Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
My opinion; Always play the largest tip opening, and the hardest reed you're comfortable with on soprano. You'll have the best control over tone, dynamics and intonation. In the case of the Soloists-bigger definitely is better....
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,888 Posts
My opinion; Always play the largest tip opening, and the hardest reed you're comfortable with on soprano. You'll have the best control over tone, dynamics and intonation. In the case of the Soloists-bigger definitely is better....

That's odd because I find the opposite. I use a very wide tip on tenor, but on Soprano I use a Selmer Soloists C* (occasionally an E) with quite soft reeds. This gives me the best tone and versatility. Recently been using a Link 6 which I really like but not as versatile. Having said that my embouchure is different on soprano as I take in an awful lot of mouthpiece but very little mouthpiece on tenor usually.

I think it's whatever works for you.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
4,466 Posts
That's odd because I find the opposite.

I think it's whatever works for you.
Yes--this is always the bottom line and it isn't odd that you'd find the opposite. It would be odd if you didn't.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,888 Posts
It would be odd if you didn't.
Why is that? Although I may have some differences in my approach, there must be quite a lot of common ground.

Plus I'm not so sure as I have found I am constantly learning and experiment and so changing the way I play and think. I have recently been trying a lot of different tip openings and reed types/strengths on soprano.

My main problem with a very wide tip and a hard reed on a soprano is getting pianissimo low notes and good legato (soft) tonguing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
D, or 51 thou is my 'state of the art' facing at present. I find it gives me a clear pure sound, doesn't needlessly stress my embouchure, and gives me some flexibility. However the pieces I play on have all been refaced to that tip by Joe at sopranoplanet.com and play superbly.

I find stock Selmer facings to be extremely variable and mostly rather poor. I am told they use the '3 stroke' method, i.e. a technician's at Selmers will put a facing on a mouthpiece with 3 simple strokes on whatever abrasive surface is used. Now that's quick! But unfortunately invariably poor.

However I have a Theo Wanne Gaia 7 (65thou) soprano piece which plays beautifully, a Vandoren S6 (63 thou) that plays remarkably well and an SR Tech Legend (54 thou) that is good too. These are wider tips than a D. So, it's really all about the care with which the facing is applied (or just striking lucky in some cases) and not necessarily about the opening it's self. I don't particularly like the sound made by very open soprano pieces, even in the hands of excellent players, but that's just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
Although my experience doesn't directly relate to the Selmer pieces, I can say that I tried a tip opening in the 0.075" range and found it more difficulty and that I had to work harder at playing that piece than I did using the pieces around 0.060" which is where I am playing now. Not even reed strength seemed to compenate for me. The flipside is I don't notice that much difference in tone quality or volume. I do play soprano more on occasion rather than my main horn, so maybe that has something to do with it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,336 Posts
Both of my Soloists are 51 tip a D and an E tweeked by Brian Powell. I also recently got a 65 tip Son of Slant piece from Aaron Drake that is really superb, I never thought I would be able to play a for me open tip but it is very controllable and responsive.
I agree with Dave about Selmer pieces. I have played a lot of original Soloists and S80's that were very poor. My lowest Selmer point came this week when I received my special order C** Selmer sopranino piece. I have a decent C* and a D and thought naively a C** would be perfect. I can hardly get a note out of it
the tip rail is none existant..I thought it was a blank. £124 later. Instead of sending it back I have sent it to the very fine refacer Morgan Fry. Selmer quality can be pitiful.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,336 Posts
Tell me about it. Howarth only had C* 's in so I special ordered it from a local shop I like to patronise. Not their fault. Selmer never fail to frustrate me. I have their new bass clt and it's a beautiful horn but the SP Selmer cap in the case had a big dent in it..just little crap things that pi.. one off rotten. I'm a Selmer fan ( all V1) but the QC is sloppy and has been for years. Shops I go in all say it and it's true.

BTW Dave. I was rewatching " Carrington" the other night. Saw your name there in the credits.
Love that film.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Interesting opinions about Selmer mouthpieces. I have three soprano Super Sessions in J, all purchased at different locations at different times. They play exactly alike. I have two S-80 J and two S-80 G, purchased at different places and times - both play exactly alike. I have a variety of facings in their S-80 series (C*, D, E, F, and the previously mentioned G and J) and while I haven't measured any of them, they play progressively "more open" (I know that is pure conjecture) as the tip measurements increase, indicating to me a consistency in manufacturing over the years.

True, as the accusation was made in another soprano mouthpiece thread this week, this is anecdotal only, even though some of you may NOT have had as many experiences with the pieces as I have. I don't doubt that some of you have come across inconsistencies, but from my limited experience, I'm not ready to accept the conventional wisdom that Selmer mouthpieces are inconsistent. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
BTW Dave. I was rewatching " Carrington" the other night. Saw your name there in the credits.Love that film.
I am ashamed to say that I have never seen Carrington all the way through! But I do love the music for that film, it's a dreamier calmer side of Nyman that I love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
Interesting opinions about Selmer mouthpieces. I have three soprano Super Sessions in J, all purchased at different locations at different times. They play exactly alike. I have two S-80 J and two S-80 G, purchased at different places and times - both play exactly alike. I have a variety of facings in their S-80 series (C*, D, E, F, and the previously mentioned G and J) and while I haven't measured any of them, they play progressively "more open" (I know that is pure conjecture) as the tip measurements increase, indicating to me a consistency in manufacturing over the years.

True, as the accusation was made in another soprano mouthpiece thread this week, this is anecdotal only, even though some of you may NOT have had as many experiences with the pieces as I have. I don't doubt that some of you have come across inconsistencies, but from my limited experience, I'm not ready to accept the conventional wisdom that Selmer mouthpieces are inconsistent. DAVE
I think that Selmer mouthpieces are consistent, just consistently inconsistent with certain parameters. I think that a C* is generally a C* and a D is basically a D etc, but within that there is enormous variance.

My experience is that in any shop that stocks, say, up to half a dozen C* S80s if I put them all against a measure I see a huge variance in length of facing and in balance of rails - and that's with just a piece of glass and some feeler gauges - heaven knows what I would find with serious gear. Then there's the problem of the non-flat tables etc etc etc. If that isn't consistent inconsistency I don't know what is.

There may be some weight in the argument that because every player needs something slightly different, Selmer are in fact giving us the opportunity to try a dozen or so pieces and find the correct match. Even the Selmer artist liason told me that one has to try a good half dozen to find one that is right - so if that isn't an admission of inconsistency 'from the horse's mouth' I don't know what is!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top