Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First, a note: I don't currently have a soprano, but if I'm able to get back to playing in a big band again I'll be picking one up at some point since alto does frequently double on it (my target would be a Buescher True Tone). So this is mainly an academic exercise.

Anyway, on my alto I play a Great Neck 4 tonalin. I love the sound and response it gets, and want something similar to that. The only problem is...Brilhart didn't start making soprano mouthpieces until significantly later (1980s). So obviously I'm not finding a Brilhart soprano that would match what I've got for alto. So my question is, what would be the closest equivalent?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,119 Posts
Interesting that you bring this up. I have played soprano for 0ver 55 years with Selmers, Links, Vandorens and anything I could find. I got a Yamaha to use on a C soprano from a SOTW recommendation. I found that it was excellent on the Bb and seemed to play like an Ebolin Brilhart. It may be worth a try as the 4C (not 4CM) was very Brilhart like and is now my go to for soprano. They are quite cheap too around $25.
I have a series IV Buescher out on loan and put a 4C on it! If you need a TT soprano, let me know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind (though I'm looking for something that would play like the tonalin). I'm not ready to do anything with a soprano yet, but I'll let you know.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,074 Posts
You can get well made pieces...good response, etc... but Sop is so different that I dont think you can really say that one is going to play like your alto piece.

Mainly do not get macho with a big tip and get something well made.

Sop pieces have bad tempers. There are very small tolerances and small errors show up as big problems. An alto piece will get thin up top if its not well adjusted. Response will be sluggish and altissimo difficult. On sop if there are errors in the facing it will be much harder to even get sound from the palm keys...much less quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Bumping this one as I found a Series IV (1927, silver plated and in beautiful condition) for a price too good to pass up, and had to grab it before it was gone (it still kills me seeing just how undervalued vintage Bueschers are in the marketplace). It doesn't come with a mouthpiece, however, so I'm going to be looking for one once the horn arrives. I'm still looking for recommendations.

I'm really looking for that sweeter old-school sound (think the couple of recordings of Hodges on soprano) rather than something that's going to be overly bright or have a real hard, piercing edge to it, and I prefer a setup that's more free-blowing than resistant.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,074 Posts
I dont know the specifics of Buescher models but the sops are sought after. There are some with features that make them expensive, some go pretty cheap. But they do have a sweet sound. Im sure Dave and others here know which models are more sought after and exactly why. But many have price tags that are significant...others a few hundred. Of course it also depends on condition pads..etc...
 

·
Registered
Alto sax, Tenor sax, Clarinet
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind (though I'm looking for something that would play like the tonalin). I'm not ready to do anything with a soprano yet, but I'll let you know.
The color of the molding compound really shouldn't matter. However, the fact that the Brilhart sops came out much later does matter, since mouthpiece geometries and finishing processes may have changed. Also, a sop mouthpiece has significantly different geometries, i.e. tip openings, facings, chamber size etc. than its alto counterpart. So maybe Bruce's idea of starting with the Yamaha 4C is a good one. If it is not the mouthpiece for you, at least you didn't invest a lot of cash to find out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,940 Posts
What's the difference between 4C and 4CM?

I have been pleased with the sound of a Rousseau, I think 4R, on my Buescher True Tone. I did have to cut the shank to get it on far enough. You will very likely have to do likewise. Also had to do the same thing with my Selmer C* (S-80 style). From my days with an old Holton soprano back in the early 80s I think I had to cut a Meyer too. I wish they hadn't located that post there, it could have been lower down and the pad mounted on a curved arm. Oh well, it doesn't really matter.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,119 Posts
The 4C is .047" and is very similar to the Brilhart in shape, made of plastic. The 4CM is closer to a Selmer S-80 and is .049".
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,303 Posts
When I had my Buescher TT straight sopranos, I too had to shorten the barrels of the mouthpieces I used on them (Selmer S-80's and Morgan Vintages) because of the ribbing that surrounded the upper octave vent. Shorter mouthpieces like the Morgan Large-Chamber and the Selmer Super Sessions didn't go on far enough to be hampered by that ribbing.

My 1920's Conn NWII, Martin Handcraft and two MKVI's don't have ribbing on the upper octave vent.

Other than a mouthpiece's overall length, you should seek your own solution to what works best for you on your TT. We can all go through all the mouthpiece models we like but that has absolutely no bearing on what you will like. I'm sure Hodges got that unique tone because he was Hodges, not because he used a certain horn or a certain mouthpiece.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,056 Posts
The 4C is .047" and is very similar to the Brilhart in shape, made of plastic. The 4CM is closer to a Selmer S-80 and is .049".
When you say "similar to the Brilhart in shape" do you mean internally (medium-small chamber, straight sidewalls and arched throat perhaps) ?

I have a Yamaha marked 3C that has straight sidewalls and an arched throat.

I also have a Vandoren V16 S7 with straight sidewalls and an arched throat, but strangely my V16 S6 piece has a different throat shape - a fairly large oval.

I was sold a Beechler soprano piece and told it was designed by Arnold Brilhart, but that has a fairly conventional round throat.

I wonder about the Rico Graftonite pieces that were also designed by Arnold Brilhart - the Metalite soprano pieces have a severe step baffle.

Rhys
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,119 Posts
The 4C should be the same as the 3C. The Metalite is an entirely different design from the old Brilharts. The Graftonite is closer to the old ones but still different.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top