Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I'm looking to get my first Soprano. What would you guys recommend as a good starting point for a soprano mouthpiece? Something well made, reasonably priced (around 200 dollars), versatile, with good intonation etc. Just a solid mouthpiece which is a great choice as a first mouthpiece but could equally be your last mpc too (wishful thinking maybe!)

For tenor saxophone we'd be talking about a HR link, Vandoren V16, D'addario Jazz select, Jody Jazz HR* or a STM in 7 or 7* tip opening. I guess for alto the equivalent would be a Meyer 6. What are soprano equivalents?!

Any advice greatly appreciated!

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,031 Posts
I’ve tried a bunch of soprano mouthpieces over the years and I always come back to the one that came with my soprano, a Selmer S-80 D.
I prefer a Link 6 on tenor, a Meyer 5 on alto, so I guess you can see the progression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,458 Posts
Hey guys,

I'm looking to get my first Soprano. What would you guys recommend as a good starting point for a soprano mouthpiece? Something well made, reasonably priced (around 200 dollars), versatile, with good intonation etc. Just a solid mouthpiece which is a great choice as a first mouthpiece but could equally be your last mpc too (wishful thinking maybe!)

For tenor saxophone we'd be talking about a HR link, Vandoren V16, D'addario Jazz select, Jody Jazz HR* or a STM in 7 or 7* tip opening. I guess for alto the equivalent would be a Meyer 6. What are soprano equivalents?!

Any advice greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Well, I play a bit more open pieces than whaler listed (Meyer 7 on alto, Meyer 8/Link 6 on tenor are my main) and yet I find a S-80 C* on soprano is just fine for me. When I'm playing louder than the trumpets, I don't think I need a more open tip.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Morph: Everyone is different - we all have different embouchures and tonal concepts.

I agree about the S-80 D - I have one that Joe Giardullo (SopranoPlanet) cleaned up for me, and it is among the very best in my mouthpiece collection.

Yet, the newer Selmer Concept is my favorite at this point in my soprano career. It has a smaller tip-opening than the C* (of which I have two - Air Flow and S-80) yet for me, it plays much bigger but well within the so-called "classical control" field. Mine gives me all the volume I need, too, using #2 reeds.

Bottom line is that mouthpieces are very personal and you are the one who needs to decide which one will work for you. That may require more than one purchase. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,986 Posts
Meyer, yup.

Also, as a cheap option, the Bari Esprit is a surprisingly GOOD mouthpiece for modern sopranos. Far richer toned than a Yama.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Two good brand new off the shelf suggestions would be Phil Tone Sapphire or Jody Jazz both hard rubber between a .060 or .065 size. Also maybe try Marrantz Custom Hard rubber mouthpiece.

Vintage suggestions I love are the vintage Beechler (1960-1970’s) made by Riffault. Or a stock Riffault .060 - .065 size. Or how about a vintage hard rubber H. Couf? Mmmmmmm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
As a couple of respondents have already indicated, it is very common for players who use bigger openings on tenor and/or alto to use a small opening on soprano.

When I was starting soprano, I discovered that this was not true for me. I tend to prefer pieces in the .065-.070 range. A cheap but solid option in this range (the one I used for my first couple of years on soprano) are the Bari mouthpieces.
You can still buy them new for under $100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
+1 Selmer Concept.

I've been using it almost solely (among others: links-metal/hr-, Super Session, Yanagisawas); 99% in the last 5 years.
I move it from curved to straight soprano.
Times when it was mistakenly left at home in the other soprano sax case, I have considered getting a second one so I don't miss it again on gig.
I've even been tempted to try the alto Concept in shop (I've settled on it's sister; Selmer Spirit for alto for the same number of years).
It's that good and 'sweet' to play!
Affordable and reed friendly as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I started again after years away on a V16 with a 7 tip and it definitely took some getting used to. It was hard to get the lower register to speak well and as some have mentioned, the V16 doesn't seem to subtone very well. I have found a used S-80 D that I will try next.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
A small question here. To my understanding the Selmer S80 C* is structurally very similar to Yamaha 4C. How do they compare in sound and playability to each other? Does anybody have any info on that? I have a 4C for my soprano and alto, but a S80-D for my baritone. Hence, I can’t compare them on the same instrument. I’m not very excited of the 4C on the soprano (I prefer Jody Jazz HR* 6), but on the alto it’s actually quite nice (although I, again, prefer Jody Jazz HR* 6). On the bari I prefer Otto Link STM 7. So my experience concerning the tip opening is a bit similar to that of mmichel.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
StefGrani: I have both of those soprano pieces you asked about - the 4C and the S-80 C*. They are different - the 4C has a U-shaped chamber opening while the C* has a square chamber opening. What real effect that has on anything is open to subjective discussion.

For me, when I play them, I find the 4C to be warmer in tone while the C* is brighter and more focused. Of course, the next player may decide the exact opposite in results - we are all different as to how we play mouthpieces and what results we achieve.

I'll say this . . . I now that some love their 4C's while others love their C*'s. I don't love either one but they both will play for me. I like the C* better.

One comment about the S-80 D . . . I have most of the soprano S-80 line from C* to J (specifically C*, D, three E's, two F's, G, and J). For years, I played the J (and a similar G). All are right out of the box.

Of all of them, the D was worst player and I attributed that to manufacturing inconsistency. One of the G's was the best and that too primarily because of the way it was finished before going to retail.

Then, I sent my D to Joe Giardullo (SopranoPlanet) and he did a clean-up of it without altering the tip-opening - just did the finishing that it never received at the factory. Now the D is the best player among all of my soprano S-80 mouthpieces. Since going back to small tip-openings, the D is almost as good as my Concept. Again, I emphasize those are MY results and may not translate to other players. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,458 Posts
StefGrani: I have both of those soprano pieces you asked about - the 4C and the S-80 C*. They are different - the 4C has a U-shaped chamber opening while the C* has a square chamber opening. What real effect that has on anything is open to subjective discussion.
So the Yamaha 4C would be closer in design to the old Selmer Soloist? Back when I had my first soprano, it came with one of those and a Meyer. (I foolishly sold it, thinking I wouldn't ever play soprano again, and the two mouthpieces with it.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Thanks Dave!! I do have respect for the 4C. I get a beautiful sound on my alto. However, on my soprano, I feel that I have really poor control below G in the lower register. I believe it is the mouthpiece, because I don’t have that problem with my Jody Jazz HR* 6, but it is pretty open for me. Therefore, I was wondering if that (low register) would be a problem for me also with a Selmer. I might have a go with a C** or a D?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
I don't know about the Soloist although I have two of those for alto. I have a Selmer AirFlow with the scroll shank in C* which I THINK is similar to the Soloist. It has a round chamber opening unlike the 4C or the S-80 designs. I bought the Air Flow new in 1957 at a music store in downtown L.A. I knew little about mouthpieces then - and I still don't.

I have no idea what effect those different camber openings have on a mouthpiece - I doubt that most of us really do. Oh, the mouthpiece gurus may understand it, but the different combinations of tip-openings, chamber volume, chamber opening designs, length-of-lay, and manufacturing tolerances, to say nothing about the quality of the reed used when testing those features, boggle the mind.

I thought I could at least depend on tip-openings to make initial judgements, but then that went all to heck when I came upon the Concept which has a smaller tip than the C* yet plays much bigger FOR ME.

And manufacturing inconsistencies will play a large, yet mostly unrecognized part, in how different players react to different mouthpieces. My two S-80 G's, three S-80 E's, two S-80 F's and two S-80 J's I once had were different from each other. Many players will play one example of a mouthpiece and walk away pleased or disappointed and judge all the others by that one mouthpiece. Can't do that and remain objective. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,815 Posts
Selmer Super Session mouthpieces are similar to the old soloist (or soloist-style, those without the "Soloist" marking). An E or an F is a good default choice.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Steve: Agree. I played an SS-J for years, too. I still have two of them, plus a couple in the E-facing. They are strong mouthpieces for me. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
825 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
A small question here. To my understanding the Selmer S80 C* is structurally very similar to Yamaha 4C. How do they compare in sound and playability to each other? Does anybody have any info on that? I have a 4C for my soprano and alto, but a S80-D for my baritone. Hence, I can’t compare them on the same instrument. I’m not very excited of the 4C on the soprano (I prefer Jody Jazz HR* 6), but on the alto it’s actually quite nice (although I, again, prefer Jody Jazz HR* 6). On the bari I prefer Otto Link STM 7. So my experience concerning the tip opening is a bit similar to that of mmichel.
Yes, very similar chamber. The Yamaha is made of plastic blended with ebonite dust. The Selmer is made from high quality hard rubber, which is more durable and in my experience projects better than the Yamaha material. Both will have somewhat indifferent facings from the factory. They can be much improved by refacing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
Ha, ha, ha, ha, you're not going to get off easy! You're going to have to try a bunch to find the right one. You will will invest considerable time and money on this quest. Just make sure that wherever you get one it's returnable. Personally, I've been playing a Morgan J7 for 30 years. Sure, I've tried others, but I've always gone back to old faithful. I don't even look anymore ...
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top