Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Here's the review I just finished up for the GS Mark II, hope it helps those looking for a mouthpiece like this one!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,913 Posts
Nice vid. I really liked this piece -- it was a ton of fun to play! -- but it was a little brighter and more powerful than I typically go for. The Slant was much more up my alley, but was too similar to what I already play. While I traded both pieces away recently I definitely think I'll have to revisit this one in the not-too-distant future. Might need to add a little sound dampening to the walls first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J-Moen

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice vid. I really liked this piece -- it was a ton of fun to play! -- but it was a little brighter and more powerful than I typically go for. The Slant was much more up my alley, but was too similar to what I already play. While I traded both pieces away recently I definitely think I'll have to revisit this one in the not-too-distant future. Might need to add a little sound dampening to the walls first.
It's really a cool piece. Definitely enjoy unique designs! I think it has a quite a few extra mid partials in the sound that really add something extra. Definitely not my favorite piece for a ballad though it is absolutely capable! This one could be great for straight ahead or more intense playing for sure. And it does get LOUD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Thanks for a great demo. I really like that your demo is comprehensive.

Have you tried the Phil-Tone Sapphire? I feel as if the Phil-Tone Sapphire is capable of similar but with way better subtone/fulltone low notes. (Paired with an Alexander NY reed, Yany TWO1 with bronze neck).

How do you compare the GS Mark II to the GS Slant? It sounds very similar to me but what do they feel like.
 

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! Glad the detail is working out well

I've not tried a Sapphire on tenor. But the Sapphire is based on a link (EB/Slant) design, and this does differ from that. To me, it appears the baffle on those curves down more fluidly (though about the same initial height). The FG reso almost has two different rollovers, one high and shallow with a slow descent, then picks up halfway down the beak to a steeper descent into the chamber. Also this one also has a little bit smaller of a chamber I'd say. (based on the description of Large chamber in the Sapphire from Steve's review, whereas this one appears pretty well in the medium-large category)

I've also not tried the GS slant, but I've seen it said that the Mark II is brighter and punchier than the Slant. Its definitely got a lot more punch than the GS FG Reso piece I have. Link pieces have the large chambers, and I think this chamber/baffle design is a bit different. It definitely has a different tonal characteristic than the Links i've played. I'm thinking of doing a GS slant and FG Reso comparison in later reviews though :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
the Sapphire is based on a link (EB/Slant) design, and this does differ from that
The Sapphire is inspired by rather than based on a link. The Sapphire is way more lush subtoning and has a lot more power than Links. As I understand it, Phil was going for the EB sound rather than restricting himself to Link geometry. I appreciate the GS Mark II has a different geometry but I'm only interested in the sound.
 

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Sapphire is inspired by rather than based on a link. The Sapphire is way more lush subtoning and has a lot more power than Links. As I understand it, Phil was going for the EB sound rather than restricting himself to Link geometry. I appreciate the GS Mark II has a different geometry but I'm only interested in the sound.
Ah yes, poor word choice on my part! I was just using the geometry to try to explain a possible tonal difference since I haven't tried it. Hopefully soon and I'll be sure to share those details here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
using the geometry to try to explain a possible tonal difference
Personally I feel explaining using geometry is best left to the mouthpiece designers. They have a "magic" to get the same sound from what seems to me to be radically different geometries!

Certainly, the geometry of my Phil-Tone Sapphire (aiming for Florida link/EB sound) is different to my GS Florida Slant Otto Link precise copy in ways that are difficult to see in photos. The baffle in particular is quite different, both in side profile and in front profile. These differences seem to disappear in photos but can readily be seen in reality and easily felt with a finger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,913 Posts
How do you compare the GS Mark II to the GS Slant? It sounds very similar to me but what do they feel like.
The Slant is more of a classic "Blue Note Era" sound. The Mark II is bigger, broader, and brighter. Someone around here suggested that it has more of an '80s "Jan Garbarek" vibe. I could certainly see it going in that direction, but because I tend toward the darker end of the spectrum by default, with me playing it, and with a Legere Signature reed, I get a brighter Dexter Gordon, maybe if Dexter played a Berg. Still very manageable, very straight. I don't think you could get it to peel paint, but you might give the wallpaper a run for its money.
 

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Funnily enough, I have a mouthpiece that belonged to Mintzer. I'll have to see how it compares :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
As regards needing more air for low notes/subtones, how reactive is the Mark II to lowering the reed strength?

Specifically, when lowering the reed strength to get easier subtones, do palm notes+ shut down? Does richness/complexity of middle notes reduce too dramatically?

I mainly play ballads and I try to strike a balance in reed strength between the competing tendencies but leaning toward lush subtones. Some mouthpieces are very friendly, others demand a tight reed strength range. Is the Mark II able to be played well with a wide reed strength range?
 

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great point. I've found it incredibly capable on most reeds. I actually was most comfortable on a 2.5 Nexus Elite that i accidentally broke just before the recording. Didn't feel like breaking in a new one, so I grabbed my already broken in 3. I felt it played nearly the same. The subtone/low notes were still a little bit more difficult than I'm used to on the softer reed (Main pieces are Phil Tone Mosaic and 10mfan Celebration).

But I'd be happy to try out some various other reeds and strengths I've got around on it and report how it functions on those. I'll put that together tomorrow!
 

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A little late. But here's all those reed samples I promised. Short clips of me playing the Mark II on the following:








Some quick thoughts: The BSS 2.0 was a great match and sounded full up top, but if I didn't give it air, it did get thin. I think the Nexus 2.5 is my favorite on this, but that was a new one I haven't fully broken in yet.
 

·
TOTM administrator
Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
Joined
·
7,587 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I preferred BSS 2.0 for the better subtone and better overall tone throughout range (to my ear).
Agreed, it sounded best here. This could be due to the 8 being on the larger side for me, so a softer reed is more in alignment with what I play. However (and I didn't include any recording) If I played with a little less oomph behind the notes, the 2.0 was thinner, especially up top. I thought the nexus 2.5 was best from the players perspective, just would have taken me longer to break this reed in a bit more and get it playing well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
If I played with a little less oomph behind the notes, the 2.0 was thinner, especially up top.
Generally, I find softer reeds tend to less mid-range complexity, more likely to tend really flat around mid C#, tend thin up top but tend to have more lush and easier subtone, and more expressive dynamics for ballads.

As a player, I think softer reeds take more skill to play up top & to play in tune around mid C#. I think many dismiss softer reeds too soon when, for Ballads anyway, they can be the better compromise.

On the Mark II, your playing seems to suggest the softer reed still had mid-range complexity and did gain the easier, more lush subtones, more expressive dynamics. So for me, on Ballads, it sounds as if Mark II plays well with soft BSS reeds.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top