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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody,

I play lead alto sax in my local woodwind band (harmonie in Dutch) i play a SA80II from the early 90`s I`ve been told. And my mouthpiece (as the title states) is an S80 C* from maybe the same year or likely to be even older.

but my concern is that it`s worn out. the tip rail isn`t even anymore en the reed sticks out at the sides when the top of the reed is aligned with the top of the tiprail.
Now my sax sounds all stuffy when i put the reed on how i want it.

my guts tell me this isn`t right, but i can`t explain why, what happens wen the reed overlaps the mpc at one side?

i've included an image but i dont know if you can see it clearly.
 

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That is not good... how did that happened?..

A mouthpiece refacer can make that good again to you imo..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well SaxTman, Refacers are quite rare in Holland to say the least, there`s one in germany i believe and in Italy that i know of. it wouldn`t be worth the effort. but if you really think this is a write of I`ll have to buy an new one (probably not on my expense though)

And it didnt "just" happen it`s 20 maybe 30 years of use for study and performing and in that time there were probably 3 or 4 owners where i`m the latter .. im guessing it`s from laying the sax, + neck and mouthpiece on it, down on the table..

But my Real question would be why is this not good what happens to your sound an to the vibrations of the Reed?
 

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well SaxTman, Refacers are quite rare in Holland to say the least, there`s one in germany i believe and in Italy that i know of. it wouldn`t be worth the effort. but if you really think this is a write of I`ll have to buy an new one (probably not on my expense though)

And it didnt "just" happen it`s 20 maybe 30 years of use for study and performing and in that time there were probably 3 or 4 owners where i`m the latter .. im guessing it`s from laying the sax, + neck and mouthpiece on it, down on the table..

But my Real question would be why is this not good what happens to your sound an to the vibrations of the Reed?
I didn't notice you are no american, but milandro may now some refacers on holland. Yeah i get that it happened because of years of usage but still, it's odd...what you said about laying the neck and mouthpiece down on the table makes more sense.

Answering to the question, it seems the reed will not vibrate equally on both sides, it also affects articulation. I don't know acoustic enough to answer more than this so i will let others help you.
 

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I have some alto mouthpieces where the tip of the reed is of a slightly different shape than the tip-rail of the mouthpiece. That doesn't seem to affect reed-response for me.

Your post wasn't clear, though, when it comes to some issues. For instance, have you had this mouthpiece for a long time? You said it had been through a few owners before you. If you've had it for a long time, has the playing changed over the years? Does this mouthpiece play differently now, or has it always played this way (stuffy, as you described)? Has the shape of the tip always been this way or has it recently changed?

I doubt that laying the neck and mouthpiece down on a table would change the shape of the tip unless you repeatedly banged it on a hard surface (then I would expect a breakage, not a subtle change in shape over the years).

I suggest you 1) change reeds (brands, designs, strengths) to see if you can improve the stuffiness; 2) place the reed in a different spot (align the reed tip slightly below the mouthpiece tip); 3) buy a new mouthpiece if refacers are not accessible. These pieces are constantly being offered on eBay - forgot the usual price but I recall somewhere around $100.00+ should do it. I've found Selmer mouthpieces to be consistent among similar models, so the chances are that you'll find a similar good players out there. DAVE
 

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no one plays lead alto on a s80. get a meyer at least
Wind band not big band, Small Selmer is a common choice for the idiom AFAICT.

Koen88, mouthpieces do wear out eventually, the softer the material the quicker (still takes years, though). You can either have it refaced to bring it back into spec or replace it. But what you describe doesn't sound like wear, it sounds like bad finishing at the factory. With wear, you'll see the shape of the reed tip worn into the tip rail of the mouthpiece, or the facing get longer and/or table no longer flat. You'll notice the piece sounds dead compared to how it used to, and no reeds seem to play right. That the tip is rounder than the tip of your reeds is just how they make Selmers, and asymmetry is manufacturing error, not wear.

Try another C* and see if you can tell the difference. If not, yours is OK.
This is also good advice.
 

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I don't think that the fact that the tip of your mouthpiece is slightly asymmetric (something that happened over a very long time and not all of a sudden unless you let it fall!) should necessarily result in what you describe which might be very well be produced by a number of things gone wrong (starting from the reeds and ending to your saxophone having developed a leak).

Unless you are very attached to one of the most common mouthpieces on the market, you could buy another one or try another one before you buy a new one (to find out if that is the problem) due to its cost replacing is better than refacing. Typically you can find one on Marktplaats for as little as 50€ !
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
well i have the luxury of living in the vicinity of 2 very good stores one is a woodwind and drum store (Adams) and one is a Saxophone repairman with his own shop.

and if my mouthpiece isn`t good anymore, my woodwind band will pay for this. they actually "own" my sax and mouthpiece.

if i would quit they`ll give it to another sax player. that`s how I got it. so the mouthpiece is handed down with the sax each time so it`s had a few owners before me over the years.

but my second question was why won`t it play so well when its worn what happens to the reed and vibrations is what i want to know. i want to understand what happens so i can make a better judgement weather or not my mouthpiece isn`t good anymore..

and btw i didnt let it fall or anything i`m very careful with my instruments and accessories!
 

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no one plays lead alto on a s80. get a meyer at least
Really? I do... I don't think the issue is that the OP digs his S80, and is concerned about it aging less than gracefully. I know I'll keep my S80 long after I get another horn.... Great pieces, if played well.
 

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no one plays lead alto on a s80. get a meyer at least
I would be careful before making such broad statements. I've played with a guy who played a s80 C* on lead alto
 
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