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Hello sax lovers!

I have a question: is there a point to use high step baffle (rock/pop) mouthpieces on very old saxophones from 10-20s? How does it sound like? Does anybody have an example of the sound?
Especially interested in tenors

Thank you in advance for you comments!
 

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You'll find that different horns respond to different mouthpieces in their own way depending on what you look for in either piece of equipment, but there's no reason you can't use a high baffle piece on an old horn. In fact, pre-50s horns can be awesome saxes for pop and rock--there's a reason so many of the old school rock and r&b players were playing Conns.

In general, older horns tend to have a darker base sound with a lot of spread and buzz to it, which unless you mean smooth jazz when you say rock and pop can honestly be a huge advantage. And even if you are playing smooth jazz, that buzz will disappear after applying the comical amount of reverb that smooth jazz gets in post-production.

That said, like with any horn and mouthpiece combo, the only way to know for sure if you like it is to try it out yourself. Are you playing a split bell key horn now and are looking for a high baffle mouthpiece, or vice versa?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You'll find that different horns respond to different mouthpieces in their own way depending on what you look for in either piece of equipment, but there's no reason you can't use a high baffle piece on an old horn. In fact, pre-50s horns can be awesome saxes for pop and rock--there's a reason so many of the old school rock and r&b players were playing Conns.

In general, older horns tend to have a darker base sound with a lot of spread and buzz to it, which unless you mean smooth jazz when you say rock and pop can honestly be a huge advantage. And even if you are playing smooth jazz, that buzz will disappear after applying the comical amount of reverb that smooth jazz gets in post-production.

That said, like with any horn and mouthpiece combo, the only way to know for sure if you like it is to try it out yourself. Are you playing a split bell key horn now and are looking for a high baffle mouthpiece, or vice versa?
Thanks!
I rather thought whether high baffle mpc is suitable for those older saxes with smaller diams, but I got the point. Indeed, they are edgier and darker.
I'd rather ask: if it's convenient to use a high baffle mpc on split bells. Due to different circumstences/conditions some mouthpieces don't play at all on older ones thus I was wondering if it's suitable physically (if you can say so)

Although, in some sense I believe there're no problems with playing any mouthpiece of any design. Just need the time to get used to it.

I have an old Conn tenor. Trying to dig it :) Not sure if I want a high baffle mpc right now, but I liked CE Winds Shocka
 

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I rather thought whether high baffle mpc is suitable for those older saxes with smaller diams, but I got the point. Indeed, they are edgier and darker.
I'd rather ask: if it's convenient to use a high baffle mpc on split bells. Due to different circumstences/conditions some mouthpieces don't play at all on older ones thus I was wondering if it's suitable physically (if you can say so)
I think the old saxes normally have a wider diameter compared to more modern horns (not all). What can give issues with tuning on older horns is using mouthpieces with a medium or small chamber. Some higher baffle have smaller chambers and those can give issues, but I don't think it does make a difference if the old horn has split bell keys yes or no (it's really linked to the bore diameter of the horn). So take a high baffle mouthpiece with a big chamber if you want to use one on an old horn with a large diameter, just to prevent tuning issues.

I once had a 1932 Conn Tranny on trial to try to get one of my high baffle mouthpieces (an old Ponzol Super 120) in a more dark vibe. I also used that mouthpiece on my early 50's Selmer SBA tenor, which has a smaller bore compared to the old Conn. I found that airspeed made a bigger difference than the horn (on the Selmer I could get a brighter sound than on the Conn with high airspeed, but both sounded good in my ears). I still prefer a bigger chamber mouthpiece on the Conn, but that's personal preference.

Here is my old Conn/SBA compare clip, played with the high baffle Ponzol mouthpiece:

- 'It Don't Mean A Thing/ (Conn/SBA - Ponzol 120 - La Voz medium) fast:
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12670972

Recorded with backing track and USB mic in February 2014. Played on a 1980's Ponzol 120, La Voz medium reed, 1932 Conn Transitional tenor (right channel, solo at 0:37) and 1953 Selmer SBA tenor (left channel, solo at 1:40). Chase choruses start at 2:42.
 

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So take a high baffle mouthpiece with a big chamber if you want to use one on an old horn with a large diameter, just to prevent tuning issues.
Not just to prevent tuning issues but also to prevent having a shrill, thin tone. High baffle mpcs work much better with a relatively large chamber and large tip (both to add body & warmth to the sound). Beyond that, there is no reason not to use a high baffle mpc, if that's your preference, on a vintage horn.
 

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On my old Conn tenor I use a Meyer (a relatively large chamber by modern standards) and a Dukoff D7 (large chamber, but also high baffle) and have excellent results with both. Horses for courses, of course.
 

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Not just to prevent tuning issues but also to prevent having a shrill, thin tone. High baffle mpcs work much better with a relatively large chamber and large tip (both to add body & warmth to the sound). Beyond that, there is no reason not to use a high baffle mpc, if that's your preference, on a vintage horn.
In a nutshell
 
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