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1935 BA Alto, 1953 SBA Tenor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m sure this has been discussed before (I searched, it is), just looking for some fresh ideas.

got my first metal MPC, a JJ DV Chicago. Beautiful in all respects. But I chirp intermittently. Especially G2 and above. Tried harder reeds. Can make it go away with a hard enough reed that hurts to play. Tell me what I’m doing wrong.
 

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Conn 26M, Theo Wanne Durga 3 in a 6, Legere American Cut 2.25
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When I switched to my Durga I also had problems with chirps and such, but a lot of it went away just with time on it and focusing on keeping less pressure with my bottom lip and more with the corners of my mouth.
 

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g and up…I’d guess you’re biting, likely to assimilate a closer tip opening, and applying the pressure unevenly across the tip so one side is closing more/ less/ sooner/ later than the other. The new piece probably has thinner tip and rails so you’re more exposed on bad technique as well as reed placement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So looser embouchure? I’ve been trying that. Also a little more throat control. As I said, it’s off an on. More so with fast passages. I appreciate the feedback so far. I’m certain I have lots of bad habits. 🤣. This is definitely exposing them. Intonation (by tuner) is good. But I think I am biting more than on my HR pieces (for whatever reason).
 

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So looser embouchure? I’ve been trying that. Also a little more throat control. As I said, it’s off an on. More so with fast passages. I appreciate the feedback so far. I’m certain I have lots of bad habits. 🤣. This is definitely exposing them. Intonation (by tuner) is good. But I think I am biting more than on my HR pieces (for whatever reason).
Just the change in profile from HR pieces is a challenge. Best to put the rest away for a bit and just play this one if you want to give it an honest assessment.
 

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Leblanc used to include a small brochure with their saxophones and clarinets on how to prepare reeds. It explained the brief moistening, compressing, short playing time and rotation, scraping, light checking for evenness, and so on. I would review your procedure on that.

Chirping is usually due to bad reed prep; most commonly with a beginner just slapping a reed on and playing. But I know players who do it constantly. Some simply are careless with their embouchure. But I chalk a lot of it to ignorance in proper reed preparation.

Edit: I have a couple drawer unorganized library of stuff. I’ll find a couple of reed prep instructions and upload photos of them. You may find them useful.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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While there's lots of good advice, you're not alone in this issue. I experienced this with my DV Chi as well. Please see this thread, for anyone questioning this it appears to be a common issue with the DV CHI.

 

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Just the change in profile from HR pieces is a challenge. Best to put the rest away for a bit and just play this one if you want to give it an honest assessment.
That's a good advice. I went through the same process in my first years on tenor after 10 years playing alto on HR. I started on tenor on HR, searching for a mouthpiece style I liked. Then I moved towards metal a few years later. Had my share of squeaks in this period as well. With focus on one setup and time working your embouchure for a few months I believe you will overcome it.
 

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I have chirping issues when using cane reeds (or Fiberreeds) with my Sakshama Custom Z mpc on my Conn 16M. Oddly, I don't chirp when using such mpc+reed setup on my other tenors. The only one that works for me for 16M+Custom Z is to use Legere Signature/American Cut. Btw, there is some good info regarding chirping at: mojomp.com/faq
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
While there's lots of good advice, you're not alone in this issue. I experienced this with my DV Chi as well. Please see this thread, for anyone questioning this it appears to be a common issue with the DV CHI.

thanks for sharing this link. I’m going to play around with reeds. I usually use BSS. I went a half step harder. Perhaps a whole step or another brand, V16 or Alexander NY?
 

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thanks for sharing this link. I’m going to play around with reeds. I usually use BSS. I went a half step harder. Perhaps a whole step or another brand, V16 or Alexander NY?
No problem! I hadn't moved to the BSS reeds yet when I had my DV CHI. But I also have always played pretty soft reeds, so that could have definitely been the culprit. I remember thinking it was the ligature, because adjusting the ligature would prevent it sometimes, but thinking back more reeds would have been a good test for me. I played mostly my Forestone Synthetics in Soft or Medium soft.

If the half step up wasn't helping, I'd look at the BSS website for reeds a little harder than what you're using. Reed choice is pretty personal, but I would try the brands that you like. My thought is the Alexander NY is great, but you could also try to get samples of Vandoren Java's, D'addario Jazz Select. Otherwise, try and get some rigotti's. Just make sure you check the strength chart :).
 

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DV Chi 7 does not squeak for me with cane or Legere.

I got it on a whim just for the sake of getting myself something for last Christmas. I have been kicking myself for the last 5 months about why I never tried it all these years. Its so free blowing that tenor feels like playing a recorder; down to low Bb with little breath and a joy to play. I now use 2.5 Legere Signature on it and I am so contended. I swapped the silver H-lig (nothing wrong) that came it for Rovner Platinum 3ML this week, just to have the ease of one screw lig. Maybe you should consider trying a synthetic reed with it and not have to worry about swelling/preparing cane reed. Slap it on and you're ready to go immediately everytime. If the issue is because of reed alignment, I think one should always re-align reeds to the best position for any mouthpiece brand really.

Another factor that others have mentioned already is moving from HR to metal. I used to squeak on Durga 2 and struggled with DV because of moving from low baffle profile rubbers to these baffled pieces (Durga and DV) but that was about 10 years ago. I still have both and I don't squeak on any again. Maybe you need to give the DV Chi some time to get adjusted to it.
 

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Edit: I have a couple drawer unorganized library of stuff. I’ll find a couple of reed prep instructions and upload photos of them. You may find them useful.
Here's the brochure. Hope you find it legible, and helpful. Oftentimes I read comments on SOTW from players, even those with 30-40 years experience, who say they know in a matter of seconds whether a reed is "good or bad," and throw away the "bad" ones. It's laughable, really.

So, you can buy all kinds of reeds in different strengths, try different mouthpieces, and spend a grand or so in the search. Or, try Leblanc's and other manufacturer's recommendation to prepare your reeds. Your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
DV Chi 7 does not squeak for me with cane or Legere.

I got it on a whim just for the sake of getting myself something for last Christmas. I have been kicking myself for the last 5 months about why I never tried it all these years. Its so free blowing that tenor feels like playing a recorder; down to low Bb with little breath and a joy to play. I now use 2.5 Legere Signature on it and I am so contended. I swapped the silver H-lig (nothing wrong) that came it for Rovner Platinum 3ML this week, just to have the ease of one screw lig. Maybe you should consider trying a synthetic reed with it and not have to worry about swelling/preparing cane reed. Slap it on and you're ready to go immediately everytime. If the issue is because of reed alignment, I think one should always re-align reeds to the best position for any mouthpiece brand really.

Another factor that others have mentioned already is moving from HR to metal. I used to squeak on Durga 2 and struggled with DV because of moving from low baffle profile rubbers to these baffled pieces (Durga and DV) but that was about 10 years ago. I still have both and I don't squeak on any again. Maybe you need to give the DV Chi some time to get adjusted to it.
i’m pretty OCD about reed alignment. I have played with various positions to see what works. Slow passages are no problem, but when I have fast changes, especially dropping from altissimo. That made me think I was bitting with my altissimo so I focused on embouchure tension, but it happens e in the mid range.

I’ll give it more time. 20+ years and first time on metal. I do, however, love the piece. Free blowing, instant altissimo, great intonation on SBA, 10M, Big B, The Martin and Yanny. It’s not too bright, has volume and you can really shape the sound. I labored in my decision between this piece and the Phil Tone Mosaic for my first foray into metal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here's the brochure. Hope you find it legible, and helpful. Oftentimes I read comments on SOTW from players, even those with 30-40 years experience, who say they know in a matter of seconds whether a reed is "good or bad," and throw away the "bad" ones. It's laughable, really.

So, you can buy all kinds of reeds in different strengths, try different mouthpieces, and spend a grand or so in the search. Or, try Leblanc's and other manufacturer's recommendation to prepare your reeds. Your choice.
thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No problem! I hadn't moved to the BSS reeds yet when I had my DV CHI. But I also have always played pretty soft reeds, so that could have definitely been the culprit. I remember thinking it was the ligature, because adjusting the ligature would prevent it sometimes, but thinking back more reeds would have been a good test for me. I played mostly my Forestone Synthetics in Soft or Medium soft.

If the half step up wasn't helping, I'd look at the BSS website for reeds a little harder than what you're using. Reed choice is pretty personal, but I would try the brands that you like. My thought is the Alexander NY is great, but you could also try to get samples of Vandoren Java's, D'addario Jazz Select. Otherwise, try and get some rigotti's. Just make sure you check the strength chart :).
I switched to BSS about 2 years ago and haven’t strayed…. But now I might for this piece. I remember liking the Alexander NY I tried. Seemed similar to a V16 in being a bit stiffer.
 
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