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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys...

i've been wondering a phrase that my college conductor told me. he once said you can sound fantastic with a great mpc and a lousy horn. but u can never sound good with a lousy mpc with a great horn.

How true is the above statement??
 

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prettygood description I would say. The mouthpiece is the part where the sound originates (well, in your mind and mouth....and then in the mouthpiece) if you have a lousy or not suitable mouthpiece the horn can't correct the sound. On the other hand if you have a pearl of a mouthpiece but your horn is so messed up that playing in tune is above your capability to correct the intonation...... . A capable horn player can play passably almost anything and would play wonderfully the deserving equipment.
 

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I think lousy is a bit strong. If your horn is truly lousy you will have a difficult time. It is difficult to overcome various leaks, etc. However, if you have a student model type horn in good adjustment with a good mouthpiece you should be fine.

When I have a good student who owns a student model instrument and is looking to upgrade their saxophone, I always have them upgrade their mouthpiece first and that usually allows them to hold off on the new instrument for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree..

I played for my sister's wedding the other time.. 3 years back. I used a Bundy II alto with a kessler custom short shank and it sounded great as compared to it on my Julius Keilwerth(vintage but with serveral problems.. esp intonation. i suppose there were some leaks even though it was fixed.. think i had to change the pads.)

And i played "Morning" with my girlfriend on the piano.

Any professionals out there playing a intermediate horn or a student horn?
 

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I generally tell my students that, in my experience, the closer it is to your face, the more important it is in the creation of your sound. Thus, assuming that their saxophone won't introduce other problems in terms of response or intonation, I have them deal with reed, mouthpiece, ligature, and even neck before they worry about the rest of the system. Of course, the closest thing to them is themselves--oral cavity and embouchure will trump all of the above.

This is where the sound is created--the saxophone simply attenuates that sound to different frequencies. The subtle differences between instruments that a professional may discern are hardly a concern for beginners, high-school, and even many college students.
 

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an0de said:
hi guys...

i've been wondering a phrase that my college conductor told me. he once said you can sound fantastic with a great mpc and a lousy horn. but u can never sound good with a lousy mpc with a great horn.

How true is the above statement??
If you are on a tight budget I trully believe you are better spending disproportionately on the mouthpiece. A $150 mouthpiece on a $500 horn sounds a lot better than a $20 mouthpiece on a $630 horn.
 

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I agree too. A nice student Vito (Yamaha) alto/tenor is a very nice sounding horn with a regular mpc and really nice with a nice mpc.

Put a badly faced student etc mpc on a mkVI and it is still going to squeak and squak
 

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an0de said:
hi guys...

i've been wondering a phrase that my college conductor told me. he once said you can sound fantastic with a great mpc and a lousy horn. but u can never sound good with a lousy mpc with a great horn.

How true is the above statement??
This is true. But it's much better to have both...
 

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Why not get both--a good horn and a good mpc. But i agree the mpc is essential and probably the more important factor. Still, you want a good horn. Then of course you have to learn to play.
 

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JL said:
Why not get both--a good horn and a good mpc. But i agree the mpc is essential and probably the more important factor. Still, you want a good horn. Then of course you have to learn to play.
Some of us have to live with a budget. Id love a top quality horn, but I have kids too and the two seem mutually exclusive on my income:(
 

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Canadiain said:
Some of us have to live with a budget. Id love a top quality horn, but I have kids too and the two seem mutually exclusive on my income:(
Yeah, good point. Of course to some extent it's a matter of priority. My horns cost me more than my car, for example. The car is plenty good enough to get me from point A to point B. I want the horn to do better than that.

Actually, I think you can find a pretty good horn for a decent price. By "good horn" I don't mean only a MKVI or Super 20, or other over-priced horn. But of course it's true a good mpc is essential.
 

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I'm for a balance. You need a horn with decent intonation, reasonable keywork, durable components, an OK action. You need a mouthpiece with a decent facing, tip and rails and a sensible baffle and chamber and of course in the right tip opening for the player.

A very general rule of thumb could be to spend between 10% and 15% of your total budget on the mouthpiece. So if you have $1,000 to spend then $100-150 goes on the mouthpiece and $850-900 goes on the sax (assuming you don't find an amazing bargain for one or the other of course).
 

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The problem with such a general rule is that $$$ doesn't equal quality. Mouthpieces are too personal to let $$$ be the deciding factor. Then there is the compatibility issue. Some pieces just don't play well with certain horns for certain players.

Sometimes when you go for a horn with better ergo's you lose "your" sound and begin searching for a mouthpiece to get you back to where you were. I've gone through this a time or two and I never really know where I am going to end up until I get there. It can run some $'s to find your piece if you buy new or you can buy and sell used to get there at the cost of time.
 

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Agreed. As stated, that was the "very general rule of thumb" - the off the peg solution for those who don't have the time or knowledge or friendly adviser to get a much better tailored fit!
 

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Rick Adams said:
A very general rule of thumb could be to spend between 10% and 15% of your total budget on the mouthpiece. So if you have $1,000 to spend then $100-150 goes on the mouthpiece and $850-900 goes on the sax (assuming you don't find an amazing bargain for one or the other of course).
I think though that the lower the total, more of the percentage should go toward the mouthpiece, there is more bang for the buck to be had that way.

Of course, to some extent it depends whether you are spending $500 on a brand new piece of junk horn, or a $500 used horn with at least some redeaming features.

Myself, I paid $200 for a used Antigua Winds 520, which works pretty well, and $60 for a used Link STM that works very well (favoured over a $100 beechler bellite at the moment). Better to get lucky than be good I suppose. I think I spent a bit more on my Tenor, $250 for another Antigua and a little over $100 on an EZ improved Link STM. All of which sounds at least as good as the $4000 selmer SA 80 / S80 combo sitting to my right in the second horn seat. Bargain. And still my other half gives me a hard time over my spending on my hobby...I keep telling her its an investment.. but of course for that to be true I would have to part with some of my stash:)

Thinking about it, before the Bellite it was a selmer metal classic, so my pieces are getting cheaper as time goes on, that cant be right!
 

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15% of $260 is only $38, you spent more like 25%ish and it sounds like you got a good little setup there, but on the other hand you could have bought a real lemon of a sax for that sort of money, but overall I think you have a good point. I also agree with what Bill Mecca said - you don't have to spend a fortune to get decent gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When i started this thread, I had in my mind the cheaper horns out in the market.

like how a morgan would sound on a kessler?

any cheaper but well made horns out there? besides kessler of course..
 
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