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Discussion Starter #1
I use a Rousseau jazz mouthpiece with a fairly wide opening. I get a big beautiful sound, and I can use it in both jazz and R&B situations. BUT the effort I exert to stay in shape (intonation, sound quality) seems too much. I'm wondering what a more closed mouthpiece would do? I don't mind using more than one mouthpiece (one for jazz and another for R&B), but I really want a set-up for jazz that is less physically demanding and also allows me to move around my musical world with a bit more ease. Any recommendations?
 

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Do some reading and research on mouthpiece design, chambers, and especially on the facing curve which will indicate what reed types and strengths are most appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have heard players who use otto links get a pretty large sound with relatively small openings (6*). When I tried out some links in a store practice room, they sounded very dull, compared to my Rousseau. Maybe I need to order some links and play them at home for a few days. I know the sound I like, and I have lots of that sound already. I simply want to work a little less to get it. I'm playing a Rousseau metal 9, with a vandoren java 2.5.
 

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You can get a big sound with a small tip piece depending on what facing curve and baffle it has BUT you'll have to adapt your reed type and strength ANd moreover you'll have to modify your playing habits. You can't just cram air into a small piece to get a "big" sound. It's my personal experience but I think smaller tips sound better with a little less air volume but more air pressure.

The change in tip opening (and consequently of facing length and curve) is something that gets quite a few weeks of deliberate practice to get used to. But what you experienced coming from a Rousseau Jazz to a Link (the "dullness") is probably more because you're coming from a high step baffle piece to a small shelf or rollover one. You can't expect to switch from one to the other without some acclimation time.

A Link will require being more involved in tone production, as will a smaller tip: better voicing, great air support and the right embouchure.

You could get a Rousseau in a smaller tip opening or get a Link. This is eventually your choice. There are very opiniated people on here that would tell you to ditch that Rousseau, get a "real" mouthpiece (a Link) and get your "Link chops" together, and it may be something worth exploring for you if you have the will and time to do so, but personally, I'd say if you like this Rousseau of yours: good for you!
 

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Hmm, I tried to look up the tip opening of that Rousseau - couldn't find a "9" but the "8" is .115".

Yes, you may be working hard if you are not consistent in your practice and playing. Weak support on a large tip and medium reed will make for a setup that is difficult to control.

Recommendations for a comfy jazz setup? Any of the good knockoffs of the classic HR Link - Mouthpiece Cafe "Slant", Warburton J, TenorMadness EB, Aizen LS, etc., ad nauseum - something with a good facing, medium large chamber, tip opening around .105 and a decent medium strength reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess I'm not giving out good info. on myself as a [player, etc. I have great tone, strong clear sound, and great control, and i practice and play well! I just want to ease up, with a mouthpiece that is not as physically demanding as my metal Rousseau 9. And it is a 9.
 

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I was just noting that the tip opening of your 9 must be in excess of .115 - that's getting large.

The suggestion of a .105" Link-derivative (clone, copy, etc.) remains.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I guess I'm looking for some kind of feedback/talk from other saxophonists on this issue of mouthpiece physical force. Even though I have a beautiful, big sound, with lots of warmth, and control etc., I still wonder about trying Links with smaller tip openings. The 2.5 Java reeds work well with this mouthpiece. i suppose I should stock up on stiffer reeds and order a few Links to try in my living room, from wwbw.

Thanks again.
 

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I was just noting that the tip opening of your 9 must be in excess of .115 - that's getting large.

The suggestion of a .105" Link-derivative (clone, copy, etc.) remains.
+1. The .105 tip opening is the most popular for a reason. Also if you are trying stock links they are not going to project or play nearly as well as one of the nicely faced clones or copies Dr. G suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your feedback. I could order 4 different tip opening links from WWBW to try out. What do you mean by "Link-derivative (clone, copy, etc.)"?

Sambeiro
 

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I am trying to address your issues of "physical force" - that's what you often see expressed in this forum as "resistance".

My mainstay is a refaced Vandoren V-16 .122" that I play with Alexander DC 3. When I am physically not up to playing my preferred setup, I will play either a Mouthpiece Cafe Bergonzi Slant .108 or use my classical setup, a Morgan 6C (0.088), with the same reeds.

Both render a full and expressive sound.

I would hesitate to suggest the alternative route of adjusting resistance by going to a softer reed on your 9 as I am usually disappointed with reed response in weaker strengths.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did, in fact, try out a Warburton in Rayburne's in Boston last month. It definitely was a standout. I'd have to hunt around for a used Warburton to try.

Sambiro
 

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The Bergonzi Slant (slant link copy) metioned by G is also very nice. Sometimes I see them for sale on this board. I have 2 but I would never sell them, well maybe one of them if I can find something better which I haven't yet. They play and project easily but that's not for everyone. Some people like to work really hard.:)
 

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Thanks for your feedback. I could order 4 different tip opening links from WWBW to try out. What do you mean by "Link-derivative (clone, copy, etc.)"?
I prefer the copies of the Otto Link designs as executed by people that take care to ensure a good facing. I would not buy an Otto Link unless I was sitting in front of a box full of them and had hours to play test them until I found a good one. Testing 3 or 4 via mail is just not adequate. Better to buy a mouthpiece based on the old Otto Link design that is well-crafted from good material - hence the recommendations that others and I have cited.
 

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Funny thing, resistance. I find that it makes no difference what the tip is, I've ranged from .090 to .145 on tenor--I just change reed strength to get the resistance that I 'like'.
 

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Funny thing, resistance. I find that it makes no difference what the tip is, I've ranged from .090 to .145 on tenor--I just change reed strength to get the resistance that I 'like'.
Yepper - but how soft a reed are you willing to play on a wide tip opening? In my limited experience, there's not much playing time between a new #2 and mush.
 

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It might not be the tip opening that is giving you problems. I play a 120 RPC and don't find that it takes any more physical force than my 105 Tenney Jazzmaster. It could have something to do with the overall design of that Rousseau mpc. The length of the facing can have an effect, I'm told.

I'd recommend an RPC, but then that's what works for me. May not work for you, who knows.
 

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I guess that's why I settled on a .120 (yep, a Tenney). For me, a 2.5 works perfectly.
 

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Hmm, didn't know there is/was a Tenney in .120". What model?
 

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Hmm, didn't know there is/was a Tenney in .120". What model?
Tenney will make any tip size you want! One of the best Bari pieces I've played was a Tenney re-faced SS vintage Berg Larson. It was a .127 tip, and it played just as easily as my .115 Drake Ceramic (loosely based off that Berg).
 
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