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Discussion Starter #1
Hi y'all and happy new year full of good vibes!

last week I went to Europe's biggest music shop to try out some stuff. As soon as I tested the Jody Jazz Super Jet I was in love head over heals. The sound, the power, the grit, the response, the altissimo just freaking pops out effortless. Phew ... this is what I want and (now) need. I'm playing an original Guardala MBII since 22 years and was always somehow convinced I'll take it with me in my grave. But now there is the Super Jet which of course I took home.

Back home I discovered that horrible tuning problem. To play in tune I have to pull out the neck about 5 mm and to pull out the MPC to less than 1 cm cork coverage, with lots of tape. Same situation with my 3 tenors (YTS61, MK6, Grassi). This is not a solution. The problem seems to be well known, even to Jody Jazz who nevertheless never adapted the design.

Still I love this thing so much that I consider a shank extension. A good 2.5 cm / 1 inch would probably do the trick. Not a pop-on piece, I mean soldering a piece of tube on the shank, grinding, sanding, perhaps silver plating. I contacted a friend goldsmith and my sax repairer, both stating that technical feasibility is positive.

Now my questions to you worldwide sax guys and gals:
- does anyone play a Super Jet without this pitch problem?
- or - what are common workarounds?
- has anyone experience with shank extension?
- would this have any effects on the pitch consistency from bottom to top?
- would this have any effects on the inherent characteristics of the MPC?
- any other thoughts?

Thanks to all and cheers !
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Sounds like a Super Flop to me. Yes, a 25mm extension will probably be enough but I think there will be intonation problems. Why not send it to 'Jody', whoever that is, and tell them to fix it.
 

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No issue with the alto. I have one too. I tested the tenor super jet on yts 62 and mark 6 and it tuned fine for me on those horns but the tenor version I tried I didn’t love . I think the one I tried may have been too big for me though. I’ve heard others complain about the tenor version tuning problems as well but I tested it with a tuner and it played in tune for me . Weird. Didn’t beat my dukoff though.
 

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My question would be what causes this in the first place? It sounds like more than just a too-short shank. Does the mpc have a super small chamber? I suppose that could cause this problem. It also seems that would tend toward a thin, shrill tone quality as well as tuning issues. Seems like a poor design in any case.
 

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I think it’s caused by the short facing . You have to tune it like beechler with short facing and small chamber. All my Beechler’s tuned similar to the super jet. I just pulled out like 3/8 of an inch. Then it was fine for me . Ymmv
 

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Hi y'all and happy new year full of good vibes!

last week I went to Europe's biggest music shop to try out some stuff. As soon as I tested the Jody Jazz Super Jet I was in love head over heals. The sound, the power, the grit, the response, the altissimo just freaking pops out effortless. Phew ... this is what I want and (now) need. I'm playing an original Guardala MBII since 22 years and was always somehow convinced I'll take it with me in my grave. But now there is the Super Jet which of course I took home.

Back home I discovered that horrible tuning problem. To play in tune I have to pull out the neck about 5 mm and to pull out the MPC to less than 1 cm cork coverage, with lots of tape. Same situation with my 3 tenors (YTS61, MK6, Grassi). This is not a solution. The problem seems to be well known, even to Jody Jazz who nevertheless never adapted the design.

Still I love this thing so much that I consider a shank extension. A good 2.5 cm / 1 inch would probably do the trick. Not a pop-on piece, I mean soldering a piece of tube on the shank, grinding, sanding, perhaps silver plating. I contacted a friend goldsmith and my sax repairer, both stating that technical feasibility is positive.

Now my questions to you worldwide sax guys and gals:

- does anyone play a Super Jet without this pitch problem?

Didn't check. I own a lot of JJ tenor and bari pieces that I like a lot but this one played so bright and shrill for me that I couldn't get it off my horn and back into the box fast enough.

- or - what are common workarounds?

You can try just getting used to it over the course of time and learning to voice the notes down as necessary. There are a fair number of posts relating to folks who have learned to play setup/horn combinations that are not ideal by just spending a lot of time working on them. Otherwise you could have the mouthpiece worked on in some way like an extension or enlarging the chamber. I would think cutting the back of the baffle down and increasing the throat and chamber size is a better solution than an extension. However paying for this kind of work on a brand new very expensive boutique style mouthpiece I personally would consider absurd.

- has anyone experience with shank extension?

I haven't but this solution is most often employed for bari sax mouthpieces that folks want to play on old vintage baris.

- would this have any effects on the pitch consistency from bottom to top?

Probably. Intonation at the lower end of a sax is effected more by the chamber size or volume of the mouthpiece while the higher notes, especially palm keys, are impacted more by the length of the distance from the tip of the mouthpiece to the tone hole. When you add an extension you increase the volume of the piece bringing the low notes more in tune but you also add distance which may make the palm keys flat. There's no really sure way of knowing exactly what the impacts will be for you personally with this specific set up until you try it. The fact that it's already been tried with mixed results would incline me not to go through the trouble but YMMV.


- would this have any effects on the inherent characteristics of the MPC?

I'll leave this one for the pro refacers who do this type of work and guys who have tried it since I have no first hand experience.

- any other thoughts?

I'd return the piece and keep trying things as the opportunity arises. Sometimes you like stuff but you have to admit it's just not going to work for you before you end up running down a rabbit hole that costs you a lot of time and money and ultimately leaves you disappointed.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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last week I went to Europe's biggest music shop to try out some stuff. As soon as I tested the Jody Jazz Super Jet I was in love head over heals.
Kind of a shame that Jody is still selling the tenor model after becoming aware of a general (player to player) tuning issue before 11/13/18.
 

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..I can't say what I think.
 

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The older ones tuned up fine for me, but I did notice the Super Jet tenor mouthpieces at Jody's NAMM booth this month had a longer shank. I bet the newest version would work for you.
 

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The older ones tuned up fine for me, but I did notice the Super Jet tenor mouthpieces at Jody's NAMM booth this month had a longer shank. I bet the newest version would work for you.
If he did retool the tenor model I would hope that he would contact us and send a new one at no cost. Just from a good business standpoint.
 

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If he did retool the tenor model I would hope that he would contact us and send a new one at no cost. Just from a good business standpoint.
From my experience Jody has great customer service and is very reasonable. If the mouthpiece was defective (e.g. uneven facing) I'd surely expect a replacement, but in this case I imagine it's seen more as an improvement since the old model works for a lot of people.
I mean, when Chevy improved the valves on on their LS7 they didn't send out new engines to all the previous-year Z06 owners.

FWIW at NAMM I watched a big brand name player testing and he preferred his old "short shank" Super Jet tenor to the new model.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi all,

many thanks for all the great feedback. Eventually I decided to return the MPC. Probably I could extend the shank and probably I could get used to some possible tuning inconsistencies. But life is too short and I prefer to spend my time working on something else rather than fighting a home-made tuning issue which I did not have until now. From time to time I'll check whether a new edition with long shank is available, then I'll try again ... but for now I love my DG MBII from the 90s again ;-)

Cheers everyone!
 

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Hi all,

many thanks for all the great feedback. Eventually I decided to return the MPC. Probably I could extend the shank and probably I could get used to some possible tuning inconsistencies. But life is too short and I prefer to spend my time working on something else rather than fighting a home-made tuning issue which I did not have until now. From time to time I'll check whether a new edition with long shank is available, then I'll try again ... but for now I love my DG MBII from the 90s again ;-)

Cheers everyone!
Did you try the regular Jet?
 

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I'd surely expect a replacement, but in this case I imagine it's seen more as an improvement since the old model works for a lot of people.
I did send an email about a possible refund and he replied that since I purchased it from WW&BW that he could not reimburse and I was past the 45 day return trial with WW&BW. I have no idea what the other 10 people did that he had heard from over a year ago.

I am not bitter about it and the money is certainly not the issue. We all take some losses on sax things over the years. But I was turned off about his statement (in an email) that he was presenting a new clarinet m/p at the NAMM show and did not have time to redo the SJ but suggested that he would correct the issue;


Hello John,
I have heard this now from about 10 people which is enough where I want to make a change on the mouthpiece by making the shank a little longer. I’ve never had any problem and I have 5 tenors here but everybody is different as are the horns, and I don’t want anyone to have that problem. My problem is when to implement the change which is actually a lot more difficult than it sounds in 3D modeling and CNC programming.

Now we are finishing up all of our designs and prototypes of our new company, “Chedeville” Classical mouthpieces for clarinet and saxophone which we’ll release at NAMM 2019. I’ll probably make this change in the first half of next year.

But there is another solution that most people don’t think of and it works very well. Besides thickening the cork either permanently with a new cork or building it up with tape, you can also pull out the neck which works perfectly and still keeps the horn in tune with itself.

I hope that this answers your question fully and that it gives some little satisfaction to you that I admit I need to go and fix this for the people that do have a problem with it.
Jody Espina
President
Nov 13, 2018
I will send an email to him today to see if he has extended the shank. I added the tape on 1/2 inch of the cork and played a couple of gigs and the m/p sounded real good. However the m/p started bending downward just a little after the tape gave way. Not enough support.

At any rate I will see what he has to say in response.
 

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Just an update. My previous issue (as posted) with the "short" shank has been corrected. I sent an email to Jody last month to see if they had re-tooled the "Super Jet" and they said yes so I called WW&BW to make sure they had the new model in stock. Just received the new model from WW&BW.

Jody has re-tooled the "Super Jet" tenor m/p and added a longer shank which has completely solved the tuning problem that I had on my Mauriat. The prior model with the "shorter" shank made the m/p sharp when placed well onto the neck cork so the m/p had to be pulled out to about 1/2 inch of the cork which was unstable, even with added tape to the end of the cork.

The new model with the longer shank fits fine and has excellent response in every way and a lot of power! Really like the tone of this m/p. Just glad that Jody fixed it.
 

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Small chamber pieces typically require a longer distance from the tip of the mouthpiece to whatever registration point you pick on the neck (upper octave vent is usually a convenient point to measure to), in order to play in tune on a note of medium tube length (like, G). I call this the "sounding length" because it takes out of the discussion both the length of the cork on the neck and the length of the mouthpiece shank.

If the volume per unit length of the chamber is too small for the design of the sax, you'll have to pull out and the short tube notes will be relatively flat and the long tube notes will be relatively sharp. Given the name of "Super Jet" I'm willing to bet it's a small chamber piece. As we all know, the general tendency is for smaller chambers to give a brighter more penetrating tone; but a similar though not identical effect can be had with a fairly small raised baffle.

Beyond that is the mechanical length of the mouthpiece shank. I did try out a Jody Jazz baritone piece some years ago that I liked, and the chamber was reasonably sized, and the sounding length (as described above) was comparable to other pieces that played well, but the shank was just mechanically too darn short. I knew it was possible to put an extension on it, but permanently modifying a brand new expensive piece didn't strike me as a good idea. Remember that the shank length, once it's on the cork, has nothing to do with acoustics; any length past where it goes on the cork is there purely for mechanical stability.

When I settled, about 15 years ago, on a properly chosen mouthpiece for baritone, the sounding length (distance from tip of mouthpiece to a registration point on the neck) was a full 20 mm less than the (high quality, small chamber) mouthpiece I'd been playing before. The propensity for squeaking on the palm key notes disappeared; the typically very sharp middle E and F suddenly became in tune; and the altissimo range that had been almost impossible became readily accessible. I'll never downplay the importance of using a mouthpiece whose chamber size allows you to put it on the horn at the sounding length the horn was designed for, and play in tune. One of the first things I do now when trying out a mouthpiece is - after getting somewhat familiar with it - position it on the neck so short tube and long tube notes match their pitches (short B, C, C#, D, Eb are in tune with the overblown long versions of those notes), and then see how far off from A=440 it is. On most of my horns (mostly old) it takes a fairly large chamber piece (Meyer, for example, where the chamber is approximately the same as the shank ID) to achieve this.

Not all high baffle pieces are small chamber pieces. The two things are different. A Dukoff D chamber, or a Brilhart Level Air (the old, real ones) is a high baffle piece with a medium-large chamber. A Larry Teal selmer is a low baffle piece with a small chamber (I expect it has a very small roll-over baffle).

Now, we're going to get into personal opinion and speculation; my own personal belief is that for most players, small chambers and high baffles create more of a perception of power and projection than they deliver in reality. I believe that serious tone development work with a mouthpiece of generous chamber volume (as appropriate for your particular instrument) and a moderately sized baffle, will in the end yield a bigger, more projecting tone quality and one with more flexibility. Again making sure you all understand this is my opinion, I think there are two most common sets of customers for pieces with very small chambers and/or very high baffles. The first group is experienced seasoned players who get a big high quality sound out of any setup, and who find themselves in an extremely loud situation where they need to cut through at all costs. For people like this, the super grass cutter mouthpiece is an appropriate choice, because the tone development they've already done allows them to get a higher quality sound out of these pieces. The other group, unfortunately, is those who have NOT put in the time and effort on basic tone production and development, but want more projection. They end up getting an unpleasant shrill or quacky sound out of these pieces because they're not ready for them. And, they have to pull way out and then the horn is all out of tune with itself. This is an exact description of myself at 18 when I bought my first Dukoff D and Brilhart Level Air pieces.
 
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