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Discussion Starter #1
With the recent release of Theo Wanne's new mouthpiece, the constant quest for the ultimate reface etc. that i see here, I have but one question.

When it all comes down to it, how much innovating is there left to do with saxophone mouthpieces?

Lets face it, the saxophone has a sound. That sound is based on the acoustics of the horn itself. The mouthpiece can affect this sound. But there is only so much the mouthpiece can do. We have a plethora of options at our disposal, yes. But lets face it, if we look at the players who we all look up to, they are mostly all playing pieces that either are the original staple mouthpieces, or pieces made by boutique shops that more ore less emulate these pieces.

On tenor there is the Link. This piece can do it all in capable hands. Same goes for a Meyer on alto. This of course applies mainly to jazz. Sure, Sanborn plays a Dukoff, but he plays it because it has a high baffle. If a Meyer was given a more aggressive baffle, who is to say it wouldn't be able to accomplish the same thing? Chances are, he could get his sound on an unmodified Meyer anyways.

In classical, well lets face it. The S80, the S90, the caravan pieces etc. are all based off a classic design.

I guess what I'm saying here is, that the sound we all want is based off of acoustic principles at the foundation, and I think most of the top players have shown that the optimal acoustic situation is only a Link, a Meyer, or an S80 away.

Why isn't more emphasis put on developing ones ability to create good tone? Why don't people practice an extra hour a day, instead of buying more and more mouthpieces, which will only end up giving them the same result? Why not take some lessons, or ask ones teacher to help them develop their tone?

The same can be said for the horns themselves, but that can be more complicated I suppose.

Oh well, just a curious observation from someone who pretty much plays a Meyer and a Link, and is completely happy with their results.
 

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no fun?
Personally I have owned 3 Tenor pieces, I am about to sell one, and sold the other. 2 I bought and one came with my horn. On Alto I have 5 of them, 3 came with horns.
Its more fun to constently try out new mouthpeices, its also a headach.
 

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Last week I had trying out horns and mouthpieces at Junkdude I had a revelation. Since I was just there getting my horns fixed I was just playing around with stuff and didn't have anything set that I wanted to buy. After a few hours there, I realized something. I sounded nearly the same on every instrument/mouthpiece I played. I was playing a 10m to try out tenor mouthpieces. I went through Barone Jazz Models, Barone NY models, Phil Tone, Morgan Excaliburs, Vandoren HR V16, HR tone edges, STM's, a bunch of Ponzols, and I'm sure some more. I ended up liking the morgan's and the vandoren the best (morgan with a .100 tip opening and the vandoren with a .105 opening), but really I sounded like me the entire time. I thought hmm..try another horn. I played all those mouthpieces on a buescher TH&C, a few 10m's, a martin, a selmer and an SML. Hm...I sounded pretty much the same. I noticed the same with altos..I sounded the same.

The only thing I did notice was on alto, my sound DID change (although very slightly) when I went from a vintage american horn to either a modern japanese horn, or a vintage french horn. I sounded like me on almost all the alto mouthpieces I played. Of course I sounded a bit brighter on morgan E chambers and such but still, I basically sounded like me. On tenor I noticed hardly any difference. For me then, whatever mouthpiece doesn't take a lot of effort to control and has good response is what I'll play. Any horn that is set up well and I can get around fast with good intonation is what I'll play. For me those horns were mainly vintage conns and bueschers.

I'm glad I realized this. No more buying a bunch of new mouthpieces or anything. That trip completely killed any GAS I had. Although, it did make me want to get a buescher big B ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Carbs said:
no fun?
Personally I have owned 3 Tenor pieces, I am about to sell one, and sold the other. 2 I bought and one came with my horn. On Alto I have 5 of them, 3 came with horns.
Its more fun to constently try out new mouthpeices, its also a headach.
Exactly, it's a headache. I can almost guarantee that it isn't a fin process for most people. They keep spending money only to end up with mediocre results. That is my point, I am thinking it is only truly fun if you have gotten good enough that you have your sound, and maybe a mouthpiece change could add a little spice to it. And that is a maybe.
 

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For me, I'm a pretty young guy. So the sounds that I am exploring now will influence me years down the line. Take for instance my search for a Jazz Tenor piece. I am essientially looking for a piece that will last a long time, look good, and more importantly sound good.
If you find a piece that you are truely happy with, and you and your instructor don't feel it hinders your playing then keep the piece. Why do we feel the need to keep trading? Most of us understand that playing the same equpiment as Trane, Parker, Cannonball etc. Won't make us sound like them. They had skill, and passion. Parker played many different horn and set ups, mostly due to his drug habit. He still sounded like him. We sound like ourselves. With or without good equipment.
 

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First I'm going to get a new tenor mouthpiece. The Springer I have is nice, but feels really big in my mouth which I don't like at all. I'll probably end up with the vandoren or the morgan. I would be perfectly fine with either. I'm then going to buy a backup to all of my pieces in case something happens, and then be done worrying about it. The mouthpiece and horn helps your sound, but only to a certain point. My sound is going to get better (even though I am happy with my sound and intonation now) with hours of practice of long tones and chop building exercises, not doodling around with new mouthpieces waiting for something magical to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Right, and that's my point. As far as I can tell, the only real factor we need to be worried about it tip opening. Different players embouchures may require varied tip openings, but beyond that, I can't understand the folks who have 30 mouthpieces sitting in a drawer unused. This situation confuses a player. Just buy something that works, like a link or a meyer, and get good.
 

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When I was a Freshman, my parents got me my Selmer. And I happily went to School and told my Section leader, and another saxophone player heard me and told me that the Equipment is not what makes the player sound good, it is the player who makes the horn sound good. Or something along those lines. The statement was extreamly true. We need to stop worrying about the equipment and be happy with what I have.
I mentioned earlier in this thread that I had 5 Alto pieces. 2 are now for SALE!!!!
 

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I played on the same setup for a long time, until I broke my meYer 5. A friend gave me a slant 6* that he didn't like. It plays okay.

THen I wanted a bari, bought one through here, wanted a good mouthpiece for it.

Now, after playing Dukoff's for rock for a couple of years, and links for jazz, I'm playing RPCs.

For me it's ease of playing and the right kind of resistance, so that the mouthpiece/reed doesn't get in the way of how I sound already.

How are you going to know what you like unless you try it?

(and believe me, I'm not going to order a bunch of pieces and send back the ones I don't like. I agree with Phil on that one. Ewww!)

Now horns are a different matter. I've played a selmer since 1972. I pretty much think that I'm going to like selmer, and selmer-like ergos. That's what I'm used to, and I'm getting too old to change. (I might like to try a Super20, though)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hakukani said:
How are you going to know what you like unless you try it?
This is very true. But I am referring to the folks who love a mouthpiece till they get a bad reed, and order 10 more. (I may be exaggerating a little, but from what I've heard here, not much.)
 

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:D I think I may have defeated GAS... I have my back up horn, which I got for 400 bucks, and I have my main horn, which i spent lots on, but it makes me happy. I have neither want nor need of anything else. That being said, anyone want to take a few mouthpieces off of my hands?
 

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ianhart said:
That being said, anyone want to take a few mouthpieces off of my hands?

For free?:D
 

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joelsp said:
On tenor there is the Link. This piece can do it all in capable hands. Same goes for a Meyer on alto....Oh well, just a curious observation from someone who pretty much plays a Meyer and a Link, and is completely happy with their results.
I, too, play a Meyer NY on alto, and a Link STM on tenor, but that hasn't stopped me from irrationally collecting a drawer-full of tenor and alto mouthpieces...it IS a disease, but I AM recovering.
Oddly, there seem to be no 'standards' on bari or soprano...yet I have never really gotten GAS for these...I play Yani metal mouthpieces on Yani bari and soprano. I have a couple of other pieces that I have tried (Super Session on soprano and Lamberson & Link STM on bari) but just migrate back to the yani pieces.
Seems like most GAS is for tenor mouthpieces...anyone else come to this conclusion? Any ideas why this is so?
 

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i play a meyer richie cole, i would kinda like to think i can keep improving my sound with new mpcs cos i like tryin em out!
but my meyer just seems like the perfect sound
 

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Recently I've came to realize what your talking about Joel. And I'm glad because I went through about 10 mouthpieces on Alto...and when I got tenor I only went through 2, and only because I thought the first one was too bright and I didn't like metal :)

I'll be stickin' with this set-up for awhile...how boring ;)
 

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shmuelyosef said:
\
Seems like most GAS is for tenor mouthpieces...anyone else come to this conclusion? Any ideas why this is so?
1) Many jazz players gravitate to tenor
2) Players want to find 'their own sound' on tenor.
3) tenor is a really weird saxophone:D
 

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Well, remember there are many reasons why people buy mouthpieces...some folks are hobbyists first, and its fun to buy pieces and trade etc. Some people are pros who are looking to solve an issue that may be dogging them with their current set-up. While there may be people who mistakenly believe that buying a new piece will really change their playing, more often I hear people mention the variable of playability of a new piece as the reason they switched, not the belief that they will now sound exactly like player X--and if a new piece takes them further in the direction of playing better, why not? Conventional wisdom of course dictates that even for pros constantly switching mouthpieces is a distraction, but then again playing on a meyer or link that isn't giving you what you are looking for as far as sound or playability goes is a distraction also. And there are a lot of music retailers out there who are relying on both the players and hobbyists to support their businesses, so live and let live I say--if you are happy with your pieces great; but I would be cautious of dismissing people as they may have different reasons for trying out gear than you or I...
 

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I can really relate to what jacobied said.(I sometimes visit junkdude and get mouthpieces and try stuff.) I have been on one heck of a mouthpiece trip for years. buying selling hundreds just out of curiosity of what they all sound and play like . prior to the internet I played one mouthpiece for 20 years on tenor and had 2 for alto. Since then Ive played and tried everything for tenor and alto. When I record myself I have to say what Im playing before I play it so Ill know what I played on because I basically sound like me on everything I tried.I think it comes down to what the player feels most comfortable on and is easy to play.Also the piece for me should be easy to get all the notes out without a struggle with the lows or altissimo register.(I know its hard to find a piece that does everything but after all my money spent and mouthpiece madness my 2 favs on alto were what I had been playing on for years and on tenor I eventually replaced my old dukoff with a metal berg.Now im just trying to find reeds that play lively and respond great. Reeds will drive a player crazy too.... good points from everyone on this thread though.
 

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joelsp said:
I guess what I'm saying here is, that the sound we all want is based off of acoustic principles at the foundation, and I think most of the top players have shown that the optimal acoustic situation is only a Link, a Meyer, or an S80 away.
One reason to try different mouthpieces would be to aim for a sound that is different to all the other players. Another reason would be to get a mouthpiece that is better than those you mention, and by better I am talking purely subjectively. I have tried many many mouthpieces and end up with an RPC as its the best one for me. There's no point in me playing a Link, Meyer or S80 as I've tried them and don't like them. The one I use is better as it has better response, sounds better and is way more versatile. Just my opinion though.
 
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