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I've recently gotten a hold of a 454,XXX tenor Silversonic. I've experimented with various RPC's, but was wondering what mouthpieces other folks are using on their Super 20's and what generalities can be made regarding same. That is, what type of mouthpiece plays better high or low, or brings out certain aspects of the horn's character. True, I know this is highly subjective, but that's why I'd like a lot of opinions to look for common themes before I invest any time and/or capital on my own experimentation with this horn.
 

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I've played Vandoren V16s (T75 and T95), the metal ones, Lawtons (8*B and BB), metal again, and a rubber Berg. The V16s work pretty well, especially the T75 but it's a tad bright and I gave up because of the problems discussed a while ago with them,i.e. It's very difficult to find and maintain a core and doesn't survive well in a nig or noisy environment. Small rooms with a 4 or a 5 piece and they're great. The Lawtons are powerful beasts and work very well but they tend to dominate the horn. I've also tried a metal Link but that was thin and bright.

My main piece now is an oldish, rubber Berg 110/1/M. This plays beautifully across the horn, rich and dark at the bottom, resonant in the middle and still strong and full at the top. Edgy or dark as you choose. I recall reading that these were the preferred pieces for S20s, that would probably be before the designer pieces we have now. I was sceptical for a long time, not least because of the difficulty in finding a decent Berg which is substantial. I've done a lot of work on this one getting it into shape. I let a 110/2/M go a couple of years ago and always regretted it but at least I knew that a good one was possible. The new ones are different with a higher baffle I think, but ones from the 70s or 80s are more complex, it seems to me.

I've assumed that an RPC would be a great fit for a S20 and had thought of searching one out. It would be interesting to hear your experiences with them Grumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
JimD said:
I've assumed that an RPC would be a great fit for a S20 and had thought of searching one out. It would be interesting to hear your experiences with them Grumps.
My all time favorite mouthpiece is a 125 high baffled RPC that measures around .134" and that's pretty much my default piece for this Silversonic. It plays so sweet up top on this horn and altissimo is a breeze. I can blast the low end, but if I want to whisper down there, I've got to take more mouthpiece into the mouth than I'm used to for better voicing (which really isn't out of the ordinary with high baffled pieces). Low B and F#1 seem to be the notes that require the most attention using the high baffled RPC. I'll get used to it, just as I got used to the quirks with using this RPC with my 10M, but since the horn is new to me, I figured I might want to give some other pieces a try to see what I can get out of it. I do have an older styled 110 rollover RPC that pretty much brings out the entire range of the horn with ease, but seems to be a bit tubby in spots with this horn and is too closed for my preferences. Now I do have a much more open, custom made RPC rollover on its way, but I ordered that for darker applications with my 10M. Not sure how it will match up with my SS, but I'm game to try it when it arrives. I had been experimenting with 3 chamber Bergs prior to picking up this horn (again, trying to darken up my 10M set-up), and now I'm wondering how a 2, 1 or even a 0 chamber might match up with this Silversonic. This horn is strictly for rock and roll gigs.
 

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The RPC sounds like the business. The new Bergs are much brighter, I don't think they compare in terms of response to baffle. I'm playing a 1 chamber but I've played new 2s and they've been brighter. That's fine except, like you with the 3 chamber, I was looking to darken the horn and get more substance. Given your description of the RPCs I wouldn't particularly recommend chasing down any Bergs unless your in the mood for that particular kind of torment. Still, the new ones are readily available at your local store. The Lawtons, especially the BB versions are plenty bright and cutting but still have a good, solid core as long as you like the Lawton core sound, and they take a bit of getting used to.

The trouble is you've re-kindled my desire for an RPC after I let one get away on eBay recently.
 

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I use a vintage ottolink STM and metal berg. I used to use a rubber berg which sounded alright to but just not my style
 

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JimD said:
The RPC sounds like the business. The new Bergs are much brighter, I don't think they compare in terms of response to baffle. I'm playing a 1 chamber but I've played new 2s and they've been brighter. That's fine except, like you with the 3 chamber, I was looking to darken the horn and get more substance. Given your description of the RPCs I wouldn't particularly recommend chasing down any Bergs unless your in the mood for that particular kind of torment. .
Hey Grumps, I think I'd second this from JimD. I've been playing RPCs on my tenors for a couple of years now, and I'd bet they would be just the ticket for a Super 20. I did play a great Silversonic a friend was selling some time back (I should have bought it, probably), using a Ponzol M2 I was playing at the time. It sounded great with the Ponzol, but maybe a bit too bright. I think the RPC would have been the one for that horn. Of course it seems to be the "one" for my VI and the Bueschers too.

You might as well check some out, but I'd bet almost anything you'll be back to the RPC eventually.
 

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Back when I had my S20 I started on a Dukoff SM7*, and, as I've stated before, altissimo was like an ice pick to the forhead. Then I switched to a Link NY9* which was meatier but didn't corner very well. Eventually I ended up with a Bob Carpenter Slant Link (about .098) and an STM done by him (about the same size). Served me well for fattening up the saound. I used the STM when I switched to my 30M.

All in all. I lean towards a good Link. But, that's my preference in general these days for tenor. Good luck.
 

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Well, I'm gonna experiment with a Berg 125/1 HR piece and I'll let you know when I get it. It's true, I doubt anything will supplant that RPC high baffle, but I do like those Ponzol M2's. I just don't like metal on tenor these days.
 

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Modern STM (.108) with added baffle, refaced by EZ. I've also used a modern (stock) STM 7* and a Berg ss 110/2 SMS to good advantage. I'm now playing around with a Berg ss 105/2 M (refaced) (that is for sale...) and it works well too.
 

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they all work...I mostly just use the same Links that I use on other horns, but everything works. The highest baffle piece I've tried is my new Guardala King...works fine, but a little intense. Might actually try that combo at an outdoor party this Saturday.
 

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Alright, I have tried a few mouthpieces on my S20. So far the best I've tried are:

Vandoren Java (black) T55 good projection, good at playing ballads too

Vandoren Java (blue) T75 (wider sound than T55, less projection, the difference, I believe, is not only the size of the opening, which is negligeable, but also the facing lenght) I have a bit more squeaking problems with this , good for ballads too

I am also in the process of testing a STM Link 6*, first impressions are that it is alright but doesn't perform as well as the HR Vandoren. Generally a good allrounder.

The Meyer 6M made in USA was the worst I tried
Berg larsen 115 too open for me but not a good sound .
 

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For R&R/blues/open-air gigs: Runyon metal smooth bore #10
For wedding/in-door gigs: Berg Larsen rubber 100/2

While they both have about the same projection, the Berg is daker, warmer, and mellower.
 

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I just got a 338,000'ish Super 20 about three weeks ago, and I'm using a solid silver Link copy made by Ted Klum that's the best mouthpiece i've ever played.
 

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Grumps said:
It's true, I doubt anything will supplant that RPC high baffle, but I do like those Ponzol M2's. I just don't like metal on tenor these days.
Even taking the metal vs HR out of the picture, as much as I like the Ponzol, it doesn't have the versatility or as good a tone quality as the RPC, at least for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
JL said:
Even taking the metal vs HR out of the picture, as much as I like the Ponzol, it doesn't have the versatility or as good a tone quality as the RPC, at least for me.
My high baffled RPC replaced my M2. But I have to say this about the M2... there are only a few mouthpieces I've got where other players who are familiar with my sound actually did a double take to see what I was using. The M2 was one of those pieces (of course, the RPC was too... as was a Super Session for soprano).

I'm getting that Berg next week. Yeah, I seriously doubt any Berg could ever outplay my favored RPC, but I have to leave open the possibility that one could be a better match accoustically for this Silversonic of mine. There is just so much that I like about that RPC that would have me adapt it to a horn of choice; even if it didn't make a decent match at first. Still, as there have been no admissions of similar accoustic issues by others so far, I'm also considering getting a second tech to go over my horn, especially at the neck connection, to make sure there's no leak affecting the B-F# node.
 
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