to the darkness and warmth of Arai or Houlik would be nice.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Hi I was playing on a Selmer C* until recently on tenor, but as you say also, it wasn't quite the sound I was looking for.
When I went mouthpiece shopping, I found the same with all Selmers (S80, S90 and Soloist).
As soon as I put on the Vandoren TL3 I loved it. Great sound, very warm and dark, in and around the break especially (which I found wasn't so good on the Selmers). Projection is one slight problem though as I'm sure the I can't quite get the same volume yet as I could on my Selmer.
 

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With the C** (S80?) I think you have a nice mpc, maybe first give it enough time to really get used to it and explore the possibillities. I didn't compare on tenor but on alto C* and AL3 didn't make all that much difference. The Morgan will be something else and might sound full and dark, but I'm biased because it's what I prefer on tenor.

I noticed you speak german too ;)
 

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I found the same thing on a Tenor Mouthpiece. I have not used another Tenor mouthpiece except for my S80 C**. The problem could be a much cheaper ligature problem. What ligature I use a Rovner Eddie Daniels. I think they may have stopped making them. But it gives me the sound I am looking for. You might try to find one.
 

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paulmac said:
As soon as I put on the Vandoren TL3 I loved it. Great sound, very warm and dark, in and around the break especially (which I found wasn't so good on the Selmers). Projection is one slight problem though as I'm sure the I can't quite get the same volume yet as I could on my Selmer.
I recently picked up a TL4, and I think that it's outstanding--still dark and rich, but more open and capable of a wider dynamic range than the TL3. The TL4 and Morgan 3C are my two personal favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Grumpie said:
With the C** (S80?) I think you have a nice mpc, maybe first give it enough time to really get used to it and explore the possibillities. I didn't compare on tenor but on alto C* and AL3 didn't make all that much difference. The Morgan will be something else and might sound full and dark, but I'm biased because it's what I prefer on tenor.

I noticed you speak german too ;)
I like the mouthpiece, don't get me wrong. I've been using it for about 6-8 months now and can't seem to get it "just right". I just want something a little different. From what I've read, the Morgan seems the way to go.

Yep I speak german haha about 99.99% of my family is from there...



Carbs said:
I found the same thing on a Tenor Mouthpiece. I have not used another Tenor mouthpiece except for my S80 C**. The problem could be a much cheaper ligature problem. What ligature I use a Rovner Eddie Daniels. I think they may have stopped making them. But it gives me the sound I am looking for. You might try to find one.
I've used different ligatures. The Eddie Daniels included. A friend of mine has the ED, and i don't like it that much. I briefly tried it, so maybe I should give it more time.



SaxyAcoustician said:
You expected a difference going from a C* to a C**??

Try a Meyer 8M or 9M. And no, I'm not kidding.
Well I did find a difference. It was from a Soloist C* to an S80 C**, two totally different pieces.

Isn't the Meyer considered a Jazz piece?
 

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For classical saxophone I like the Caravan Mouthpieces. Give one of them a try. I have one for alto, tenor and soprano and I have been happy with them.

Chris
 

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Try to find an old Woodwind Co tenor piece, beautiful dark but resonant classical tone. And don't fret about ligature, as long as it fits the mouthpiece it makes no difference to the sound if the mouthpiece and lig are in good condition. And as long as you aren't worrying whether the ligature affects your sound, you will play much better than if you worry about it.
 

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Caravan mouthpieces can sound beautiful on tenor, but projection is limited. If you really push a Caravan, you run into two problems -- the setup closes off and the tone stops, or you just top out at forte-ish. The facing is just too close. Great for chamber music, counterproductive for concertos.

In my opinion for tenor saxo, the facing must be more open than what you are used to on higher voices. Don't rule out a more open Meyer facing. It is a jazz mouthpiece, but with sufficient voicing control, you can definitely make these work for concert tenor. In my time among great concert tenor players, I have heard two get beautifully big and rounded tones from Meyer mouthpieces. The Houlik mouthpiece is another one to seriously consider. Also, a Morgan or Bilger (used to be made by Morgan) on the open side.

Supposedly SaxHotShot's kid brother sounds beautiful on an Otto Link on tenor.

Try everything.

Angel
 

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I played a tenor concerto with our band(one that is on Sugawa's recent sax and band concertos CD) on a metal Otto Link 7* with a plasticover reed--It felt great and some people told me it sounded really "buttery." For me, especially on tenor, I can subtone and really 'cover' up a bright, open tenor piece and get a nice, round legit tone rather than push a closed "legit" mouthpiece. You need projection on tenor...

Otto Link, Meyer or Morgan are a great choices...


PS If you get a stock link...send it to the MASTER mouthpiece refacer and clarinet prof at Oberlin...RICHARD HAWKINS...he's great...tell him I sent you

Nitro
 

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nitrosax said:
I played a tenor concerto with our band(one that is on Sugawa's recent sax and band concertos CD) on a metal Otto Link 7* with a plasticover reed--It felt great and some people told me it sounded really "buttery." For me, especially on tenor, I can subtone and really 'cover' up a bright, open tenor piece and get a nice, round legit tone rather than push a closed "legit" mouthpiece. You need projection on tenor...
Hehe...

I sent a recording of a legit recital to my high school sax teacher and much later told him I was playing a metal Otto Link on tenor. He couldn't believe it.

Just goes to show: A mouthpiece does not a style make.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
nitrosax said:
I played a tenor concerto with our band(one that is on Sugawa's recent sax and band concertos CD) on a metal Otto Link 7* with a plasticover reed--It felt great and some people told me it sounded really "buttery." For me, especially on tenor, I can subtone and really 'cover' up a bright, open tenor piece and get a nice, round legit tone rather than push a closed "legit" mouthpiece. You need projection on tenor...

Otto Link, Meyer or Morgan are a great choices...


PS If you get a stock link...send it to the MASTER mouthpiece refacer and clarinet prof at Oberlin...RICHARD HAWKINS...he's great...tell him I sent you

Nitro

i have a stock metal otto link that i never really use anymore. i don't remember what facing it is or anything.

i'm pretty sure i've decided on the morgan, except i can't find anyone that his it in stock...
 

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What kind of horn are you playing? Where will you be going to school? Does that school have a particular teaching style that they are known for? Some professors have certain equipment preferences while others don't.

Houlik has the best tenor tone I have ever heard. He plays the equivalent of a Morgan 5L. You really can't go wrong with one of these. Ralph Morgan and his team makes great pieces that are hand finished. Another alternative would be to try an Otto Link 5 in hard rubber. In terms of ligatures I have found that I prefer metal ligs. I use a Bonade on my Otto Link hard rubber at the moment. When I play my great neck Brilhart I use a vintage Selmer Paris Lig.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hurling Frootmig said:
What kind of horn are you playing? Where will you be going to school? Does that school have a particular teaching style that they are known for? Some professors have certain equipment preferences while others don't.

Houlik has the best tenor tone I have ever heard. He plays the equivalent of a Morgan 5L. You really can't go wrong with one of these. Ralph Morgan and his team makes great pieces that are hand finished. Another alternative would be to try an Otto Link 5 in hard rubber. In terms of ligatures I have found that I prefer metal ligs. I use a Bonade on my Otto Link hard rubber at the moment. When I play my great neck Brilhart I use a vintage Selmer Paris Lig.
my horn is in my sig: it's a selmer serie III.

i'll be attending indian river community college. it's a community college but the director is phenomenal, and comes highly recommended by my current director, who may be one of the best directors in the state of florida. i'm not sure if there is really a particular teaching style they're known for, but i'm sure he wouldn't mind if i sounded like houlik.

my current director shuns any sort of Jazz mouthpiece (because most students that get one that he's had sound horribly bright on them i'm sure) so I'm reluctant to order anything marketed as a jazz mouthpiece, like the morgan 5L.

i suppose what i'll do is order the 5L right now, see how i like it, then order a 3C once they come back into stock and compare. then sell the one i don't like.

i think i'll just keep the string ligature for now, since the general consensus is that it doesn't really make a huge difference as long as the reed is properly seated on the mouthpiece.



thanks for all the help guys. :)
 

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I would strongly recommend a Vandoren V5 T-20. Given your comments about previous mouthpiece attempts, which were similar indeed to mine, I think you might REALLY like this mouthpiece, and the price is about half what you will find yourself paying for the Morgan. Don't get me wrong, morgan makes a fine mouthpiece, I play on a Morgan 6M on my Alto, I would just suggest you try the V5, one of the most underrated classical pieces out there for tenor. I would also suggest a Selmer D.
 

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Interestingly enough James Houlik is playing a Serie III these days. I know he's played a number of different mouthpieces over the years. At one point he was playing on a Morgan-Bilger piece that Ralph indicated was the same as the L series. I've heard that he is playing his own brand of large chambered pieces these days.

I spent a lot of time playing a 3C (heck I have two) and then switched to the 5L and a 7L for more projection. These days I'm playing on a hard rubber link that I slightly modified as the Morgan's had a bit more bite than I wanted in my tone. Although I may have to try out my trusty old 3C at some point for old times sake.

BTW, your equipment isn't in your sig but it may be in your profile.
 

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Houlik is playing on a modified Selmer Series III tenor with a Houlik mouthpiece and Rovner Eddie Daniels II ligature. The Houlik mouthpiece is a very open yet very short facing with a very large chamber. One time I yelled into it and actually heard an echo.

Angel
 

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affenarschgeil said:
i have a stock metal otto link that i never really use anymore. i don't remember what facing it is or anything.

i'm pretty sure i've decided on the morgan, except i can't find anyone that his it in stock...

www.junkdude.com

You can't go wrong with a Morgan 3C on tenor.
 
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