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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
]I recently purchased a VanDoren V16 A8S mouthpiece for the new Yani 901 I purchased. I wanted to have a hard rubber mouthpiece that would be a good alternative to metal and give a more Modern bright sound. The tip opening is supposed to be about .085 ( the Vandoren website only gives metric measurements). I love the sound and the playing ease but I had a complaint that low volumes are too "breathy" sounding. I also got a A27 mouthpiece new from a box of micellaneous mouthpieces on a whim. I understand that this is a large chamber classical mouthpiece. Although the piece is easy to play it is a bit stuffy sounding. Can this be modified? Most of the comments on the V16 I have read have been good but I was hoping that other players would speak out and share their experiences with Vandoren mouthpieces regardless of model. Also, the types of music played with the different models of this brand. :bluewink:
 

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Excellent pieces.
Great consistency.
V5 series (A27) classical pieces.
V16 Jazzy pieces.

You can make a search looking for a post I wrote some tieme ago regarding the A27.

I love the V16 A9S and A9M. Very easy, despite the big tip, playing pieces with vey nice tone and overall features.

Cheers!!!!!!
Anselmo
 

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]I recently purchased a VanDoren V16 A8S mouthpiece for the new Yani 901 I purchased...............I love the sound and the playing ease but I had a complaint that low volumes are too "breathy" sounding.
Vandoren mouthpieces are usually very good right off the shelf and the V16, in specific, is a very nice piece. Maybe the reed strength you are using is a bit too hard for the tip opening.
 

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While most Vandorens are good out of the box, a few do benefit from some additional facing work. This can clean up an airy sound. But try softer reeds first.
 

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I have a V16 A8 M.
I like the dark tone I get from it but I don't like the short facing and the concave table.
The short facing makes me play too close to the tip and the concave table messes up my reeds when I want to switch mouthpieces.

I'm thinking of having it refaced some day.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Mr MOJO. I switched to Rico Jazz Select reeds from the Rico Royals I was used to on other mouthpieces I have. I tried a 2H reed but had trouble getting high notes without severely pinching the reed. Should I go back to Rico Royal 2 1/2? Currently, I am using the #3S. It seems to work OK. I'm not turning red while playing or honking low notes; but when I was miked, that is when I got the complaint on the breathy sound. Does a longer facing help? I went out to the VanDoren website and this particular tip opening on the V16 has a shorter facing to supposedly make the mouthpiece have less effort to blow. Being new to the nuances of mouthpiece design (I've always been a love it or hate it person when it came to trying out mouthpieces) I want to learn more so I can make better choices. I Like the VanDoren, it defintely has more punch and a brighter sound that the Guy Hawkins #5 I was previously using. What options do I have on getting the mouthpiece tweaked and the plusses and minuses of doing this? Also, would It be considered a sacrilege to have the A27 reworked to a more fat sounding jazz moutpiece?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you mean the V16 or the A27? What are my options of modifying either of these mouthpieces or would it be better to trade the new a27 for a used V16 A7S?
 

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Your "A27" is actually a V5 design. This has a low baffle and a small squeeze throat (for some projection). The tip opening is 1.65mm = .065". If a 2H or 2.5 reed seems too soft, you can try trimming them up a little. If a 3S seems to hard, they can be sanded down, but this takes more skill to do it in the right places.

Your V16 S mouthpiece with a A8 facing has a 2.10mm = .083" tip. The V16 S design also has a low baffle and a streamlined squeeze in the throat area. You should use 1/2 strength softer reed or so on the .083" than you would use on a 065.

Tip opening is a bigger deal than facing length, but facing length and curve shape are next. A longer facing curve will make a larger tip opening easier to play. The low notes response is better but the high notes may close off at loud volumes. The same thing happens when you use a reed that is softer. The goal is to find a mouthpiece and reed combination that gives you control of both ends.

The player (you!) are also a big deal in making the set-up work. Try taking in a little more (or less) mouthpiece and adjust your reed strength to where the high/low note response is as good as can be. Try different oral cavity shapes. Think "Ohhh", "Ahhh", and "Eeee" while playing. If something seems to work better, keep doing it.

The sax needs to be leak free for the best low note response. This should be addressed first before messing with mouthpieces.

Sooo, if you have all this "down", then it is time to analyze your mouthpiece to see if it might have a facing curve issue that is causing you a problem.
 

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]I recently purchased a VanDoren V16 A8S mouthpiece for the new Yani 901 I purchased. I wanted to have a hard rubber mouthpiece that would be a good alternative to metal and give a more Modern bright sound. The tip opening is supposed to be about .085 ( the Vandoren website only gives metric measurements). I love the sound and the playing ease but I had a complaint that low volumes are too "breathy" sounding. I also got a A27 mouthpiece new from a box of micellaneous mouthpieces on a whim. I understand that this is a large chamber classical mouthpiece. Although the piece is easy to play it is a bit stuffy sounding. Can this be modified? Most of the comments on the V16 I have read have been good but I was hoping that other players would speak out and share their experiences with Vandoren mouthpieces regardless of model. Also, the types of music played with the different models of this brand. :bluewink:
I've play tested several different Vandoren mpcs and found them to be very high quality with no duds encountered so far.

I play a V-16 A7M, and occasionally an A6M. I use it primarily for big band, both lead and 2nd alto. So far nothing has worked better for me in terms of getting a full deep sound but with colorful overtones and warm brilliance. If you like the A8S but find it too breathy, you may want to consider a smaller tip like 7S or 7M. Due to smaller tip and longer facing, the mpc will speak more easily in the lower register and may be just what you need. I wouldn't recommend having your mpc modified because you just never know what you're going to get. It sounds like you're already very close to what you need, so check out different v16 chambers/tips where you can "try before you buy". Continue to experiment with reeds and I think you'll get what you need from your current v16 or a different tip/chamber. The softer reeds may be your key; you may have just gotten a few crummy ones that didn't hold the pitch in the upper register as well. IMO, you really got to play a few boxes of a particular brand and strength to truly know how they'll work for you overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate all the help and advise given. The "breathy" complaint was not by me but by a sound tech after I was miked during a rehearsal. I love the V16 I bought. The tone is fat and punchy sounding yet with an edge to it when pushed. The dealer that I got my new Yani 901 alto from recommended a Meyer or a Runyon at first, and I didn't like either of them (I do not like them Sam I Am I won't play green eggs and ham). I thought the stock Yani mouthpiece sounded better and was certainly easier to play. Then they let me try the V16 A7S because I wanted that slightly brighter Modern sound that would go well with the Gospel/Soul music I am playing now. The difference was like night and day. I chose a A8 because the slightly more open tip gave me a little more oooomph. I think that my best bet at this point is to get the same style in the A7 opening. I realize that now I'll have to adapt to more than one situation. Maybe there is a Legit player that would trade for the A27 which I would probably use very little.
 

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] the Vandoren website only gives metric measurements
What's wrong with that? :dontknow:

If you really have to use imperial, just multiply by 0.03937

Re the mouthpieces, I've got a Vandoren Java. Don't like it much, not as responsive as my Yanagisawa metal. It's not as flexible in terms of range of tone production, either.
 

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I don't like Javas and Jumbo Javas.
I LOVE the other models: V5 and V16.
 

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the first non-generic mouthpiece i bought was the Vandoren V5 a45. i pretty much learned on that piece.

it can be reed picky. i dont like to use alto reeds on the piece because sometimes it doesnt seal up well, especially the v12 reeds. i tend to use tenor reeds on it and it gives me a warm but edgy jazz tone. it really works well. a rico orange box alto reed makes it insanely bright and works for a modern jazz tone. in its own application it sounds tremendous.

the altissimo speaks very clearly on it and sounds exactly how it's supposed to sound. i have no trouble popping into the alt. register.

overall, i think it's a wonderful mouthpiece for jazz/blues. since it's on the warmer side i'd especially recommend it for blues. i think you could safely trust in any other Vandoren piece to suit your needs based on the description provided on their site.
 

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The best. It took time for me to get used to anything when my Berg's got made outside England and did not fit my liking. I was so frustrated... I got mad with Vandoren, not their fault... was mine.

Now, I love them.

The Jumbo Java A45 has been the best thing for my playing being a second best the V16 A8S.

Reeds number 3 work well for these mouthpieces, and for both of them the Java reeds are ok.

JI
 

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My main Alto mouthpiece is a V16 A7s which I then had Erik Greiffenhagen do his "Meyer Conversion" to. I absolutely love this mouthpiece and there are a couple of other pros here in Las Vegas that play on these too. I like it so much I recently picked up another V16 off the forums here to have Erik make me another as a backup. I have tried this against many high end mouthpieces, recently I tried an Aizen, a Morgan Fry, a 1970's HR Berg refaced by MOJO, 3 different RPC'S, a Phil-Tone and a Lebayle. I have ended up selling or trading every other Alto mouthpiece except for this one.

I know that the original question was about stock Vandoren mouthpieces but I was able to pick up a used V16 for around $50 and then Erik's "conversion" was around $120 so for $170 I got the best playing Alto mouthpiece I have ever tried. I use this mouthpiece for every style from laid back cocktail gigs to playing lead in a full Big Band to playing in an R&B / Soul band and it plays great in each situation.
 

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I bought a V5 A35 a while back - it was the best of a bunch I played at a shop, among them Jody Jazz, other vandorens, etc, I played it for a while but it's ended up in the drawer. I was looking for a lush kind of sound, but something I could also push when I wanted, the A5 was ok initially, but I found the low notes didn't really have any substance to the tone and were a bit thin.
I then tried a Morgan 7L, and a Mouthpiece Cafe NYC 6, both great playing pieces, and the one I play most now is the Mouthpiece Cafe.
Hope this helps.
 

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I have a Vandoren A20 and I think that once played for a while it becomes relatively full sounding, altissimo is ok. Its not the best piece for altissimo I found. When I play it the sound is full bit what deters me from this piece is that it feels chunky when playing it. I now use a vandoren perfecta and this piece is really great. The tone is quite alot better than that of the A 20's. I beleive that also the craftmanship on the older vandoren pieces are alot higher than the ones we get today. I have also played the Al4 and found it too closed for my liking at the time, the tone was ok.
 

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I love the Jumbo java A75 alto pieces,had 2 now.Had a A95 jumbo 1st but never got to grips so went down a size and of many alto mps i had the jumbo java for me is king.Sold a great Theo Wanne Durga 9 alto piece to go back to the jumbo.Ther v16 metal tenor pieces are also great i think,great response and sound.Will i ever find a better alto piece,i dont think so.
 

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I've been playing on a V16 A5m for about a month and it has growing on me. It has a great tone, excellent intonation and response. I dare say it is playing better then my NY Meyer 5m. Rico Jazz Select 3m seem to be working well for reeds. The best part is that it played great right out of the box!
 
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