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Discussion Starter #1
OK "There's better" I get it..BUT..do you LIKE Berg stainless on Baritone new or old, I read many reviews etc. from the best to the worst.


Here's the tale..well I bought an old Asian type (Milwaukee) Bari over a yr back, got it restored, turned out nice. So I grabbed a couple Metalites, M7 & M9..

I hadn't played Bari for awhile, my last Bari gig was with Wayne Newton for 3 yrs and I was playing my silver Series II Selmer..I played a Delrin Quantum 12 on that gig, but it killed me at the Jam session ($old it)..the Silver Selmer Bari eventually also got sold and I wanted a Bari but not the huge investment of a selmer.

Anyway, it took me awhile to get this old cheapy warhorse bari in perfect playing condition and messing with Metalites on it showed me it is a solid horn.


Like so many of you other folks I got a fortune in mpcs, 2K between tenor/alto..too much,

In looking for an alternative to a $3-400 mpc I thought about the Berg..Roll the Dice Baby...I want around .110 not a whole lot more..I had a beautiful 95/2/M stainless, an older one. The tip was just way too small for me. Mark at 10mfan got it for a Black Widow trade. But I need bigger.

SO, after casually looking for a long time I spot a 120/0/M on Craigslist for a sweetheart of a price. I wanted the 0 baffle for the punch and open, but not TOO open.


So..let's hope it's closer to that .110 and not too much over. Looks like a players piece..it's not new or unplayed, there is faint wear in the bite-plate, and although not offset M it looks different beak'd from the current crop.

I've read the right Berg can be as good as it gets, who knows, but man I am not spending more on the mpc than I did on the HORN..

Peace Gang:whistle:
 

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Do yourself a huge favor and don't bother with a long and expensive search for a great vintage Berg (the new ones are doorstops). Get an RPC bari sax mouthpiece. They have the same compact and buzzy vibe and you will get it right the first time.
 

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I've played Bergs both hard rubber and metal on tenor and alto for years but never tried one on baritone .

I bought a Lamberson DD for my baritone maybe 19 years ago and that has continued to be my main piece .
 

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RPC .105 rollover was my fav’ for small ensemble (ala Mulligan) soloing, but the Lamberson DD is something special for that gutsy type of bari for big band or carrying the bottom end of a ska band. I haven’t played the RPC high baffle bari pieces.

The Wanne Durga 3 is very good too (personal experience, not hearsay).
 

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I do like Bergs, the hard rubber ones on tenor and bari. They are pretty inconsistent, I'd rather use something like a metal Yani because you don't need to try 5 to find a good one. I still have my messed up one that was originally 90-1-M from the 1980s. Still think about getting it refaced, but for that price...
 

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LateNiteSax makes a good point...
 

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Formerly mdavej
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I love Bergs. They've been my main pieces for nearly 40 years. I did play a 120/0/SMS on tenor for a few years, and it nearly killed me. But my current 115/1/SMS is much easier to play and control without my embouchure being totally shot after 10 minutes. I seem to recall paying around $80 for mine brand new in the 80's. In any case, I get a fantastic sound on Berg, and the stainless looks great and is easy to maintain.

However, 120 on bari should be much easier to handle. I currently play a hard rubber Link on bari because it was gifted to me which sounds great. I'd love to have a Berg for my bari for a little more bark, but sadly that would cost more than I paid for the whole horn, so my conscience won't allow such a purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bergs gentlemen..Bergs.

I know ya'll can't resist the pitch for the RPC's etc.... But I'm going to take a shot on a cheap-***** Berg and see if it will deliver. The cat I got it from is a Bay area well known player, I asked and he's now on a Jody Jazz something.

Well I want to try a Berg.

I got a pal here in Vegas, tone to kill for..he has a bag of about 10 rotating beat-up stainless Bergs for his tenor. He says they all sound the same'
 

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If you like hard rubber Bergs, you may like the Vandoren V16 pieces. They have a step baffle and play very well. the B9 measures at around a 120 opening. It is the closest I have found to a good old hard rubber Berg....The price is reasonable, and the mouthpieces are consistent too!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I never played Berg HR on any horn..I tried 2 V16's when I first got the Milwaukee baritone..both were very bland in my opinion, I sent both back and kept my Metalites..It's a crapshoot the M's might blow the Berg away.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RPC has a lot of various choices, (not sure which is BEST) and it'll cost near $300 to dance..the Berg cost me barely a Buck and a Half and that's enough for me (for now)..anyway If I don't like the Berg I'll sell it..and for what I'm getting it for. hell I'll probably make a few bucks.

On the other hand this could be a good one..they say Doc Kupka in TOP loved his Berg so let's see..

I just sent payment so it's gonna take a week or so to get the 120/0/M Berg to Boulder City.
 

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I have a 130/0 Berg stainless that I use as a backup to my RPC. It's a great mouthpiece, but can't play as loud or as soft as the RPC. I've tried maybe half a dozen Bergs for tenor and bari over the years and have found two that weren't godawful.

I picked that one up used and it was a solid mouthpiece for me until I got this RPC, but I think the RPC/Berg comparison is hard not to do when Berg is trying to sell their new mouthpieces for more than a new RPC.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I want a metal mpc, so the the Berg is worth a try for me. I see many RPC's for sale too, so makes you think.
 

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I love my TK Focustone Acoustimer HR on tenor, but wouldn't mind just a touch more edge and brightness for my rock and ska bands. Been thinking of trying out a Berg HR, but good ones are somewhat pricey. I might start with an RPC or maybe a Saxscape Hudson first.
 

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A stainless Berg is a classic mouthpiece on tenor and bari. It is a real crapshoot though. I play with several guys who play metal Bergs on tenor and they sound great. Good luck!
 

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I can't recommend a high baffle RPC enough. No berg has come near it. The beak profile is very similar to a metal berg, so it really does feel like you're on a metal berg. The lower notes bark pretty good on both types, but there's no competition in the second octave. The RPC really shines up there.

I tried some stainless metal bergs and didn't really like them, until I played one that had been worked on by John Reilly. So, buying a cheap berg and sending it to John could be an option.
 

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Absolute "Standard" and "Plus" are the natural evolution of a stainless steel Berg... on bari and tenor!
And you don't need to spend $$$$$.
Absolute mouthpieces (the "Standard" and the "Plus") are CNC made... in stainless steel.

It's plenty of reviews here on SOTW.
 

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Earlier this year I tried out several baritone mouthpieces for big-band use, including two Berg Larsens (one HR, one metal), two RPC's (both HR) and two Lawtons (one HR, one metal).
For me, the Berg Larsens and the Lawtons stood head and shoulders above the others.
Overall, the best of the lot was a modern marbled rubber Berg - more consistent in tone from bottom to top than the RPC's, and sweeter at the top end.
The nicest sounding one was a Lawton, but it didn't have the oomph of the Berg.
(I have since found a Lawton that has more power.)

In general, there didn't seem to be much difference in power or sound between the HR and rubber mouthpieces.
 

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If the RPC pieces you see meet your need Id grab one before a stock berg.
I am working on some baritone prototypes but they are not ready for market quite yet. They also probably wont be as bright a berg.

If berg baritone pieces are made anything like tenor or alto it is a crap shoot on how it will play.

Only the most masochistic of refacers will take in a stainless baritone piece. Even after refacing a tenor metal berg I experience joint pain. Stainless literally rips the sand off of heavy sand paper...it takes many sheets and a lot of time just to address the table due the fact that the facing lengths are often infinite...the .0015 gauge will slide to the rear of the table on most tenor bergs.

Essentially the RPC will be made properly and is likely as bright as you need.

I do like Tenor bergs in hard rubber. They can also be fixed easily and can be a lot of fun. Its sad that such a cool design so often meets with poor exectution.

So my advice with any berg is to play before you pay. Its a crap shoot. Or grab an RPC.

As one who works on mouthpieces I think that a company should have to pass a QC test before using stainless!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I appreciate all the feedback..!!

Well after being in Vegas for a Looong time gambling is second nature.

Still waiting for the bari Berg, so many variables it's hard to predict how it will play or even what size it will actually be. If the Berg don't work yes I suppose I'll scrounge up 3 bills and try RPC.

Seems to be very few Bergs on Baritones these days..
 
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