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On the Saxscape slim profile pieces I like the Rovner Legacy LG-RTM ligature. It uses a sheet metal plate that contacts the reed at the edges and holds it firmly. I don't detect any of the dampening effect that some players have observed with other Rovner designs.
 

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I'm looking for a pop piece with good altissimo as a backup to my vintage Berg, and am considering trying either a Hudson or a Downtown. Can anyone characterize the differences between these models?
 

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Hudson will be similar to a HR Berg, good projection, woody tone. Downtown is be closer to a Dukoff/Guardala, not really louder but a more pronounced different projection. Hudson has baffle profile that is more similar to a Berg with the tip and bullet chamber and the Downtown has a step baffle. Altissimo is good on either IMO. If you want it more Berg-like go with the Hudson. Want something a little different Downtown or Live.
 

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How does Downtown differ from Live?
 

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Hudson will be similar to a HR Berg, good projection, woody tone. Downtown is be closer to a Dukoff/Guardala, not really louder but a more pronounced different projection. Hudson has baffle profile that is more similar to a Berg with the tip and bullet chamber and the Downtown has a step baffle. Altissimo is good on either IMO. If you want it more Berg-like go with the Hudson. Want something a little different Downtown or Live.
Serious question - what is a "woody tone" relative to a mouthpiece and saxophone?
 

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Serious question - what is a "woody tone" relative to a mouthpiece and saxophone?
Some of my saxes can sound more "woody" to me with the right setup, by which I mean they sound more like a clarinet, having a clear, reedy tone with fewer partials.
 

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I'm looking for a pop piece with good altissimo as a backup to my vintage Berg, and am considering trying either a Hudson or a Downtown. Can anyone characterize the differences between these models?
Nefertite has a review of the Hudson here:

http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2009/01/saxscape-hudson-model-113/

It has a drop baffle. Obviously, Steve Neff plays everything to perfection. Personally, I find the Downtown easier to control, although mine now per Brian Powell's intervention has a bullet cut in the baffle, which makes it rather Berg like. The tenor Hudson that I owned had this threshold where the sound could become unintentionally harsh, something that I haven't found on any other Saxscape pieces. It might just be me and the Hudson alto is a great piece.

BTW, great to see so many here appreciate Saxscape. The new slim pieces look magnificent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
It's really cool to hear him play warm on that clip with Emiko Ohara yet he sounds so different playing with Mike Stern.
 

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I'm glad Ken joined the conversation and mentioned the bari pieces. He's a great guy, has a lot of great ideas about mouthpiece design and an hour talking with him is a complete education in itself.
My favorite Saxscape pieces are the second Arizona Ken ever made (I bought it from him when I visited him at his home in the desert. It's kinda neat that he's only 10 minutes from my parents) and a fat body Red River, both extremely flexible mouthpieces that do exactly what I want, just in different ways. More volume and pop with the Arizona, a fatter, lusher tone with volume on demand with the RR. In fact, I like the RR so much I kinda bugged Ken to at least make an experimental bari piece based on it (actually I'd really like one based on the RR but with his old Uptown Live's more prominent rollover baffle. Who knows? I may get both out of him. Hint hint.) I'm sure Ken has lots of other tricks up his sleeve for the baritone.
I'm not sure who's more excited about the idea of Saxscape bari pieces - Ken or me. Truth be told, when he first hinted at possibly making bari pieces, I offered him cash money towards development expenses, AND I'll be loaning him a bari that I bought as a backup to my Mark VI. I had the seller send it straightaway to JayeLID for a complete rehab and repad.
The timing was perfect. I got the sax right about the same time Ken was considering developing bari pieces. BUT... he doesn't actually own a bari anymore. So since I conveniently had one in George's shop in New Mexico and don't really need it anytime soon, it was a no-brainer to offer it to Ken. (Can't develop mouthpieces if you can't play them. Know what I mean?) Meanwhile Ken's been (im)patiently waiting with a stand, a strap and a lot of reeds I sent on ahead while George takes care of a couple of last minute issues with the sax.
I'll be visiting Ken later this year and hope to play test lots of nice things that will cost me much jewelry for the wife.
And Ken... You're welcome to hold onto the sax for as long as you need it, along as I can at least say hello to it!
It's all for a good cause anyway.

Oops. Forgot to mention - Marca Jazz 2's and Vandoren Java Red 2's give me the best sound on most of Ken's pieces, and I found that a Francois Louis Ultimate for metal alto pieces fits the Arizona quite nicely. :whistle:
 

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Mark, how does the live differ from the downtown?
Difficult to express in words. I'd suggest going to the SaxScape site to listen to clips of the different mouthpieces to get a good aural idea of the differences. I'd say playing them that for me the Live has a good projection but still has a little more Link fatness quality , room to push or pull back in the chamber than say most high baffle pieces like a Guardala or Super Jet, so it's not as bright as those pieces but I don't feel lost in the sound either. The Downtown is a bit more direct, closer to a Guardala but not as buzzy or edgy and has a little quicker response to it...kinda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Steve, agreed...he sounds like he's using a harder, darker reed. This Saxscape live I have can sound very different depending on the reed choice.

Danny Walsh cuts here on the brighter side using the same Saxscape.
His solo is at 1:40

 

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Thanks guys for your wonderful comments, really appreciate it!

Danny Walsh, Mitch Paliga, and I have been using the Rico RTS2 ligature lately with great results. They're available on Amazon.com:

Ligature and cap: https://www.amazon.com/Rico-Ligatur...57077475&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-3-catcorr

Ligature only: https://www.amazon.com/Rico-Ligatur...56746957&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-2-catcorr

View attachment 234482

The cap is actually one of the nicer-made ones I've tried, as well.
Thanks for the ligature recommendation. I bought the ligature from the amazon link, received it 2 days later and gotta say I like this ligature quite well and plan to use it as my regular lig on the Live.
 
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