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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there

So just recorded a round of play testing each tenor piece I have at the moment... all of them are quite open but feel good to me. Let me know what you think of the sound of each piece. I play mainly "free improvisation" and "noise" and whatever weird stuff, so my playing certainly isn't too "normal" but my tonal influences are Gene Ammons, Lockjaw, Coleman Hawkins, and too many to name.

I tested out 5 pieces...
-Otto Link STM 10* (Early Babbitt transitional? nobody knows). My main piece for the past 6months or so.
-Otto Link STM 10* (.133 Erik Greiffenhagen reface). Just got this piece last week.
-Otto Link Tone Master 9* (.123, Brian Powell reface). by Tone Master I mean the original one, not the new stuff.
-Drake Stubbie 10 (.130)
-Drake Bergonzi 10* (.135)

https://soundcloud.com/michael-foster-1/sets/mouthpiece-tests-7-30-13

let me know what you think!
 

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They all sound great and so do you. I think the Drake had an edge on the others.
Love what you're doing, so keep on keepin' on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks a lot! I LOVE the drake pieces a lot. they really play perfectly and still with personality.
i really am torn between my .135 STM, the bergonzi, and the stubbie. i've only played the STM on a gig before, so might be worth just trying one of the drakes out next gig. my only "issue" with the bergonzi is that I feel the altissimo isnt as nasty as the STM... but need to try it out more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
also, noticing the STM .135 sounds a LOT quiet on the recording than the others... its definitely the loudest of the bunch... odd.
 

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Michael, you sound great on all those pieces :).

Playing wise you seemed the most comfortable on the TM 9* (due to the smaller tip?). Soundwise I liked both the Drake Bergonzi 10* and the EB 10* you got from John Dikeman the best (the Bergonzi was maybe a bit too resistant for the reed). Of course soundclips only unveil small part, playing them in different environments gives the player the best information. What mpc do you prefer yourself?
 

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Michael, of course you always sound great. If we're going to rank them in terms of our favorite, it would be pretty difficult. For me, in order = 5,2,3,1,4
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks SO much for the feedback! this is why i love SOTW, thanks for the positive and informative feedback everyone!

for myself, i most prefer my usual STM 10* (courtesy of John Dikeman) as it has the most dynamic volume and flexibility, especially with a stiffer reed it seems.... for some reason that recording turned out worst out of all of them even though the mic position/reed/etc were all the same throughout.... for the sake of clarifying why i feel this piece works for me, here's a video below that i feel demonstrates both what I'm "going for" and why I like this piece, especially in terms of dynamics (i am using a microphone but only for VERY close mic'd stuff, not for projection)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RcEUBxvMGY

my thoughts on each... bare in mind, these are all FANTASTIC pieces.

Bergonzi: feels GREAT, projects well, super even throughout the registers. great attack... maybe a bit too bright for me in the upper register? I don't feel as much flexibility in terms of shifting the colors of the altissimo/split tone on this guy as I do on my regular piece. perhaps a bit too focused for me... im really into a spread sound.

Stubbie: feels great, nice dark, spread, projecting sound, but not as projecting as the STM or bergonzi I'd say. fantastic piece. great altissimo, less punchy than bergonzi or my usual STM, but I'm sure I can adjust to that and bring it out (especially with a stiffer reed). currently my main backup piece, just a hair ahead of the bergonzi, but that's a close call.

my usual piece: very fat, responsive (i imagine this is due to the relatively med-high baffle, mrpeebee I'd be curious as to your thoughts on this piece as you've played it before), very flexible, etc. super loud when i want it to be and can only be pushed more. VERY punchy, which is why i really love it. gets VERY edgy when pushed, which I both love and fight... the harder I blow the brighter it gets. definitely feels like a very open piece, can really tire me out sometimes but I feel I'll only get more and more adjusted to that... maybe will encourage me to exercise more HA!

Tone master 9*: great piece, especially now that I removed the epoxy baffle.... however volume-wise it feels somewhat limited, but very comfortable, which I presume is due to the smaller tip opening. i definitely feel I need to fight it a bit to bring the 'punch' out. great altissimo, great everything pretty much, but the volume/projection issue I feel is what gives the other pieces a bit of an edge on this one.

STM .133: need to play this one a bit more, but more resistant than my other pieces I feel but just as loud with maybe slightly less 'punch'. Less edgy than my usual STM, darker too, which is nice. need to adjust more to it.

Again, love all of these pieces... makes me want to try a Lamberson J... seems that might be a great fit for me. thanks so much for your advice and feedback, I look forward to reading more. next gig I'll bring the Drakes out maybe.
 

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This is wonderful art you're creating in all these videos! Neat stuff, neat idea with the cello too. Cool tricks, I'm sure most of us aren't able to do most of that...watched all the videos, still having a hard time hearing the tone in between all the other stuff you're doing, but impressive technique nonetheless. Having a great bag of fun mouthpieces to choose from sounds good to me, no clear loser in the bunch. So, time to sell your least-favorite pieces and buy the new Phil-Theo Tribute in a custom size and definitely one of 10mFan's new pieces!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
super curious about the tribute in a larger opening... if i were to pick up another piece it'd be either a tribute or a lamberson. i actually got a cheappp saxscape fat cat prototype online in .135 or something im excited about trying.
 

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Some reactions to your mouthpieces:

1. tone master 9*: the sound is dry. the notes are a bit too focused. But i want to hear this sound. There is a hidden beast here.
2. drake bergonzi 10*: i don't want to listen to this tone. it's stupid and 'jazzy.' it's not your sound.
3. drake stubbie 10: honky in a bad way. sounds like a saxophone instead of like sound.
4. link STM .133: good. a compelling cry in the sound. I want to hear this voice. Even the silences are good.
5. link 10* Florida: I usually don't understand the term 'dark,' but this mouthpiece darkens your tone. It's beautiful, but there's no intrinsic excitement there. use this at weddings where the emphasis is not on you but on the lovely couple.

You should only play 1 and 4. 1 is the best. Oh, but 4 is the best. No, 1 is the better. No, etc.
 

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Oh, but then I am responding to the quality of the sound in your Soundcloud recordings.

On the duet videos with Leila Bordreuil, it's more about the flexibility of tone manipulation. You will be the best judge of that. Which mouthpiece is most exploitable?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ggmiller, thanks so much, super great feedback... yes, i agree a bit with the bergonzi assessment... it is a bit too 'contemporary jazzy' for my taste, but still great, but yes pretty spot-on, man.
yeah, for me the STM 10* is the most flexible, and yes, 'dark' is a tricky term... im not even so sure anymore unless you put a dukoff next to a rascher piece or something drastic.
YES, 100% on the saxophonic-sound! as much as someone like Lockjaw, Jug, or Prez define the saxophone, i think of them first and foremost as 'pure sound' than saxophone. i find some pieces (especially more (post?)modern ones) have a kind of built in saxophonic point of reference/signifier.

thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
and yes, that tone master is a beast. was my main piece for a while. super surprising and flexible, however just wish i could get more volume out of the thing... will work on it.
 

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my usual piece: very fat, responsive (i imagine this is due to the relatively med-high baffle, mrpeebee I'd be curious as to your thoughts on this piece as you've played it before), very flexible, etc. super loud when i want it to be and can only be pushed more. VERY punchy, which is why i really love it. gets VERY edgy when pushed, which I both love and fight... the harder I blow the brighter it gets. definitely feels like a very open piece, can really tire me out sometimes but I feel I'll only get more and more adjusted to that... maybe will encourage me to exercise more HA!
Michael, I loved that piece when I played it some years ago at John's place and I would have bought it if it was for sale at that moment (but it wasn't!). I liked it for the same reasons as you: very nice subtone and dark core when played soft, nice and edgy when played with a high airstream, able to take all the air you can put in, wide dynamic range. Since than I acquired a lot of other mpc's (mostly vintage Link's with big tips) and some of them are in the same league as your piece or even better (but you are a far better player than me). Lately the edge and brightness of baffled pieces like EB or FL Link's starts to bother me more and more, so I'm getting more interested in pieces like your TM 9* or Stubbie 10, which seem to be less bright when pushed. I think John Dikeman already went into that direction.

Tone master 9*: great piece, especially now that I removed the epoxy baffle.... however volume-wise it feels somewhat limited, but very comfortable, which I presume is due to the smaller tip opening. i definitely feel I need to fight it a bit to bring the 'punch' out. great altissimo, great everything pretty much, but the volume/projection issue I feel is what gives the other pieces a bit of an edge on this one.
Is this TM 9* the same piece we discussed about some months ago (it than had a very big epoxy baffle inserted)?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yeah same piece, i got the epoxy removed months ago and plays muchhhhhh better. really interesting piece!
yeah, mrpeebee, you got the realllllly good pieces! next time im in AMS i'd love to check out your pieces!
 

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yeah same piece, i got the epoxy removed months ago and plays muchhhhhh better. really interesting piece!
yeah, mrpeebee, you got the realllllly good pieces! next time im in AMS i'd love to check out your pieces!
Your pieces are also great Michael and in the end the player is far more important than the mpc.

Let me know when you come to AMS, would be nice to meet and have some fun testing mpc's :).
 

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GGMiller, I have to say that I find your assessment a bit off-putting. I don't think Michael's sound is "stupid" on the Bergonzi. Seems a bit distasteful to say. I felt it was one of the more pleasing and approachable saxophone sounds of the bunch. Your Drake Stubby review was also a bit odd, saying it "sounds like a saxophone instead of like sound." I think the rest of us are here because we LIKE the way the saxophone sounds.....
 
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