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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I feel I have a distinct concept in mind for what I want to sound like on soprano,
but I don't know what mouthpiece might be close to what I am after.

I think my ideal sound would be a selmer soloist, made in metal, with a tip opening around 71 - 74.
I also like the Vandoren S35...I think that piece in metal might also be close to what I'm hearing...

I don't know enough about chamber sizes to know if these pieces are even remotely similar in chamber size or facing length, but I know they each have some attractive qualities to me that I would love to get at in metal. Are there chambers similarly shaped?
Are there facing lengths similar?

Where would you turn for metal pieces in this same mold?

Thanks,

J
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, Andrew. I have also discovered that selmer soloists were made in metal and in larger tip openings....so I'm looking into that as well.
 

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Maybe I'm just dense, but the title and content of your post don't seem to match. You claim to look for a mouthpiece matching a sound concept, but do not at any point describe a sound. You say metal soloist or Vandoren, but those are mouthpieces, not sound concepts. What about the soloist do you like? Often on soprano a soloist has a rich, reedy sound akin to an oboe. Or are you thinking the rounder, darker, more alto-like sound that some players have? Or the strangely appealing hollow, duck-like sound that can be had with this style of mouthpiece? Likewise, Vandoren A35 is capable of many different sounds, and it's not really that similar to the Selmer.

What about metal is going to get you closer to your ideal sound? Is it that you want a brighter, edgier sound? Are you looking for more projection? Or do you just prefer the feel of the narrower profile most metal pieces have?

Do you have players you would like to sound like? What mouthpiece are you playing now, and what would you like to be different in this next mouthpiece?

I fall in the camp of "find a good mouthpiece in the right ballpark and make it sound how you want to sound." So if I were you and I liked the "soloist sound," I'd find a soloist with good response and just learn to make it sound the way you want to sound.
 

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Joyful: Here's MY opinion . . . mouthpieces don't play the same for everyone. It is impossible for anyone here to truthfully tell you what mouthpiece is going to match your sound concept. You and I could sit down together with the same saxophone and mouthpiece and sound completely different on them.

As far as a metal mouthpiece goes, the material doesn't matter. What matters is the mouthpiece's overall design ALONG WITH the player's own, individual embouchure construction.

I doubt that you will find a Selmer Soloist or scroll shank mouthpiece in that wide of a tip-opening. I don't know that Selmer makes metal mouthpieces anymore - I could be wrong about that (new metal Selmers). And, I'm not sure about Vandoren making metal soprano mouthpieces, either.

Otto Link offers metal soprano mouthpieces, though, in open tips. I think their 8* is their most open soprano piece.

The widest tip Selmer made was the J-tip which they claim measured .069, but when Joe Giardullo of SopranoPlanet measured one of my Super Session J's, it was .070. From what I've read lately, Selmer no longer offers that wide of a soprano tip. So, your alternative is to find one (and they aren't that prevalent on the market) and have it opened to the tip-opening you like. If you are going to go that wide, I'd suggest having Joe Giardullo or Phil-Tone make you a mouthpiece.

Keep in mind, I am not recommending these mouthpieces to you - I have no idea how you would sound on any of them. That is for you to find out. DAVE
 

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I'm with Fargo North, Decoder. ;-) What's this thread about? You have to give an example of what you want to sound like if you want someone to recommend equipment to help you sound like you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You claim to look for a mouthpiece matching a sound concept, but do not at any point describe a sound.
I see your point (and yours, too, Gary). My BAD. That's me posting having been up too long and surviving on a diet of melted snow.

Here's my best go at the sound I am looking for:

woodwindesque, (I love the sound of the oboe, I was excited and agreeable at the mention of a kinship there in NCN's post), brilliant, rich, colorful heart, like the tip of a golden arrow, focused and yet free, not a "thick" sound (like otto links have to a great degree to my ear, and meyers somewhat as well), but a very clear, textured and pointed kind of sound. A sound capable of lyrical power and melody. Very minimal change in brightness across dynamic spectrum. More wide than focused/compact, but not excessively.

I hear a lot that I LOVE LOVE LOVE in the first 30 seconds of this youtube ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StWlqo3bnAs
(And in the rest of that clip, it I hear a lot that I don't like that I think could be helped by opening the tip.
What I don't like is this buoyantly controlled optism and instrumentality without enough vocality....)

Jazz wise, I have recently been very enamored with Chris Potter's soprano sound, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-45vTCw9haM
Steve Wilson's sound as here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZjfGqZqthI
Dexter Gordon's sound as here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R1axTqE1Y4
Though on HR, I also like Branford's sound -- on his classical recordings, and here as well, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiM6yMg1Ijs
I also like Stan Getz as here, but it is a little "twangy" for me in places ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGhhN0oudWI
 

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Joyful, excuse me if I missed it above, but-
- what soprano are you presently playing?
- what make, model, tip opening is your present mouthpiece?
- what make reed and strength are your reeds?
- what is it about your present setup that you're dissatisfied with and what do you want to change?

Please don't make us pull teeth. :angel4:


BTW - get a metal mouthpiece if you want, but metal or hard rubber, it makes no difference. It's the construction/design of a mouthpiece that does.
 

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Joyful: Here's MY opinion . . . mouthpieces don't play the same for everyone. It is impossible for anyone here to truthfully tell you what mouthpiece is going to match your sound concept. You and I could sit down together with the same saxophone and mouthpiece and sound completely different on them.

As far as a metal mouthpiece goes, the material doesn't matter. What matters is the mouthpiece's overall design ALONG WITH the player's own, individual embouchure construction.
DAVE
I would advise the OP to re-read Dave's sound advice.
 

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Hi - I feel I have a distinct concept in mind for what I want to sound like on soprano,
but I don't know what mouthpiece might be close to what I am after.



J
Is there a player or recording that has the kind of sound you're after? That would be a good way to understand your goal and perhaps be able to offer some ideas.
 

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I hear a lot that I LOVE LOVE LOVE in the first 30 seconds of this youtube ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StWlqo3bnAs
(And in the rest of that clip, it I hear a lot that I don't like that I think could be helped by opening the tip.
What I don't like is this buoyantly controlled optism and instrumentality without enough vocality....)
Keep in mind that this clip you posted was recorded on the same mouthpiece. I think it demonstrates that a good player working on a piece which doesn't serve as an impediment can achieve lots of things. Maybe think about flexibility instead of something more rigid.

If you're already playing soprano, experiment with things you own and control, e.g., embouchure. Throw some resources at different reeds.

If you can't get close to what you're aiming for, then hit up a couple of these great makers, e.g., Joe Giardullo from SopranoPlanet or Phil-Tone, and spend some money on their expertise. It'll probably be quicker and less expensive in the long run.

Just to let you know I'm not throwing stones, I've spent quite a bit of money myself in pursuit of specific sounds. At the end of the day, I sound like me on everything I'm playing.
 

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Another one looking for chops/sound in a box without providing pertinent info....
The mean lady inside of me wants to say "Go buy the most expensive mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds you can find. That sound you are looking for will magically appear."
 

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Sorry-missed all the examples you posted.

Well, the sounds are all over the map, actually. One is tight, focused and small, others are bigger and rounder.

If you want that kind of flexibility: medium chamber (bigger than the metal Selmer) and probably a design like a Dukoff/Berg/Guardala, but almost never a stock one, unfortunately.
That design will give the focus you seem to like.
 

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Given Joe's advice and expertise, a Metalite would also seem to fit the bill....with the distinct advantage of low cost.
 

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The mean lady inside of me wants to say "Go buy the most expensive mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds you can find. That sound you are looking for will magically appear."
Not mean at all, I see this work a lot of the time.
 

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a Metalite would also seem to fit the bill....with the distinct advantage of low cost.
It's a start, for sure. The problem is almost always with the extremes ( low notes are stubborn, top end is very thin )

Aside: "Chops in a box" is a convenient phrase, but it implies that a player wants something for nothing more than money. I've just not encountered more than a small handful of players in my 59 years of playing saxophone that fit that description. It's not a phrase I find helpful and, in many instances, I find it a bit condescending. Especially on soprano, getting a good mouthpiece that helps and doesn't hinder is what almost all soprano players are after, at least in my experience.
 

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Another one looking for chops/sound in a box without providing pertinent info....
Many of the "greats" were not particularly articulate when pressed about their sound concept or how they achieved it. I don't think that necessarily implies he's looking for an easy fix; chops in a box, if you will.

He has provided quite a few examples of the "kind" of sound he's looking for, and maybe he has experimented a good deal with what I would consider first principles: embouchure, air support, articulation, etc.

I'm sure there are some very fine players out there who may be dissatisfied with their tone. Still groping around in the dark, looking for something that is, for the most part, quite intangible and abstract.

Edit: As always, you beat me to it Joe; rendered superfluous again ;)
 

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Go back and read the OPENING POST.
No examples, no hint as to what has been tried, nothing to go on except 'what mouthpiece for this sound concept'.
WHAT SOUND CONCEPT?!?
Yes, the "convenient phrase" was used, and not as a slam.
Get over yourselves..... :)
 

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Edit: As always, you beat me to it Joe; rendered superfluous again ;)
Not at all superfluous.
The more people with hard-earned information who share their experience and perceptions, the better for people who may feel alone in their own ideas.
It's one of the really great things about our era now.
Before, you were alone until you found that one person who might be nearby. You may have never found him or her.

But now, we're all connected.

The obvious downside side is sorting through it all. My take on that: if it echos my personal experience in some way, it has a certain leg up on things I don't necessarily recognize. But that is a small leg up.
If I am reading/ hearing things that I know not to be so, that's the easy stuff to discard.

So, for someone early in their work, there's more to consider. Over time, it will sort itself out and lessen the noise. But it takes attention and it takes an inquisitive perspective, in my opinion.
 
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