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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I have a Lebayle LRII metal tenor MPC which I am using right now with JAVA red 2.5 on my keilwerth SX90.. I love the tone and the power of the MPC but I am not a big fan of its performance.. Just wondering if anyone knows similar mpcs with relatively close tonal qualities (darkish with good projection/edge - Late coltrane sound?).

Thanks!
 

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The LR-II has a quite large chamber (Otto Link style) but straight side rails.
Sometimes Lebayle's facings maybe be tricky... very tricky.


Anyway... any metal Otto Link style mouthpiece will fit your needs.

(Late Coltrane's sound was not that "dark" though...)
 

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As others have mentioned, 'Trane was best known for playing an Otto Link Florida STM. If you aren't happy with your Lebayle, you could always go for a refaced STM or one of the many hand-finished copies. Phil-Tone and Sakshama both make well-regarded versions of the STM and many others do as well.
 

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It also might be worth your while to get your LR II refaced. The issues you're having could be due to problems with the facing, as opposed to a problem with its basic design. It would also probably be quite a bit cheaper to do so, depending on the price range of mouthpieces you're looking for (most hand-faced vintage Link copies run around the $250-500 range, and a reface could be anywhere from $90-150, depending on who's doing it and whether the mouthpiece is metal or hard rubber.)
 

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As others have mentioned, 'Trane was best known for playing an Otto Link Florida STM. If you aren't happy with your Lebayle, you could always go for a refaced STM or one of the many hand-finished copies. Phil-Tone and Sakshama both make well-regarded versions of the STM and many others do as well.
I always thought Coltrane was on a NY Tonemaster?

As for what mouthpiece substitutes a LR II i would say a RS Berkeley Chris Potter Signature Series mpc. They sound pretty similar to me. I have owned both but not at the same time unfortunately.
 

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I always thought Coltrane was on a NY Tonemaster?
You could be right, Roger. Of course, he played several pieces throughout his career, but usually a metal Link of some sort, AFAIK.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have tried stock STM and NY and was not impressed at all, I also read that they are extremely inconsistent. My main problem is that in my country there's no sax shops to try diff mpcs and there's no one to do reface. I'm also on a relatively low budget, I usually buy all my mpcs used here or on ebay (auctions usually) because there is always a high chance that I won't be using the piece. The only prob with my Lebayle is that it is extremely reed selective, the Red java are working good but I was just wondering if there are some other pieces with the same qualities and better finishing. I am not trying to imitate late Coltrane sound, but my desired tone is a darkish tone with projection/edge/attack and I thought late coltrane sound have these tonal characteristics but then again I'm not that experienced in defining sounds.

and my problems with reface are: (I posted this also in my other thread regarding reeds suitable for the Lebayle and I got many recommendation to go for a reface)
- Cost (I checked a bit and apparently the cost for a reface of a metal mouthpiece is around 150$ (which IMO is a bit expensive but I guess supply and demand has a factor) + I need to pay around 45$ for shipping back and forth, I don't think anyone in my country does mpc reface)
- Expectation (I really have zero experience in this subject, besides trying to reface few plastic mpcs so I have no idea what to expect)
- Tone (right now and after buying 6-7 mpcs including a stm and a metal berg, I'm really feeling connected with the lebayle sound so I'm bit concerned that the tone might change after a reface - I really don't want risking losing this setup)

Does anyone know a relatively affordable refacer with very good quality (I understand that you get what you pay for but I'm sure there are people who charges more for not necessarily better work). I am thinking at some point sending my 3 metal MPCS for a reface.

Thanks alot for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As others have mentioned, 'Trane was best known for playing an Otto Link Florida STM. If you aren't happy with your Lebayle, you could always go for a refaced STM or one of the many hand-finished copies. Phil-Tone and Sakshama both make well-regarded versions of the STM and many others do as well.
Yea I checked them out, I'm gona wait and see if I get any of these pieces used (I'm really interested in trying Sakshama pieces).. For now, I am only buying used MPCs because I can't try them before and there is a high chance that I won't be using the piece.
 

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and my problems with reface are: (I posted this also in my other thread regarding reeds suitable for the Lebayle and I got many recommendation to go for a reface)
- Cost (I checked a bit and apparently the cost for a reface of a metal mouthpiece is around 150$ (which IMO is a bit expensive but I guess supply and demand has a factor) + I need to pay around 45$ for shipping back and forth, I don't think anyone in my country does mpc reface)
- Expectation (I really have zero experience in this subject, besides trying to reface few plastic mpcs so I have no idea what to expect)
- Tone (right now and after buying 6-7 mpcs including a stm and a metal berg, I'm really feeling connected with the lebayle sound so I'm bit concerned that the tone might change after a reface - I really don't want risking losing this setup)
To address your concerns about a reface:

Cost: getting a metal mouthpiece refaced is expensive, but is- at least in most cases- cheaper than buying a new mouthpiece, assuming you're sticking to metal. Used mouthpieces might also be quite a bit more expensive than a reface, especially classic vintage ones like Florida Links and NY Tonemasters: vintage Coltrane-era links can be extortionately expensive, and while copies of them like Sakshama's are quite a bit more affordable, a reface is still cheaper, shipping included.

Expectation: this can be a little nerve wracking, but SOTW is a pretty great resource on good people to contact for a reface. Speaking of Sakshama, he supposedly does great refacing work in addition to making his own mouthpieces, and his prices are on the lower end of the spectrum. I personally like Phil-Tone's work because I've had a mouthpiece refaced by him and was very happy with his work. There are a lot of well-regarded refacers who are active on this forum, and other members can help you find the refacer who's right for you.

Tone: unless you're getting the chamber or baffle modified, a reface shouldn't significantly affect the tone of your mouthpiece, hence why I recommended it. A new facing will make your mouthpiece play better, but it won't change what you like about your mouthpiece. Evening out the facing doesn't change the design of the mouthpiece (though some refacers can potentially do that if they're asked to), it just makes the reed respond to it more effectively.

Since you like the way your LR II sounds, I do think refacing might be the best and most cost-effective option. Lebayle's mouthpieces can be quirky for a number of reasons; I had to modify the beak on mine to make it more comfortable for me, and while I didn't personally have any issues with the facing on my AT, other people on this forum have had facing issues with Lebayle's mouthpieces.
 

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Interesting that you said you liked the sound of the Lebayle but not the performance. I had an LRIII that was the same for me. My teacher said the same thing and that the reason was the facing length was too short for him.
 

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If you like the sound of the piece keep it, and find reeds that are are compatible with it. This is way cheaper than a reface. Have you tried Alexander Superial DC reeds? The only reeds that work on my tenor mouthpieces are Green Box and Superial DC. I have an (unaltered) LR III in hr and it's a beast!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you like the sound of the piece keep it, and find reeds that are are compatible with it. This is way cheaper than a reface. Have you tried Alexander Superial DC reeds? The only reeds that work on my tenor mouthpieces are Green Box and Superial DC. I have an (unaltered) LR III in hr and it's a beast!
Yea I actually tried superial DC, they worked well on the lebayle, however, only 2 reeds from the box felt good, the others were too thick. I'm going to try the regular superial cz I read they run softer and they have a brighter sound (I like trying "bright" reeds on "Dark" mpc). So i'm gona get a new Java red box 2.5 and the superial either in 2.5 or 3 I'm still confused. My superial DC were thickness 3 and were generally ok, a bit hard for few reeds.. Since the Regular superial are softer maybe 3 is the right thickness, 2.5 might be too soft. Have you tried by any chance the regular superial? how do they compare (sound, hardness) to the DC?
Thanks!
 

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Yea I actually tried superial DC, they worked well on the lebayle, however, only 2 reeds from the box felt good, the others were too thick. I'm going to try the regular superial cz I read they run softer and they have a brighter sound (I like trying "bright" reeds on "Dark" mpc). So i'm gona get a new Java red box 2.5 and the superial either in 2.5 or 3 I'm still confused. My superial DC were thickness 3 and were generally ok, a bit hard for few reeds.. Since the Regular superial are softer maybe 3 is the right thickness, 2.5 might be too soft. Have you tried by any chance the regular superial? how do they compare (sound, hardness) to the DC?
Thanks!
I use 2.5 Green Box and 2.5 Alexander Superial DC. Maybe you should look at the Superial NY. I'm going to buy a tin of NY. I've never tried the regular Superials. Give 2.5 Superial DCs a try. I find the Superial DCs to be more vibrant than the Red Box.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yea I think I'm going to get a red java 2.5, DCs 2.5, superial 2.5, also I'm thinking of trying the Legere Signature 2 1/4 (based on their strenght chart compared to JAVA).. I have never tried synthetic but I am a bit fed up with the inconsistencies in reeds and I read that the signatures are a bit similar to the Red JAVA.. I'm ordering overseas (I think from saxquest) so I'm going to try different reeds hopefully I'll get lucky with the thicknesses. I read that the NY are darker than the DC so I'm gona postpone the trial for now.. I'm spending too much money on equipment and I'm still a beginner haha.. I played guitar for ~12 years and I thought that was an expensive hobby (pedals, pickups, amps, diff types of guitars, strings) compared to the simple acoustic "standard" saxophone haha.. but yea I don't regret the shift, Sax is much more rewarding and easier IMO..
 

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The one thing I'd say about Alexanders in my personal experience is that I found them to be extremely inconsistent. Even visually speaking, I noticed extreme differences in the way each reed was cut, beyond what I'd seen with other brands. The best thing I got out of them was the tin they came in.
 
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