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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellows.

Im thinking about switching mouthpieces. I use a number 7 metal mouthpiece with number 2 reeds. Im planning to buy a Dave Guardala Studio Model and i heard this mouthpiece is only built as number 8.

Basically, what can i expect going from a number 7 to a number 8 mouthpiece?

Can i still use the same reeds? Or number 8 would require a harder reed? Or number 2 would do fine also?



ps: unfortunately i cant try the new mouthpiece so i need all the info i can get before shooting.

Thanks in advance!
 

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There is no way to tell without trying it. Not only the tip opening, but the facing curve and length, chamber and baffle will have an effect on how the piece plays and the right reed strength. Use your 2's and see how it goes. You may have to change, maybe not. A lot of retailers have trial programs (WWBW, Weiner for example). That might be the smart way to go.
 

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ps: unfortunately i cant try the new mouthpiece so i need all the info i can get before shooting.
So what is actually wrong with your existing mouthpiece?
 

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Can i still use the same reeds? Or number 8 would require a harder reed? Or number 2 would do fine also?
You probably won't need a different sized reed. As a general rule, if you change at all, you'd go to a softer reed for larger tipped mpc. However, if you're on a 2 now, I wouldn't go softer than that.

Moving from a 7 tip to 8 tip mpc is not a huge change, but other factors such as chamber and baffle size will have an effect on the tone you get.
 

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In my experience although I have always played large tip sizes on tenor it was not the tip size on the DG studio that made a difference but the how much tighter my embouchure had to be at all times in order to control the beast due to the thin rails. Took about a week of rehearsals and practicing but the beast can be controlled and cajoled in to doing pretty much everything I could do before but with so much more power and grit. Best mouthpiece I have ever owned when you need volume and edge.

B
 

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"I'm thinking about switching mouthpieces."
As Pete asks...why? Do you have specific reasons or a sound concept in mind? An why a Guardala, have you played on one before and want one again just in a different model?

With your question of how it's going to play and reed strength and then the reference of "I'm planning" and "I heard" makes me think you're just buying into the mouthpiece of the month concept...and if that's so rethink what you're doing and don't start making mistakes.
 

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#2 reed is kind of soft for a #7 mouthpiece - you should be able to use #3 reeds on that, and also on the Guardala.
 

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Geeze, I can not belive all the replies so far without anyone asking "a 7 what?" While many mouthpieces out there use the Otto Link size scale, a "7" means different size with other brands. A Meyer 7 is .085". Runyon .090". Link ~.097" (inside the tip rail), Rousseau = .109". A Studio LT measures at .110".
 

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Geeze, I can not belive all the replies so far without anyone asking "a 7 what?" While many mouthpieces out there use the Otto Link size scale, a "7" means different size with other brands. A Meyer 7 is .085". Runyon .090". Link ~.097" (inside the tip rail), Rousseau = .109". A Studio LT measures at .110".
I think the first thing is to establish what some of us have been asking. What is wrong that requires a change of mouthpiece? If we knew this, then I think we can actually start to help.

But of course you are correct, 7 on one make is not the same as 7 on another. Nor has tip opening by itself have much relevance without putting the facing curve or length of lay or size/shape of baffle into the equation either.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi guys, thx all for your atention! Im really surprised by the ammount of replies, so it took me a while to read and

come up with an answer.

First, i need to tell the situation that i play. I play tenor in a band and we play rock, blues, R&B, pop, funk, so

i have to make myself thru plugged guitars, eletric guitars, drums and keyboards. Ive been playing for 9 years now

and the sound i like is something more open, bright (but NOT too bright like Sanborn). I like a more full, spread

out sound with harmonics. I used to play number 2 reeds for many years just because it gave me a nice sound in a

very confort zone with less efforts with my mouthpiece. I tried harder reeds but it makes my playing less enjoyable

and sounds too mellow/round.

I always used bamboo reeds (mostly vandorens) but lately i got finally tired of the wood behavior, its "mood"

variation and specially the lack of pattern when buying new reeds and having to always tweak the reeds to make it

work properly.

I was a little sceptic but decided to try the Fibracell reeds. To my surprise, i fell in love. It gave me exatly

what i was looking for: worked perfectly right out of the box (i have 3 and all feel exatly the same). Allowed me to

easy control it on all regions and got me closer to the sound i like, by being more responsive and more edgy.
BUT, now that i have praticed for sometime i notice that the combo plastic reed + hard metal mouthpiece is just

waaay too edgy. I want it to be a little less edgy, but could not make it work just by tweaking my embrochure

without going out of my comfort zone.

I feel that i found MY reed, but not yet the perfect combo. My intuition says that now i need a new mouthpiece but

with a less hard metal, just to break that excessive edge/brightness of the fibracell number 2 + hard brass.

Im not sure if the Guardala Studio is the way to go, maybe its also already too edgy for a syntethic reed. I

wondered about a Dukoff M (maybe D will be too bright for the fibracell). I heard Dukoff is made of a softer metal

and this detail can be decisive in my sound quest.

Last but not least, where i live i have no way of trying different mouthpieces nor have the chance of such trial

offers by stores. I know its the best thing to do but not possible for me. So i need to collect all the info i can

get from others experiences, try to filter it and identify the mouthpiece that probabily has the "sound recipe"

thats closer to my needs. That can allow me to get closer to the sound in my head without having to make too hard

embrochure changes and keep the reed´s number that gives me the best comfort.
I know that by doint this way im under the risk of making a mistake, but oh well, thats life.


So what is actually wrong with your existing mouthpiece?
Pete, my current mouthpiece is a hand made, hard aluminium brass. It worked well with wooden reeds but i switched to

Fibracell a while ago and liked it so much that i want to keep using it, but the mouthpiece now seems to resonate a

bit too much for my taste. The embrochure tweeks needed to improve its sound goes beyound my comfort zone and yet is

not enouth to "fix" the edges. I tried non metal mouthpiece (more popular) but its lacks something there.


You probably won't need a different sized reed. As a general rule, if you change at all, you'd go

to a softer reed for larger tipped mpc. However, if you're on a 2 now, I wouldn't go softer than that.

Moving from a 7 tip to 8 tip mpc is not a huge change, but other factors such as chamber and baffle size will have

an effect on the tone you get.
My current mouthpiece has small chamber, non edgy ramp and the opening number is .100
I could not find the opening number of Dukoffs but heard that Guardala Studio is around .115
More info on that is very welcome, thanks.

In my experience although I have always played large tip sizes on tenor it was not the tip

size on the DG studio that made a difference but the how much tighter my embouchure had to be at all times in order

to control the beast due to the thin rails. Took about a week of rehearsals and practicing but the beast can be

controlled and cajoled in to doing pretty much everything I could do before but with so much more power and grit.

Best mouthpiece I have ever owned when you need volume and edge.

B
I understand you, Modman. When i switched from a big mass tenor mouthpiece to my current metal, the new one felt

just like you described. Needed quite an effort to make it work well without losing air around the sides and

required a good amount of work to make the tone sounds nice. Its really tight but im now used to it.


"I'm thinking about switching mouthpieces."
As Pete asks...why? Do you have specific reasons or a sound concept in mind? An why a Guardala, have you played on

one before and want one again just in a different model?

With your question of how it's going to play and reed strength and then the reference of "I'm planning" and "I

heard" makes me think you're just buying into the mouthpiece of the month concept...and if that's so rethink what

you're doing and don't start making mistakes.
Thanks for your inputs, Randy. Im not really an expert, i just have some experience and i know that im close to what

i want but im not there yet. The fact is that i changed reeds and now i need to find a better combo. My search is on

the sound´s details and im now thinking about switching mouthpiece, because what i have to fix is beyound my

embrochure possibilities and also goes out of my comfort zone.


#2 reed is kind of soft for a #7 mouthpiece - you should be able to use #3 reeds on that,

and also on the Guardala.
Number 2 reeds allow myself to express better and without extra efforts. The response and tone it produces feels

great and blends just fine with my band´s proposal. Number 3 reeds makes me sound fine and with a bodied sound for

jazz, but thats not what im aiming for. Thanks anyway!


Geeze, I can not belive all the replies so far without anyone asking "a 7 what?" While many

mouthpieces out there use the Otto Link size scale, a "7" means different size with other brands. A Meyer 7 is

.085". Runyon .090". Link ~.097" (inside the tip rail), Rousseau = .109". A Studio LT measures at .110".
Hi Mojo. My mouthpiece is number 7, small chamber, opening number .100 and the facing has no radical angles.
It sounds great, maybe a bit too bright in a combo with fibracell. Also, i would like to have more harmonics so

thats why im looking for a different mouthpiece. Maybe one with more edgy angles on the facing.

I think the first thing is to establish what some of us have been asking. What is wrong

that requires a change of mouthpiece? If we knew this, then I think we can actually start to help.

But of course you are correct, 7 on one make is not the same as 7 on another. Nor has tip opening by itself have

much relevance without putting the facing curve or length of lay or size/shape of baffle into the equation

either.
Thanks for enlighting my quest, Pete.

I think that my problem is that now i basically need a mouthpiece that can still give me good response, edge, grip, power, cuts thru it, BUT that can handle a number 2 fibracell without overshooting specially the edge and brightness that are already extra offered by the synthetic reed. Maybe the darkest Dukoff could do the job to compensate the fibracell... maybe not, just wondering...i dont know.


I think now i gave you more info. Sorry for the loooong post! :)
 

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Is there a brand name on your #7 mouthpiece? Could you post some pictures? I think you need to look into "hard aluminum brass". Most metal mouthpieces are made of brass and are plated with Gold, Silver, Nickel or Chrome. A few mouthpieces have been made out of hard aluminum over the years but not many. But "aluminum brass" does not make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is there a brand name on your #7 mouthpiece? Could you post some pictures? I think you need to look into "hard aluminum brass". Most metal mouthpieces are made of brass and are plated with Gold, Silver, Nickel or Chrome. A few mouthpieces have been made out of hard aluminum over the years but not many. But "aluminum brass" does not make sense.
Im sorry Mojo, english is not my native language. I should have used alloy instead of brass, hehe.

Mine is not plated, just polished aluminium. It has small chamber and the facing is similar to the Dukoff "L" model.

Its made by Ivan Meyer, not the old known New York Meyer Brothers





EDIT:

Guys, i would like to add a video just to give you an idea of the sound im talking about.

Could you please classify this tenor sound? Say that if its bright, dark, open, focused, edgy or round, mellow, etc...?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoURQXqZ8mw


I can say that with my setup (aluminium mouthpiece opening .100 with facing similar to Dukoff "L" + Fibracell Premier 2) im able to get similar response, edge and brightness of this sound, but his tenor sounds with alot more harmonics than im able to and thats what i want to improve on my sound.

I dont want to sound like him, but i want some of his ingredients.
I know its a matter of pratice and study, but it will be easier if im using the right tool. Thats why now going into the details of the mouthpiece design.

And im glad im finding help here, thanks in advance!


Could you also compare the first video with this one?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-TgKlWUuhM&feature=related

In my opinion, video 1 has more harmonics, its bright, open, edgy, i guess.
Video 2 has similar response of video 1, its also open and bright but sounds to me a little more focused with less harmonics. I love it also, but the first one is a bit closer to my taste.

Just one more! I love this sound too but i need to be more agressive to keep up with my group´s style (blues, rock, pop, funk), but this video is really worth it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFdPRY92F70&feature=related

I think its more bodied than the first 2 videos, more round also, less edgy. What do you think?
 

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Seriously an Ivan Meyer is a tin can compared to a Guardala mouthpiece. We had a pass around on Ivan's pieces last year here on SOTW and the consensus was that although a fine piece of art, it is not a very nice sounding piece. B
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Seriously an Ivan Meyer is a tin can compared to a Guardala mouthpiece. We had a pass around on Ivan's pieces last year here on SOTW and the consensus was that although a fine piece of art, it is not a very nice sounding piece. B
Hi modman, thx for answer.

Can you be more precise on the "not a very nice sounding piece"?

Because to my humble understanding, a dark and focused mouthpiece will not sound very nice in a rock'n roll, as much as a bright and edgy one will not fit well in a traditional jazz. It leads me to think that the consensus here is formed mostly by jazz players and it may have ended up in a biased consensus. Maybe is just not a very nice sounding piece for jazz? Or the problem of this mouthpiece is exatly its hard material no matter the chamber and facing configuration?

What i can say is that soon after i switched to this mouthpiece, i felt a good potential but had to work hard and took me a while to make it sound nice. I came from a plastic/mass dark sounding piece where i had to make it sound bright and edgy for my style, to the Ivan´s metal piece where i had to make it sound less bright and less edgy. So its always required quite an ammount of effort to get THE sound.

But fortunately i was able to make it work. Anyway, i think adaptation and sound adjustments will be needed whatever new mouthpiece a musician tries, right? At the end, my Ivan Meyer 7 is working great playing rock, blues, funk but theres still room for improvement. Details...

Basically, i need a mouthpiece that can work with a fibracell reed. The Fibracell due to its material, already creates an edgy sound and i would like to NOT overshoot this characteristics by using a mouthpiece thats supposed to make a wooden reed sound edgy. So i need a mouthpiece that gives me harmonics, fast response but less edge. Based on this, what can be suggested?

I know its also a matter of hard study, but again, im looking for a mouthpiece that has the ingredients i need.

Thanks!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Basically, i need a mouthpiece that can work with a fibracell reed. The Fibracell due to its material, already creates an edgy sound and i would like to NOT overshoot this characteristics by using a mouthpiece thats supposed to make a wooden reed sound edgy. So i need a mouthpiece that gives me harmonics, fast response but less edge. Based on this, what can be suggested?

I know its also a matter of hard study, but again, im looking for a mouthpiece that has the ingredients i need.
All of this points to the fact that the best mouthpiece for you is the one you try out and like.

Not based on what other people like or (god forbid) the material it's made from. You were talking as if that made any difference to the sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All of this points to the fact that the best mouthpiece for you is the one you try out and like.

Not based on what other people like or (god forbid) the material it's made from. You were talking as if that made any difference to the sound.
Hi,

I dont really get your poing here, sorry. This thread was started with a post regarding technical details of mouthpiece design and how does it affect the sound. Not about how it works with other people and how they like it.

You are saying that the material doesnt affect the sound?

The videos i posted is because i would like to hear from others what characteristics they find on each one of the videos so i can improve my understanding about saxophone sounds. But i guess people are not really interested in doing it, but its ok, no problem.

I was writing this and decided to check that banner of your signature and found this right on:

"The Mouthpiece

The 9* (125) is quite a specialised mouthpiece for experienced players and suits medium soft reeds. It is very loud and full bodied without being edgy or buzzy. Once you can control this it is an extraordinary weapon for any saxophonist. I use one of these for recording and live work.

The 8* (117) is very slightly brighter and very smooth but still with lots of mellow "body" - I find it works exceptionally well for funk, smooth jazz and pop, but still very versatile. Note the tip is very slightly wider than a normal 8*, but is no harder to play. Probably a bit easier if anything.

The 7* (105) is an ideal intermediate/pro mouthpiece, very easy blowing with a response reminiscent of a classic slant signature Otto Link, but with a much more focussed character and a nicer defined edge to the sound. If you are upgrading from a student mouthpiece it is recommended that you start off with medium soft reeds."

I only found similar info about Dukoffs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The 9* (125) is quite a specialised mouthpiece for experienced players and suits medium soft reeds. It is very loud and full bodied without being edgy or buzzy. Once you can control this it is an extraordinary weapon for any saxophonist. I use one of these for recording and live work.

The 8* (117) is very slightly brighter and very smooth but still with lots of mellow "body" - I find it works exceptionally well for funk, smooth jazz and pop, but still very versatile. Note the tip is very slightly wider than a normal 8*, but is no harder to play. Probably a bit easier if anything.

The 7* (105) is an ideal intermediate/pro mouthpiece, very easy blowing with a response reminiscent of a classic slant signature Otto Link, but with a much more focussed character and a nicer defined edge to the sound. If you are upgrading from a student mouthpiece it is recommended that you start off with medium soft reeds."
If a DG Studio can offer me whats quoted in red, when combined with a Fibracell 2, maybe its the way to go. Because the synthetic reed already produces enouth edge and brightness.

Because if the Studio has the characteristics quoted in blue, the combination may end up too edgy more like strident and irritating.

But if i want to use a wooden reed, the case would be the opposite. I would need the brighter mouthpiece to achieve the sound i want, since the wood is naturally more mellow.

I came to this conclusion by comparing the Fibracell 2 with my Vandorens 2 that feels almost the same to me.

- Fibracell produces more edge --> Need facing designed to produce less edge.

- Wood produces less edge --> Need facing to give more edge. Mouthpiece having "step angles" tend to produce this.

Correct me if im wrong.
Hope you understand me now.
 

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I dont really get your poing here, sorry. This thread was started with a post regarding technical details of mouthpiece design and how does it affect the sound. Not about how it works with other people and how they like it.
I thought it started just asking questions about going from 7 to 8 (on different mouthpieces) and what reeds to use. It's too subjective IMO to answer with much accuracy

You are saying that the material doesnt affect the sound?
Of course, this is quite common knowledge.

I was writing this and decided to check that banner of your signature and found this right on:

"The Mouthpiece

The 9* (125) is quite a specialised mouthpiece for experienced players and suits medium soft reeds. It is very loud and full bodied without being edgy or buzzy. Once you can control this it is an extraordinary weapon for any saxophonist. I use one of these for recording and live work.

The 8* (117) is very slightly brighter and very smooth but still with lots of mellow "body" - I find it works exceptionally well for funk, smooth jazz and pop, but still very versatile. Note the tip is very slightly wider than a normal 8*, but is no harder to play. Probably a bit easier if anything.

The 7* (105) is an ideal intermediate/pro mouthpiece, very easy blowing with a response reminiscent of a classic slant signature Otto Link, but with a much more focussed character and a nicer defined edge to the sound. If you are upgrading from a student mouthpiece it is recommended that you start off with medium soft reeds."
That is in regard to a mouthpiece which I make, the PPT.

Pete, im sorry. I will be honest...

Here is why i want a Dave Guardala mouthpiece:
[/url]
Ah, because Michael Brecker played one.

It doesn't mean you will sound like that.

If a DG Studio can offer me whats quoted in red, when combined with a Fibracell 2, maybe its the way to go. Because the synthetic reed already produces enouth edge and brightness.


It is very loud and full bodied without being edgy or buzzy. ..

defined edge to the sound.
Because if the Studio has the characteristics quoted in blue, the combination may end up too edgy more like strident and irritating.
The quotes are in regard to a PPT, not a DG.

But if i want to use a wooden reed, the case would be the opposite. I would need the brighter mouthpiece to achieve the sound i want, since the wood is naturally more mellow.
There are no wooden reeds I know of, only cane or synthetic. A wooden reed would be interesting, I think people have experimented with wood without much success.
 

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I am not a good saxophonist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do read here a lot. Nobody has mentioned that just because his Fibracell matches his Meyer because doesn't mean it's going to match his Guardala pieces. There's an importance between matching mouthpiece and reeds because some mouthpieces tend to be more picky.

<Disclaimer:This is all based on what I've read on SOTW and doesn't reflect on any of my personal experience and/or knowledge>
 
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