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Hi,

I recently made a side-by-side comparison between a Guardala King LT and an SR Tech Fusion. And, even my first impression about the Guardala was very good, I found the SRTF more versatile, warmer or brighter than Guardala on demand. Sound was fuller with the SRTF.

A curious detail: The Guardala failed in the sealing test.

What do you think about? What are your experiences with these mouthpieces?

Thank you in advance.
 

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Other long-time Berg players had recommended the SRT Fusion. I bought one used here and immediately re-sold it. Too focused, and not as versatile as my Berg. And didn't like the lack of biteplate. For me, the Guardalas are better, but I didn't like the King because it was too much like the SRT. Super King has more spread and versatility for the way I play...
 

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The seal test works better on classical mouthpiece designs. The long facing and open tip on the King might not seal unless a very soft reed was used. There still could be a blemish in the King facing, but I think it will not test well even if the facing is good. It is most likely a problem with the seal test, not the mouthpiece.
 

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saxmanjack said:
Other long-time Berg players had recommended the SRT Fusion. I bought one used here and immediately re-sold it. Too focused, and not as versatile as my Berg. And didn't like the lack of biteplate. For me, the Guardalas are better, but I didn't like the King because it was too much like the SRT. Super King has more spread and versatility for the way I play...
I made the switch to a Fusion after playing a Berg for 20years and never looked back. I agree with the lack of the biteplate issue. Took a while to get used to it with one of those replacable cushions (that gets replaced often). It's been a while since I tried a Grardala, but I chose the Berg over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MojoBari said:
The seal test works better on classical mouthpiece designs. The long facing and open tip on the King might not seal unless a very soft reed was used. There still could be a blemish in the King facing, but I think it will not test well even if the facing is good. It is most likely a problem with the seal test, not the mouthpiece.
Keith, Why the SR Fusion test well? Does it mean the SR is better made?

I made the seal test with a metal tenor RIA 9 (the most open mouthpiece I've ever tried) and it worked OK.

Anyway, you're one of the best mouthpiece techs (if not the best). Your opinion is very welcome. What do you think about these mouthpieces (SR and Guardala) in terms of construction, consistence and design?
 

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wouldn't it have been a better comparison with a guardala Studio and the SR Fusion as they are a similar design .I've just recieved another Guardala king which plays better than my previous one which i sold .However still it's nice to hear other peoples opions ,I also own a Sr Fusion and a SR Pro
 

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I have only seen a few SR Techs and many Guardala LTs. Both are well-made CNC mouthpieces. Symmetric and consistent. Both can be improved with some hand finishing. Like 1/2 a reface job.

I have a FAQ answer on my site about the seal test.
 

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SR Techs are wonderfully made pieces. I've played a few different varieties for alto and tenor, and they do what they're supposed to do. Unfortunately, they just don't make 'em open enough for me.
 

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I've tried several SR Tech's and was impressed with their consistency---kinda the "anti-Berg"---but never kept one. I know this will sound silly, but they were all too "white bread" for me; consistent and well made but boring.....
 

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wersax said:
I've tried several SR Tech's and was impressed with their consistency---kinda the "anti-Berg"---but never kept one. I know this will sound silly, but they were all too "white bread" for me; consistent and well made but boring.....
I completely agree. I was on the verge of buying one, but I already had a good Guardala which for me just had a more interesting sound. However, I normally play on a Berg (one of the few good ones!) and prefer that sound wise to anything! (sorry Phil);)
 

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Mike F said:
I completely agree. I was on the verge of buying one, but I already had a good Guardala which for me just had a more interesting sound. However, I normally play on a Berg (one of the few good ones!) and prefer that sound wise to anything! (sorry Phil);)
Me, too, on the Bergs----I've got a good one, but I realize most of them really suck. Another thing on the SR Tech's is that the lack of a bite-plate really bugs me --this has already been mentioned, I know. Seems silly, but I don't think I could get used to that......
 

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I emailed the makers of the SR Tech pieces...and received a reply saying that it is not economical (something to that effect) to have a bite plate for their mouthpieces. I was also initially bothered by this. But I got used to using a bite-plate sticker.

I played Guardalas on my tenor for awhile...Super Kings...Kings...Studio. Both handmades and LTs. I'm currently using my SR Tech Fusion. The inner design of the SR closely resembles the Guardala Studio...that is correct. Perhaps the chamber is a tad larger than the Studio.

I must say that the SR is more free-blowing...in the sense that response is better and that I don't have to think of the mouthpiece while playing...did you get it? The tone is also as focused as the Guardalas...but I find that there is a audible "core" to my tenor sound I never had with my Guardalas...it is strange but true.

I'm not saying that I no longer like my Guardalas...to me they are still the best...but the work and time you need to put in to make them really play for you is a MUST. You cannot expect to pay one grand for one of these and expect to sound good instantly.

As for the SR Fusion...it seems that this "homework" part is reduced...I liked the sound and response almost immediatly after I play it.

The BEST part about it is the beautiful and responsive lower regsister notes I'm getting with my VI tenor, with the SR Fusion. I saw "mini tracks" on the lower part of the baffle, the part leading into the chamber. This might have been the reason.
 

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Big Diff

luispa said:
Hi,

I recently made a side-by-side comparison between a Guardala King LT and an SR Tech Fusion. And, even my first impression about the Guardala was very good, I found the SRTF more versatile, warmer or brighter than Guardala on demand. Sound was fuller with the SRTF.

A curious detail: The Guardala failed in the sealing test.

What do you think about? What are your experiences with these mouthpieces?

Thank you in advance.
There is a big diff in those two mpcs. If you blow the srtf really hard, the reed will seize. If you do the same on the Guardala the air will continue to move through the piece. Remember, those Guardala pieces were designed for hard blowing and max performance.
 

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Been playing sax since 1956 and have never done a 'seal test'. I just play the mouthpiece, and it blows or it doesn't.

'Super King has more spread and versatility for the way I play...' saxmanjack.

Man, you got that right. I've been playing Guardalas since 1990, mostly hand-finished 'King Curtis', and I recently bought a LT 'Super King' simply because it was on sale. Wow. It's a little too open for new reeds, but I use broken-in reeds with it and it's perfect. I'm using it more and more instead of the 'King Curtis' that I thought was the ultimate - it still has utility for me but I keep going for the 'Super King'. I have a KIWI mouthpiece pouch that I sewed up the middle to make a dual pouch so I can pick and choose. The old KC is much more 'spread', but both have tremendous depth. The SK is like turning on a supercharger. Maybe not something you'd use on every gig or every tenor, but it has the power when you want it.
My set-up at this time is a late Selmer USA 825xxx tenor with a MK VI neck. I never thought I would play anything regularly other than a Selmer Paris, and I have a beautiful Mk VI, but the USA absolutely rocks. Deep, resonant bottom and screaming altissimo. Now I know why Boots Randolph, who certainly could have played any horn he wanted, including the great MK VI he did his greatest work on, played a Selmer USA 82xxxx for the last 15 years of his life.
Sorry for rambling and thread-drift.
 

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mcarroll said:
There is a big diff in those two mpcs. If you blow the srtf really hard, the reed will seize. If you do the same on the Guardala the air will continue to move through the piece. Remember, those Guardala pieces were designed for hard blowing and max performance.
If the reed is closing up, you need a harder reed. You can put tons of air through an SRTF. The main diff between the Fusion and the Guardala is the way the baffle drops off early in the Fusion. That creates a larger chamber which explains the sensation of a better "core" to the sound and bigger low end. I don't play high baffles any more, but if you want that sound the SRTF is one of the best.
 

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As long as the piece plays well, I don't really care about the sealing test. I've played the SR Tech Fusion and it was actually my main piece a few years ago. Very full, even tone and not too bright. However, as a few posters above stated, the tone was too boring. Once I started playing vintage Bergs, I didn't look back.

I playtested a few silver MBII's from WW&BW. They were all very consistent with one another. Powerful, bright, focussed sound that I found more interesting than the SRTF. However, I'd take my Bergs over both of them.
 
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