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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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The alto one I have looks late 20s and the facing and chamber is similar to Conns of that time. Need an Alto?
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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Discussion Starter #3
Bruce,
Thanks but I don't need an alto. The SJ clarinet piece I just ran across in a batch of mpcs and the tenor piece i've had in a box for a while. I might reface the tenor to be a bit more open. It's nice with scooped sidewalls and extra large chamber and nice dark tone. They are both nice looking pieces
 

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I have a tenor one as well and I have no idea when it might be from or even how it ended up in my possession! Post again if you can get it up and running with good results!
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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Discussion Starter #5
it plays really nicely right now. just a fairly closed tip. I think i'll open it to around a 7 and give it a blow

I have some old magazines (somewhere) that show Johnson recommending the "new Selmer paris" sax with his mpc. I'll have to find those again so I can get an good date on it. The mags I have were called "Selmer bandstand" ? or something like that.

I'll keep you updated on my trials with it
 

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Hey Steve, Whatever happened with the reface on the Selmer-Johnston mpc? I got one recently and find it's a great piece, esp on my NW(P-A) tenor. My tech(a former King factory setup/repair tech) said that it looks like what they used to sell for blues/jazz(?) He checked the facing length and found it to be very long. I measure the tip opening at approximately .078.
So who was this Johnston? I read on a Japanese site that Johnston co-designed the SBA...?
:cool:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss
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Yes, the Johnston is Merle Johnston. These mouthpieces are almost like the Selmer airflow, with the big chamber, but the Johnstons have a tiny rollower at the tip and they're a little brighter.
Arno Bornkamp bought one from me and used it on tenor on his CD, Metropolis Berlin.
 

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Hey Saxtek and Chitown,
Thanks for that info. I looked up Merle Johnston and found him referenced in a very long (20 hrs?) Buddy Collette autobiographical interview called "Central Avenue Sounds".

But see, Eric, later on— Eric and Frank Morgan—and guys later, but at that time the two of them—followed me into studying with Merle Johnston, who was the first big New York teacher who came out here. And he was teaching a New York system.

Isoardi

He was a reed teacher or—?


Collette

Saxophone teacher. Merle Johnston, yeah, was one of the biggest teachers in New York for a while. He taught some of the guys who are teaching now, like Joe Allard and Romeo Pinquay, the guys who used to do all the studio work. You know, Merle Johnston's students— In fact, Merle, they say, was like king in New York, because he had all the saxophone players. He was kind of a nut, a brilliant guy, but I'm saying he had you blowing six or eight hours a day, full volume, with the metronome and everything. But if nothing more, you got a hell of a sound and you got your fingers going. In fact, it was almost like a production line: "Give me a year with you and you'll be out there doing it." But you paid dues, because that was the only thing you should have been doing. Because he'd say, "Gosh, you're not practicing for me." He would be so unhappy with you. You'd say, "Yeah, but my wife and—" He says, "Well, look now, are you going to be a musician or not?" You know. He was really something dynamite.

Isoardi

I take it he was single.

Collette

Yeah, but he had screwed up his old lady, too. Well, musically, he was probably— Like I say, he got so busy. He had studios and musicians would come there and practice. He was, I mean, sharp. When he came out here—

Isoardi

Which was when?

Collette

When he came out here? Oh, probably around '45 or '46, because when I came back he was just coming out here. But, I say, in New York he was king. He was like the president of some big company with his saxophones and stuff. He had The Saxophone Quartets of Merle Johnston. He's the one also who made mouthpieces, and he told you what mouthpiece and what number, or he could reface it. "Well, it's not sounding good? Let me see. Put that on." He was a giant of a player, giant of a guy. And I got a chance to catch him on kind of the last end— He came out, and people were kind of afraid to study with him, too.

More at Online Archive of California... http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?d...iv00018&toc.depth=1&brand=oac&anchor.id=p92#X
:cool:
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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Discussion Starter #12
xax said:
Hey Steve, Whatever happened with the reface on the Selmer-Johnston mpc? I got one recently and find it's a great piece, esp on my NW(P-A) tenor. My tech(a former King factory setup/repair tech) said that it looks like what they used to sell for blues/jazz(?) He checked the facing length and found it to be very long. I measure the tip opening at approximately .078.
So who was this Johnston? I read on a Japanese site that Johnston co-designed the SBA...?
:cool:
yup, the S-J mpc has a super long facing favoring the lower notes on the horn. I have a Woodwind mpc which was exactly the same - i'm sure the SJ mpc was a woodwind. The SJ rails were a bit more heavily concaved and since the Woodwinds are more common I opened that one up a bit more.. I also shortened the facing a bit to make it a better responding mpc in the mid and uppers.

but .. in a larger tip w/extra large throat the WW certainly can pump out the sound on my VII.

dont' think he helped design the SBA (but i certainly don't know that for sure). but as the posts above mention he was a teacher in the NY area. He was shown in Selmer ads touting the SBA with his mpc for US sales.

i don't know much more than that about him.

The mpcs are great though. But i didn't reface it becz I wanted to keep the super scooped sidewalls intact all the way to the tip. But with a hard reed you can certainly push more air through it.

I may flatten the table a bit to shorten the facing - and add a slightly reverse pitch for the table which will open it up a bit more without having to modify the tip, rails & baffle. I do mostly clarinet mpcs which are a completely different beast than sax mpcs.

i'm tending to prefer my Selmer classical metal D and G mpcs as of lately for any type of work. The VII is a dark horn, and wth the SJ and WWs i think it was getting too dark so i don't really use them much any more.
 
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