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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The typical paradigm is that we have a "favorite" mouthpiece and we try to find reeds that work well with it or, if necessary, modify reeds so that they work well with it. But given that there's inevitable variability in a box of reeds, I wonder whether anyone has a couple (or more) of reasonably closely matched mouthpieces that they try to match to their reeds. For example, two mouthpieces with slightly different tip openings, one for the harder reeds in a box, one for the softer ones.
 

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I think that I have found my way to mouthpieces that play well with the reeds I like, in both strength and cut.
 

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On soprano, I do that . . match reeds to various mouthpieces. For instance, I adjust all reeds in a box. The softest ones go with my SS-J, the slightly harder ones go on my STM Links (7* & 8*) and Morgan Vintages (6 & 7). After prepping and adjusting, I put the reeds in various reed-guards so I know which ones I intended for which mouthpieces. DAVE
 

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chitownjazz said:
The typical paradigm is that we have a "favorite" mouthpiece and we try to find reeds that work well with it or, if necessary, modify reeds so that they work well with it. But given that there's inevitable variability in a box of reeds, I wonder whether anyone has a couple (or more) of reasonably closely matched mouthpieces that they try to match to their reeds. For example, two mouthpieces with slightly different tip openings, one for the harder reeds in a box, one for the softer ones.
I have four mouthpieces that I switch when I have problems with reed consistency or air humidity or embouchure fatigue or whatever.
 

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I tend to stick with mY super session on all the altos but on soprano, I go between a super session and some Yamahas. The SS plays well on the Conns where the Yamas work on the Kings and Martins. I had a teacher in college that carried a C*, C** D and E for alto and matched the mouthpiece to the reeds. If a reed was too hard for the D, he moved it to the C**. I see no problem with this as the chambers are the same. For years I used an S-80 or Meyer 6M but the SS replaced them both. I think the main reason to switch mouthpieces is to match to a particular horn brand or mostly to adjust to the room where you are playing.
 

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chitownjazz said:
The typical paradigm is that we have a "favorite" mouthpiece and we try to find reeds that work well with it or, if necessary, modify reeds so that they work well with it. But given that there's inevitable variability in a box of reeds, I wonder whether anyone has a couple (or more) of reasonably closely matched mouthpieces that they try to match to their reeds. For example, two mouthpieces with slightly different tip openings, one for the harder reeds in a box, one for the softer ones.
I preferably use one brand of reeds and as you know several mouthpieces. My mouthpieces work best with these reeds and are optimized for them but they work in a satisfactory way with any other brand. Of course the perfect match always require a bit of work on the mouthpiece's tip. Professional players are very sensitive to very small changes as it should be...

Stan
 

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Find the kind of reed you like. Then find a piece that goes with that. Remember to "play the reed". If you like a hard reed then find a piece and a tip that goes with it. Tips are about comfort level, not sound. How many times have I given up thinking my sound was getting worse, when I just needed a new reed.
 

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I think the point of your thread is whether some players have the same mpc in different openings to accomodate the variations in a given box of reeds.

I have one mpc per horn.
I don't necessarely want the exact same reed strenght from day to day because my embouchure doesn't feel the same every day.On some days I might want a slightly harder or softer reed depending on how my chops feel. So by keeping 4 or 5 reeds in rotation I usually find one that matches up well.

Over the past few years I've defined what I want in a reed and for me it's traditional Vandorens #3 on all saxes. I know it' an unusual choice for a jazz musician but I like the darker tone and the center in the low register that i get with this cut.
So when I try out other mpcs it's always with this reed, if it doesn't match up I move on to another piece. It might be an excellent mpc with another type of reed but if it doesn't play well with a trad. Vandoren it's not for me.
 

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chitownjazz,
Kessler now has the OL7+2Pro to complement your OL7Pro. Were you thinking about that?
 

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I found years ago that the reeds table cut was concave (side to side). take one to a fine grit sheet of sandpaper and pull down (butt end down) as a test. Look at the pattern on the sandpaper. I haven't done it in ages, but that's what I found out.

Plus, check the cut of the reed. look a the butt end and see if it is uniform (left to right) with the other reeds. They tend to vary except for the more costly ones (and those aren't perfect either). Plus a good table on a mpc is priceless as they are more reed friendly

not exactly an answer of matching reeds to mpcs but something to look at and learn more. I tend to be able to use every reed in a box with a particular mpc. BUT I also know how to adjust reeds (and mpcs)

I'll use my C** or D mpc for more concert band settings. I'll use the larger tips for more jazz band settings. Different reed strengths though. but everyone has their own particular ways ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LampLight said:
chitownjazz,
Kessler now has the OL7+2Pro to complement your OL7Pro. Were you thinking about that?
I've now got both, and they match very well, so I have the option of using the one that matches the reed strength better. For my #3 ZZs, that's definitely more often the +2. I continue to be extremely pleased with the Kessler OL7 mouthpieces.
 

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Congrats. That seemed like a smart move, plus you can see if you evolve towards one opening or the other as your main deal.

This is slightly off point, but . . . Kessler says they patterned the piece after the Florida metal Link, and Theo's Mouthpiece Museum says this Link evolved from a very shallow roll-over to a much more pronounced one. So I was wondering what the Kessler baffle is like and how bright the piece is.
 

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Chitownjazz,

When I made a decision to switch to Legere reeds a couple of years ago I reversed the usual paradign (as you described) by looking for mouthpiece facings and ligatures that give me the best possible quality of sound from Legere. This is not exactly what you describe in having 2 mouthpieces with facings that can cover softer or harder reeds in a box. However, what I did is along the lines of matching mouthpieces to a reed rather than the usual way of matching reeds to a mouthpiece.

With the approach I've taken I'm able to get a truly beautiful sound with Legere reeds using Walter Grabner's clarinet and bass clarinet mouthpieces. Happily, I found that Legere reeds also sound really good on the Morgan 6C tenor mouthpiece that Ralph custom made for me a few years ago. Recently, I sent my backup 6C to Brian Powell along with a new Legere reed and asked Brian to adjust the mouthpiece facing so it works better with Legere reeds. Brian made some changes to the facing curve and took in the side rails. The mouthpiece now plays beautifully! Truly, a night and day difference.

I've found it to be really funny in how, on some discussion threads on the Forum, I've described the quality of sound I get with Legere reeds on the mouthpieces I've come to use and it appears that some folks don't believe me. But, it's true! Legere reeds sound terrible on some facings. If one has only experienced Legere in that way then I can understand how they might have a problem in believing someone who talks about the reeds in glowing terms. But, as I've discovered, it comes down to having a good match between the reed profile and the mouthpiece facing.

Roger
 
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