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Just got a chance to do 15 minute play tests with the Extra Dark and the Fat Cat. (Warmed up with a Lakey Bruno O and a Rico Reloplex 3P)
Used a Java Red 2 and a Rovner Light lig (my Francois Louis Ultimate just doesn't want to stay secure on the delrin) on a Desidera and a Rampone & Cazzanni Stencil.
Impressions: Both have a similar vibe on the darker side. The Desidera, with its larger bell and more resonant tone, is a great match for the Fat Cat's fuller sound. While both pieces can be pushed well, the Fat Cat is better suited for the lower end of the range. I mean, it really gave the Desi some serious bottom, and quite easily even at a whisper. It seemed to strain a bit on the upper end of the range. The R&C, with its lighter construction and brighter sound didn't receive the same benefit of the Fat Cat's rich bottom. But it did respond much better in the upper ranges. Still, the Fat Cat "fattened up" the sound across the board. Tuning was spot on everywhere. Easy to blow, rich tone, very responsive and very flexible.
The Xtra Dark, on the other hand was much more at home on the upper end of the range on the Desi. While the bottom was still full and rich, it didn't have the depth or extra oopmph that the Fat Cat gave it. Here, again, the tone and timbre were rich, lush and tuning was spot on across the range. On the R&C it tamps down some of the sax's natural brightness, but doesn't dull it. Again, a rich, full sound with brilliant upper register and a deeper (for this sax) bottom, though not to the same degree as the Fat Cat. Easy to blow, rich tone, very responsive, super flexible.
Bottom line:
If you're partial to your tenor's lower end and need that fatter bottom, the Fat Cat is the better choice. If you prefer life in the upper register and only occasionally visit the basement, or really want a good West Coast Vibe, then the Xtra Dark is the ticket.
Either way, If you want a free-bloiwing, flexible mouthpiece that offers a rich, full sound with solid intonation and a darker timbre on par with the bluesiest HR blues Link, either should do well.
That's how I see and hear it. YMMV of course.
 

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Saxscape Live vs. Downtown MB1: Bright Mouthpiece Comparison!


New Saxscape pieces available in the continental U.S. from Santo's online store at reverb.com: https://reverb.com/shop/santo-and-jims-guitars
Introductory price $275, 2 week trial period for return/exchange
For custom orders or orders outside the lower 48, please message me here or email: [email protected]
Thanks, let me know if you have any questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Saxscape Live vs. Downtown MB1: Bright Mouthpiece Comparison!


New Saxscape pieces available in the continental U.S. from Santo's online store at reverb.com: https://reverb.com/shop/santo-and-jims-guitars
Introductory price $275, 2 week trial period for return/exchange
For custom orders or orders outside the lower 48, please message me here or email: [email protected]
Thanks, let me know if you have any questions!
This answers my question perfectly! I'm loving my Live .110 and have settled on Java 3 reeds. I'm surprised a mouthpiece this powerful blends so well in a section. It's obviously designed with soloing in mind but it also blends really well with other horns.
 

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I'm surprised a mouthpiece this powerful blends so well in a section. It's obviously designed with soloing in mind but it also blends really well with other horns.
Yes, exactly! I play a .110 in the Lt. Dan Band with trombone and trumpet, (cover band, pop/rock/etc.) works perfectly. I'm also playing with a Steely Dan tribute band with 4 horns, the other sax player remarked about how good my intonation is in the section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Ken, you wrote earlier that your working on bari, sop, and alto mouthpieces. I'm quite interested...when do you think we may see them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Wanted to add an update for those looking for ligatures to use that fit the Saxscape slim profiles. I still prefer the optimum ligature by far but I did have to alter it's shape a bit to get it to fit properly. In it's normal state the optimum ligature has most of it's pressure on the front and not enough on the back of the plate. I simply bent the arms of the back that holds the plate and it has been perfect! I much prefer the optimum because it's so easy to adjust and the reed will not budge when I move the mouthpiece.

I'm still super happy with the Saxscape Live!
 

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Alto: YAS-62S Conn Trany 6M Jupiter JAS-868 JAS-769 / Tenor: YTS-23 & 52 P. Mauriat 66R Holton 241
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What tune is that? I don't know that one.
I'm sorry to bump an old thread but I realized this question remains unanswered. This tune is called "Setembro" (September in Portuguese) and it was composed by a Ivan Lins, a Brazilian composer.

BTW, I'm a Saxscape mouthpieces lover. I have 7 Saxscape mouthpieces (3 Slants, 2 Fat Cats, 1 Xtra Dark, 1 Downtown Studio) and I don't even consider to sell one of these. I mostly use Fat Cats or Slants. I think Ken is a genius and his mouthpieces are way underrated, they don't have all the credit they deserve.
 

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I ordered a Saxscape Live tonight, couldn't resist. Thanks for your review. Must stop buying mouthpieces now though.
How did you manage to order it, all I see is no stock unless I change the location to Continental America?
 

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I have ONE complaint about Saxscape mouthpieces. All the MP tooth patches I put on them slide off.

Otherwise, the Downtown .110" is a flawless playing, free blowing colorful beast of a R&B rock mouthpiece.
 

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I have ONE complaint about Saxscape mouthpieces. All the MP tooth patches I put on them slide off.

Otherwise, the Downtown .110" is a flawless playing, free blowing colorful beast of a R&B rock mouthpiece.
Carefully try (at your own risk) a fine sandpaper to remove the 3D printer "machining" marks to yield a smooth surface on the beak. Clean beak surface thoroughly. Apply your favorite patch and give it a try.
 

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I think they are made from Delrin, which is tricky to glue, like teflon and such. Any working solution is likely to have some permanent effect (like sanding or very aggressive primers (loctite 770 / 401)) and food safety is anybody's guess. I didn't use a patch on mine at all...
 

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I'm also a Saxscape devotee. The Arizona is a remarkable piece. I often switch from one Saxscape piece to another based on my mood but I've been on the Arizona since I got it. Just a great design. Dark, powerful, flexible, focused.
 

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I use the BG black patches on my Saxscape mouthpieces. I washed each mouthpiece with dish soap and water before applying the patch and have not had any trouble with the patch moving or peeling.
 

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Saxscapes are not 3D printed. They're machined from Delrin and then hand finished. I've been to Ken's place and I've seen his workshop. Small but it does the job (although last time we spoke he mentioned something about new equipment coming). As for mouthpiece patches not sticking, I've never had a problem with the black BG patches either. They're all I use.
 

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I have the Florida (Gainesville?). It's in between the Live and the Arizona. The Live is a beast, beyond the Link thing but still not quite Berg/Guardala. It's got an interesting mix if low and high (high baffle,pretty large chamber). Ken's been doing some pretty varied baffle/throat designs and the Live has some of that goin' on. The Arizona has a crazy design and is thick, fat, and focused. An amazing piece, in the Blue Note tonal world. In between these is the Florida. Powerful enough for Fusion. Complex enough for acoustic Jazz. It's a little brighter than I expected. Another great piece. I would love to compare it to the Naima as they are both kinda middle of the road. Ken's got me nuts 'cause I really dig a bunch of his pieces. I got some for $50-75 so it wasn't that hard to explore different designs. I feel like all his pieces share an internal eq. They're all kind of focused and all have a resistance that I like.
 
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