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Discussion Starter #1
Who here plays a Francois Louis mouthpiece? Which models have you played and how do you compare them to benchmarks like Otto link or Berg Larsen? Thanks.
 

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the older FL mpcs are made of solid silver, handmade and tweaked according to the buyers/customer's request. They have a bullet/sphere shaped chamber and all of these mpcs just play great and sure have projection. Not sure but for these mpcs, i don't think that there were any "models". most rare to find one of these.
since they are handmade and specific for the player, comparing to other mouthpieces would need to be done side by side.
example: View attachment 247676 View attachment 247678 View attachment 247680

From the pictures alone, you notice that this mpc does not resemble any of the ones you mentioned.


The more recent FLs Spectruoso sphere chamber resembles somewhat these older mpcs. for these more recent mpcs, there are 2 models.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the information. I thought The sphere chamber was a model.
 

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Who here plays a Francois Louis mouthpiece? Which models have you played and how do you compare them to benchmarks like Otto link or Berg Larsen? Thanks.
I have a Spectruoso SP that I play from time to time. It's a great playing mouthpiece; sound is more 'wooden' than most other pieces I have. It has great dynamics and is very easy to control. All in all a very good piece. Some people have commented that the mouthpiece makes them sound too much like Lovano or Henderson but it's not like that for me at all.
They are definitely not the 'mouthpiece du jour' nowadays but they are excellent pieces. Louder AND softer than my Links, with less effort. I would play mine more if it had a slightly smaller tip, but I'm also happy with the pieces I use now (HSM/Robusto/Selmer Soloist)
 

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The couple I have played a long time ago were HR. Well made pieces and nothing like a link or a berg...apples and oranges to both. They were not for me but I tend to agree with the woody sound description from what I recall. They are quite different from most other pieces I have played and I believe they were the SP model as mentioned above.
 

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I have a couple of SPs. Although I don't play them anymore, I absolutely love them. They have a unique sound with lots of focus and projection. They definitely have their own identity - not a link, not a berg, not a soloist, not a guardala. There's a definite FL 'thing'. Craftsmanship is beautiful on my signature and non signature pieces and the just play great. The only thing is that I felt a definite volume 'ceiling' when playing them.
 

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I have a couple of SPs. Although I don't play them anymore, I absolutely love them. They have a unique sound with lots of focus and projection. They definitely have their own identity - not a link, not a berg, not a soloist, not a guardala. There's a definite FL 'thing'. Craftsmanship is beautiful on my signature and non signature pieces and the just play great. The only thing is that I felt a definite volume 'ceiling' when playing them.
I have played one (Spectruoso SP) for some time in the past, but currently prefer large chamber pieces.

As for volume ceiling, I am surprised by the last comment. I felt the exact opposite - no ceiling at all, and I could get WAY more projection than with other pieces I have played on tenor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the information everybody. So I’m gathering these pieces are small chamber. Is that correct?
 

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I have one of the old original silver mouthpieces each for tenor and alto and bought one of the new bronze mouthpiece when I went to Francois' workshop in December 2018. I can't tell the tip opening of the alto piece for sure, but if I remember correctly it's somewhere near 0.084. Both tenor pieces measure 0.111.
I love all the pieces for the sonic room they offer. A friend of mine played both tenor mouthpieces and even preferred the bronze over the silver piece. I rembember someone saying in the another thread that the new bronze model "does not even come close to the rare silver mouthpieces". In my eyes, this is definitely not true. They are different, and on some days I prefer the silver piece and the bronze piece on others. It depends a lot on my mood and the music I'm playing.
Both tenor mouthpieces offer a very defined and balanced sound that does not have the typical "Link sizzle" in the lower mids. They sound clearer, in a very positive sense "neutral" and do not push you into any direction. This is a clip of "Peace" by Horace Silver I recorded with a Selmer Balanced Action Tenor.

https://hearthis.at/athene-noctua/totm-peace-1/

I had given the silver mouthpiece to Paul Heller of WDR Bigband for some years and got it back when I could offer him another one with a 0.132 tip opening that I could not tame.
This is what Paul sounds like on this very same mouthpiece and an early 50s SBA in a sample from the WDR Bigband with Maria Schneider ("More Masterpieces"):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4qd7srzh9...ia Schneider II 04_2015. Paul Heller.mp3?dl=0
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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Thanks for your kind words, Soybean. In fact I can only pass the compliments on to Francois who is such a nice and helpful person.
 
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