I ordered the Uptown Live as soon as it came out as I wasn't sure which way to go (Downtown vs.Uptown), I wanted a HR mouthpiece with some edge yet greater ease of playing especially in the low register. In recent years I have moved away from metal (I've played and probably own just about every mouthpiece under the sun and that includes customized/reworked pieces by many great people). I really am impressed with this mouthpiece. I love the way it plays, the sound, and the projection. It doesn't lose anything to a metal piece. I have a 8* and use a FL ligature, primarily with a 3 handfinished fibracell (for conveniece and consistency), but it kills with Alexander Superials.
This mouthpiece plays like my best Otto Links (the exterior has that same great shape), but the low register is much easier and the altissimo far exceeds most HR pieces I have played, this could possible be attributed to a rather complex hand finished baffle. This mouthpiece works great on my JK SX90, but I am considering asking Ken to make me a slightly darker piece for my MKVI and Superbalanced Action.
As you read these forums you'll notice people either; totally love what they have, or are in constant search of the "Holy Grail". Obviously I am one of the latter, and my views, opinions, and observations are subjective, and strictly mine. That being said I think Ken (Saxcape) puts out a great product, as I don't know who custom makes more models of tenor sax mouthpieces in so many various sizes. Your thread doesn't say what you are playing now, I would suggest you call Ken.
I bought the Uptown Live and it came in the mail yesterday. I gave it a blow before going to the wedding that night and was impressed and decided to use it at he gig. I am used to a .110 and this was a .112. I was using a 3.5 Alexander and put a 3 on and it played great all night. He sent me the slim line piece which was a great choice. I played three hours on it last night and loved it and it was easy to play. It had a great Fat lower end, and pretty easy altissimo and in tune up and down. It has more power than my JJ ESP and a bit easier to blow and a tad warmer. I was able to use my Eddie Daniel’s II ligature on it, but the Selmer 404's probably fit a little bit better since the metal screw was touching the top of the mouthpiece and made a tiny grove into it, so I am going to file it down a tad so it is easy to use the same ligature. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to go away from Metal. Ken does a good job. It plays much easy than a link and is very free blowing and flexible. By the way, I used it on a King Super 20 Silversonic Tenor (Cleveland) Thanks Ken.
I got a Saxscape Uptown Extra Dark HR profile from Ken about 2 weeks ago and it's great. I got a 7 which is .102. I'm using a FL lig.
I'm really pleased with the versatility of this mpc. It started it's life as a Dark but Ken offered to make it an Extra Dark after me giving initial feedback. He took it back and it's perfect. He's doing great work.
I concur with Hangman on the attributes of Ken's mpcs. The tone will surprise you when you first play it. Some of the nice things are :
Big sound throughout , the palms and my high notes are the fullest and most in tune that I have experienced. Mid and bottom nice full and phat.
Expressive mpc. Tonal spectrum is large, it does alot.
Plenty of cut and volume for a so called extra dark.
nice articulation and response.
I hate to compare it to anything because it has some real unique qualities.
Ken's making something for everyone, check him out. I think he's going to be a busy man
Scott, sorry about the late reply, I was out of town all weekend. I use the slimline as it is so close to a Link in size; most of my ligatures fit, it is comfortable, and at least in my mind it looks and feels closer in size to the metal pieces I have always played, it shouldn't matter, but ...well I'll bet I'm not the only player that has resisted going back to HR for that reason.
I agree with Hangman and Mike Cesati's posts. I too find it difficult to compare it with other mouthpieces as it does have some unique qualities that I'm still exploring. I played a lot this weekend in a variety of styles and situations without having to change rigs and thats what I really wanted.
I received an Uptown Live 8 (HR profile) from Ken on Saturday and have to echo my friend Mike Cesati, as well as hangman and RICHARD GARCIA in saying that I am VERY pleased with the results. It plays like a very good Link, in that it has a solid core and excellent tonal mass throughout the range, but with somewhat less effort than a Link. So far, I have played the "Live" using a Rigotti Gold 3L on my Couf Superba 1 with a gold plated Oleg neck.
I like the way RICHARD GARCIA described the Uptown Live as having
I received my Uptown NF .110 and it is a superb piece with a fat bottow and the projection of a metal piece. I need to play it more but this is not a problem as I can't stop playing it since it arrived.
Does anyone own a morgan 8L or 8EL AND one or two of Ken's pieces. I've got all my pieces for my other horns, but I still don't have it right for my tenor. My morgan 6m is practically magic, so I figured the morgan tenors would give me the same results, but I haven't tried them yet. I can't afford a lamberson. The Saxscape pieces are pushing my limits, but they're getting such good reviews here that maybe they're worth it. Has anyone AB'ed morgans and saxscapes?
I bought a Morgan Excaliber for my alto years ago and loved it (still playing it). This started my quest to move away from metal as before then I didn't think I could get the volume I needed in a non-metal piece. I primarily play tenor, so I tried both the tenor Excalibers, and bought the medium chamber. This is a very good mouthpiece, however I eventually gave it away as it didn't do all that I wanted. To me, the response of the slim profile Saxscapes are similar to the thinness of the Excalibers, which was something I really liked. Saxscape offers various models; chambers, baffles, openings, sizes, etc. That's a lot of choices and subsequent variables, so you will need to talk to Ken.
Allo Richard,I have been trying as you so many mpcs for my tenor,but always sticking with my IIVI,but now waiting now for a Uptown Extra dark from a member here!I also would like to find and hopefully this time with this Saxscape Uptown Extra Dark will be a good choice!I have read so many good comments about them,but in all everything is so personal!This mpc will be a 106,or a 7*,,I am used to play on a 110,but this should not be too much of a difference in the opening!I wonder what ligature will I have to use on the Uptwon Ext. dark one! I have one Optinum for tenor that might do!So the mpc should be here any day or sometimes beginning of next week hopefully!!I will write my comments after a few days of playing it!My tenor is a Serie III,so maybe this will be a good match! Hangman ,could you post those sound clips of the Uptown Live,it would be nice to hear them??
All the best
You didn't say whether you have the traditional or slim profile. Incidently, I just received a tenor Selmer 404 and it didn't fit the slim profile, however my other Otto Link ligatures do, oh well :?
Richard,,I think it will be the regular profile,,also the mpc is still the airmail,,so I can't really tell!Though from the pics I got ,it is the regular,,and probably not the slim one!!All on the mpc it says 106/1.04,,looks like the regular size!
Was made in 02/12/06
All the best,
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