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s80 v. supersesssion v. soloist

2246 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dave Dolson
If I got a s80 alto mouthpiece refaced to be .085 to .090, and had the refacer just generally try to make it play better by making sure it was within proper 'normal' parameters, whatever that may be, for the mouthpiece,
would the fact that the chamber starts out with that box shape have an audible and playing significant difference in sound, as compared to say a modenr soloist or super session piece (if they were otherwise refaced similarly?

I know some refacers have taken s80's and rounded out that box shape chamber thing but I am wondering if that is 'needed' to get it to play really well.

In another disucsion on SOTW, a poster named Benjamin gave the opinion that comparing a Yanagisawa 7 metal alto piece to a Beechler Beliete metal 7, that the fact the yanagisawa has a boxed shaped chamber inside (similar to an s80 maybe) he feels adversely affects the sound/ playability compared tothe Beechler belite.

So I am wondering. I am wondering if i wanted to get selmer mouthpieces refaced and opened up and try to get them to play really well (which is subjective) whether using an S80 v. a Super session or modern soloist would make much difference.

I read somewhere that ralph Morgan quit Selmer over issues including this box shaped chamber change so maybe its important....

Theres a lot of s80 and s90 mouthpieces out there, and sooner or later maybe people will think more about typically getting them refaced as time goes on, since they are good rubber and they are cheap to buy used.....
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In my experiance, the response ("play better") of a mouthpiece depends mostly on the quality of the facing curve. Say 70%. Next, the parts nearest the tip rail are important. The baffle, window width, tip rail, tip corners. Say 20%. Then I would tag the importance of the chamber design as 10%.

Now for impact on sound, not response, the chamber and baffle design are very important. Like 90%.

But I would not round out a rectangular chamber. It is part of the character of the mouthpiece. Most of the effect from rounding it out will be that you are making it larger.
Gary: I am NOT a mouthpiece expert like Mojo or others here, and I give credence to Mojo's postings - he's worked on a piece of mine and did a great job. My observations are based on years of playing.

I have all of those pieces for alto, in various facings. I think the only factor that improves or detracts from how those pieces play is the tip-opening. True, the quality of the facing curve is a factor, but all of my Selmer pieces, soprano and alto, play well without having been altered, so I take the facing-curve factor out of the equation. I also believe that chamber sizes are too difficult to verify and chamber designs (square vs. round, etc.) are more marketing than anything else.

I like the Super Session and Soloist alto pieces (mine are both F-tips). My S-80 is a C* and with a stiffer Fibracell reed, it plays okay for me, but not like the other two. I would be curious about the S-80 when opened to an F-tip.

With my soprano pieces, the Super Sessions outplay all of my S-80's in similar tips.

I recently acquired a Don Sinta alto piece in what was claimed to be a tip similar to the C*. Wow, does that Sinta piece play well with a #1 1/2 Fibracell reed. I'm liking it better than my Meyer 6S-M and SS-F. DAVE
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Dave, why do you think your soprano Super Sessions outplay all of your S80's in similar tips???

whats the differnece between the Super Session and the S80? is it the chamber or the baffle design or both?
Gary: I'm comparing three SS-J's to two S-80 J pieces in soprano. I played the S-80 J's until the Super Sessions were released. Once I played the SS-J, I never went back. The SS-J's are more robust and speak easier in the high register than the S-80-J's. They are just stronger pieces. Why, I don't know. It probably has to do with chamber design and other factors, but it well could be my own embouchure.

Another factor is the overall length of the two designs. The SS is much shorter than the standard S-80. I doubt if that has anything to do with playability, but on vintage sopranos, it is critical for me. That's why I had several older pieces shortened a while back (S-80 J, S-80 G, Guardala metal, two Morgan Vintage). DAVE
If my memory is correct, the SS soprano mpc has more of a rollover baffle near the tip than an S80. Can anyone confirm this? That would explain the easier high end of the SS.

Is there a soprano mpc with slightly more baffle yet, but similar in everything else?
Mike: I am looking right at a soprano Super Session-J and an S-80 G. The SS-J's window is smaller in width and the side-rails seem to flow inward (is that concaved? - almost like it is cinched inward like a belt would do) from the tip to the curve at the bottom of the window. The side-rails on the S-80 G are straighter from the tip to the curve at the bottom of the window.

The tip-rail on the SS-J is more pronounced - it appears to be the same thickness as the side rails' thickness. The tip-rail on the S-80 is thinner, matching the S-80's side rails' thickness.

The thicker tip-rail on the SS-J makes it appear that there is slightly more curvature to the baffle area (the area immediately beyond the tip) while the S-80's baffle seems to be slightly more scooped.

Roll-over baffle? I don't know - and whatever differences are mighty small. The BIG difference between the SS and the S-80 is the opening to the barrel - the S-80's being square and the SS being a small, round opening. DAVE
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