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Discussion Starter #1
....I want to get opinions from our esteemed refacers as to which are the best playing mouthpieces,and for which horns

...this is a complex idea...but we have a great internet source in the Mouthpiece Museum.... the problem is ...the website tells the physical characteristics of a mouthpiece,but it leaves it up to us to decypher what that means for us,and frankly sometimes it can be confusing ............nice info...but what does it mean?? occasionally Theo will write "among the best playing mouthpieces of all time" but that's the most straightforward info about the playability of a mouthpiece we can get....

I suggested to Theo that he include a section for every mouthpiece with player comments on the piece..... this is going to be VERY complicated...it can't be a thread...I can imagine that the dukoff mouthpiece thread would look like a kenny g discussion!!!!! it would need an editor to choose the most applicable comments...so now the editor needs to be knowledgable in these mouthpieces.......and subjective.....it's TOO complicated!!! then should negative comments be posted..??? at first I would think not...but then if a mouthpiece really has weak attributes it would be good to know.......

so ,seeing as this would be very difficult to make happen...Ive decided to go another route.....

2 top names that come to mind are my good buddy Norbert Stachel,and high school chum Aaron Drake....
i'm not familiar with the playing of many of the other names that we see constantly here,and I'm really looking forward to hearing testimonials about their playing as well

I woulld like to hear from our refecers What are your alltime favorite mouthpieces (3-5)? and for which model horn????...for example link slant,brilhart tonalin,link stm for mark 6....berg larsen metal,berg HR and dukoff hollywood for Super 20,...etc....
basically list your top choices,and then how it differs for different brand horns

...yes it's starting to get more difficult!!! dare I say that the tenor has less variations of brand of horns that people "generally" play than say soprano or bari?? i would make this bold statement,as most of us double on soprano or bari...and basically choose a horn that is affordable...so it could be just about anything.....
... so YES of course..I'd like to hear the picks for soprano and baritone...but i think the more indepth comments as far as different mouthpieces being better for different horns should be more focused towards tenor and alto

I'm asking this question DIRECTLY TO REFACERS as they have to be neutral,and consider that a mouthpiece could be played on ANY horn...and frankly,have much personal experience with loads of different models throughout the history of the saxophone.

Now of course if you are 10mfan (who I've never heard play,but if Neff says he's great that's good enough for me!!!) or Paul Cohen......you get my drift...someone with MASSIVE experience on a variety of instruments... PLEASE CONTRIBUTE AS WELL

...to help some of us who are not familiar with some of the modern mouthpiece makers...if you include a modern piece,please compare it somehow to a vintage piece that we are likely to know....

I'm very excited to see how this turns out
 

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The problem with this thread is that the people and refacers that have played hundreds or thousands of mouthpieces have probably played hundreds of great mouthpieces. I have asked this question to many refacers and 10mfan and others also. They can't answer it because they have played Killer HR links,killer slants,killer florida links,killer bergs,killer modern pieces........................They have also played horrible examples of all those also. So you can't say for example: A Slant on a SBA is the best mouthpiece ever made for it. The next guy might want a berg type sound. Even if you go out and buy a slant there is no guarantee that you will get a good or great one. Even if you get the best one on earth you might think it is too dark. I recently played a florida link that the owner said JVW said was the link of all links. I played it for a couple weeks and it was a great mouthpiece but in the end I didn't buy it because I like a bit more brightness in my sound. That's just me. (might have to do with my hearing loss in certain frequencies also.......)
 

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"I'm very excited to see how this turns out"

And I'm not at all, I agree with what Nefertiti is stating.

All that you can get will just be opinions.

JR
 

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Discussion Starter #4
...i empathise.....
i just feel that it's hard to have a scientific head for how a mouthpiece works......and as great as the mouthpiece museum websites are...it still doesnt give you an idea of how a piece plays.....
any ideas how to get this point across????

...and I didnt mean to be elitist about playing abilities of refacers either!!! if your too humble to post ,because that would be saying your a great player...do it anyways :)
 

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....I want to get opinions from our esteemed refacers as to which are the best playing mouthpieces,and for which horns

...this is a complex idea...
No, just simplistic. Why not ask the top players what mouthpieces they are using on their horns?

Will that mouthpiece sound as good in anyone else's face? Doubtful.

Bonus trivia round: Jon Van Wie is acknowledged by many to have made some of the best refaced Links. What instrument did he play?
 

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...i empathise.....
i just feel that it's hard to have a scientific head for how a mouthpiece works......and as great as the mouthpiece museum websites are...it still doesnt give you an idea of how a piece plays.....
any ideas how to get this point across????

...and I didnt mean to be elitist about playing abilities of refacers either!!! if your too humble to post ,because that would be saying your a great player...do it anyways :)
That's what I'm trying to do with my website. Words are just words so I post a soound clip so you can hear it. Of course it is with me playing it so it is affected by my playing concept.
 

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No, just simplistic. Why not ask the top players what mouthpieces they are using on their horns?

Will that mouthpiece sound as good in anyone else's face? Doubtful.

Bonus trivia round: Jon Van Wie is acknowledged by many to have made some of the best refaced Links. What instrument did he play?
I believe he was mainly a guitar player, and quite an amateur on saxophone, if my memory serves me.

I think the other problem with this thread is that many of the "refacers" on this board also make their own mouthpieces, and why would they say anything is better than their product?

- Saxaholic
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Neff..your website is a labyrinth!!! though i had tried to find your mouthpiece review page before I just couldnt...your post hear encourged me to look again,and yes!!! you have already done what I have asked for!!! as well others have commented,and asked questions afterwards.... great resource!! i will have to spend some time checking it out...as well read the thread here about it...I'm sure some people have left their own comments about certain pieces on that thread as well...this is going to take some time.....
 

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Jon was a guitar Player and a not very good saxophonist. But he was a great guy and great refacer. He had the gift.
 

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Neff..your website is a labyrinth!!! though i had tried to find your mouthpiece review page before I just couldnt...your post hear encourged me to look again,and yes!!! you have already done what I have asked for!!! as well others have commented,and asked questions afterwards.... great resource!! i will have to spend some time checking it out...as well read the thread here about it...I'm sure some people have left their own comments about certain pieces on that thread as well...this is going to take some time.....
You go here: http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/ Half way down the page on the right under categories is Mouthpieces Reviews. There is Tenor, Alto and Soprano under that. There is 166 right now. At the top of the page is a menu that says Mouthpiece Reviews but I have to update that one as it isn't current. I'll try to do that tonight. Steve
 

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I've found the best way to use Neff's website is to listen to alot of the clips of him & get a "feel" for his playing & sound in your ear. Once you get where he's at & coming from, playing & concept-wise, then you sort of have a "base" to go on, when checking out his clips of a particular mpc.
Then you can "hone in" a little more on what the mpc does to his playing & sound. (if it is a dramatic enough change, or annoying sounding, great sounding or just not much different, etc.)
 

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You want science? Link for tenor; Meyer for alto...and don't **** into the wind!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanx neff...this is doing the trick for me!!! what horn do you use for the clips?? it is always the same horn,right!!??
 

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Yes a Selmer SBA. I have another horn but I never use it on mouthpiece clips because it would mess it up. It's always the SBA.

All this being said above.........I do take note when a guy like 10Mfan or Brian Powell mentions that a mouthpiece is the best of that kind that they have played. It's one thing to compare a link to a berg or a Guardala to a Klum. But when one of these guys tell me that this is the best florida link or best Guardala they have played then I pay attention. That's comparing apples to apples. It's still opinion but these guys have played enough mouthpieces that I trust their opinions when it comes to the same model and style of mouthpiece.
 

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I want to get opinions from our esteemed refacers as to which are the best playing mouthpieces...
I'm going to go out on a limb here and figure that they'll probably tell you the ones that they've refaced... unless of course you qualify your question to consider only stock mouthpieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
...neff's site is really doing it for me...the good thing is that you play how I would LIKE to sound...so it puts it all into context!!!

i found 1 comment where you list your favorite HR pieces...care to comment on your favorite metal (or other) pieces???
 

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...neff's site is really doing it for me...the good thing is that you play how I would LIKE to sound...so it puts it all into context!!!

i found 1 comment where you list your favorite HR pieces...care to comment on your favorite metal (or other) pieces???
Omar, it's really all about opinion on this topic. There are mouthpieces that are well made but aren't anything you'd want to play on. There are cheap-*** mouthpieces that can play very well and become your favourites.

In general, my favourite metal pieces for tenor are old Links. Master Link and Tone Master. I've had some good Fla STMs as well.

For alto, a good old Brilhart. Ebolin, Tonalin, Hard Rubber-I like 'em all.

Baritone is a harder nut to crack. I have a Woodwind & Co like Harry Carney played. A Link STM and a Drake.

On soprano, I use a Babbitt made HR Link from the '80s. Works great on my Conn soprano.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanx Andy! which model Drake do you have? after trying it at the Musikmesse I'm getting one! did you ever play with Aaron back in Tri-state or something like that?
 

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Part of the problem with this question is that all of us who have played many mouthpieces do not necessarily maintain a full stable of horns to make such a call. For instance, I cant tell you what a lot of mouthpieces sound like on a SBA since I dont have 10K to spend on one. Conversely, I dont know what they sound like on a cheap horn from China because I dont want one. I only know what they sound like on a couple of tenors I have here. As for a the best or a favorite...that would be difficult. I believe that there are a lot of great designs out there and well executed examples of each hold many favorable qualities.

I guess an analogy would be that I like many kinds of ice cream but none of them made poorly. Which do I choose? ....It depends on what I am in the mood for at the time.

Then...maybe Im missing the point? I do that sometimes.
 
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