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I've been using an EG modified Yanagisawa HR mouthpiece for my The Martin baritone for quite some time, much to my satisfaction.

However, when Lance Burton (MartinMods) announced that he was going to create Martin-optimized bari mouthpieces, I was interested, and I wanted to see if there was still room for improvement.

Lance's work is based on a Rico Graftonite, so I basically paid for the work and shipping only, since the Graftonite pieces are so inexpensive.

Here are my observations after play testing the MartinMods piece, comparing it to my EG "double chamber" mouthpiece:

- intonation wise they are about equal. Maybe the EG piece is slightly
better, but that's probably mostly my experience with that mpc.

- both mouthpieces have very good intonation indeed; easy to match
with e.g. a play along CD (tracks from "Intermediate Jazz Conception"
by Snidero, for example). A check with an electronic tuner confirmed what I heard.

- to achieve good intonation, I have to push the EG piece fully
in, while the MartinMods mpc is only pushed in around 20%.

- The MartinMods piece is medium bright (as expected), while the EG piece has a
fairly dark sound. No surprises here, since the MartinMods piece was designed with a medium bright Berg in mind.

- The MartinMods mouthpiece definitely is a very good alternative to
the EG "double chamber" mouthpiece. That is, if you're looking for a brighter sound. Not poppy or rock bright though; it's not a very high baffle piece.

So ... after a bit more than an hour of playing?

(1) I think both pieces are a great match for The Martin bari saxes, in
terms of intonation. Both very well manageable, and much better than
e.g. a standard Meyer or Tone Edge.

(2) The EG piece fits more with my personal sound concept on bari;
dark and mellow. If I played a lot of modern jazz, I would probably
prefer the MartinMods mouthpiece. But I like dark and warm, and I hardly do any soloing.

(3) I can heartily recommend the MartinMods mpc to anyone who is looking for a
good match with a The Martin baritone. As is the case with the EG
"double chamber" piece. They are both excellent. It seems that the RPC large chamber pieces are good for using on a vintage bari too, but I have no experience with them.

I used both with a Forestone synthetic reed, which is my favorite reed for jazz bari.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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8,588 Posts
I have a Graftonite that Lance did his best to turn into a piece that would work on my Buescher bari. Also have Bilger-Morgan that Erik re-did.

Lance's piece has a good sound but it didn't get a large enough chamber when done to solve the intonation problem so it's still quite sharp throughout the range. Probably works quite well for a "The Martin" bari, but didn't solve the Big B. That said, it doesn't sound at all like a Graftonite anymore and has a good presence and full sound to it. Definitely recommendable, just not for the old Bueschers.

The Bilger-Morgan-Greiffenhagen, to the contrary, hit the nail on the head with the intonation with the Big B. Plays as well as the Rascher, but brighter and louder than that very dark piece. Not as bright as Lance's work on the Graftonite, but able to be pushed just as hard. That said, it seems to be a quite a bit pickier with reeds and I fight "articulation chirpiness" with this one more than any other piece I have -- particularly when I start getting a little tired. Still working on it, as I suspect there's a reed this thing likes out there somewhere and some of it is likely me.

All in all, both are quite good sounding pieces and I more or less agree with jthole's assessment. Lance doesn't advertise his piece as good for anything other than a Martin bari, and don't expect his piece to work as well with all vintage baris as it seems to do with The Martin.

Erik's "Double Chamber" work, on the other hand, probably works well on more horns -- at least it seems to on bari's that would otherwise be too sharp without a very dark "pickle barrel" piece like the Rascher.
 

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Forum Contributor 2008-2016
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902 Posts
I've been using an EG modified Yanagisawa HR mouthpiece for my The Martin baritone for quite some time, much to my satisfaction (...)

Here are my observations after play testing the MartinMods piece, comparing it to my EG "double chamber" mouthpiece: (...)

- both mouthpieces have very good intonation indeed; easy to match (...)

- to achieve good intonation, I have to push the EG piece fully
in, while the MartinMods mpc is only pushed in around 20%.

- The MartinMods piece is medium bright (as expected), while the EG piece has a
fairly dark sound. No surprises here, since the MartinMods piece was designed with a medium bright Berg in mind.

- The MartinMods mouthpiece definitely is a very good alternative to
the EG "double chamber" mouthpiece. That is, if you're looking for a brighter sound. Not poppy or rock bright though; it's not a very high baffle piece (...).


(1) I think both pieces are a great match for The Martin bari saxes, in
terms of intonation. Both very well manageable, and much better than
e.g. a standard Meyer or Tone Edge. (...)

(2) The EG piece fits more with my personal sound concept on bari;

(3) I can heartily recommend the MartinMods mpc to anyone who is looking for a
good match with a The Martin baritone. As is the case with the EG
"double chamber" piece. They are both excellent. It seems that the RPC large chamber pieces are good for using on a vintage bari too, but I have no experience with them.
+ 1 to most of these good comments.

I for one specifically asked Lance to go a bit further on the brighter side, because of my playing in a rather "modern" bigband, compared to my standard playing with my Martin and HR Berg in a 50-60 rather hardboppish environment. I also wanted to try to somewhat approach a "Cuberish" sound, which Lance's mpc definitely allows. Besides, Lance's price is extremely reasonable.

Before that, I had asked Eric G (no, not Kenny's brother) to try a more aggressive version of his famous double-chamber model (in my case a modified V16 Vandoren), what he very willingly did. EG had told me beforehand, as a kind of disclaimer, that these bright bari sounds were not his cup of tea; the end result appeared to be a proof of this standpoint, with a very wide and round sound - very nice indeed - but still a bit too Mulliganesque for me.
 
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