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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I recently acquired a '62 Selmer Mark VI (tenor) and got a Berg Larsen mouthpiece with the horn. I am just beginning my sax career, and would be grateful for some suggestions on what to do with the mouthpiece.

For what I can tell, it seems to be made of hard rubber (or plastic?), the color is black altough it has faded to a bit brownish hue. Markings on it are almost unreadable, but my best guess is that they are:

85
2
SMS

The mouthpiece is at least 20 years old, probably more.

And now for the questions:

1. Based on the info, what can you tell me about this mouthpiece? For what styles is the mouthpiece best suited for?

2. Is this mouthpiece ok for a beginner or should I look for something else? My teacher recommends that I should get a metal Otto Link 6* or 7 but based on the information from this site it seems that Links might be a bit tricky for a beginner. Also, being a total beginner I feel that I am not competent to test and evaluate differences of mouthpieces yet. I would therefore be tempted to keep this mouthpiece unless it doesn't have possible ill effects on my development.

3. What strength of reed would you recommend as optimal for this mouthpiece? The previous owner seems to have been using Rico 2 1/2.

Thank you in advance for any information/suggestions!
 

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I am guessing this is an alto. The 85 is the tip opening. That's a bit wide for a beginner. You probably want a more closed tip. I use a similar opening on a Meyer with a Java 2.5 reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi John,

and thank you for your quick reply. I'm sorry for leaving out this vital piece of information: it came with a _tenor sax_.
 

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it is not an alto piece, this size exists in both alto and tenor, it is not at all a large size, the second smallest size infact in the berg larsen line, it is very small for a tenor (very large would be 110/120) and probably quite valuable. My teacher uses a similar one and was just thrilled to acquire one recently (to replace another one he had previously) for cheap 100 $ while he thougth that a piece like this is very valuable because the modern ones aren't up to these standards and they are no longer being produced. Play the piece, is quite stunning and will allow playing with ease or a reed size higher than a more open piece. Congratulations!
 

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oh yes and take a look at
THIS you will see (on the proper Berg Larsen site not jodyjazz ) that that size isn't even produced anymore for tenor and even if it would be (and it very likely ain't ) a alto would be ( at the very most) a medium facing not a large opening then.

However for your reference, Here you find a reliable comparative chart ;)
 

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Right, for tenor this is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you both for the information and useful links. Since the mouthpiece is ok, it seems that there's no need for me to buy another at this time.

Thanks!
 

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Reiska, you have a jewel there, go explore its possibilities, my teacher is over the moon with his old Berg Larsen on his Mark VI. You are lucky to start with such a combination. The Link is a pretty radical choice to start playing saxophone but it has been working for so many why wouldn't it work for you? The Berg Larsen ebonite ( your version is medium chamber and long baffle) is very suitable to learn and to play subtones, much more than a link. Some people would happily pay you the price of two new otto link for your piece, hold on to it!
 

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This isn't to help you with your question .... but ....don't put a hard rubber mpce in a antiseptic cleaning solution for an extended period; it turns into slobber. Did it overnight with my especially purchased c-mel mpce; it now looks like playdough.
 

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Hi Reiska, this is equivalent to a 5* and perfectly suited to a beginner, not to mention a pro. The 2 is quite dark especially in the older Bergs, and certainly darker than a Link. There is nothing wrong with that and you may well find it's what you want. I play a 1M from a similar period. A 6* and especially a 7* is a pretty wide opening when you are starting and this tip opening is the way to go. A 2.5 Rico Royal would probably suit you.
 
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