Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
4,172 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Otto Wanne has the following description: "They have a dark mellow sound."

That can be said about quite a few makes and models. Some seem to swear by these. I am curious - not skeptical - what makes them so special?

Thanks.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
15,605 Posts
They are not special pieces to ME, but others will have a different feeling about them.
It’s all about finding what works for you as a player. I would never play one of these for any reason. They just don’t do it for me at all.... and I have owned probably 100 of these during my heavy buying and selling days.
If you find one that has something special for you, that’s great.


I will add that there are many guys that I’ve heard on these pieces that sound wonderful. I just don’t have that experience with these myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
They are not special pieces to ME, but others will have a different feeling about them.
It’s all about finding what works for you as a player. I would never play one of these for any reason. They just don’t do it for me at all.... and I have owned probably 100 of these during my heavy buying and selling days.
If you find one that has something special for you, that’s great.

I will add that there are many guys that I’ve heard on these pieces that sound wonderful. I just don’t have that experience with these myself.


Will you be including this including this info. in your for sale thread the next time you are selling one of these for $1000+ ? :bluewink:
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
15,605 Posts
I love many players I hear on them, but I wouldn’t play one based on what I like in a mouthpiece.
Everyone’s different. The designs of the original Reso tenors just dont move me as a player at all. I’ve had a few of the altos I have liked more than any of the tenors I have owned...but still not pieces I would play on based on what I like as a player.

I love Paul Desmond and Art Pepper, but I wouldn’t play on an MC Gregory alto like they did, based on my experiences with those mpcs too.
Those guys sound AMAZING, but I don’t get on with those pieces. Not right for me.

We all like different things in mouthpieces, and I answered the OP’s question with my honest answer.
If someone loves this model and they want to spend a lot of money on one, that’s their choice.

As a player, if I had to use a vintage HR tenor Link, I would rather play on a great Florida Slant or a great Early Babbitt model.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
8,097 Posts
I’ve never played a Reso Chamber piece but I’ve owned and played some pieces that are reported to be good copies or clones or whatever you like to call them.
The Aaron Drake Reso piece is the one I have kept.
If the original pieces are as nice to play, I can understand the hype.
I won’t be spending the asking price to find out for certain though.
As much as I like that type of piece, I can understand why others wouldn’t.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
I wasn't going after you Mark. I meant it tongue in cheek. You're a good guy. Sometimes your marketing is a little too aggressive for my tastes, but that's no sin.

BTW I own a metal Robusto and think it is wonderful, So carry on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,914 Posts
Seems these are popular for the current modern tenor approach. I think Seamus Blake and Jon Irabagon both play Reso Chambers.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,091 Posts
Some are really dark, my Intrepid is based on reso but it probably has more oomph in the upper partials than the 40s version.

A reso with some baffle has a very different buzz than other links.

If you want to find out first hand I do offer trails
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
Seems these are popular for the current modern tenor approach. I think Seamus Blake and Jon Irabagon both play Reso Chambers.
Ben Wendel as well. I think that these are like the ToneMaster of the rubber world. People saw the cover of Blue Train and want to sound just like that. Then they buy an original piece or even get one worked on and it's not bright like that.

I wrote an article about Reso Chambers a few years ago because so many think they can sound like that just by blowing into the mouthpiece. Some setups just go from the start, but if you aren't voicing the same way someone like Seamus or Ben Wendel are, they will feel deader than they'd hoped. Keeping these small or playing original with the hardest reed that still feels responsive and playing along with these guys helps I find.

What people like about these is the chunkiness to the sound I find. If you can learn to brighten them up, there is no comparison. Slant Tone Edges for instance will feel tighter, brighter and thinner if you get into the Reso thing. Most people will gravitate to a Slant type piece for this sound because it starts brighter. This is a generalization of course but I have played dozens of these and worked on quite a few. I really like them around modern 5*-6*. You can really push a piece like this and it never gets too bright.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
4,172 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the replies.

Ben Wendel as well. I think that these are like the ToneMaster of the rubber world. People saw the cover of Blue Train and want to sound just like that. Then they buy an original piece or even get one worked on and it's not bright like that.

I wrote an article about Reso Chambers a few years ago because so many think they can sound like that just by blowing into the mouthpiece. Some setups just go from the start, but if you aren't voicing the same way someone like Seamus or Ben Wendel are, they will feel deader than they'd hoped. Keeping these small or playing original with the hardest reed that still feels responsive and playing along with these guys helps I find.

What people like about these is the chunkiness to the sound I find. If you can learn to brighten them up, there is no comparison. Slant Tone Edges for instance will feel tighter, brighter and thinner if you get into the Reso thing. Most people will gravitate to a Slant type piece for this sound because it starts brighter. This is a generalization of course but I have played dozens of these and worked on quite a few. I really like them around modern 5*-6*. You can really push a piece like this and it never gets too bright.
Interesting. Good way of putting sound into words for my comprehension. What about resistance?

I was also curious in what characterizes them in terms of specs. Very little baffle and large chamber I presume, but what about the facing, length, curve, etc?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
You've touched on something important because when I say they are hard work, it's like when we describe resistance. The chamber is deeper/more open with a wider throat so right away it can feel free blowing BUT the amount of control that it takes to brighten up the sound on an open chamber is tough. You need to be playing with the "hee" sound in mind or it will only stay dark. That's fine for many people especially if you never perform in public and need to cut in a sax section or blow over other instruments. I'm not saying it's impossible but it's way harder. As they come, there is very little upper baffle behind the tip rail.

Both Seamus and Ben Wendell were not playing on original pieces either. In each case, a refacer would open it up and here's the thing: revoice the piece. Some try and keep the spirit and leave it dark while others want the overall color (dark/whatever adjective you use to describe sound) but with more brilliance/brightness/upper partials. The late great Doc Tenney referred to it as EQ. Reso's natural harmonics are lower and so it sounds dark to most listeners but can feel hard to play.

Another example of vintage gear that can be hard to project but feels nice are slant sopranos. That open chamber Wayne thing we love to hear but they aren't as easy to play as a soloist and if you practice a lot of soprano you can end up sounding the same on both, just one is easier to use.

I find guys who work their Allard stuff a lot get more out of 'stuffy' gear while some want something that's a little more to the point for one reason or another. These days most players want a little of both. Not many pros playing original Reso's for that reason and as you can see there are no shortage of copy type pieces that all compensate by adding baffles to voice the piece brighter.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,993 Posts
Administrator note:

Just a friendly reminder not to turn this into a self promotional ad to sell one's products. We have Vendor/Merchant and New Product Announcement areas for that goal, and all such verbiage is restricted to those sub forums.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,091 Posts
Sorry...old habits die hard..I suppose a more appropriate way to say it is that you really have to play one to know what is special...its like trying to tell someone what a berg sounds like. As mentioned originals can be dark and too dark for many players. Hence you will find baffles of original deign but a bit longer on refaced versions. Its why I made an "Inspired by" not a copy. A shop in Berlin has me make a dark version but I dont market it....some players love it but for most guys, while not dull, its quite dark.

The reso baffle is IMHO unlike any other link style baffle. It feels different, it has a different buzz. Id say that it stands out as quite different from any other link "Flavor". That makes it quite difficult to talk about in reference to other links.

Also when considering what players are doing with their specific pieces....it can often be surprising. When working with Mark Turner (not a reso player) I found that despite conventional assumptions, he plays a pretty punchy EB link. The setup and just the way he blows is so unique that one would assume it to be a dark piece. So in a lot of ways its a crap shoot to get to the sound you like, especially one in the same wheelhouse as your favorite player. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Sometimes a player will sound closer to another player on a different setup.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
4,172 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I am not necessarily looking to buy a new mouthpiece, and I don't buy hard rubber pieces anyway, irrespective of the level of sympathy I have for those who manufacture them. I think I have some basic understanding of common mouthpiece designs, but the Reso Chamber appears to be rather distinct from other Links, and just about any other mouthpiece out there. The replies in this thread help to reduce the mystique somewhat, and I appreciate them irrespectively of underlying intent if any.

A few years ago, I would indeed just have bought a piece to figure out what it was all about, but those days are gone. It yielded a pile of mouthpieces that were hard to sell, certainly with my - approaching zero - level of salesmanship.

My reasons for starting this thread were (a) curiosity and (b) an everlasting struggle with trying to figure out whether to embrace or fight what appears to be my inherently darkish tone on tenor. The latter is hardly of general interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,146 Posts
Also when considering what players are doing with their specific pieces....it can often be surprising. When working with Mark Turner (not a reso player) I found that despite conventional assumptions, he plays a pretty punchy EB link. The setup and just the way he blows is so unique that one would assume it to be a dark piece. So in a lot of ways its a crap shoot to get to the sound you like, especially one in the same wheelhouse as your favorite player. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Sometimes a player will sound closer to another player on a different setup.
It’s a lot easier to play dark on a bright mouthpiece than vice versa. A little harder reed or back off on the airstream.
Trying to play bright on a dark mouthpiece can take a lot of work and finding the one reed that will let you do it.
I’ve had Master, Four Star and a Reso chamber Links. They were all small tips and played ok. For soft gigs I prefer an old Soloist.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
I am not necessarily looking to buy a new mouthpiece, and I don't buy hard rubber pieces anyway, irrespective of the level of sympathy I have for those who manufacture them. I think I have some basic understanding of common mouthpiece designs, but the Reso Chamber appears to be rather distinct from other Links, and just about any other mouthpiece out there. The replies in this thread help to reduce the mystique somewhat, and I appreciate them irrespectively of underlying intent if any.

A few years ago, I would indeed just have bought a piece to figure out what it was all about, but those days are gone. It yielded a pile of mouthpieces that were hard to sell, certainly with my - approaching zero - level of salesmanship.

My reasons for starting this thread were (a) curiosity and (b) an everlasting struggle with trying to figure out whether to embrace or fight what appears to be my inherently darkish tone on tenor. The latter is hardly of general interest.
Other points to consider are that there was more than one incarnation of Reso Chamber and some of them have smaller cores than the others. It's not something I've kept track of but noticed and discussed with guys that are hard core about collecting. Baffles remain similar to any NY era Link, rubber or metal. It's the short convex shape that Theo describes as a rollover. Not long and flat like the Tone Edge pieces that they eventually made.

I think part of the reason they carry some mystique or cache is because a few people have used them at a high level but they only made them for such a short run. Most people have never seen one in the wild let alone played a bunch of originals or numbers or various refaced ones.

As for your point "b", there are definitely many people who naturally just have a darker sound. Some guys spend their whole playing lives trying to brighten up that sound, and it is possible but to what end? I used to wonder when guys like Liebman would talk about developing a personal sound it means finding your voice. If you hear your voice and don't like it, you can either try to stop sounding like you, or do what many others have done and find something you love about your playing and develop that. Kenny Garrett said he didn't know his sound had anything special to it until he heard a recording and decided to pursue it. Tristano used to make his early students undergo psychoanalysis as artists should know themselves completely. I think somewhere in these two examples lies a lot of room to find what you love the most about what you do. I'll bet you have a nice sound!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,455 Posts
I found a reso chamber that has been refaced to 105 tip opening. I have not been able to stop thinking about it. I didn't have the money for it and am currently trying to raise it. I tested a whole bunch of vintage pieces on my Ref 36. Two that stuck out were a Meyer Bros Tenor 80 tip size and Reso Chamber 105. They both were magical and made my tone buttery and vibrant in a way I've never felt before. I used a Rico Jazz Select 3S on both. The Meyer was super buttery and effortless to play. It just made you happy it sounded so cool. The Reso was also buttery but not quite as easy to play (Though definitely not hard to play). The Reso was different than anything I've ever played. So rich and lush I was overcome with satisfaction several times when playing it. (I read someone wrote they sound hoarse, like a Slant Sig with a sore throat- and I would agree with that (In a good way though!) That is an extremely rare event for me. The thing is I've shared the recording I made of it while trying it with other people and no one really loves it. In fact a couple of non musicians preferred the sound of my stock otto link new vintage 5* hard rubber piece- because it has a more clear sound so to speak. I can say though, that while a very nice piece, my new vintage link (which I got from another forum member here for $100, has never given me the chills like the Reso Chamber.

There are other mouthpeices that would be better for bebop tenor saxophone (Bird is my main and first inspiration) For example the hard rubber "JazzMaster".Has anyone tried these? Wheew talk a speed demon's dream! But on tenor I feel the essence of what I want to get it is in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNjBulR6CtA Not the sound per say, but he essence of what Stan is communicating. I think the Reso I tried gives me the best shot at it. I think I'll keep the playing fast thing to the alto.

So my next thing to deal with is trying to cobble together the money for it. It was refaced to a 105 by one of the very best. Is $1,200 too much for a mouthpiece?
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top