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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a sideline restoring and reselling vintage horns. I'm real slow, but that's another story. I typically play-test tenors with my own handful of mouthpieces: three current-production metal or HR Links and a late-sn Brilhart Ebolin. I only have a Yanagisawa HR 4 piece for alto, and a Selmer HR F tip for soprano, and a nameless pickle-style for bari. This is obviously inadequate and I feel a need to have a few more pieces, at least two for each horn size, to get a better handle on tuning etc.

My purpose starting this thread is to find out, if possible, what the most commonly used mouthpieces are with different horn sizes (SATB) and styles (classical, pop, rock, jazz). I'm planning to acquire the "standards" so to speak but would really appreciate some comments from players (and techs) on the pieces you think would cover all the bases.

My assumptions from years of perusing comments on the forum:

Tenors
Links are pretty much the standard for jazz, but have large, open chambers.
Selmer S80/S90 pieces are the convention for legit/classical stuff.


Altos
Jazz: Meyer
Classical: ??
Pop:
Rock:

Soprano
???


Bari
???
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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3,450 Posts
When it comes to playtesting a horn's setup, I think one reference piece for each horn is sufficient. The important thing is that you are assured that any troubles you might observe when are playing a horn are not due to the mouthpiece. And I'm not talking about subjective tonal nuance - I'm talking about testing a horn for solid mechanics and action, pad seal, etc.

So you could pick any piece to be your reference point - just make sure it's a mouthpiece that is set up well. And, of course, nothing too out on the fringe. If you were to playtest tenors with .150" SS Bergs, there is a possibility that you might be missing something that would be picked up by a Soloist D. You need something that will allow you to play at extreme dynamic ranges.

Soprano Super Session G
Alto Meyer 6 (HR)
Tenor STM 7 (metal) or Soloist/S80 E (HR)
Bari Berg (HR) or Geo Bundy (HR)
 

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Seeker Of A Clever Title.
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For alto, the classical piece is probably a C*, but those usually don't work that well with vintage horns
 

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Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2013-2016
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For soprano, I'd use a BARI .064. I think the most common piece on all horns for classical work (in the US, anyway) is the S-80 C* (although on tenor, you should use a D). If I was doing this though, I'd get a set of Hite Artist mouthpieces. They work well on vintage and modern horns and are designed to be used in almost every situation. I don't like them for classical playing but they'd make excellent reference pieces (and they are awesome for stage show pit orchestra too.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One thing that stoked my curiosity...

On a Beaugnier-made Vito Special tenor I've been working on, the Links were all flat top-to-bottom unless I pushed them in about 1.75-2.0 inch onto the cork (literally covering it), which is about twice as far as I'm accustomed to doing. The horn was in tune with itself and had a great scale, just flat throughout with any Link ..... By contrast, medium-chamber pieces I tried (Brilhart and HR Buffet and the generic Vito piece - probably Riffault) all worked well.

J.Max, are most of the Bari sop pieces built on a single chamber design? I have a cheapo Espri here, just never tried it.

zm, your comment re altos suggests to me that I should give larger chamber pieces (even Links) consideration on vintage models. I rarely touch altos, to be honest, but sometimes I have one on the bench.
 
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