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Hi all. I'm looking for a good soprano mpc. Not exactly sure what kind of specs I'm looking for, largely guessing here so I'm gonna puke out everything I know and feel about mouthpieces... So maybe you can give some pointers to the right directions. Sorry about the wall of text!

I like flexibility in tone and dynamic, but with the soprano intonation being tricky already, maybe a too unwieldy piece might be too challenging to play in tune.. On soprano specifically I think I lean towards a darker classical sound, definitely not growly or buzzy I can do that on tenor. Nat Birchall here has pretty nice soprano tone and style of playing I enjoy on this Matthew Halsall song:


(especially the low register tone is lovely. I don't mind a slight oboe-like quality). Maybe I sometimes try to sound like a clarinet, klezmerish gypsy style, so there's that. But it's also important to be able to play quiet.

I played a long time with a cheap plastic buescher stock piece, didn't feel good. Tried a Bari Esprit, it was better but wasn't really exciting - made the sop sound more like high pitch tenor. I think it was also too closed and I can't move enough air so I need to empty my lungs as well as inhale on breathmarks. Now I'm playing with Yamaha 6C which is the best piece I know of. But it has no balls in the lower register. I also think I would prefer a longer facing, the Yamaha is not very flexible tone-wise or dynamic-wise. But it does have a nice singing tone quality.

If it helps. On tenor I used a Yamaha 7C for a long time. It was okay. Then moved on to Saxcape Xtra Dark .110 prototype. It sounded pretty much the same as the Yamaha, only better in every way - more flexible tone, more even registers, better dynamics etc. I believe long facing curve was the biggest distinguishing factor here. Not that I measured it, but the way I could move around my jaw around to shape the sound with the saxcape, I think it's the facing.

I've had a tenor Ponzol M2 Stainless .105 for about two weeks and... wow.. it's quite the different beast. I like the looks and smaller beak profile of metal. It's very easy to play and very very flexible to the point of unwieldiness I'm still learning to control. I feel like I can shape the tone as I wish, it's easy to play quiet subtones, yet it can go so loud it's scary (I don't need huge amounts of volume, and would need earplugs to explore further). The register break is very even and intonation is also better than the Yamaha & Saxscape.

The Ponzol tries to steer me toward rock style sound especilly in louder volumes, but as I learn the piece it seems I start to sound more like my dark-ish self (in a good way). I like having the growly rock sound available though. I like the M2 a lot but probably need to spend more time with it to know whether it's the best match for me. But pretty sure I don't want the high baffle rock style buzzy tendencies on a soprano piece.

So... maybe, maybe I'm looking for an easy to play soprano piece with dark-ish sound, medium to wide tip, long facing, a with small to nonexistent baffle? And cheap-ish, and preferably metal... haha. Any suggestions?
 

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Ponzol Vintage HR, cheap alternative Bari Esprit.
 

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I will simply say that 1) it is all about the player and less about the mouthpiece and/or instrument; 2) the reed being used at the time is critical (not the brand or cut or strength, the actual single reed being used at the time - they vary reed-to-reed; 3) each player will have different results with the same equipment and reed.

The recording you posted featured a rather bright-sounding soprano to my ears. But we each hear things differently, too, and my assessment of this guy's sound will not be the same as others who heard him. For my embouchure, set-up, and experience, I get that kind of tone when I play mouthpieces with a closer tip-opening. Specifically, I just did a comparison yesterday among my closed-tip pieces (a Selmer Soloist C*, a Selmer S-80-D, an S-80-C*, and a Yamaha 4C) with a lightly-adjusted Vandoren ZZ #2 reed, and found the Selmers were much more focused than the 4C. The 4C sounded much darker to my ears.

What to take away from that? Not much because it was me and not you. FWIW, I've always favored open tips on soprano (like in the .070 range with highly adjusted #2 reeds) and I played in non-amplified acoustic environments. The results were almost always a strong sound but much more saxophone-like than oboeish. Now that I'm slowing down in my gigging as well as increasing in age (well, we all increase in age), I'm favoring the closed pieces. In this process, I find that Selmer pieces are more focused than others in my box. DAVE
 
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