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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be paying for a Keilwerth Shadow this week and need some good mpc options to try out. It's hard to say the tone I'm really looking for, because I want to be able to do several things. At some point I may want to be dark, warm, and lush while at others I will really want to be able to cut through and get funky. In the end I may end up with more than one mpc for the tenor, but starting off I'd like something that can somewhat do it all. I was going to check out:
1. SR Technologies Pro (Still remember Keith playing one on his P. Mauriat and it was beautiful. I know it will sound different with me and my horn though),
2. Jody Jazz DV - I read it is a bright mouthpiece, but can it be dark and smooth as well?
3. Wanted to try a vintage piece or 2- Something like the famous Otto Link Slants, FL models, etc.
4. Doc Tenny pieces, Lameberson pieces????
5. Ponzol's have sounded pretty good on Keilwerth's
6. Last, but not least... Barone (don't know what models tho)

I am buying an alto as well, so I'm going to make a similar post in the alto mpc selection.... ;)
 

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Jbroad572 said:
I want to be able to do several things. At some point I may want to be dark, warm, and lush while at others I will really want to be able to cut through and get funky.
This sounds to me like a Lamberson, maybe the J model (which is what I am familiar with) or one of the models with a modest baffle. I find the J to be extremely flexible and, while not cheap, is pretty reasonably priced for a handmade mouthpiece.
 

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Jbroad572 said:
I am going to be paying for a Keilwerth Shadow this week and need some good mpc options to try out. It's hard to say the tone I'm really looking for, because I want to be able to do several things. At some point I may want to be dark, warm, and lush while at others I will really want to be able to cut through and get funky. In the end I may end up with more than one mpc for the tenor, but starting off I'd like something that can somewhat do it all. I was going to check out:
1. SR Technologies Pro (Still remember Keith playing one on his P. Mauriat and it was beautiful. I know it will sound different with me and my horn though),
2. Jody Jazz DV - I read it is a bright mouthpiece, but can it be dark and smooth as well?
3. Wanted to try a vintage piece or 2- Something like the famous Otto Link Slants, FL models, etc.
4. Doc Tenny pieces, Lameberson pieces????
5. Ponzol's have sounded pretty good on Keilwerth's
6. Last, but not least... Barone (don't know what models tho)
Hey Joel,

I've been through most of the things on your list - owned many of them for quite a while before selling them off. I find that it's easier to play a dark 'piece on the bright side rather than get a big fat sound out of a bright m'piece. Among the Barone 'pieces, either the Hollywood or Jazz would be choice - they are still hotter than the average Link but can have a lot of flexibility and color. Those would be my only recommendations among the metal 'pieces you list.

Fred Lamberson's hard rubber 'pieces are fantastic - although I really dig my J8 (both HR and white acetal), you might find the L to fit your particular needs very well. Fred does custom work as well - give him a call or e-mail to describe what you need.

It's not just a matter of metal vs hard rubber either. I've played many metal 'pieces that were far darker than other hard rubber models.

Enjoy the new horn(s)!
 

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I've played a JK sx90r nickel silver tenor for over 3 yrs; I would think it's the closest to the Shadow in sound, aside from another Shadow. I've played a Ponzol M1 .115, solely, despite a number of trials of other pieces. They work great together, it's middle of the road on the bright-dark spectrum, and well made. The M2 is more popular though.
 

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I play a Keilwerth SX90 with a Barone Jazz, which I find a wonderful combination!
 

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I recently bought a Keilwerth SX-90 (not exactly a Shadow, but not a very different animal either) and have been surprised by how well a Jumbo Java works with it. I had a T45 laying in my drawer since ages, the SX suddenly brought it back to life. I was so satisfied that I got for a steal price on ebay a T75 that works even better!
This is a cheap piece, if compared to your listed alternatives, but may surprise you as it happened to me.
 

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I have a Ponzol Super (predecessor to the II-V-I), and tested every other Ponzol. I also own a Morgan L and an M; just sold my EL. Good pieces at a great price. Just tried a Lamberson J model; the Lamberson J8 I tried had more depth to the sound than the Morgans. It made the Morgans sound kind of plastic-like in comparison. I've also tested numerous Links as well as SR Tech's Titan (another great Link-like piece). BUT.....my recomendation would be a Fred Rast J www.rastmusic.com. There's no tenor mpc's on the website, so you might just want to call Fred or even Tim at Sax Alley. The Rast J model has a similar tonal concept as the Lamberson, but more of everything! Fatter on the low end, more colorful sound, bigger sound, more free-blowing, easier altissimo, made my car go faster......:shock:

Kidding aside, with the Rast on my P. Mauriat 66R, I am now getting the most BADASS sound on tenor I've ever had. Just a huge, fat sound that can cut through the band in live situations. $160 for a custom mouthpiece made with great hard rubber, it's a great deal as well.

later

Joel
 

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The only mpcs I am curious to try out are the Ponzol M1/M2 and the Vandoren V16 T77 or T95. Otherwise I am pretty happy with my Berg 115/0.
 

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I played a few mouthpieces this weekend in search of a replacement for the David Zagar Cool School 6 I've been using all year. I have a black nickel SX-90.
The Ponzol M2+ has a high step baffle and a large tip opening, and it is therefore very powerful and very bright--like cranking a really good Telecaster through a Fender Twin. I mean that in a good way, but it was too bright for me, and I found it difficult to control after the Zagar. (I've only been playing for 12 mos.) Also I play in a community band, where blending in is more desirable than cutting through.
The next day I tried an Otto Link STM, which I liked but didn't love, and a Yanigasawa metal piece, which I liked a lot.
Wound up buying a Vandoren V16 T75, which has a medium size rollover baffle and medium tip opening. It's easy to play, really enhanced the sound on my Keilwerth, and it's not too bright. Just a beautiful piece in every way. Also picked up an Optimum lig, which I'm crazy about.
The Yanigasawa and V16 were very similar in tonal depth, ease of play, and quality of craftsmanship. The Ponzol is also extremely well made, and for lots of players, especially in an R&R or R&B setting, I'm sure it's brilliant.
 

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For more info on the STM vs. FL Links, check out the mouthpieceheaven site. I usually don't fall for all of the hype about mouthpieces, but I was amazed at how much better my FL slant Link played that the early Babbit I had. Even after you decide on a certain piece, there is the trial of different ones in the same facing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I am going to be going to St. Louis for the holiday coming up, unfortunately :x . On a good note, I figured I'd take a visit to Saxquest and try a few of their pieces. The only thing is I would have to pay overnight or second day shipping on my saxes and that my be a little pricey, but might be worth it if I can try a few pieces. Still not sure how I will handle that, but I'll know tomorrow.
 

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I'd go cheap until you have a chance to really break in new horns. You can pay 150 or 200 for a piece if you want to but I get the hit that you are looking for step up pieces and maybe not designer/pro pieces???? The plain old NY link that I got for 130 was a surprising good piece. After some 20 baffle experiments it lost some response but that was my fault. If I didn't need gig volume it is a great piece for the price. Vandoran t75 is a good step up piece. The metal V 16s are good for me (don't know price on that one.). I bought and returned a Lamberson piece. Sounded good at Freds shack in Inverness but didn't like it at home. RPCs are good HR pieces. The reason I suggest cheap is that a good piece will take you up a notch in response and tone but won't correct emb or air support issues. In other words you'll bring 90% of "you" to any piece you play. (at least after buying and selling literally 50 pieces thats been my experience.) On the higher priced side I've bought 3 Ponzol M2s (keep coming back to that piece??) 3 Superkings, 2 kings. Good pieces but require and advanced emb. I really liked a Supergonz I had a couple of years ago until the plating flaked off. For me it was a step up over anything else. (I just ordered another from WW and BWs but at 360 it will really have to be better than my baffled link) I did a trial a couple of years ago and a Beechler Belite metal piece played very close for me to the SuperKing (guardala) and Ponzol I was trialing it against. I had a Dukoff L9 that I found very hard to send back to WW and BWs. If there is any advice in all this it's try before you buy (and get stuck) and the piece doesn't make the player. K
 

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Keith is giving you some pearls of wisdom. For tenor, you will be doing yourself a disservice to not try a NY Link. It took me 37 or so years of experimenting to find out that a good ol' Link was the ticket fer me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Yes, thank you. After doing some searching and reading this comment by HonkBopSax:
Ask yourself the following 5 questions before you ask what mouthpiece you should be playing on.

Can you play ii-V-I patterns in all keys in a non-linear interval form, and without them written down in front of you? I mean, can you say, ii-V-I in D, then F, then Eb, then C#, then A, then E ... can you spit those out without looking at them on paper?

Have you transcribed any solos, whether committing them to memory or writing them down and notating proper chords?

Have you studied the Sigmund Rashcher Top Tones book? If not, GET IT!

Do you get at least an hour every day to practice, and do you take that hour every day?

Do you listen to music at least an hour a day?

You've got a good horn, and some good mouthpieces. Take the Link, put it in your case, and put all others in a box. Use nothing but that piece until you can answer all 5 questions above. Transcribing will absolutely help you develop your sound, as will the Rascher book. It will broaden your tone to an amazing degree. As soon as you've gotten through these 5, you may not want a new piece!
I have decided to just start off with a Link, I found a good deal on a metal Tenney STM Link that won't break the bank, but this is a new tenor and I'm not too sure what sound I am going for, I like them all. But, I will take the "link and woodshed" and after I learn my horn a little, I will invest in other mpc's, if not satisfied with the link. Not to mention, a link definitely won't break the already depleted bank.
What difference would I notice between the NY and the STM? I'm hoping it will work well with the Shadow.
 
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