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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, looking at getting a new sop soon.

I come from playing tenor, and play on a 7* Link - should I get the same size for the sop or something smaller/larger?

Cheers
 

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Unfortunately that's a question only you can answer. And even the same tip opening from different makers will play differently due to the shape and length of the facing curve.

If you can borrow a few mouthpieces from a friend or teacher, start there. If not, do you have a local music store with even a small selection of soprano pieces that you could try before you buy? How about any online options with a trial period?

My first non-classical soprano piece was a .070"/1.78mm tip, but now I'm playing on smaller tips. With the right reed I'm perfectly comfortable from .045" to .080", but I'm starting to really like the .055"-.060" neighborhood. It's all really just personal preference and a lot of trial and error.
 

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I agree with what has been said here. However as a starting point and assuming you don't have some place to try them. I too played on a 7* tenor piece for a long time. I started out on a metal Yani 5 soprano piece and found it too small by just a little. I now prefer a 6. My tenor playing has moved to an 8. I think a 6 would probably suit you as an educated guess.
 

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I had a 7* Link metal for soprano that really played great but on my cheap soprano had a harsh, metallic sound as I found out listening to a playback in the studio - I was mortified, to say the least. Sopranos have a lot of resistance so whatever mouthpiece you use should help reduce it. My current piece is a Soprano Planet 'Missing Link' .090" and it actually plays as easily as a smaller tip piece I played before. Facing size alone is not going to tell you which mouthpiece is going to work. I've always played metals but on soprano that 'Missing Link' changed my mind. I'm thinking I would try a hard rubber Link 7* if I were you.
 

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I largely agree with what other posters have said. You'll have to try for yourself.

Like you, I play 7* on link (and similar) mouthpieces on tenor, and I prefer a relatively large opening (~0.070") on soprano. However, many players who play large-ish tip openings on tenor prefer much smaller openings on soprano.

Two things to watch out for are:
1. The number-to-tip opening relationship is not as well standardized on soprano as on tenor, so you have to pay close attention to the actual tip openings (which vary considerably among makers).
2. I play large-chambered mouthpieces exclusively on tenor, but I don't find that they work nearly as well on soprano. So whatever tip openings you decide to try, I would suggest that you start with a mouthpiece that has a soloist-style squeeze-throat chamber.
 

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Joe Giardullo of Sopranoplanet, THE soprano expert, says that tip opening is nowhere near as important on a soprano mouthpiece as it is on a tenor one.

Just start with the mouthpiece that comes with the sax.

Once you've played it for a few weeks to get used to it, if you're not happy with it, send Joe an email. He'll ask you some questions, give you some free advice — his advice is always worth having — and if you want one, he'll sell you one of his own pieces. His mouthpieces are great.
 

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I bought a mouthpiece from Joe at Soprano Planet - he recommended a Missing Link with a tip opening of 0.060”. It’s the only piece I play and probably all I’ll ever need, it’s just superb.

I told him what tips I play on my other horns, (I play a 7 on tenor by the way), and the piece he recommended, with a Marca 2.5 or 3 reed is perfect.
 

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Hey guys, looking at getting a new sop soon.

I come from playing tenor, and play on a 7* Link - should I get the same size for the sop or something smaller/larger?

Cheers
It's worth noting that tip size by itself, when comparing mouthpieces of different makes/models, can be meaningless unless the facing curve is relatively similar.

But I would say that in general (and all things relatively equal) you cannot expect a similar facing between ASTB. I would use a much much wider tip and shorter facing on tenor than on alto, soprano or even baritone.

Who knows, this may be a personal thing or related to different approach to sound production on different size instruments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree with what has been said here. However as a starting point and assuming you don't have some place to try them. I too played on a 7* tenor piece for a long time. I started out on a metal Yani 5 soprano piece and found it too small by just a little. I now prefer a 6. My tenor playing has moved to an 8. I think a 6 would probably suit you as an educated guess.
Awesome thanks heaps, appreciate that.

I had a 7* Link metal for soprano that really played great but on my cheap soprano had a harsh, metallic sound as I found out listening to a playback in the studio - I was mortified, to say the least. Sopranos have a lot of resistance so whatever mouthpiece you use should help reduce it. My current piece is a Soprano Planet 'Missing Link' .090" and it actually plays as easily as a smaller tip piece I played before. Facing size alone is not going to tell you which mouthpiece is going to work. I've always played metals but on soprano that 'Missing Link' changed my mind. I'm thinking I would try a hard rubber Link 7* if I were you.
Am seeing that name pop up more and more. Definitely gonna check out his stuff and do my research.

I largely agree with what other posters have said. You'll have to try for yourself.

Like you, I play 7* on link (and similar) mouthpieces on tenor, and I prefer a relatively large opening (~0.070") on soprano. However, many players who play large-ish tip openings on tenor prefer much smaller openings on soprano.

Two things to watch out for are:
1. The number-to-tip opening relationship is not as well standardized on soprano as on tenor, so you have to pay close attention to the actual tip openings (which vary considerably among makers).
2. I play large-chambered mouthpieces exclusively on tenor, but I don't find that they work nearly as well on soprano. So whatever tip openings you decide to try, I would suggest that you start with a mouthpiece that has a soloist-style squeeze-throat chamber.
Great advice, thanks.

Joe Giardullo of Sopranoplanet, THE soprano expert, says that tip opening is nowhere near as important on a soprano mouthpiece as it is on a tenor one.

Just start with the mouthpiece that comes with the sax.

Once you've played it for a few weeks to get used to it, if you're not happy with it, send Joe an email. He'll ask you some questions, give you some free advice — his advice is always worth having — and if you want one, he'll sell you one of his own pieces. His mouthpieces are great.
I bought a mouthpiece from Joe at Soprano Planet - he recommended a Missing Link with a tip opening of 0.060”. It’s the only piece I play and probably all I’ll ever need, it’s just superb.

I told him what tips I play on my other horns, (I play a 7 on tenor by the way), and the piece he recommended, with a Marca 2.5 or 3 reed is perfect.
More good words for Joe - very keen to check his stuff out. Thanks guys.
 

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Hey, how’s it going? Good luck with soprano. I would say .065 to .068 is where you want to be with a tip opening, a reed strength that is not softer or harder but more or less close to equal to what you play on tenor. Facing curves are dramatically scaled down on a soprano mouthpieces and are an important component to understand along with the window length and shape, symmetrical rails and sidewalls, chamber size & shape and size, the degree of baffle length or a rollover, and so on. Essentially, all personal choices you like as a player. A Barone New York HR would be a nice piece I think.

Hey guys, looking at getting a new sop soon.

I come from playing tenor, and play on a 7* Link - should I get the same size for the sop or something smaller/larger?

Cheers
 

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Soprano is a tough beast to tame. Starting on a fairly open tipped mouthpiece is going to make it tougher. Start with something around a 4 or 5, and a harder reed if need be. Build your soprano chops to the point of playing in tune with a decent tone; and that could take you years. Then go mouthpiece shopping for something that might suit you better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey, how’s it going? Good luck with soprano. I would say .065 to .068 is where you want to be with a tip opening, a reed strength that is not softer or harder but more or less close to equal to what you play on tenor. Facing curves are dramatically scaled down on a soprano mouthpieces and are an important component to understand along with the window length and shape, symmetrical rails and sidewalls, chamber size & shape and size, the degree of baffle length or a rollover, and so on. Essentially, all personal choices you like as a player. A Barone New York HR would be a nice piece I think.
Sweet, thanks for the help - that seems to put me in the 6*-7* Link range, and am most familiar with that brand so will be on the hunt. Have ordered some Rico Royal 3.5s as that's what I play on tenor.

Soprano is a tough beast to tame. Starting on a fairly open tipped mouthpiece is going to make it tougher. Start with something around a 4 or 5, and a harder reed if need be. Build your soprano chops to the point of playing in tune with a decent tone; and that could take you years. Then go mouthpiece shopping for something that might suit you better.
Awesome thankyou. Would a 6*-7* - as advised earlier - be too extreme or big?
 

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Would a 6*-7* - as advised earlier - be too extreme or big?
As I said, go with a 4-5 with a harder reed if need be. Yamaha makes great starter mouthpieces for soprano that won't break the bank. No need to consult some soprano mouthpiece master to craft something you're gonna overspend on. I started young on a rather closed tipped vintage mouthpiece myself and now play extremely open tipped mouthpieces. But again, soprano chops can take years to develop. Takes a tighter lip and more control. The more open tipped mouthpiece you use, the more control you're going to have to exert to bring it in tune.
 

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Your welcome and when you clearly stated your 7* (listed at .105) Link/3.5 Rico Royal, a medium tenor setup, I think the medium tip opening range with medium strength reed makes the most sense for you on soprano. According to Aizen’s excellent soprano chart, an Otto Link 6* is at .066. Once you get past .070, I would say that’s the start of more open pieces and most are inclined to use softer reeds as well.

Sweet, thanks for the help - that seems to put me in the 6*-7* Link range, and am most familiar with that brand so will be on the hunt. Have ordered some Rico Royal 3.5s as that's what I play on tenor.



Awesome thankyou. Would a 6*-7* - as advised earlier - be too extreme or big?
 

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Soprano is a tough beast to tame. Starting on a fairly open tipped mouthpiece is going to make it tougher. Start with something around a 4 or 5, and a harder reed if need be. Build your soprano chops to the point of playing in tune with a decent tone; and that could take you years. Then go mouthpiece shopping for something that might suit you better.
A lot of good advice so far, this above being a good summary. Don’t forget Soprano needs less projection than tenor or baritone due to it's high pitch. You can go along for a while with an off the shelf “came with the horn” mouthpiece, provided it is of good quality. Like the Yanagisawa 5 coming with their horns.
 

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Yamaha 4c soprano until you can control the pitch and move from there.
 

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I’m really enjoying my Selmer Concept after many years with various pieces in the .07-range. All acoustic with plenty of volume, better tone, and essentially the same reeds. DAVE
 

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If I find one Dave, at a good price, I’ll get one. I have many sop pieces that have unique aspects that I focus on for different tonal approaches. I still use my trusty 68 Bari HR, Selmer C*, and metal Super Lieb I. The Couf/Runyon 5* is surprisingly useful to me still as well. I felt that the Yamaha 4C wasn’t worth keeping and that Yamaha did better in quality with the custom pieces.

I’m really enjoying my Selmer Concept after many years with various pieces in the .07-range. All acoustic with plenty of volume, better tone, and essentially the same reeds. DAVE
 

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The V5 S35 of Vandoren is a very nice Soprano mouthpiece. I think it around 0,70 but it blows real easy with a beautiful round sound.
I have a Morgan with the same opening and it’s fantastic too. I use strength 4 reeds.
This opening gives me enough power yet it’s easy to control and not giving me intonation issues.

With advice of some people here on this forum I bought a mouthpiece with a 0,90 opening (Pomarico glass). While it’s a great mp with a lovely sound, it’s something I must play/practice more regularly.
 
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