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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Nefertiti said:
hey Skip,
I for one appreciate what your trying to do here. Your spending your time and effort to give your opinion. Thanks!
Steve,
I hope you got my email last week. I think your clips are a great service on your site. I dug listening to most of your pieces. Send me a PM. We probably know a lot of the same people from my years in New England.
Skip
 

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Sorry about all the negativity Skip. Some of us are pretty die hard when it comes to using large chamber/very small baffled pieces.

I guess that people should accept that the amma has a different concept, a brighter concept and that this mouthpiece probably isn't going to suite those that like a real Link or vintage large chamber piece.

My guess is Theo will offer a more traditional mouthpieces down the road. He's a vintage mouthpiece aficionado and he knows those designs work as well for many as the brighter more modern amma.
 

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Skip, that Body and Soul clip sounds great. I got here too late to hear the other clips, but that didn't sound excessively bright to me AT ALL. Nice, rich, full, fat sound. Gorgeous, although I don't have any point of reference as to what you sound like on other mouthpieces. If I had to guess, it's you, not the Amma, but the Amma might help!

I'm sticking with my Link because I don't think I'll ever be able or willing to drop $650 on a mouthpiece at any point in my life. Doesn't mean others can't or shouldn't, just that I can't and wouldn't.

It would still be cool to hear a player with a darker sound concept playing on an Amma as well, just for kicks, though.
 

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Skip, you've done us all a fine service. Thank you being so generous with your time, for us as well as for Theo...a great craftsman and just as fine a human being. Also for your beautiful playing. You've answered a huge curiosity many of us have had about this mouthpiece we've been hearing about for so long, and it's probably not fair to ask more than that. Many people have already posted that they now know whether or not the $650 price is worth spending. I wonder how long it takes many of us here to spend that on beer...or a few tanks full of gas.

The contribution you've made is what this forum is all about. You've helped us learn something new, and I hope you'll continue to participate and contribute. As much as your enthusiasm for a new mouthpiece is apparent, it seems you value good will even more so. Thank you.
 

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skipsax said:
In the meantime, here's the beginning of the review and a link to 3 audio clips. #1 is the Gold Amma. #2 is the Silver Amma and #3 is my Theo Wanne Custom Link.
I can' find any link to audio clips -- neither in this thread nor on the web site you mentioned. I wasted 10 min searching & searching ... where are they??
 

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Skip,

I hope I didn't come off as negative or terse in any way. I genuinely appreciate everything you've provided here and all you've done. I hope that came through. If not, I'm saying it again as it should be said again. Thank you and enjoy that AMMA sounds like a great piece (of course it doesn't hurt that the player sounds great too).
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
heath said:
Sorry about all the negativity Skip. Some of us are pretty die hard when it comes to using large chamber/very small baffled pieces.

I guess that people should accept that the amma has a different concept, a brighter concept and that this mouthpiece probably isn't going to suite those that like a real Link or vintage large chamber piece.

My guess is Theo will offer a more traditional mouthpieces down the road. He's a vintage mouthpiece aficionado and he knows those designs work as well for many as the brighter more modern amma.
Heath,
I'm a bit concerned that people are getting the impression that this piece is overly bright. That impression is probably based on the way I tend to sound, not the tendency of the piece. It's an Amma, not a Link I realize that. They are not the same.

Here's BRIGHT from my brecker days 20 years ago! DG MB I #532.
Put your earplugs in!:D

http://saxshed.com/backintheday.mp3

Skip
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Giganova said:
I can' find any link to audio clips -- neither in this thread nor on the web site you mentioned. I wasted 10 min searching & searching ... where are they??
Giganova,
The first 3 clips proved to be a false representation due to some old reeds. They (the reeds) sounded great last week and last night I recorded the 3 examples on what I thought was the best reed. After listening to last week's recording vs. last night's on the same reed I realized the error.

The clip that seems to best represent my sound on the Amma is here:

http://saxshed.com/bnsammamix.mp3

This is what I sound like on an DG MB I from 20 years ago! Hee Hee!

http://saxshed.com/backintheday.mp3
 

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skipsax said:
The Link STM I have (custom by Theo) has a much larger baffle than the Amma. The mic placement was identical and the recordings were all done in 20 minutes. The Link is a bit louder with that big wedge! That's good AND bad, depending on the playing situation.

You can go to "about the author" on SaxShed.com to hear a bunch of clips live. You can buy any of my cds on Dornpublications.com via Saxophone Journal. You can also hear the clip I won with on JodyJazz.com, playing his ESP.

The comparisons here are direct. Custom Link made by Theo to Amma.

I could put anything on the tip of my horn and I will sound like me - or not like me. You can check out my last offering through Saxophone Journal. It was on "Tenor Saxophone Styles". I played on one mouthpiece, reed and mic for the whole thing. The idea was to create the illusion of sounding like Getz, Gato, Jr. Walker and Clarence using the identical setup.

When I play like "me" IMHO I sound like I am heavily influenced by Brecker. When I set my mind to it, I can be a chameleon as demonstrated in the SJ Masterclass mentioned above. Maybe I'll edit down some clips of that.

Skip
I thought you sounded like one S Rollins in his Sound Of Sonny period.
 

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baylistenor said:
I thought you sounded like one S Rollins in his Sound Of Sonny period.
Absolutely. All the clips sound great, of course. On the issue of comparison I must say I only find it practical when clips are of the same bit of music. Even then, when the player's good, I often hear only incredibly subtle differences as far as the core tone is concerned.
 

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skipsax said:
Heath,
I'm a bit concerned that people are getting the impression that this piece is overly bright. That impression is probably based on the way I tend to sound, not the tendency of the piece. It's an Amma, not a Link I realize that. They are not the same.

Here's BRIGHT from my brecker days 20 years ago! DG MB I #532.
Put your earplugs in!:D

http://saxshed.com/backintheday.mp3

Skip
I tell you what Skip I feel the Brecker influence is your true nature and you should stick with it. I heard someone having fun on that clip and you sounded damn good to me. How old were you when you recorded that clip from your Brecker days? I shouldn't be so harsh about the bright influence. I still love guys like Billy Harper and he has a lot of edge to his sound. Still I find myself drawn to darker sounds like Gonz playing on hard rubber.

Anyway thanks for the clip and keep up the good work skip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
heath said:
I tell you what Skip I feel the Brecker influence is your true nature and you should stick with it. I heard someone having fun on that clip and you sounded damn good to me. How old were you when you recorded that clip from your Brecker days?
I am now 45 and more mellow in sound, style and personality. That Breckerish clip was from 1987 when my original Guardala mouthpiece was fairly new. So I was 25.

It was really posted just to show where my head was then and is now. I seldom play anything like that anymore. No one pays me to play like that! :cry:

Skip
 

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What's interesting about your Brecker days clip is how the only major difference I can hear is one of style; the tonal differences are very subtle. Your tone actually sounds a lot to me like that of Eric Alexander on that clip, with some of the hallmark points of Brecker-type style thrown in. And Eric plays on a slightly modified Florida Link... more proof to me that the mouthpiece really only matters insofar as it makes it easier for a player to achieve their concept, not that it necessarily railroads a player into a certain style or tone quality. With a bit of work that DG sounds like it could be used in trad jazz no problem. Likewise it sounds like you could sound just like a Brecker/Bob Berg school player on the Amma with a bit of work. The key is that the mouthpieces make it easier in the respective "schools" of thought that you are playing in with them.

Also sometimes what we hear behind the horn is very misleading. I have two tenor mouthpieces right now, a metal and a rubber, of similar design only that the metal has a very long rollover baffle and the rubber has almost no baffle. To me these mouthpieces are night and day. But when playing for discerning ears, those listening found that there is only a very slight tonal difference between the two after getting a few feet away. Most of the apparent differences were in how the registers lined up, how the mouthpieces tuned the instrument, and how easy it was for me to play certain articulations, extreme registers, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Well, Thanks to all who have contributed. I don't have that MB Guardala anymore. No regrets. I played one the other day again ( a friend's) That was then this is now.

It's been fun to participate and get feedback here. You can stop in at SaxShed.com and say hello sometime. I need to practice more and get those 20 year old chops back! I'm outta here for a while. Thanks again.
Skip
 

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I tried out a 7* AMMA today......and it wasn't for me. It's a very well made and interesting piece nonetheless, but not one that I'm gonna buy. Please bear in mind that I'm not really looking for a tenor piece now, (no more than usual!), and I wasn't intending to purchase it unless it knocked me out, which it didn't...........daryl
 

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Thanks for the feedback Daryl. Would you mind saying a few words about it's characteristics (perhaps compared to other name mpcs)?
 

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Sure Gary. First, bear in mind where I'm coming from: generally, I play pieces from .115 to .120 at the tip. I currently am playing an old long table Berg marked 130/2, but is measures out around the .115-.120 sweet spot for me. The chamber is huge for a Berg, but still smaller than a Link STM. I do like Links and have played them off and on for years. Regardless of what piece I use, I take a big bite and use a lot of air support.
The AMMA I played was a 7*, which Theo says is .102, and I played it with several different 2 1/2 Fibracells, which is my reed of choice. For me the mouthpiece was very bright, a hollow and tinny sounding bright, not the good kind. It also didn't project that well for me either. It reminded me of a Freddie Gregory MK IV piece I tried out a year ago: very mid-rangy. The Gregory was considerably louder.
In all fairness, the tip opening and facing are not what I like and could have a lot to do with the results I got out of it. The facing curve seemed kinda short to me, but that was just "eye-balling" it. I couldn't dig into it because the reed was closing up on me. I could have done a better job of auditioning the piece for other people had I brought different and harder reeds, but that wasn't my intention; I wanted to see what it would do for me, to see it would be worth paying $650 for one. Though I'm still curious how one more suited to me would respond, at this point the answer is no........daryl
 
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