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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I play a HR Otto Link #6 with my Yamaha soprano. Currently I'm using Rico Royal #3 reeds with it. I really love the dark, smooth and beautiful sound that I'm getting with this setup. I play my soprano on musical (3-4 times a week) + on some gigs. Currently I feel that those #3 reeds are becoming too soft for me. I may try some #3.5's. My main problem is that there are situations where I need more volume. How about getting a more open Link? I'm afraid that the intonation will suffer. I'm very satisfied with the intonation on this setup. I've tried some more open pieces (not Links though) and I feel that the intonation became pretty wild. What are my options? Different reeds, harder reeds? More open Link or something else? I want to retain the sound quality. One alternative is to buy a cheap very closed Link and get it opened to 6. That way it would have a more pronounced baffle (more projection) but I'm afraid that it will became too bright sounding.. Any suggestions or experiences on this?
 

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The easy answer is of course to go for a high baffle mouthpiece, preferably with a spoiler inside. That will give you huge volume, but the tone will change radically, and I suspect you won't like it. I have a love hate relationship with my 6* metal STM which I have owned for the last 30 years.
Actually, the Link can sound pretty bright if paired with the right reed, due to the roll over baffle. Like any mouthpiece, it is heavily influenced by the choice of reed. On my setup, I find a Medium Bari plastic reed gives the Link the ability to turn into a quasi screamer when pushed, but can still retain the dark smoky quality of the Link that makes it such a classic mpc. If you have no prejudice against plastic reeds, you can try out a Bari and see if it helps you cut through with your current Link. It's only a $10 experiment, so it's affordable.
 

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Maybe if you soften the reed a bit, to a 2.5, you will be able to get more volume by blowing harder. The softer reed may respond better to higher pressure. But your mouth will have to give up some tension to let the reed do its thing. A slightly smaller tip can also respond better to more air pressure to get volume.
 

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Yeah. My gosh man, soprano is piercing enough as it is.
Ok, since this is a serious question...

1) Soprano doesn't have to be piercing and bright. With the right mouthpiece, reed, horn and embrochure, it can actually sound quite round and even mellow. It doesn't always have to sound like Coltrane on Favorite Things, or Kenny G on any soprano song. Go listen to Sidney Bechet, and you will be suprised how different a soprano can sound than 'piercingly bright'.

2) If you play with a SATB Quartet, in general, the bigger the horn, the louder it naturally is. Therefore, one might need more volume on the soprano in order to match the alto, tenor and bari saxes. This is especially important since the Soprano sax usually carries the melody most of the time in quartet arrangements, so it is important for it to be loud enough.

There are some other reasons I could think of, but I'll just leave it at the two above. If you find your current soprano sound very piercing and unpleasant, then you can try to develop a mellower or darker sound on your soprano horn.
 

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I feel like I've personally got my sound down close to where I like it. In my limited experience with soprano though, I can't think of why I would ever need to play louder than I do with the setups I've played on. Those setups being: Yamaha 875ex with a Rousseau 4R, and a Buffet SDA with the stock mouthpiece.
 

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I feel like I've personally got my sound down close to where I like it. In my limited experience with soprano though, I can't think of why I would ever need to play louder than I do with the setups I've played on. Those setups being: Yamaha 875ex with a Rousseau 4R, and a Buffet SDA with the stock mouthpiece.
It's simple - just because you can't imagine why you would ever need to play louder, or have more volume does not mean the rest of the soprano players in the world all have to feel the same way that you do. Not to worry, with more experience, playing in different settings, you may one day understand the need for more volume on your soprano sax.

I play Runyon, Selmer, Riffault, Rico mouthpieces on 3 straight sopranos and I curved one, including an SML silver plated KM model, and a Keilwerth SX90II soprano sax, and I have played soprano for more than 15 years, and sometimes I also feel the need for more volume for certain situations. So trust me on this, it can happen.

As you are happy with your sound, and do not need anything more, then you are all set. Now please allow the rest of us to try to help the OP with his problem of not getting enough volume - ok with you mate?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
On my main gigs, that is theater-musical, I'm the only woodwind player and I'm playing against 3 brass.. Although we are miked I'd like to have more projection in able to hear myself better. I have also a HR Yanagisawa 6 which is definately louder but I don't care for that sound.
 

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-TH,
I played many years with a square chambered HR Link (7*).Beautiful warm sound,not penetrating at all.But I wanted to get more power to the sound so I talked with Ron,RPC mouthpieces, and he made me a soprano piece with .080"opening and a BAFFLE and AVOT, the piece is now very powerful when pushed but I still have the same warm sound as with the Link.Nowit´s much easier for me to play the soprano with electric instruments,it feels like I don´t have to work so hard... :)
I recommend that you talk with Ron.
Good luck!
 

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On my main gigs, that is theater-musical, I'm the only woodwind player and I'm playing against 3 brass.. Although we are miked I'd like to have more projection in able to hear myself better. I have also a HR Yanagisawa 6 which is definately louder but I don't care for that sound.
TH, I don't think you can beat them. 3 against 1.

If you are miked, you can ask your soundman to turn up your volume a little bit more. Or turn down those brass volumes. Or... have your brass friends to shut up or at least play not too loudly (full power) when you are playing your solo parts.

You are using a soprano, it's hard to hear yourself play. But your friend who is among the audience can hear you much better. So if you need an assessment to your sound volume, hand your friend a small Digital Voice Recorder and have him/her record your gig. From there you can better understand your weakness and can go look for a new more volume mpiece. But if you think that after your sound volume is actually loud enough, then don't change your set up. It's just a matter of you not hearing what you play. A problem if you play saxophone in a band closely together.
 

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Hi,

I play a HR Otto Link #6 with my Yamaha soprano. Currently I'm using Rico Royal #3 reeds with it. I really love the dark, smooth and beautiful sound that I'm getting with this setup. I play my soprano on musical (3-4 times a week) + on some gigs. Currently I feel that those #3 reeds are becoming too soft for me. I may try some #3.5's. My main problem is that there are situations where I need more volume. How about getting a more open Link? I'm afraid that the intonation will suffer. I'm very satisfied with the intonation on this setup. I've tried some more open pieces (not Links though) and I feel that the intonation became pretty wild. What are my options? Different reeds, harder reeds? More open Link or something else? I want to retain the sound quality. One alternative is to buy a cheap very closed Link and get it opened to 6. That way it would have a more pronounced baffle (more projection) but I'm afraid that it will became too bright sounding.. Any suggestions or experiences on this?
You mentioned "Im afraid..." twice.

You know very well the consequences of changing set up.

You still want to play to your comfort.

Then it's best to just go to the soundman and ask him a little favour to turn up your volume.
 

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Then it's best to just go to the soundman and ask him a little favour to turn up your volume.
It took a while to get to the correct answer. You say you love your tone. Then change nothing that will affect it. Amplify. If you don't have a monitor. Get one. The come in all flavors - some with a very small footprint. There are even in-ear solutions. Even in an "acoustic" setting, you can get away with a bit of amplification. Or if thats not allowed, you can still mic your horn and send it thru a mini-mixer to an in-ear monitor. The audience is probably hearing you loud and clear.
 

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"I really love the dark, smooth and beautiful sound that I'm getting with this setup."
You are stating this but want more volume...you need to rethink your options, you will never compete with brass instruments. Are your shows being taped/recorded, check the mix and fix if needed. Or you could always buy a pocket trumpet!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
UPDATE: I ended up purchasing a HR Otto Link 7*. The sound is fuller than on my 6 and the intonation is pretty solid for a large tipped mouthpiece. So far this has been a good solution. Dropped reed strength from 3 to 2.5. My horn section players in the musical instantly noticed my increased projection so I think this was the ticket! I hear myself better now and others can hear me better too. The intonation will take some time to get it right but it's all in your ears..
 
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