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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All - I have a H Couf Superba I bari (Keilwerth) and I've recently started playing in a local community band. I've tried a few mouthpieces, but none seem to be the right one.

1. Yamaha 5C - sounds ok in middle register, but lower notes are harder to get out and higher notes don't sound strong, they sound pinched off/stuffy

2. Beger - not sure if this is the name, but that's what I can make out on the top of the mouthpiece (I got this one from my local tech's shop, just so I would have something to compare the Yamaha 5C to). This one sounds the best to my ear, except for a few notes, which could be me (or the horn), but it's a little harder to control. Low notes have a nice growl and bark. Higher notes still could use some help.

3. George M. Bundy (C) - (I got this one from my tech as well)would rate this one above the Yamaha, right in the middle

On all of them I've tried Vandoren Blue Box 2, 2 1/2, and Legere 2 1/4 synthetic.

Here's my question, assuming nothing is wrong with the horn or my embouchure, are the Superbas mouthpiece picky? Do they prefer large chamber mouthpieces? Should I consider a different reed strength? Just to give some background, I mainly play soprano, bari has never been my primary horn, but the community needed a bari player and I just happened to have one!

I'm looking for the bite and growl that I know the Couf is capable of. Any help you could provide would be great.
 

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Before you go out and spent a lot of money on a bari mouthpiece, I would give a Metalite M7 a try. It will only set you back around $35 plus ligature. It will have plenty of bite and growl and can always be used as a backup in case you decide to buy a more expensive piece in the future.
 

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#2 could be a Bilger. If so the color of the lettering, if any color remains, would be gold or silver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
#2 could be a Bilger. If so the color of the lettering, if any color remains, would be gold or silver.
Yes, now that you say it, that's exactly what it says...do you have any info on those? It's quite a fat mouthpiece compared to the Yamaha and the Bundy. Quite a large ligature too.
 

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The bari player in the college big band I was in played a school horn, Couf low A, and the stock Couf mouthpiece (Artist model). He got a really solid bold sound, and he was new to playing bari.
If I were you, I'd ditch the blue box Vandorens, regardless of what mouthpiece you play. Try Javas or Rigotti. You'll get a lot more edge.
 

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1. Yamaha 5C - sounds ok in middle register, but lower notes are harder to get out and higher notes don't sound strong, they sound pinched off/stuffy.....

Here's my question, assuming nothing is wrong with the horn or my embouchure, are the Superbas mouthpiece picky? Do they prefer large chamber mouthpieces? Should I consider a different reed strength? Just to give some background, I mainly play soprano, bari has never been my primary horn, but the community needed a bari player and I just happened to have one!
In my experience, a saxophone can be "mouthpiece picky" in regard to intonation, but not in regard to response. Before going any further though ensure the horn is in tip top condition, no leaks.

So I'd guess the issue with the mouthpieces may be down to how they suit you and your playing, not to do with being compatible with the horn. The 5C is a good benchmark though, so my gut feeling here is either the horn having issues, or the player. You say you've recently started playing, does that mean recently started playing this specific baritone, or that you've only recently started playing baritone altogether. If the latter, then I would suggest after making sure the horn is working that you give the 5C a chance but after working solidly on your baritone embouchure with different types of tone and embouchure exercises. Of course reeds can also be the issue, though there should be absolutely no probs with the Legere.

I also think that brass cane's suggestion is sensible, many people swear by the Metallites, although again only test one after checking the horn is in perfect nick.
 

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Without seeing you, or hearing you play, or checking your horn... so take it with a grain of salt:

My guess would be that the primary issue is the transition from soprano to baritone. Baritone is a whole different animal and you need to get adapted to the different air flow and embouchure. Other than some mechanical issue with the horn, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to get a fine rich projecting sound with any of the mouthpieces you've listed.

Don't mistake a buzzy duck-call sound from a high baffle aggressive MP for a big projecting sound. The way to the big projecting sound on baritone is lots of air support and a firm but not tight embouchure. Projection on a baritone feels a lot different than it does on soprano.

Personally I would stay with the Vandoren reeds till you get your air support and embouchure re-adapted to the big horn, rather than starting to change variables.
 

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If I could not get a Yamaha 5C to work on my baritone I would a) get my baritone checked out and b) woodshed till it did work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In my experience, a saxophone can be "mouthpiece picky" in regard to intonation, but not in regard to response. Before going any further though ensure the horn is in tip top condition, no leaks.

So I'd guess the issue with the mouthpieces may be down to how they suit you and your playing, not to do with being compatible with the horn. The 5C is a good benchmark though, so my gut feeling here is either the horn having issues, or the player. You say you've recently started playing, does that mean recently started playing this specific baritone, or that you've only recently started playing baritone altogether. If the latter, then I would suggest after making sure the horn is working that you give the 5C a chance but after working solidly on your baritone embouchure with different types of tone and embouchure exercises. Of course reeds can also be the issue, though there should be absolutely no probs with the Legere.

I also think that brass cane's suggestion is sensible, many people swear by the Metallites, although again only test one after checking the horn is in perfect nick.
Thanks - I'm pretty sure the horn may have a few leaks which could be contributing to the problem, in addition to me coming from soprano to bari.I bought it a few years ago and it does have some battle scars and a bunch of repair spots. I know My G# keeps sticking closed, but we have a concert in about 3 weeks so I don't have time for the horn to be in the shop.

I think just to test my theory I may go down to one of the local shops to test another bari to see how it responds.
 

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Yes, now that you say it, that's exactly what it says...do you have any info on those? It's quite a fat mouthpiece compared to the Yamaha and the Bundy. Quite a large ligature too.
I have not played a baritone Bilger, but gave one for soprano and like it a lot. They are thought to be nice pieces. The gold lettering model is the classical facing, and if it's silver, that was his jazz facing.

I would think that either model would be fine with that horn and you just need to match it with a reed. I'm just guessing here, but my soprano piece is best with Rico Royale
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have not played a baritone Bilger, but gave one for soprano and like it a lot. They are thought to be nice pieces. The gold lettering model is the classical facing, and if it's silver, that was his jazz facing.

I would think that either model would be fine with that horn and you just need to match it with a reed. I'm just guessing here, but my soprano piece is best with Rico Royale
Thanks- it's the gold writing version
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I could not get a Yamaha 5C to work on my baritone I would a) get my baritone checked out and b) woodshed till it did work.
Also - I forgot to mention that I don't have the original neck, so that too could be a contributing factor?
 

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Thanks - I'm pretty sure the horn may have a few leaks which could be contributing to the problem, in addition to me coming from soprano to bari.I bought it a few years ago and it does have some battle scars and a bunch of repair spots. I know My G# keeps sticking closed, but we have a concert in about 3 weeks so I don't have time for the horn to be in the shop.

I think just to test my theory I may go down to one of the local shops to test another bari to see how it responds.
Also - I forgot to mention that I don't have the original neck, so that too could be a contributing factor?
OK, so to be honest you aren't yet in a position to test mouthpieces.
 

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Also - I forgot to mention that I don't have the original neck, so that too could be a contributing factor?
<groan> Yes.

How not original is it?

Potential issues: Is it the correct length and taper? Is the octave pip in the correct location? Does it fit the receiver properly?
 

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so the horn leaks

and the neck is not original and might not be right

1) You have been having us on!
2) If you cannot get it fixed in time, borrow or rent one that works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<groan> Yes.

How not original is it?

Potential issues: Is it the correct length and taper? Is the octave pip in the correct location? Does it fit the receiver properly?
I made an appt tomorrow to take the horn in and have it looked at. Since I bought it used, I'm not sure of it's service history other than a few adjustments I've had done. I can be without the horn for a week.

As far as the neck, I think it's a Yamaha neck, but I'm not sure and nor am I sure of what it should be. The tech will check that out as well in addition to cleaning, oiling and adjusting it. This is probably what I should have done when I first got it :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
so the horn leaks

and the neck is not original and might not be right

1) You have been having us on!
2) If you cannot get it fixed in time, borrow or rent one that works!
I'm already considering my options. The tech says he can have it to me within a week, so I should be good for the concert, but I'm sure Ill know more after they assess it. In the meantime I'll make sure to practice on my soprano so that I at least can continue to work on the songs.
 

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As far as the neck, I think it's a Yamaha neck, but I'm not sure and nor am I sure of what it should be...
Uh, well, it should be a Couf Superba neck. :bluewink:

Given the lack of shared heritage or sonic signature, I'd be surprised it if were a good match with regard to intonation - but I'm hoping the best for you.

Please do give it a go against a tuner when the neck is properly fitted, and check for intonation tendencies.

G'luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Uh, well, it should be a Couf Superba neck. :bluewink:

Given the lack of shared heritage or sonic signature, I'd be surprised it if were a good match with regard to intonation - but I'm hoping the best for you.

Please do give it a go against a tuner when the neck is properly fitted, and check for intonation tendencies.

G'luck!
ok, you got me on that one, I guess I set myself up for that response :)

We'll see what my tech says...
 
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