Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a cheap Chinese Soprano which plays great for my level! I have swapped the mouthpiece for a Yamaha 4C. The only issue is that I have had to sand the Mouthpiece cork down to super thin so I can get it on enough, to play in tune. This makes the cork very susceptible to damage. So I have come up with a solution...... it's not pretty but it seems to work. I am using layers of PTFE plumbers tape. It seems to work well! I know this will make the purists squirm but surely there must be a better solution in the 21st century than cork!

I have seen adverts for synthetic cork, but I would have the same issue because it has to be so thin and would damage easily.

Does anyone know of intermediate mouthpieces that are bigger bore?

Thanks

Martin
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Martin: Welcome to SOTW. I've used plumber's tape to increase the circumferences of my neck-corks. Works fine but it is only temporary if you are one to remove your mouthpiece after each playing session. The extra plumber's tape wrapped around your cork will quickly loosen.

The lack of conformity among saxophone mouthpieces in that area is legend. There is no standard size. The only alternative I know is to find a mouthpiece you like, then install a new cork, sized for that mouthpiece. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,404 Posts
And it is very true that these sopranos do play flat. What you're going to find with the mouthpieces is there is very little variation in soprano shank bore diameters so you'll have to deal with the thin cork. I use the 'peg' method where you put a wood dowel of the size to go up in the neck in a vise or drill a hole in a bench or table and use that to hold the peg. Then you 'belly up' to the neck to hold it in place while you 'shoe-shine' the cork with a strip of sandpaper, counting the stokes, then rotate the neck 90 degrees and repeat all the way around. You'll have to thin it all the way down. I use a Soprano Planet 'Missing Link' on mine and I have to push it on until the neck stops on the ring in the mouthpiece throat. Get yourself one of the free phone tuner apps and use it when you practice the soprano.
Always use cork grease every time you put the mouthpiece on and that thin cork can last a long time.

I don't know why but the Chinese saxes just play flat. I guess looking on the bright side, its a heck of a lot better than playing sharp, so maybe they elected to err on the side of flat.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,799 Posts
cork is the best solution for the ease of replacement but there were attempts to provide a multifunctional system allowing more than one mouthpiece to be fit onto the the neck.

This was the Scimonetti O ring system which the was used by Warburton on their necks.

Warburton, in my opinion, completely overshooting the target since it costs an arm and a leg and ultimately provides you with something tat you may not want at all, a new neck.

This Scimonetti system consisted in making a certain amount of grooves into the cork, so that you could put there different thickness O-rings. Jim Schmidt came up with the same idea too, he thought of one o-ring ( but I would say at least two and maybe three depending on the taper, would be better)

Sax heads. Tired of loose neck corks? For Tenors - just cut a groove into the cork down to the metal and fit a silicone rubber (red - not black) O ring 1/2" outside diameter with 1/16" cross section. You'll never have to replace the cork again.

I just tried Jim's suggestion. It work's great!:)
A mouthpiece has a shank bore and a chamber bore, they don’t necessarily have anything to do with one another.

There is nothing in the mouthpiece being “ intermediate” . Neither design nor price.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
... You'll have to thin it all the way down...
I would hope that it finishes up cylindrical on the outside rather than conical. Conical just adds to the problems, with the mouthpiece jamming tighter the further it is pushed on the neck.

... Always use cork grease every time you put the mouthpiece on and that thin cork can last a long time...
"every time" is definitely not needed with a quality cork grease - Alisyn. (And it does not make the player's fingers sticky.)

.... This was the Scimonetti O ring system which the was used by Warburton on their necks....
So a larger bore mouthpiece seals on the O-ring, and does not seal on the cork near the open end of the neck.
That, in my experience, is a recipe for all sorts of odd acoustic phenomena. The mouthpiece needs to seal at the end of the neck.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,799 Posts
it only depends on how many o-rings ( and where) you place. It is not a problem
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Well, the solution is to buy a good adjustable blade reamer and make all your soprano mouthpieces the same.

I just did this to a Brilhart tenor piece (using a reamer sized for tenor, of course!)

I also suspect that one of the reasons so many old Brilhart pieces are cracked is because they didn't ream the bore, just left it with the as-molded taper. I am certain that other mouthpieces are this way, too - as far as I'm concerned it's bad manufacturing practice to leave a joint that's supposed to be adjustable by sliding, with at least one part of it conical, just to reduce the two or three minutes of labor it would take to run a reamer up in there.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Jim Scimonetti used to own and run a wonderful music store in Lancaster, CA (in L.A. County but way north of the city in the Antelope Valley). He's a great guy - still around but his store is long out of business.

I've seen his O-ring neck designs on several saxophones of various sizes. The design made sense but I had no need for it so I chose not to have the system put on any of my saxophones. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,799 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,166 Posts
I've had success using teflon tape regularly. It's annoying sometimes but it works, and as long as you use the same piece you only have to pull off a bit and rewrap it every 1-3weeks. Quite useful when you often use two pieces with rather different bore diameters.
That said, if it's a one-piece soprano, wrapping the cork especially sucks. That O-ring idea is definitely appealing.

Yamaha, Rousseau, and newer Selmer pieces all tend to be rather tight on corks (***, right?). Issues may arise if the original cork is poor quality - and it probably is on a "cheap Chinese" horn - but if that is the case, either take it to a tech or buy some decent cork (I like the pre-beveled Music Medic stuff) and install it yourself. Quality cork can handle it, and oddly enough this is the one spot on the sax where cork probably is the best solution. Just don't get lazy with cork grease, use it when needed.
If down the road when you are more experienced on soprano you want to try any pieces with larger bores, then use Teflon tape as a temporary fix. Where many people have a classical and not-classical alto piece, it seems most players use only one soprano mouthpiece for all playing regardless of style - unless you consider it your main instrument and practice A LOT this is probably a good idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
And don’t forget, if you have a piece or two with a wider bore than most of the others and you don’t want to get out the Teflon tape every time you use it- just paint the bore with fingernail polish. A coat or two will bring it right down to where it fits snugly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the input. I have re-corked, but I have to rub it down so thin that I am not sure how long it will last. Using better quality cork has helped. I am going to look at a wider bore mouthpiece. For information here are the sizes of the two I have:
Ammoon 14mm 0.551"
Yamaha 4C 13.5mm 0.532"

If anyone has measurements/sizes of other beginner/Intermediate mouthpieces please share. Especially Rico Graftonite or Metalite
Thanks

Martin
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,799 Posts
In one case only I have had to use ultrathin cork for a soprano that I had and I wasn’t happy with that idea. If I would have kept that horn I would have for sure reamed the mouthpiece and used thicker cork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Thanks everyone for the input. I have re-corked, but I have to rub it down so thin that I am not sure how long it will last. Using better quality cork has helped. I am going to look at a wider bore mouthpiece. For information here are the sizes of the two I have:
Ammoon 14mm 0.551"
Yamaha 4C 13.5mm 0.532"

If anyone has measurements/sizes of other beginner/Intermediate mouthpieces please share. Especially Rico Graftonite or Metalite
Thanks

Martin
If you like the mouthpiece then just ream it out to a larger size.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top