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OK, I need a high baffle tenor piece for some funk/rock gigs coming up and I'm not sure what I should buy. Ideally, I'd get a Guardala LT MBII (I've always wanted one.) but I can't afford the $350 price tag. So that leaves me with the following choices:

Berg Larsen 0 chamber - Pros: loud, good tonal center, pretty versatile. Cons: Terrible finishing, inconsistent facings. I'd prefer a 130/0 SMS too, which might be hard to come by.

Dukoff D or X chambers - Pros: Great edgy sound. I've played these before so I know what to expect and I like my sound on these. Cons: It takes forever to find a good one (unless it's a plastic one) and if you look at them wrong, the facings get screwed up.

Beechler Bellite - Never tried this, but it seems like a lot of players like them. I honestly don't know much about them so it's kind of a crap shoot.

Rousseau Jazz Metal - Pros: I've played these quite a bit and I really like my sound with them. Cons: Not quite as edgy as the others on the list, plus I'd have to spring for a BG metal lig.


I am aware that there are others like the Jumbo Java, JJ, etc. but these four are what I'd like to concentrate on...
 

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Does Woodwind Brasswind still have the guardalas on super sale for $199? They did a while ago.

I have a killer MOJO Dukoff D7 (110) I could sell you. I am not using it anymore, because once I started using one on alto I started sounding like Sanborn on both mouthpieces, which is great for alto but not what I want for tenor.

Ironically, I want to sell it so I can buy a cheapo lazer trimmed Guardala, or bank it for a Hollywood Barone to replace my borrowed Link.

Good luck on your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Martinman said:
Does Woodwind Brasswind still have the guardalas on super sale for $199? They did a while ago.

I have a killer MOJO Dukoff D7 (110) I could sell you. I am not using it anymore, because once I started using one on alto I started sounding like Sanborn on both mouthpieces, which is great for alto but not what I want for tenor.

Ironically, I want to sell it so I can buy a cheapo lazer trimmed Guardala, or bank it for a Hollywood Barone to replace my borrowed Link.

Good luck on your search.
The Guardalas are back up to regular price at WWBW. The sound that I'm looking for is the Brecker type sound from around 1980-1993 or so...the D7 might be interesting but the soft metal scares me. I used a D7 on alto for a long time (and will probably get another at some point) and I had a plastic tenor one, but I worry about having problems down the line. Still, that's the EXACT piece I'm looking for depending on price. I'll send a PM and we'll discuss it. Still looking for more opinions.

BTW, would a Brilhart metal be a decent option?
 

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A Brilhardt metal could be an excellent option, if you can find one big enough. I had a problem finding one larger than a 5* facing.

Also take a look at the Runyon Quantum, great piece there too, and alot like the brilhardt.

I also play a berg and a dukoff like the ones you mentioned in your first post, and they're both great and get the job done. The Berg has more buzziness and is great, but I prefer the Dukoff overall for funk playing. Mine is one of the clear plastic ones you mentioned. The metal ones are fine usually, JUST DONT EVER DROP IT!! I had one for bari sax then...
 

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I'd stay away from the Beechler Bellite. I had one and it's nasty edgy, and throws the intonation really sharp even when you pull it out to where it almost falls off the neck.

Can't you just mic your horn and make do with your current piece. I mean if you take a look at what Wayne Shorter did with weather report he always used those Links and sounded great among the storm of electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
heath said:
I'd stay away from the Beechler Bellite. I had one and it's nasty edgy, and throws the intonation really sharp even when you pull it out to where it almost falls off the neck.

Can't you just mic your horn and make do with your current piece. I mean if you take a look at what Wayne Shorter did with weather report he always used those Links and sounded great among the storm of electronics.
No. First of all, I need a new jazz/commercial/rock piece anyway. (My old one was destroyed) Second of all, some of the venues are really too small for a ton of amplification. Now, the guitar and bass players will of course be amped, (and we try to adjust the balance) but amping the horn section may or may not be an option. I don't like amps anyway if I can avoid them; they always throw off my sense of timing. (It is fun to hook up effects pedals to them though...)
 

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J.Max said:
No. First of all, I need a new jazz/commercial/rock piece anyway. (My old one was destroyed) Second of all, some of the venues are really too small for a ton of amplification. Now, the guitar and bass players will of course be amped, (and we try to adjust the balance) but amping the horn section may or may not be an option. I don't like amps anyway if I can avoid them; they always throw off my sense of timing. (It is fun to hook up effects pedals to them though...)
No offense J.Max, but if you're saying that you're playing with an amplified band without a mic, chances are you're just kidding yourself if you think you're being heard by the audience. Get someone to record a gig to verify this for yourself. You need to be mic'ed playing through a PA; this will put you on equal footing with your bandmates. You still may need a different mouthpiece to hear yourself though, depending on the stage volume of the band and the monitor situation.........daryl
 

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Try a Vandoren Jumbo Java. They play a lot like Dukoffs (step baffle, small chamber), and are quite cheap to buy. They are also very consistently made.

My $0.02

Good luck.
Dan
 

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I have been using the new style Brilhart Levelaire #8 for about 10 years for gigs that require high volume. They can be pretty full sounding as well on the bottom. Altissimo notes come extremely easy. I played it Saturday night with a blues/rock band using a #3 Fibracell reed. I am always miked because even though the mouthpiece is quite loud, especially with the insertable baffle, with a loud guitar, bass and drums, to be heard properly in the mix, it needs to be miked. These are fairly inexpensive. the largest size is a #9. It is a very versatile mouthpiece, allowing lots of expression and the ability to play many genres of music. They are made by Runyon. The Runyon Quantum is the same as the Brilhart internally but the bite area is more of a duckbill on the Quantum. The Runyon Smoothbore is like the Brilhart on the outside but internally the chamber is a bit smaller. A friend of mine plays a Smoothbore on tenor and sounds great. This is the metal one Woodwind/Brasswind sells. These sizes go much larger than the Brilhart. These also are relatively inexpensive.Any of these three mouthpieces would do what you need.
 

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Martin Williams said:
A Brilhardt metal could be an excellent option, if you can find one big enough. I had a problem finding one larger than a 5* facing.

Also take a look at the Runyon Quantum, great piece there too, and alot like the brilhardt.

I also play a berg and a dukoff like the ones you mentioned in your first post, and they're both great and get the job done. The Berg has more buzziness and is great, but I prefer the Dukoff overall for funk playing. Mine is one of the clear plastic ones you mentioned. The metal ones are fine usually, JUST DONT EVER DROP IT!! I had one for bari sax then...
I picked the Quantum and play it with a fibercell reed to get the 50s R&R sound I was looking for. Using the spoiler was too much!
 

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I find high baffle pieces with small chamber to be narrow and dull soundwise so I wouldn't make a compromise what comes to sound. Well, that's just me and my opinion ;-)

A custom Link STM with a baffle or a metal Berg #2 chamber with Plasticover reeds should fit the bill! I also like metal RIA's. Try 'em if you can find one!

Good luck!

-TH
 

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wersax said:
No offense J.Max, but if you're saying that you're playing with an amplified band without a mic, chances are you're just kidding yourself if you think you're being heard by the audience. Get someone to record a gig to verify this for yourself. You need to be mic'ed playing through a PA; this will put you on equal footing with your bandmates.
Of course if he had all this he'd be able to use just about any piece that produced sufficient volume.

Honestly I've seen guys perform with stock hr links in amplified bands and cut just fine.

One player that comes to mind is the great George Adams, of course he had blood and guts pouring through that horn. Joe Henderson did this as well with a Selmer soloist. Is it me or does the whole idea of using a large baffle piece really come down to less work on the soloists behalf?
 

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heath said:
Of course if he had all this he'd be able to use just about any piece that produced sufficient volume.

Honestly I've seen guys perform with stock hr links in amplified bands and cut just fine.

One player that comes to mind is the great George Adams, of course he had blood and guts pouring through that horn. Joe Henderson did this as well with a Selmer soloist. Is it me or does the whole idea of using a large baffle piece really come down to less work on the soloists behalf?
I think it depends upon the band and the player. I've used high baffled pieces in the past just so I could hear myelf, and I suspect others do it for the same reason. If the stage volume is above a certain volume it gets very difficult to hear, particularly in small rooms, even with monitors. The obvious solution is to get people to turn down and play the room, but that can be difficult to get across to a drummer or guitar player. In-ear monitors could help too, (though I hate 'em, I want to hear the room). Eventually I gave up on the high baffled pieces and used other ways to solve the problem rather than messing with my basic tone.........daryl
 

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Honestly I've seen guys perform with stock hr links in amplified bands and cut just fine.
I have too. I went to see a band called "Part Time Lovers" a while back. The tenor player was great. He was all over the horn with a huge sound, altissmo to the sky. I talked to him after and he was playing a HR Link 8 and a VI.

Another tenor player with the same band on a different date had even better altissmo. He was very Lenny Pickett. Talked to him after the show and he was playing a HR Claude Lakey that he said he took a file to and took out the baffle. His horn was a VII.
 

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heath said:
Of course if he had all this he'd be able to use just about any piece that produced sufficient volume.

Honestly I've seen guys perform with stock hr links in amplified bands and cut just fine.

One player that comes to mind is the great George Adams, of course he had blood and guts pouring through that horn. Joe Henderson did this as well with a Selmer soloist. Is it me or does the whole idea of using a large baffle piece really come down to less work on the soloists behalf?
Well, it's more than volume. A lot of situations require the brighter, edgier tone of the high-baffle mouthpiece.
 

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Don't automatically assume you need a '0' chamber Berg.
Recently tried one, and I can get more/better sound out of my 110/2 -- used it in rock/r&b bands for years. What I don't like about it is the typical "reed picky" problems of Softer reed = lush lows/weak highs & alt. Harder reed = strong highs & alt. No less "edge" than a '0' chamber, maybe more...
 

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dirty said:
Well, it's more than volume. A lot of situations require the brighter, edgier tone of the high-baffle mouthpiece.
I agree. Edge is necessary for projection. Ask any operatic tenor.

I don't know many players that can have an edgy tone without a baffle. (Maybe Maceo Parker--but I suspect his Brilhardt is hot-rodded somehow.)

Even amplified, a tone without edge won't cut through a rock band, even, maybe especially, in a small room.

No one would expect a rock vocalist to sing without a mic.

BTW, since I went from my D7 to an RPC 115B, I've been much happier playing in a rock band --bigger tone, plenty of edge, reed friendly, easy to play--Pete Thomas is right about them. (I would still NEVER play without a mic.)
 

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J.Max said:
OK, I need a high baffle tenor piece for some funk/rock gigs coming up and I'm not sure what I should buy. Ideally, I'd get a Guardala LT MBII (I've always wanted one.) but I can't afford the $350 price tag. So that leaves me with the following choices: ([snip]
Does that mean your choices don't include any suggestions we might make?

My suggestion would be an RPC, they're awfully good and very versatile. Presumably you've tried the Guardala LT MBII. I've used many mouthpieces on rock/funk gigs including custom Guardalas, but there have always been problems. An RPC might take a while to order but worth it, and you might get one second hand if lucky.
 
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