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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I’d like to get opinions on soprano mouthpiece.

Like every sop player, I want to get a luscious warm tone. I played 4 mouthpieces:

1. Claude Lakey 6: didn’t like it. Hard to play, sounds too bright.
2. Jody Jazz HR 6: very fun and easy, free blowing piece but again too bright.
3. Selmer S80 C: also very easy and free blowing ( maybe too much! ), but not enough round and warm to me.
4. Otto Link HR 6: the one I use everyday.It has the warmest and roundest tone, except in the very low register, but it can be because of the reed.

I use regular Vandoren blue 3 but I ordered a Vandoren sample display.

I’d like to get a mouthpiece that sounds like the Link but with a bit more warmth and easy and free blowing like the Selmer.

Any suggestion? I’m a beginner-intermediate player.

Thanks for your help!
 

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I’d like to get a mouthpiece that sounds like the Link but with a bit more warmth and easy and free blowing like the Selmer.
Have you tried a smaller Link, like a 4* or a 5?

A Selmer C* is .047", a Link 6 is .060". Maybe what you liked on the Selmer is the smaller tip.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I'm sure that you will get many opinions, here's mine:

- I suggest trying a Morgan Vintage mouthpiece in a size 5 or 6 facing (the 5 is closer to the Link and Jody Jazz size 6). I've used a 7 as my main mouthpiece for several years now (after trying many others). It's definitely more free-blowing than the Link, but it has a great warm sound.
- I suggest trying D'Addario Jazz Select reeds. I use Vandorens on tenor (which is my main horn) and on clarinet, but I've never liked the way they play on soprano. The Jazz select reeds tend to play darker than other reeds of similar strength
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No I didn’t try any other than the 6. I have to say the closest - let's say the only around here - brass shop do not hold a large mouthpiece inventory and from my experience buying a mouthpiece without trying it prior to buy is one of the best way to throw money in the gargage.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sure that you will get many opinions, here's mine:

- I suggest trying a Morgan Vintage mouthpiece in a size 5 or 6 facing (the 5 is closer to the Link and Jody Jazz size 6). I've used a 7 as my main mouthpiece for several years now (after trying many others). It's definitely more free-blowing than the Link, but it has a great warm sound.
- I suggest trying D'Addario Jazz Select reeds. I use Vandorens on tenor (which is my main horn) and on clarinet, but I've never liked the way they play on soprano. The Jazz select reeds tend to play darker than other reeds of similar strength
Yeah, I heard so many good things about the Morgan pieces. My favorite player Eli Degibri plays a Morgan at least on tenor. But my problem is the same; I can't find it in the local shops and I don't want to buy online unless I have a no question return policy.
 

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Yeah, I heard so many good things about the Morgan pieces. My favorite player Eli Degibri plays a Morgan at least on tenor. But my problem is the same; I can't find it in the local shops and I don't want to buy online unless I have a no question return policy.
Well, if you buy directly from Morgan Mouthpieces, they have a 10 day trial policy.
 

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I love my Theo Wanne Gaia 2 for soprano (with Rigotti jazz), it is free blowing but is not overly bright, it’s a good match for me and my yanigisawa silver soprano. I went to NAMM this year and tried several others but none really blew my mind. Morgan sounds like also as a good option especially if they allow you to return it within 10 days.. good luck.
 

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Good to know....what about yours? Can you tell me a few words about it?
JO, I have 5 Morgans (c-sop, 2x sop vintage, c-mel and bari) and I wouldn't part with either one. Of all the soprano MPCs I have (original LA Sax, Selmer Soloist, Buescher) the Morgans are far and beyond the best.
 

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Morgan Vintage, Morgan Jazz (the hard rubber version of the Vintage), Phil-Tone Sapphire (my favorite of the large tip pieces), SopranoPlanet Missing Link, Selmer Super Session J, Selmer S-80 G or J.

For years I played tips at around .070 with adjusted #2 reeds and got the results you mentioned. Now I’m enjoying closed tips like the Selmer’ Concept (.042), and similar pieces. Same general results, too. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tips guys. What about the Selmer Concept? I think there's a sample at the brass shop that I can try. Please tell me if I'm wrong but it's a one size tip opening, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the tips guys. What about the Selmer Concept? I think there's a sample at the brass shop that I can try. Please tell me if I'm wrong but it's a one size tip opening, right?
 

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My soprano mouthpiece search ended with the two mentioned above: the Soprano Planet Missing Link and the Selmer Concept. They are both excellent, but very very different! Very wide vs. very narrow tip. At the moment I’m favoring the Missing Link: it’s very free-blowing, can give a full round tone, and lends itself to very expressive playing (I can bend pitches a full step down or more, even in the high register). The Concept has a much more compact sound (a “sweet” sound), intonation is more “locked in” (for better or worse), and feels more agile — overall easier to move around all registers. Right now the Missing Link is my main ‘piece, because I prefer a fuller, thicker tone, and I like the wilder expressive possibilities it offers. But, I might change my mind any day...
(Oh I should mention the Missing Link wide tip works best for me with soft reeds, 2 or even 1.5, while the Concept is best with a 2.5)
 

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My soprano mouthpiece search ended with the two mentioned above: the Soprano Planet Missing Link and the Selmer Concept. They are both excellent, but very very different! Very wide vs. very narrow tip. At the moment I’m favoring the Missing Link: it’s very free-blowing, can give a full round tone, and lends itself to very expressive playing (I can bend pitches a full step down or more, even in the high register). The Concept has a much more compact sound (a “sweet” sound), intonation is more “locked in” (for better or worse), and feels more agile — overall easier to move around all registers. Right now the Missing Link is my main ‘piece, because I prefer a fuller, thicker tone, and I like the wilder expressive possibilities it offers. But, I might change my mind any day...
(Oh I should mention the Missing Link wide tip works best for me with soft reeds, 2 or even 1.5, while the Concept is best with a 2.5)
Wow what a coincidence, these are the two I’ve ended up with as well. I too like something free blowing, with a warm rich sound, which the Missing Link gives me, and the alternative and more classical setup I get from the Concept. I play the Sop Planet piece with a Marca Superieure 2.5 or 2, and the Concept with a 3.
Good luck with your search.
 

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I'm a fan of the "open" and "warm" soprano sound. As others have stated, the sound concept starts with the player - the equipment is secondary.

My favorite off the shelf piece (that is not personally customized) for a warm, fat sound is Aaron Drake's Son Of Slant. Listen to some samples here:

https://www.drakemouthpieces.com/Large_Chamber_Soprano.html

Don't listen to anyone else, the SOS is the mouthpiece for you :)
 

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I'm a fan of the "open" and "warm" soprano sound. As others have stated, the sound concept starts with the player - the equipment is secondary.
^^^
This is so very important. Thinking that there is a mouthpiece out there that is going to be "the answer" in and of itself, and failure to develop one's air, mouth, sound is the main driver of the millions of dollars spent on the millions of different and expensive mouthpiece models.

That said, a bad mouthpiece can preclude you from developing your sound in the first place. Many mouthpieces can be bad in that they either (a) are just a bad match for your horn (even more of a potential issue with soprano), and/or (b) have a bad facing (the most important part of a mouthpiece, and bad on most mouthpieces out there, even if it's in the right "number" ballpark for the player in question).

As important as the above is, you cannot overlook the reed as being more important than the mouthpiece, and almost as important as the player. To talk about a bunch of mouthpieces and then ask, "By the way, I wonder what the best reed is as well" is to neglect the dependence of reed cut/strength on mouthpiece facing/baffle/chamber design. The answer is "it depends". An S80 will almost certainly need a different kind of reed than a Link-type piece, for a given player. And a lousy reed will make a POS out of a fantastic mouthpiece.

Do not rule out (or in) a mouthpiece before you've played it with at least a half dozen different types of reed, each in the right strength for that piece, and preferably at least two of each type, and each new (so that they haven't conformed to a certain facing).

Lastly, the sound/feel/tuning of any given you/reed/mouthpiece combo will depend to some extent (especially for soprano) on the horn make/model.

As you can see, this is a system of equations with a lot of variables. But it can reasonably be boiled down into a ballpark, by eliminating mouthpiece/reed pairings on your sax, with some time, effort, and listening/feeling.

With my 1928 Conn Bb soprano, after a long time struggling with various Link-Slant-HR-type mouthpieces (large, round chamber, rollover baffle) and smaller, squeeze-throat, rollover pieces, I found that an S80-type piece (small, square chamber, low rollover), with a LaVoz reed (flatter transverse profile, e.g. thicker shoulders) or a "classical-cut" thin-tip reed (e.g. Rico Reserve) gave me the variations on the smoky, warm, mellow sound I had been looking for, with so much less effort (after getting the C* facing fixed and opened to about 0.055" by Jimmy Jensen). Again, this is for me, with my Conn... For you and your horn, and the specific kind of sound you want... it's likely to be a whole different equation.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I personally don't think the equipment is secondary, if it is then why buying 4-5K saxophones and 3-4 hundred bucks mouthpieces? I don't think Brandford Marsalis would declare: OK I'll save on buying a crap chinese mouthpiece to buy a new pair of shoes cause anyway I'm a superman of the soprano...

Seriously, I think the player, the horn, the mouthpiece, the reed and finally the ligature form a whole.

SchlockRod, you're right, I already have Vandoren blue box 2. 2 1/2, 3 reeds and I ordered a Vandoren reed sample ( Java green, Java red, ZZ and V16 ) and I will play test again all my mouthpieces as soon as I get it.
 

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Talk to Joe Giardullo at Soprano Planet. He knows as much about sopranos as anybody. He also has a great line up of mouthpieces. I love my Missing Link.
Also try Hemke reeds. They tend to be a bit warmer.
 

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If I want to sound mellower I play my metal Brancher J17, it's a really easy piece to play. If I'm in a section or big band I use my metal Bari 8, that cuts through anything.
 

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