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Black Laquer La Sax Soprano, Again, Black Laquer Selmer super action 80 serie II, and
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So before I start, let me just say I did my homework first and have found a lot of good requests but wanted to narrow down the search by starting this thread. Before everyone jumps the gun let me just state; Yes, I know everyone is going to sound different. Yes, I am fully aware of the dreaded intonation nuances on soprano. And, lastly No I am not looking a shortcut or the answer in a bottle. 😉

My background on Soprano dates back to the mid 90s so I am well aware of the struggles and such on soprano. However it’s time for some new inspiration. Im still playing on the mouthpiece that came with the horn.
Rico B5
Rico Orange box 3.5 or Vandoren Java Green 3
LA Sax straight soprano (yes my 3yr old son painted it blue) but that’s a story for another day lol. 🙄🤯🎷

I’m leaning towards something in the $200 range. Plus or minus wont be a deal breaker though. I love a brighter, super clear and focused tone. Think Winston Marsalis.
What I don’t like is……dare I say…..Coltrane. I know…I know. I’m sorry🤦‍♂️ But horses for courses right. I just want to stay away from whatever quality it is that gives some sopranos that Quacky, Ducky, Nasally sound. Sorry John 😉 lol
Im curious of what others think about these choices.

Otto Link STM (metal)
Yani metal
Selmer Super Session
Lakey
Beechler Black Diamond

Im sure I’m leaving some out. You know that old age thing. What’s it called memory?
Anyways please feel free to add any suggestion. I know a common suggestion is the Yamaha 4c but i feel like that would be too similar to what Ive been playing on for decades. so let’s leave that one out. All else is fair game. 🥳🎷

BTW for whatever it’s worth. I use a Dukoff D8 on Alto and a Bellite 8 on Tenor. And I’m quite partial to metal however i remain open minded.

🍻 Cheers from Connecticut
Sean
 

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I am sure that any form of equipment change only offer s brief alteration of your sound, if just few days you will revert to your sound . Sound is not a matter of equipment, equipment is only a facilitator.

I said it time and time again, isten to Sonny Rollins , he played at least 3 different (very different ) horns ( Buescher, King S20 and Selmer) countless mouthpieces (although Berg Lrasen is most prominent) and he always sounded like himself.

Anyway, you can radically depart from your very bright mouthpiece but your brain will keep thinking your sound and direct the body to do all there can possibly be done to go back to the sound concept.
 

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Sop: Yam 82ZR, Yani SC-WO20, Tenor: Yam YTS-62iii, Ishimori WoodStone "New Vintage", GS Reso FG 7*
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What type of music do you prefer to play? You say you prefer a clear focussed sound like Branford Marsalis but Branford actually varies his tone quite a lot. It is not always clear and focussed. Witness "Lonely Woman"


Secondly, the same mouthpiece, especially on Soprano, can create a wide range of tones in the mouth of different players. In your mouth, who knows except by trying it?

As an example, a Theo Wanne Gaia can sound classical ("clear and focussed alternative to Selmer Super Session") in the first video below or sensitively expressive on a beautiful ballad in the second video below.



Simplistically, IMHO there are two broad types of Soprano tone: clear and focussed tone achieved with a narrow tip on something like a Selmer D or Yamaha 5C; and a more expressive tone as in the second Gaia example above achieved with a wider tip on a Link-style mouthpiece such as a TW Gaia or an Aizen LS. Neither are ducky to my ear. The second is a more vintage sound. The first, classical. Someone like Branford Marsalis spans both as occasion demands but his setup stays the same!

 

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There’s a relatively inexpensive mouthpiece you left out of your list - Bari. And a somewhat more expensive one - the 10MFan Virtuoso. I have a couple Baris, they are quite good, and do have a clear focused sound.

The Virtuoso is in a different league, though. Highly recommended. FWIW I’ve been playing soprano since 1971.
 

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I’m leaning towards something in the $200 range. Plus or minus wont be a deal breaker though. I love a brighter, super clear and focused tone. Think Winston Marsalis.

🍻 Cheers from Connecticut
Sean
Wynton Marsalis, the trumpet player and younger brother of saxophonist Branford Marsalis?

Are there any classical soprano saxophonist? Are there any recommended recordings that demonstrate the types of tones they get? (I am about to view the posted YouTube video. Thanks.)

Regards,
Arte Jones
 

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VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
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I started out on a wide open metal Link. (Maybe I’ll finish up on it.) Nice consistent density. I don’t know about quacking, but I tend to associate Selmer rubber with a more oboe character in the low register, which I like.
 

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Here's my attempt to sound like Branford (Please ignore me choking on high E, I only had one take in me). Setup is 2.5 Rico on Runyon Custom Spoiler #8 (spoiler removed), YSS62. (Thanks @Artem Zhulyev for the nice transcription).

I've tried other mouthpieces (Yamaha, Selmer, Bari), and Runyon is my favorite by far. I imagine any metal mouthpiece would be quite unpleasant for the listener.
 

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I'm going to step outside of your wish for a mouthpiece and instead tell a short story. I've played sax since 1958 (tenor, alto , bari) and in the 90s decided to try to play soprano for the first time. I bought an new LA sax soprano set up and ready to play from a dealer. I tried to play that for a year. It sounded awful and I just thought I'm not a soprano player. I then got curious about a Yanagisawa soprano that was for sale. I went and tried it out and found that I can play soprano perfectly! I obviously don't know what your LA sax is like, but I'd suspect that as the first thing to check by comparing with other horns. I've since had numerous vintage/antique sopranos, C sop, and many sopraninos. None of them was as out of tune and horrible as that LA sax soprano. The worst sax EVER made! It's quite possible to "invest" in a better mouthpiece and not have gained much. ....Just something to consider.
 

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So no non-unobtainium recommendations? (Pretty sure Runyon is finished.)

[Note to self: non-unobtainium or ununobtainium? Or = obtainium? 🤔]
Sorry about. Didn't realize they were so hard to come by these days. I wish I had another recommendation, but I don't.

If anybody reading this has a Runyon they want to get rid of, please post.
 

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Sorry about. Didn't realize they were so hard to come by these days. I wish I had another recommendation, but I don't.

If anybody reading this has a Runyon they want to get rid of, please post.
Btw I just got a minty YSS 62 as my first soprano and I’ve had a bit of FOMO about not going vintage, having never tried any others, but the lovely sound you’re getting here is helping me to put that concern out of my thoughts! 🙌
 

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STM is really worth trying.
 

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So before I start, let me just say I did my homework first and have found a lot of good requests but wanted to narrow down the search by starting this thread. Before everyone jumps the gun let me just state; Yes, I know everyone is going to sound different. Yes, I am fully aware of the dreaded intonation nuances on soprano. And, lastly No I am not looking a shortcut or the answer in a bottle. 😉

My background on Soprano dates back to the mid 90s so I am well aware of the struggles and such on soprano. However it’s time for some new inspiration. Im still playing on the mouthpiece that came with the horn.
Rico B5
Rico Orange box 3.5 or Vandoren Java Green 3
LA Sax straight soprano (yes my 3yr old son painted it blue) but that’s a story for another day lol. 🙄🤯🎷

I’m leaning towards something in the $200 range. Plus or minus wont be a deal breaker though. I love a brighter, super clear and focused tone. Think Winston Marsalis.
What I don’t like is……dare I say…..Coltrane. I know…I know. I’m sorry🤦‍♂️ But horses for courses right. I just want to stay away from whatever quality it is that gives some sopranos that Quacky, Ducky, Nasally sound. Sorry John 😉 lol
Im curious of what others think about these choices.

Otto Link STM (metal)
Yani metal
Selmer Super Session
Lakey
Beechler Black Diamond

Im sure I’m leaving some out. You know that old age thing. What’s it called memory?
Anyways please feel free to add any suggestion. I know a common suggestion is the Yamaha 4c but i feel like that would be too similar to what Ive been playing on for decades. so let’s leave that one out. All else is fair game. 🥳🎷

BTW for whatever it’s worth. I use a Dukoff D8 on Alto and a Bellite 8 on Tenor. And I’m quite partial to metal however i remain open minded.

🍻 Cheers from Connecticut
Sean
If you don’t mind a little brightness the Vandoren V16 is the most fun piece I’ve played on soprano. I play an S6 and I love it to death. I just ordered a Selmer S80 in an E tip opening to see if I can get a little darker sound. Good luck.
 

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the metal yani sounds execellent and isnt obnoxious bright. always wanted to try a stm on sop but never found one used for sale. the also mentioned bari brand is really good and a bargain
 

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SDA, SBA. 62ii tenors, Yana, B&S sopranos
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Selmer Super Session would be my advice. I and J facing are hard to find but H facings are still available. I think it goes like this for Jazz anyway - I have heard this advice "Tenor gotta have a Link, for Alto a Meyer and for soprano Selmer.

The BARI brand is good - I lost mine and since 2002 had been playing a Phil Barone NY 7* and a Metal Link. Lately - I got a Selmer Super Session H and I also just got 2 new to me Sopranos a Yanagisawa S800 which is a Mark 8 copy and a Yamaha 875-EX in addition to my B&S Blue Label. The Super Session works on all of them with good intonation and my tone is more or less the same without doing that much adjustments to my embouchure and breath.
 
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