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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

I was wondering if anyone uses crystal mouthpieces on alto or tenor sax regularly and what your experience is with them? Which ones have you tried? What did you like/dislike about them? Did you try any on a vintage horn and if yes, how was the intonation?

/The reason I am asking is that I really like to play crystal mouthpieces on my clarinets (I have a Backun CG+ for my wooden clarinet and a Pomarico Jazz ** for my metal one - so fairly open ones), because I like the tone, I can control the sound and intonation better and they are very comfortable to play (for me). I am looking for my first mouthpiece upgrade and I would prefer one I can use for many years./

Thanks!

GG
 

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I have had several that I bought from a shop in Italy some were branded Pomarico and others , also made by Pomarico, had a different name, they were not particular impressive to me at the time .

I found them pretty “ tame” and rather too closed for me. I favor a more open design and play with soft reeds while these were probably “ old school” closed to be played with hard reeds.

If the sound that you would get with this is not any better than the one that you would get from a different brand, ask yourself if you are not sacrificing choice to looks.

I mean, it rather seems to be that you are looking for a special look rather than a special sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much, milandro.

It is an interesting thing that, at least for the clarinet mouthpieces I have, the Pomarico mouthpieces officially have an open design (1,21 and 1,48 compared to e.g. 1,09 on a Vandoren B40) but still feel like a much more closed mouthpiece. I use 2,5-3,25 reeds on clarinet, 2-2,5 on alto sax so I think this closed and tame feeling you describe might work for me. I also play all kind of music so a very soft reed-too open mouthpiece combo may not be the best for my purposes.

As for your last suggestion, I do not really like the look, to be honest, it is kind of weird to see what is inside your mouthpiece, don't you think? On a clarinet, I really like the sound. Also, crystal is heavy and somehow it is easier for me to play on these mouthpieces. I am just unsure whether what I like on clarinet will also work on a sax.
 

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If not for looks, I am not sure why would you chose a tame mouthpiece like this while you can easily find cheaper tame mouthpieces in any other look.

I mean ... there is nothing wrong or shameful in using a Selmer S80 or a Yamaha 4C to get a good saxophone sound. You can buy them for a pittance because they are the most common mouthpieces.

Because I couldn’t sell it I too to use a Selmer S80 E for alto and I like its feel and sound very much but I don’t play alto (anymore) and I only keep a number of mouthpieces for “ just in case” I come across a horn to buy.

I don’t think that a Pomarico (even their Jazz series ) is anyway a modern sounding mouthpiece.

As for the looks, there are and were other transparent mouthpieces from many brands but they tend to be made of acrylic. So, it is not only the pomarico people whom liked to see what you blow in the tube.

ESM Schreiber and Runyon being the first to come to mind.

Incidentally there are few transparent instruments now (and only one saxophone that I know of), but lots of bassoons, clarinets and hobos were made by people like Mönnig brothers.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again, you made me think.

As for the Pomarico's for clarinet, as I said I like the focused sound, the ease of controlling the sound and, I think, the weight helps to balance the instrument better. And it may have an influence on the sound but more knowledgeable people can confirm or deny this claim. So the acrylic stuff does not sound interesting. I have never had a Selmer mouthpiece so I will try to check the one you suggested next time, too.

P.S. My saxophone is 90 years old, I don't expect (or want) a modern sound from her :)
 

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Good luck in your search, the age of your saxophone is not particularly relevant to its sound since some modern sounding players play on things made in the '30 or ’40 just as much as it is possible to have a very traditional sound on a modern saxophone
 

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I have owned and played several Pomarico pieces, including crystals. I found them excellent. Neutral in sound so you can go wherever you want with them. Still have one here that I use from time to time. Also play the Jazz ** model on clarinet.
 

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Neutral in sound so you can go wherever you want with them.
^^ This. I owned a Pomarico Model 3 tenor mouthpiece for a while and it was nice to play, especially if you don't mind a "closer tip + harder reed" setup on tenor. Very "blank slant" or neutral in terms of sound and color - quite flexible. I sold mine because I just couldn't get used to the dimensions of the piece in my mouth.

Here's a recording of a SOTW member playing a Model 3 on a Buescher Aristocrat tenor. You can hear it range from a fat, luscious vintage tenor sound all the way through some very Coltrane-esque tones.

https://soundcloud.com/warrenscottrobertson/alonetogetherpomaricochrystalno3-01-copy
 

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I played a Pomarico crystal piece for classical tenor for a while in college (17-18 years ago). I really liked it, and if I wasn't set on my current setup wouldn't hesitate to get another one. My only problem with that particular piece was the shank bore was a little too big, so I had to keep scrap paper on hand to wrap around the cork. Beautiful tone, though, and that's what really matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you, Eulipion2!

I had to change the cork on one of my Pomarico clarinet mouthpieces for similar reasons when I got it. If I decide on a Pomarico, I will keep a pile of scrap paper ready.
 

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can go either way, and is not a particular function of Pomarico, mouthpieces and necks don’t always match, if it is of any help my mouthpieces were generally smaller fitting than the one that I used at the time.

Another piece of information. I met the Pomarico people ( a young man and his uncle) at the Frankfurt fair, they told me that they also reface mouthpieces upon request
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
can go either way, and is not a particular function of Pomarico, mouthpieces and necks don’t always match, if it is of any help my mouthpieces were generally smaller fitting than the one that I used at the time.

Another piece of information. I met the Pomarico people ( a young man and his uncle) at the Frankfurt fair, they told me that they also reface mouthpieces upon request
No, of course not, but until recently I have been using the same setup for decades, so I only have experience with few mouthpieces. Also, thank you on the information on refacing, I will kep that in mind!
 

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the fitting of mouthpieces to necks ( and necks to saxophones) is one of the most common issues that we all have had to deal with at some stage or other.

This is why some folks like Warburton or Scimonetti have attempted to make the cork variable by substituting it with some O-rings, which come in different thicknesses ( but they have created the problem of how to put the O-rings on the neck!)

follow this link it will open a completely different world to you

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?12707-scimonetti-corkless-necks

Some folks who like changing mouthpieces are driven to buy two or more necks all fitting different mouthpieces or to widen the shaft by means of several mechanic means.
 

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Scimonetti was onto something
 
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