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Discussion Starter #1
The discussions of what mouthpiece is "best" are pretty fruitless. I'm wondering if we could collect some guidelines of which mouthpieces are just not good choices for certain saxes due to design incompatibilities. I think this comes up most often with vintage saxes (but maybe not exclusively?) I'm particularly interested because of my Bueschers and Conns - from New Wonder alto and TT soprano to 140, 156, and Conn 6M. I'm supposing that the most obvious sign of incompatibility is poor intonation; are there other mismatch pitfalls out there as well?

For the mouthpiece illiterate among us (myself included), it would be helpful to give some brand/model examples rather than just say "large chamber mouthpieces" - I hear terms like that but don't really know which models that applies to. Thanks in advance for the input!
 

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Even though only vintage mouthpieces were around when vintage saxes were developed, most modern mouthpieces work just fine on them. If a player is having an intonation problem, an attempt should be made to diagnose it before deciding a larger chamber mouthpiece is needed. A larger chamber mouthpiece will only help if the high notes are flat and/or the low notes are sharp. But I have seen a few report the opposite results which is puzzling. I would expect tip opening and embouchure changes made during a mouthpiece change could confound the results.

The only general consensus that comes to my mind is that Conn 12M Bari necks seem short. Either a large chamber mouthpiece is needed, or a long mouthpiece (like Runyon Quantum) or a neck extension.
 

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A short shank Soloist can be too small with large bore saxophones... they require a larger chamber mouthpiece to be played in tune.

Stan
 

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Conn 10M's seem to have better intonation with large chambered mouthpieces than with small chambered mouthpieces. With a small chambered piece, it has to be pulled out so much it's not on the neck very securely.
 

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MojoBari said:
The only general consensus that comes to my mind is that Conn 12M Bari necks seem short. Either a large chamber mouthpiece is needed, or a long mouthpiece (like Runyon Quantum) or a neck extension.
Older Conn bari's as well. My New Wonder would only play in tune using pickle-barrels; that is until I got an RPC (that's about a half inch longer than a Link, and a relatively large chamber). For my 10M, it's hard to generalize which types of pieces match up well and which don't. I found it to be hit or miss regardless of baffle, chamber size and facing.
 

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This is a great topic. Here's question on a not-so-vintage model. With my son's Yamaha 62II, his S80 D needs to be pushed on almost all the way to the end of the cork. But with his Meyer metal J8, he has to pull out as far as possible to get in tune. Both tune well at about the same cork location on my vintage (to stay on topic) Buescher 400. What's the reason for that?
 

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Since these are such radically different tip openings, it is likely that his embouchre is just more relaxed on the S80 D and he is biting/pinching the Meyer metal. Is he using the same reeds on both. He should use a much softer reed on the Meyer.
 

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Caravan Tenor, although a large bore, sounds weird on a Conn Chu.

Runyon Sr doesn't sound like itself either.

Runyon 88 sounds abrasive on Chu, as does Rousseau Classical

seems squeezed throats and rollover baffles add brightness where none is needed on a chu.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Which popular mouthpieces are large chamber pieces and which are small chamber pieces?
 

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Otto Link Tone Edge and Super Tone Masters are large chambered. Dukoffs and Beechlers are small chambered.

Though it might be a stretch to call Beechlers "popular". :D
 

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I think all of it is just a personal opinion. The only real problems I have seen in the past 40+ years are that some mouthpieces (Selmer Short Shanks) are too sharp to stay on some tenor necks and some older horns tend to gurggle down low with certain modern mouthpieces. I had a Chu Curved soprano that would only work with a FL slant link HR.
 

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while i can't really be sure my intuition tells me all the intonation problems atribututed to mouthpieces are actually embouchre like shmuelyosef said about the youngster. For instance if you are playing alto with your jaw dropped way down you have to push the mouthpiece way in but when you get to high c# you are a half step sharp.
sometimes the bad embouchre can be traced back to compensating for just a bad mouthpiece that can't play properly.

this is different than just relaxed. alot of very good player tune way in because they play relaxed. rather what i'm saying is just way bad incorrect
embouchre causing people to think they have mouthpiece/ horn incompatabilities.
 

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garyjones said:
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embouchre causing people to think they have mouthpiece/ horn incompatabilities.
That's right but also if every other parameters are OK! the internal volume of the mouthpiece should remains inside a quite well defined range which depends on the particular saxophone. It is an easy task to have an idea of that volume starting from a rough measurement of the area at the end of the neck.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are Morgans large or small chamber . . . or some models of each?

Selmer S-80 and S-90's? Vandorens? Selmer Soloists?
 

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Fred said:
Are Morgans large or small chamber . . . or some models of each?

Selmer S-80 and S-90's? Vandorens? Selmer Soloists?
Morgans Classic mp is a large bore, scooped side walls. Other Morgans vary. I haven't seen a Vandoren with anything over a medium size bore.

Zinner makes some Large bore classical pieces.
I have one on a Conn Bass, its as big as I have ever seen. Larger than a Woodwind of Paris steelite, Larger than a Caravan, Ridenour, Rascher, Otto Link or anything else I have ever come across.

The others I couldn't say.

You should be interested in the sound they produce not necessarily the bore size although that plays a roll in sound production. I like the richness of large bores with scooped side walls and a deep baffle, sometimes with a slight rollover baffle for color and projection but it depends on the music and it depends on the sax, and it depends alot on me.
 

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I'll go in a bit different direction here...Rousseau mouthpieces were developed for and tested on Yamaha saxophones. (The NC series was to be the stock piece for the YAS-875 until Yamaha changed their collective mind.) The R series was designed for and tested on the 62 series.

I have heard that Vandoren Optimums do not work well with Selmer Ref.54 horns, but I'm not sure about that one.

There has been a long debate about Selmer S-80 and S-90 mouthpieces as to whether they REALLY work well with any horns that aren't made by Selmer, or if people are just so used to them that they find ways to compensate, but I'm not going to touch that one.
 

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J.Max said:
I'll go in a bit different direction here...Rousseau mouthpieces were developed for and tested on Yamaha saxophones. (The NC series was to be the stock piece for the YAS-875 until Yamaha changed their collective mind.) The R series was designed for and tested on the 62 series.

I have heard that Vandoren Optimums do not work well with Selmer Ref.54 horns, but I'm not sure about that one.

There has been a long debate about Selmer S-80 and S-90 mouthpieces as to whether they REALLY work well with any horns that aren't made by Selmer, or if people are just so used to them that they find ways to compensate, but I'm not going to touch that one.

I didn't know that about the Rousseau's. Interesting enough I used to play an N5 on my Selmer alto and a t'wan bari. I have since gone with a less colored sound of the Hites on those horns and gone Caravan, Rascher, Morgan or Zinner on anything else of vintage.

I went to the dark side...........

Sometimes I think when mp manufactures try to color a deep voiced mp they are just trying to make a bland horn sound as good as a Buescher......and that too is another discussion. ;)
 

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Grumps said:
Have you ever played a really old Conn bari?
I got my Metalite to play in tune one a 12M, although that required me to wrap the cork in paper so that I could get the mouthpiece far enough in on the cork to play in tune. I wouldn't say that they are incompatible, since I eventually got them to sound great (and in tune) together,but they definitely were not designed for each other.

I've never played a pre-12M bari, though, so maybe those really are incompatible with high-baffle mouthpieces.
 
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