Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2012-2015
Joined
·
5,903 Posts
If I am not mistaken, all except the Super Tone Master are hard rubber mouthpieces. Did you ever played metal before you bought the Tone Master?

If the answer is no, then you might want to hold off and don't sell the Super Tone Master just yet.

Hard rubber and metal mouthpieces can play and respond very differently. The problem might just be that you need time to feel out the adjustments to your breathing and embouchure. If you are not familiar with metal, you might just need to keep playing it for a while before things come together.

I play both hard rubber and metal. I have an Otto Link Super Tone Master (Metal) but I am regularly using a Peter Ponzol Custom (Hard Rubber) as my main mpc. If I take long breaks and don't play the Link for a long time, I always have to take some time to re-acquaint myself with her before it feels comfortable.

The response of every metal mouthpiece that I have ever played has always been different, and usually a bit more sensitive and temperamental than hard rubber at first. Most tend to do weird things and squeak and squawk badly if you don't learn to control them. I think that metal requires more support and embouchure control than most hard rubber pieces.

Reeds can seriously make a difference as well. Just because a reed works on your hard rubber mpc does not mean that it will do so well on the metal. So, I would suggest using a fresh reed on the STM and press on from there to see if it makes a difference.

Also, since you said that you had not been playing sax regularly, your breathing and embouchure might be in rehab right now a little bit. Take your time with getting up the registers, listen closely for any buzzing or weirdness in your tone because that could just mean you need to make reed adjustments, ligature adjustments or lip adjustments.

I would say give yourself about a week if possible and, if not, at least a couple of days playing around with it and getting used to it. If it still doesn't work out, let another sax player try it out if possible. If they have the same problem, THEN It's time kick that puppy to the curb!

Of course, if you just don't like it, get rid of it now.

Best of luck to you!

Chopster
I would say it's not mostly the material (metal or hard rubber) but rather the shape of the mouthpiece and how it feels in your mouth, with the consequent adjustments that you need to make.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2012-2015
Joined
·
5,903 Posts
Good point. Actually, I would tend to agree with you on that jlima.

The material can make a difference though. Hard metal and rubber mouthpieces with similar internal dimensions, shape and baffle will generally produce sound results which are nearly identical with any differences usually being undetectable to the end listener.

However, the material can have an impact on the player including the amount and quality of the vibrations going through the player's head which can cause a difference in the player's perception of the sound, especially if they don't use cushions.

Also, as you stated, the shape and feel of the mouthpieces are the most important factors as well.

The thing is, I have always found the smaller bite of most metal mouthpieces to be the factor that makes them more difficult to control, especially for a beginner.

In fact, the difference between metal and hard rubber is usually the dimensions of the mouthpiece because metal pieces can, and very often are, manufactured with smaller external dimensions than hard rubber which affects the feel you get and forces the adjustments in breathing and embouchure that I talked about. I think this is what makes them seem a little more finicky to me if I stay away from them for any length of time. That is why I suggested that Ribeiro should give it some time and play around with the piece before making a decision.

Chopster
very good points here, Chopster!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top