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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the summer I bought a Selmer Soloist-style tenor in an E facing (marked on top of the piece, not on the table). Despite playing larger openings for years I was surprised how easily the E played for me, and I like the overall sound in both classical (even though I'm a "Rascher Guy") and jazz playing, but the one area where I'm having trouble is low end response, and especially subtones. This is where I get the impression that this is really meant to be a "classical" mouthpiece -- not a lot of subtoning in legit music. The only way I can get anything even remotely close to a subtone is by taking in a lot LESS mouthpiece than I typically would, and even that is, maybe, vaguely peach-fuzzy, not even enough to be called "scruffy," and galaxies away from anything resembling a Ben Webster-type fluff.

I can find a decent amount of info on Soloists, and even soloist copies/tributes/clones, but info on "Soloist-Style" pieces is a little harder to find, other than often being called "tubby" (I can relate. :evil: ) Do Soloist-style pieces tend to have shorter facings? Trouble subtoning? Would a longer facing and/or a larger tip opening give me the response I'm looking for, and how would such alterations affect response and character over the rest of the horn?

Thank you!
 

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Soloist facings are rather short, so I would imagine the “Soloist style” to be the same.
You say that you have played larger facings for years, but a Selmer E is hardly a larger facing.
About the equivalent of an Otto Link 5.
Which would be classified more as a closed facing.
Subtoning is not reliant on tip opening.
Perhaps a longer facing may help to some degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You say that you have played larger facings for years, but a Selmer E is hardly a larger facing.
About the equivalent of an Otto Link 5.
Which would be classified more as a closed facing.
What I meant by that was that since I'm used to larger tips (for jazz playing) I was surprised by how easy, and how much I enjoyed playing, such a small tip opening. I had smaller tips early on and thought they felt too restrictive so I moved up, but now I'm on more of a downward path and am really enjoying the smaller tips.

And thanks for the facing info!
 

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I have a Soloist style original facing E in my drawer, just tried it after my Susan 9* PPT) and it plays very sweet subtone, and in fact there is no reason I can think of that it shouldn't.

It's not a mouthpiece I would choose to use, but I could get by on it after some work (player work not reframing work!) , and I think that may be the issue.

The only way I can get anything even remotely close to a subtone is by taking in a lot LESS mouthpiece than I typically would,
This could be part of your problem, I was used to coming across students who would take in too much mouthpiece to be as versatile as they wanted to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This could be part of your problem, I was used to coming across students who would take in too much mouthpiece to be as versatile as they wanted to be.
What I mean is, my teeth are barely on the mouthpiece, like, they're practically in front of the tip. While I'm not one for eating my mouthpiece, I do tend to actually get my teeth onto the beak...
 

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Teeth should be at the break of the facing pretty much. A 5 with a short facing curve wouldn't be that far from the tip I wouldn't think anyway.
 

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To answer your title, I'd say you're better off selling the original piece and buying a C or C* soloist if you plan to have it refaced. The premium you'll get for the original E opening will likely offset the cost of refacing, and you can get a facing length and tip opening that are more aligned with what you're used to playing.
 

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Subtone usually requires taking in less mouthpiece - even with a long-facing, open mouthpiece! Can't you just pull your lower jaw back and down a little, and leave the teeth more or less in the same position?

It might be worth it to have the facing checked for evenness - that the rails match side-to-side, and that the curve is gentle with no "kinks". And it's certainly worth it to try different reeds - shorter facings seem to do well with classical style reeds, like Vandoren blue box. They have a shorter flexible area (meaning the tip of the heart is closer to the tip of the reed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Teeth should be at the break of the facing pretty much. A 5 with a short facing curve wouldn't be that far from the tip I wouldn't think anyway.
In order to get a passable subtone I have to pull back so far it feels like the mouthpiece is going to fall out of my mouth.

To answer your title, I'd say you're better off selling the original piece and buying a C or C* soloist if you plan to have it refaced. The premium you'll get for the original E opening will likely offset the cost of refacing, and you can get a facing length and tip opening that are more aligned with what you're used to playing.
If it had Soloist actually stamped on the table I would agree with you. This is the later unmarked so-called "Soloist-style". I picked it up for $80 from a reputable shop. Could be I lucked out!

It might be worth it to have the facing checked for evenness - that the rails match side-to-side, and that the curve is gentle with no "kinks". And it's certainly worth it to try different reeds - shorter facings seem to do well with classical style reeds, like Vandoren blue box. They have a shorter flexible area (meaning the tip of the heart is closer to the tip of the reed).
So far I've had the best luck for overall tone with a Legere Classic. For subtoning I've had an okay-ish time with a Legere Sig, but the rest of the range isn't so great. Everything else I've tried was less okay than the Legeres. Could totally play a classical recital on that Classic though.

I think the "standard" mindset is buy a "Style" model for much less $, and have it perfected/refaced by the right person. Then you'll have an original Soloist, just how you want it.
I thought about that when I first bought it, but I actually don't hate the tip opening, just the facing length, apparently.

Phil-Tone does a terrific job with these. I would see what he can do.
Thanks! I've tried a couple of his pieces and love his work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
take a look at number 24:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?346672-25-mpc-s-for-sale
I bought the same RR Shorty from Mark/10Mfan in a slightly more closed opening and it is really fun.
As far as Soloist-type pieces go, I've seen the RR's and have been sorely tempted. Also the Aizen SO, and the Mouthpiece Cafe Espresso -- I really like the alto version. That said, tweaking the facing is a lot cheaper than a new mouthpiece, and I'd gladly put my faith in the mouthpiece wizards who hang out on this forum to make my piece a killer!
 

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The RR piece I am selling plays well. Eric Falcon did the work, so you wouldn't need anything done to it.
Its a ridiculous deal at $250 plus shipping. Its brand new, and they are listed for $395 brand new....
Cant believe its still up for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I tried to take some measurements to pass on. Assuming my measurement is accurate, and I'm not guaranteeing that it is, a 0.0015" feeler gauge landed right at 19.5mm. Assuming the Selmer E facing is accurate, it should be about .083". Is that a typical facing length for that opening?
 
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