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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that the players whose soprano sound I like the most are playing very open rubber links; Wayne Shorter, Steve Lacy, Greg Osby. I currently play a 7 but am having difficulty with it. I like the feel of the 7 a lot but it seems too bright and I have a lot of trouble with the palm keys. I am thinking of having it refaced and am not sure if I should get it opened up while I am at it. Do I need to open it up to a 10 or so to get it as dark as I want? I can't find any links that open to try out locally.

Thanks.
 

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If you want a darker sound, you need to play a closer facing with a harder reed, not the other way around!
 

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TJS said:
It seems that the players whose soprano sound I like the most are playing very open rubber links; Wayne Shorter, Steve Lacy, Greg Osby. I currently play a 7 but am having difficulty with it. I like the feel of the 7 a lot but it seems too bright and I have a lot of trouble with the palm keys. I am thinking of having it refaced and am not sure if I should get it opened up while I am at it. Do I need to open it up to a 10 or so to get it as dark as I want? I can't find any links that open to try out locally.

Thanks.
I once bought a #9 Link from WWBW. That was the biggest I could find. You may want to give that a try. It didn't necessarily play harder than the 7 link I was using when I bought it; it play similar to the 7 but sounded bigger to me.
 

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Try Bari for darker

I played HR Link 9* for many years, even switched for a while to 10, and loved the sound. Recently, David Liebman suggested I try a wide open HR Bari. I had Ed Zentera open up a Bari to .078, and the sound is unbelievable: big and dark.

See if you can find a wide open Bari to try: the transition from the Link should be quite easy.
 

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Before going the refacing route you may want to try some other facings. I always used the Link HR when they were made in Florida but the last one I got (2 years ago) was not in the same class. The BARI is a good start and maybe even a Meyer. I use a Selmer Super Session as do many here and find it very easy to adjust to.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
segaleon said:
I played HR Link 9* for many years, even switched for a while to 10, and loved the sound. Recently, David Liebman suggested I try a wide open HR Bari. I had Ed Zentera open up a Bari to .078, and the sound is unbelievable: big and dark.

See if you can find a wide open Bari to try: the transition from the Link should be quite easy.
Woodwind and Brasswind has them in stock. Any suggestions on which tip I should try. I usually like a Java 2 1/2 on soprano.
 

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You're right wanting to go with the largest tip opening you can handle(I use an RPC .090 sop piece) a larger tip opening provides much more tonal flexibility which you can enhance by reed choice. Nobody says you should use the same strength reed each time or even each tune you play. 2.5 is too soft, try at least a 3.5 or even a 4. Never use a rovner or that type of lig-not ever. They choke the life out of all mpcs but especially the little sop piece. Breathe support and a strong supportive but flexible embrochure acheived by decades of blowing the little beast are imperitive so that you are able to play the whole horn with the whole mpc in your mouth(Lieb has this wrong)
I like(ed) the BARI mpcs but get a big one. They're dark but do cause some intonation problems on some sopranos,-specifically the MK VI...not a good match.
 

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segaleon said:
I played HR Link 9* for many years, even switched for a while to 10, and loved the sound. Recently, David Liebman suggested I try a wide open HR Bari. I had Ed Zentera open up a Bari to .078, and the sound is unbelievable: big and dark.

See if you can find a wide open Bari to try: the transition from the Link should be quite easy.
Reminds me of the Crocodile Dundee line "You call THAT a knife? THIS is a Knife."

A tip opening of .078" on a sop is not what I'd call "wide open". ;)

Go for .090" or greater - and be wary of playing in ensembles that require some attention to intonation. It requires a committed sop player to play that size well. Note the emphasis on "well".
 

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A couple of clients had me open some sop MPs to .090"-.100" ala Lacy. I found them very unpleasent to play test. I find anything over .065" tough to control for intonation for someone who just occasionally doubles on sop sax. I liked the sound of .075" tip and think I could master the control if sop sax was my main focus. But it is not.
 

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I would have to caution that .090" is "lunatic fringe" for soprano. Unless you're going to play/practicing soprano 6-10 hrs a day you may want to stick to around .070" or so. It's a smaller horn so alto-tenor tips just don't work that well on it for most people. My opinion.

Unless you want to play in ensembles that don't care about intonation. >)
 

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MojoBari said:
A couple of clients had me open some sop MPs to .090"-.100" ala Lacy. I found them very unpleasent to play test. I find anything over .065" tough to control for intonation for someone who just occasionally doubles on sop sax. I liked the sound of .075" tip and think I could master the control if sop sax was my main focus. But it is not.
Lacy played a hard reed too, IIRC. You have to remember that it was his only instrument, which is why he was able to do it. You'd be better off getting a darker mouthpiece and a closer tip, somewhere between .064 - .072
 
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