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I was just in NYC last weekend to visit, and I stopped by Roberto's shop on 46th street to buy some Alexander D.C.s....

lo and behold, what do I see staring at me through the glass display case? But a silver plated beauty called the Lebayle LR II. I of course had no choice but to try one.

A few things about this piece. I was talking Roberto, and he mentioned a few things that got my attention. First, this thing is made from a special vintage brass...but not just any brass, but I some really old church bell from France that Lebayle melted down and made mouthpieces out of! Kind of sacrilegious....but this brings the term "bell metal" to a whole new level! As the material is limited, this mouthpiece run is also limited edition.

Second, this thing isn't silver plated. It's white gold. I'm not sure what the carat rating is, but I'm sure it's high quality. Maybe with a little platinum in there? Whatever it is, it's pretty!

The ligature it comes with is some strange new thin metal ring with leather around it. Not sure how it would have sounded, since it didn't fit over the mouthpiece with my reed on it. I tried a silver FL ligature.

Anyway, I didn't have my horn with me, but they had a 60's 10M (underslung octave key) (I play a 30M...and this thing, though it didn't FEEL even close to the same mechanically, it had a very close sound) so I decided to try it. I played the 8* model with Alexander DC 3 1/2. WOW. This thing blew me away.

It's got a dark sound, but a little edge on top. I hate comparing it to a link, because it's not like a link. Lebayles have their own sound that I would categorize as being somewhere between a link and a dukoff. It's hard to explain...you gotta try them to know what I mean. But anyway, big, bold, dark, resonant sound. It outplays the regular LR in spades. I love this mouthpiece. I wanted it then. Of course, I knew I couldn't afford it....yet.

See, Lebayle's regular LR model costs $350 or so. I was afraid to ask what this thing cost, considering what I mentioned above. Well...true to my fears, it was $580. Of course, if I had that kind of money right then....I would have bought it no question.

A disclaimer....this is not a chops in a box magic solution. This mouthpiece has very little baffle....and so I would not suggest it for anyone playing baffled links or baffled anything. It has the power of a Dukoff and the Smoothness of a link, but it is closer to a link in terms of working for the sound. A low baffle round chamber mouthpiece will require you to have to put some air into the horn, regardless of the maker. That's what makes that design so effective...

This was much easier to play than a link though, and really had a nice ring and resonance to it. Is it expensive? I suppose, but I see people spending almost as much, if not more on vintage and custom stuff all the time. If it's worth it to you, then it's not expensive. Currently, I'm getting the cash together to try and get one for myself, so obviously I think it's worth it for me.

I also tried the HR version....more on that in a second. But I thought I'd chime in this thread with another of my famously long posts just to verify these things not only exist, but are FANTASTIC mouthpieces.
 

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I should also mention I normally play a Saxscape Uptown NF (.116) which I have been using for the last 8 months, and I am currently testing a Brian Powell Refaced SP Link (.115) I got on ebay. I use Alexander DC 3 1/2. All on a Silver Plated Conn 30M, and Francois Louis Ligature.

That's what I compared the new Lebayles to.
 

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I'm up really early, so I figure I'll just share what I thought of the HR version.

I've never played the original Hard Rubber LR, so I can't compare. But I have been playing my Uptown NF for a while now, and have a Wooden LR (Which I don't use ONLY because I'm not confident on the stability of the wood....it's hit and miss sometimes) and have played the metal LR for a while. In general, this new model is like a link with a higher baffle. Not nearly as powerful as the metal model, but it has a nice dark core sound with a bit of edge on top. The baffle is actually too high and long for me...I found it to be "shrill" up top, even on something as dark as a Conn. Which is odd...the metal version was so smooth and even, while being much louder....

Anyway, the HR LRII is again, Lebayle's thing. I've found his mouthpieces to have a certain sound that I hear in many of the players that play on them. Not unlike how a link has that certain quality we all recognize when we hear one. So to compare this piece to an HR link is again...not the best comparison. But I think if you are looking for an HR link with baffle, then this piece might suit you.

The price on this one is $395....unlike the metal LRII though, I can't personally justify the price...because it wasn't playing much better than what I have now. It didn't like, blow me away you know? But again, everyone is different.

But certainly, these are also limited edition, so if you want one, get one before it's gone! I would HIGHLY recommend you go to Roberto's first before buying either of these though if possible...because as far as I know, you cannot return a mouthpiece bought from him.
 

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BATMAN said:
A few things about this piece. I was talking Roberto, and he mentioned a few things that got my attention. First, this thing is made from a special vintage brass...but not just any brass, but I some really old church bell from France that Lebayle melted down and made mouthpieces out of! Kind of sacrilegious....but this brings the term "bell metal" to a whole new level! As the material is limited, this mouthpiece run is also limited edition.
This sounds pretty far fetched to me. He's making this model out of brass from a old church bell??????:shock:
 

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Nefertiti said:
This sounds pretty far fetched to me. He's making this model out of brass from a old church bell??????:shock:
Fred Lebayle is not talking about old church bells on his website, only about a new alloy for the LR II.

This is from his website:

A new chamber is born in New york, January 2007, the new metal LR2 is lauched on the market, and offer to the Lebayle mouthpieces range model, made with a new metal alloy, white gold plated, and high quality hand finish.
 

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That's what I was told. Maybe I heard him wrong.

Maybe Roberto meant that the alloy was like some old church bell. I don't know. I heard the words "special metal" and "church bell in France". Most likely is that maybe Lebayle based the metal alloy on this church bell, but I am positive I head something about church bells in this conversation. Maybe Roberto actually did say its based on that bell and not MADE from it....hopefully someone can correct me so I don't spread wrong information!

I don't care though....if he said was made by magic gnomes from denmark, I'd still buy it. I don't care about the metal hype....I care about how the thing plays. Hopefully Fred comes and chimes in on what the hell is going on with this thing (no pun intended!). Do I believe material matters? Yes, to a point. But it can only mean so much....all the other stuff generally equates to how well the thing plays. And this thing REALLY plays.

Whatever it is, it works. Or it could just be his tweaked design or whatever. But this thing is EXPENSIVE, and limited in production. But it feels and sounds good...And it does have a different vibration and ring to it that the white gold plating alone can't possibly account for...it really felt more resonant than his standard LR model....just a richness in overtones. Can the listener hear that stuff? It's all relative...I don't wanna get into that whole debate over the sound behind and in front of the horn. What matters to me is that I hear a difference.

If you didn't like the old LR model, then I'm not sure if you'll like this new one...it's very similar. Whether it plays better or not to you, it's not DRASTICALLY different from his LR I. Again, better to just try it if possible....


I just know I want one....hah. If only the ligature it came with didn't suck so much (or rather...actually FIT on the mouthpiece with the reed on....)....lol.
 

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BATMAN said:
And it does have a different vibration and ring to it that the white gold plating alone can't possibly account for...
That does back up the churchbell story :D

As for the price, they go for $490 at Saxofoonwinkel in the Netherlands (not in stock yet), that's with 20% tax included, for an outside EU buyer they might go for about $420, because the tax might be taken of.
 

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Batman,
So what's the difference from his old model. Could you see a noticeable difference by eye. Higher baffle, Lower baffle, bigger chamber, smaller chamber..... Was it darker than your LR? brighter? I played a LR at Robertos once but didn't dig it. It was kind of dead for me. I couldn't get any power out of it.
 

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Grumpie....really? They don't take Paypal do they???? LOL.

Roberto's has usually been on the high side....when Junkdude was selling Lebayles, he was significantly lower priced. But as far as I know, Roberto is now the ONLY dealer here. I'll have to see if saxofoonwinkel has an 8* in stock....

Nef....the piece, as far as I could tell just by looking at it, was almost exactly the same. The baffle seemed to be finished a lot better...you don't see as much tooling where Fred lowers the baffle (removing that bullet chamber and making it a smooth rollover). The finish seems to be a lot improved...the tip rails are quite thin and and the inside is perfecty smooth. I don't own a metal LR, I own a wooden one...and that is a completely different thing altogether. But I've played the LR extensively, when I was borrowing my teacher's (he at the time didn't like it....now he loves it!) to try out. He had the regular LRs of course, and though I didn't try one (since I know what they're about) I did look at them to compare. Couldn't really see much of a difference just by sight.

The chamber felt like it was bigger, but it didn't LOOK like it was substantially different. Again, just looking at this piece, it's hard to know what if anything at all is different about it. But that is not the case when you play it. It blows the old model out of the water...for whatever reason. It certainly isn't what I would call "dead". I know what you mean about that....the regular LR's weren't nearly as impressive to me....I thought my saxscape had much more power....but this is not the case with this new LR. Maybe the combination of the new alloy and the extra time on finishing really makes that much of a difference, even if it's just the same design....

I wouldn't say this mouthpiece was darker/brighter than the old model...it was quite a bit the same. BUT it had an extra resonance that kind of just made everything pop out. I can't explain it. It's individual. You may not experience the same thing. Best I can say is again....if you have the chance to go over there and try one, then do so. The best analogy I can make is the difference between a regular Super20 and a Silversonic. Pretty much the same horn....but that silver neck and bell adds an extra layer to the sound that you can't get with just the brass. It's kind of like that....the LRII isn't necessarily a COMPLETELY different sound, but it kind of takes everything about the LR and pushes it up a notch.

Roberto had about 6-7 of them, in a few sizes. In contrast, he had at least twice as many Jazz and LR models in stock. I guess it's not economical to carry more than just a few $500+ mouthpieces! Then again, considering the clientele he gets at his store, it probably wouldn't matter. I know more than a few cats who would shell out the money....you do too....you probably own their records!
 

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I had the same problem with a tenor metal LRI I tried. Couldn't get ANY of the 6-7 brand reeds I had to fit using the napkin ring. You'd think they'd test the darn things and figure it out! No such problem with my alto LR....
 

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BATMAN said:
Grumpie....really? They don't take Paypal do they???? LOL.

I'll have to see if saxofoonwinkel has an 8* in stock....
Yes they do take Paypal, but the websites says they don't have any on the shelf at the moment.

Joe Jazz said:
I had the same problem with a tenor metal LRI I tried. Couldn't get ANY of the 6-7 brand reeds I had to fit using the napkin ring. You'd think they'd test the darn things and figure it out! No such problem with my alto LR....
Just a thought but could this also happen because of the mpc or the combination lig / mpc. The lig probably has some max and min specs on the diameter and the mpc's can have differences when measuring top to table. When there is a lig at minimum and a mpc at max this could cause a problem. Either way this should be tested before packing them together ofcourse.
Are you satisfied the way it works on your alto, I'm asking this because with this kind of design it's the lig making the call where to sit on the mpc. You can't decide for youself to have it moved to the front or back more.
 

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Grumpie, where do you see the stock information? I haven't tried to order one yet, but it looks like you can at the very least place one in your cart? I've never order from saxofoonwinkel before, though I've seen MANY positive reviews from overseas buyers here.

The ligature Lebayle includes with his mouthpieces do what they advertise as doing....assuming you can get them to fit (I'm talking about the ring type ligatures he includes). The leather/metal ligature that comes with the HR LRII fit correctly with my reed, and the response/tone was quite good. Very centered and, again, no pun intended, a "rounded" sound. But not stuffy like a Rovner or something....as the design might perhaps imply.

I would still rather use an FL lig on these though....
 

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It says so in the mouthpiece section, although even in the english version the text with the LRII is in Dutch but it says "available soon" so I figure they have none in stock yet. Maybe you should email them first (and ask about the price for a US buyer).

Thanks for the info on the lig, seems to work better then the one screw Fusion lig that came with my Metal Jazz, it works but is a bit of a hassle to put on.
 

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I went ahead and emailed them. Hopefully they have an 8* in stock, since they are >$100 cheaper there than Robertos!

The ring ligature is in theory a good idea I think. But execution just has never been that great. Mainly if the ring is too small, it tends to tear the reed up....

Also, I'm no longer sure the metal one is limited in production. Maybe, like before, I heard wrong.

The Hard Rubber one certainly is though. In fact, the HR ones are numbered.... (not serial numbered...but numbered, as in x of y made)
 
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