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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently acquired a tenor but I'm lost as to what mouthpiece to get. I don't know the first thing about ... well.. any of it. When I started playing alto and soprano my friend/teacher sat next to me and handed me countless pieces and reeds until we found the right mix. I'd like to start educating myself a bit on the side with regard to tenor setups. In addition to the forum here are there any resources you guys could recommend that might help?

The alto setup I'm using that I'm very happy with is a selmer soloist shortshank C*. I'd love something close to that but I don't even know if that's a reasonable expectation. At this point I'm ignant.

Thanks for any help you all might be able to bestow upon my dome.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should add that I want my tenor to sound like and have the versatility in tone that a cello (yes, the orchestral instrument) does. I know this will require that I shed a lot and I'm prepared to do that.

Thanks
 

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Great choice on the alto moutpiece. I have used Selmers for over 40 years and they are great. For a Tenor, I think you may want to start with a nice classical type of standard mouthpiece. For the money, you can't beat the BARI Esprit (.085 tip) for about $15 or the Morgan Protone (also .085) for about $50 (hard to get though). If you like the Selmers, don't go by the letters as they really don't follow the others. I sell the S-80 in an F and it seems to be the choice of most right now. If you want an old Short Shank C* for tenor I do have one so PM me. I did a lot of classical recording on tenor years ago and I used an Otto Link 5* (.085) but it was one of the old Slant Florida models and will cost you a LOT if you can find one.
 

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bruce bailey said:
I did a lot of classical recording on tenor years ago and I used an Otto Link 5* (.085) but it was one of the old Slant Florida models and will cost you a LOT if you can find one.
I was going to mention that also. As unlikely as it would seem from their reputation, I found a Link to work very well. Matter of fact, it might have been from Bruce's (Eastman Wind Ensemble?) suggestion.

I played a Keilwerth SX 90R with a #6M Link (that was reworked a little by Ed Zentera specifically for this use) and it worked wonderfully. My aim, BTW, was also a Cello-ish quality.
 

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Start out small

I had a hard time when I first switched over to my tenor. I too was an alto player in 1972, and my teacher/friend turned me on to the Selmer Larry Teal (LT) mouthpiece which I really liked with a number 3 rico royal reed. The tenor piece I like and use is an Otto Link NY 5* which has a "relatively" smaller opening. Obviously, the tenor pieces are larger than alto's are. Larry Teal did make a Selmer LT tenor piece, but they are kinda hard to find. When you start trying different pieces, start out on the smaller end of the scale i.e. openings of .085 or less. To me, there seems to be a lot of macho crap-o-la going around about how BIG a gap you can play with on your piece. Remember, the bigger the gap, the softer the reed you have to use (unless you want to bite clean thru your lip, trying to produce a sound). Coming from an alto to a tenor will take a little time, but not that much. Enjoy the ride!!!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input, guys. I read about 15 pages of the mouthpiece forum and I ended up going with an otto link super tone master 6* for now. I'm going to shed on this for a few months, read more, freak out, get 'all emotionally farty' with G.A.S. and probably buy another one.
 

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What? I thought you were going for a classical sound? It's not impossible but, well, good luck on the STM.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going for a specific sound that's in my head but not a 'classical' sound in terms of the sax itself. What might have implied that was the desire to have the sound and possibilities of a cello but it's for a different application. The thing I've always asked of the guys who've played horn in my groups is that they either sound and improvise like a cello (sound and type of 'figures' improvised to support the soloist) or have a sound like 'ivory'. I'm going for cello.

I'm studying as though I'm a legit player but without the intention of actually performing the music in a legit way. I'm learning to control the overtones of every note, deal with articulation the proper way, get the breathing down, and all of the things that I don't even know exist yet. I'm using the word 'proper' very loosely right now because I'm new enough that I don't even know if there are proper ways, I'll figure that out over the next several years.

Thank you again for your input!
 

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So Matt, did you order one without trying it out of have you gotten one locally? Links have a rap of not being of consistent quality (although at least one highly regarded refacer takes issue with that), so just a suggestion, if it feels really uncomfortable after about a week, if you can exchange it for another you might consider that. Or at least have someone you trust play it. It could be you, it could be that you haven't gotten one of the better stock Links.
 

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mattbutler said:
Thanks for the input, guys. I read about 15 pages of the mouthpiece forum and I ended up going with an otto link super tone master 6* for now. I'm going to shed on this for a few months, read more, freak out, get 'all emotionally farty' with G.A.S. and probably buy another one.
I actually think the STM might be an ok choice for what you're after. I hear the "cello sound" a lot in Coltrane - more so there, in fact, than in any classical player i'm aware of. Coltrane played a fairly close-tipped STM, i believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gary: I tried one locally and dug it. I compared it against a Berg, a V16, and Mayer 5 (I think that's what it was) and the STM won. The funny thing is that I just swapped it at rehearsal for a STM 9* to try for a while. The guy who plays tenor in my quartet had it with him. He tried the 6* and dug it, I tried the 9*, dug that so we're "seein' what's up" as they say down here.

Rooty: Thanks for the input. I'll do some research and find out which recordings he was playing the STM and dig into it a bit more.

I have a new level of respect for the guy's who've dealt with the music I've put in front of them and context that I've put them into now that I'm playing horn as seriously as I am. I had plenty of respect for them before but I really didn't know what they were up against in terms of the toll it takes on the body.
 

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I know you seem to have made your choice, but FYI, my most cello sounding mouthpiece is a plastic 4* Brilhart mouthpiece.(not vintage) I use a medium Bari plastic reed and it is incredible how much it sounds like a cello on tapes I've made.They cost about $30.00, too.
 

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Yes that is a Link in Coltranes mouth. He pretty much played metal Links his entire career.

That's a killer poster and very true.
 

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I also like the cello concept and have been messing around with an Anello XOR 1 with Vandoren Traditionals, of all things. The verdict is still out....
 
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