Saxophone Forum


by Sax Mom
(964 posts)
10 years ago

Soprano Mouthpiece

Thinking of trying out a E.M. Winston Soprano Sax (used) but need a mouthpiece. Just beginning on soprano, and wondering about Rico mouthpieces. What's the difference between B3 and B5? Are they terrible? What would be serviceable, but not spendy?

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  1. by SaxMan
    (559 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

    if you are playing anywhere above a 6th grade level - even if it is only first day of seventh grade level, I would most certainly NOT get a rico piece - they are a very basic piece that are meant to learn on - not to play on - they probably play easier than any other piece, but it shows in quality. I would probably start on at least a guy hwakins. As for the winston - you would be MUCH better off going with a jupiter, and those are downright terrible. And as far as I know, yamaha is the only company that makes a student soprano, and is probably the only remotely good student model soprano widely availiable - I think cannonball MIGHT be making one now, but so far we havent seen any student horns from them - or any anywhere for that matter. The winston is mildly serviceable, but you cant get parts and nothing will last long on it. We had a 3 year old winston trumpet come in the other day that needed 6 solder points just from the kid pulling it out of the case by the lead pipe. Not recomended, but a respectable instrument wouldnt have fallen apart

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    1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
      (767 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

      The Antiguas are generally better regarded than the Jupiter Artist Sopranos, and are less expensive as well. If I were in the market for a new Soprano, I'd probably look into a current production Antigua Winds.

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      1. by SaxMan
        (559 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

        Well what I meant was that I wasnt recomending the jupiter - I was trying to make a point aobut the winston. does antigua make a student line sop? The only ones we have are pro models and they go for about a grand if I remember right - I couldnt imagine a yamaha going for much more than 600 bucks. If it were me, I would get a asthetically less that perfect true-tone for about 1200.

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      2. by SaxMan
        (559 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

        or a Conn - I have played 2 conn sops so far, and both played better than the buescher I played

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        1. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

          Thanks, guys, but the horn is not up for debate. I said I was thinking of trying it out, but I can't try it out without a mouthpiece. I won't know if it happens to be a decent horn if I try it out with a bad mouthpiece. If I get a decent mouthpiece, I can keep it for whatever horn I eventually settle with (if any). I would want more of a classical sound, so what tip, baffle, etc. do I want on a soprano? The facing on my mouthpieces for Alto and Tenor is a 3, but I don't really know anything about the rest of the specs, Sumner Acousticut out of Minneapolis. They were recommended by my college instructor. I've notice that Guy Hawkins comes in at least 3 types for soprano. What would be the more classical?

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        2. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

          oh, I thought you were just kind of starting to learn the soprano - the sop is kind of a different animal and a lot of stuff has to be learned on it, their basic bore design is different than the alto, and the embouchure takes rather major adjustment. For a classical piece, the rousseau R's are good - I would go with the biggest tip you can get - on a sop the pieces and tips are so small that you get to where the low notes dont play right I beleive 5 is the largest. The soloists also play really good on sops for classical. I would go for an E there.

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        3. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

          For classical playing, I use an old Geo Bundy hard rubber piece - a 3 facing. I play Vandoren ZZ 3 1/2 reeds on it and get a real rich tone such that I can cover English Horn parts with a solid low end and without the tinny/"saxy" sound of jazz soprano. I use the same mouthpiece for doubling/tripling at church using a Bari synthetic reed (hard). The sound is a little brighter using one of those reeds, but it is still warm and tasteful. With a hard reed, expressive vibrato is possible on a 3 facing, but softer reeds pinch off as it's rather closed. I don't know how the modern Bundy HR mouthpieces play, but I recently tried a Jewel Concert HR soprano piece along side my old Geo Bundy and I couldn't tell the difference. You want a mouthpiece with little or no baffle for classical playing, and one with a larger chamber as opposed to a smaller one. What kind of group are you playing in? If you need lots of volume, then you should go for a larger tip opening - my Bundy is my "finesse" piece. My Vandoren S35 is for when I need lots of projection. A Vandoren S25 might be a good "middle of the road" though I've not tried one. If you want to go metal, then I would recommend trying the Otto Link Super Tone Master pieces as they are large chambered with only a moderate baffle which keeps it rich enough for classical. Maybe a 5 opening.

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        4. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Soprano Mouthpiece

          I play with a rather makeshift group of saxophone and brass, usually for church, hence the classical tone. I may also do some solo work, depending on the occassion. Thanks for all the mouthpiece help (don't think I'll go metal, as just the thought hurts my teeth!)

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