Saxophone Forum


by tenor562
(297 posts)
10 years ago

Mouthpiece Search

I have the worst setup in the world right now. My horn is very good, my ligature is decent, my reeds are awesome, and my mouthpiece stinks. I'm trying to find a mouthpiece that will work really well on my 62II. I have no clue what sound I'm looking for, but all I know is that I don't want to be stuck with this 4C forever, I've been playing one since I started sax, and it's time to move on. I can't really try them out in advance, because I know of no good stores in my area. Saxmaniac, you're in my general area, do you know any good mouthpiece tryout stores? I guess I'll describe what I do with my sax. I'm in eighth grade, in an average band, I used to be in Jazz Ensemble also. I'm first chair tenor, against a really good sax player. He has really good tone and power, and he's pretty much on target with his playing. Basically, I play mostly in concert band, but I'm not looking for a concert sound, more like a powerful, entertaining sound I can use for practice time. However, I really need a good legit tone, because I'm really close to losing my chair, the mouthpiece is holding me down. I also am preparing a solo piece for solo and ensemble, legit tone is really needed. I"m really looking for a mouthpiece with the power to play very loudly, but also very softly, and to play very easily. I hate when I play and I have to work way too hard to make a noise on my sax, it bugs me so much. I use 2.5 strength, but am working on moving up. Since I'm not playing for my job, and my section is only two people, not very competitive, I really am clueless about this. I go to high school next year, so I need a really good mouthpiece for highschool, it's much much more competitive This is for tenor My current setup is Yamaha 62II Lacquer Robert Vinson Equa Tone Ligature V16s (willing to change) Yamaha 4C NEED TO CHANGE any reccomendations are great, I'm willing to look into nearly everything. So far... Runyon-Whichever Model would do me best Ponzol Jody Jazz Otto Link Selmer (soloists, lt, S80 S90) Hite Artist Vandoren Meyer Yes, I'm really clueless right now. What did all of you play when you were in highschool, or what would you play right now if you were? Reccomendations, Comments on anything I listed, I appreciate greatly. Thanks -tenor562 I've got till christmas to choose, so no rush.

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  1. by poorsenior
    (1 post)

    10 years ago

    Re: Mouthpiece Search

    I too hate the c* on tenor, but i found an awesome, inexpensive solution: the Rousseau. It's very centered, has great projection, and sounds amazing on my YTS-23. Best of luck in your search

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  2. by KCSaxGal
    (46 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Mouthpiece Search

    I would suggest going to a music store that will let you try them all out. I think some online places will even send you some to try out and then you send back the ones you don't want. I play alto in a community band and use a Selmer S80 C*. I also have a Meyer 6M that I like alot too. If you play mostly in concert band I wouldn't get a metal mouthpiece. I find it harder to blend my sound on a metal. I am waiting for my 62II tenor to come in and also have an Otto Link NY 7 comming with it. I will let you know what I think when it gets here. I played on a Brilhart in high school. It was relatively inexpensive and sounded good. I think practicing and working on your embouchure would do more for you than buying a $400 mouthpiece. I wouldn't spend more than $100 if I were in your shoes.

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    1. by tenor562
      (297 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Mouthpiece Search

      yea, the problem is, there is no music store that I know of that has anything but standard plastic mouthpieces in my area. For the wwbw tryout thing, do you have to pay for all of the mouthpieces, then send them back, or do you pay later? I've heard the C* is just ok, and I'm not interested in it very much. How is the meyer in concert work? I need a good piece that will be versatile for both jazz and concert environments. I'm not really interested in metal, hard rubber seems more comfortable to me. When you get your 62II, tell me how that Otto Link works on it, i've heard it's a great piece, at least for modern. Don't worry, I can't spend more than 130, and probably not that. I just bought myself a 62 on my "life" savings, and this mouthpiece is likely to be my only christmas gift. I'll look into that brilhart. Yea, embouchoure work is kinda hard on the 4C, when I create this horrible sound. Sometimes, I borrow a HIte Artist, and you can tell that thing makes you play a lot more expressively. Any more suggestions anyone?

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      1. by wvujazzman
        (48 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Mouthpiece Search

        What part of Michigan are you in? How close to the Indiana border? If it isn't too far to South Bend, it might be worth a day trip to WWBW. They allow you to try anything there. For their try-by-mail, you do have to use a credit card, which they authorize for the total cost. You can get up to 3 at a time. If you keep one and send the other two back, they charge your card just for the one. NOTE: If you send all three back, they will hit you with a restocking fee, I think it's 20%. Hope this helps, Eric

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        1. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          I'm like 60 miles outside of detroit. around 3.5 hours from WWBW store. I've been there when I was trying out tenors, and it was very interesting. I've never seen a music store that big. It was very crowded, (labor day weekend) so I didn't get to trying the mouthpieces I wanted. It was kinda stretch to go there though, and for a mouthpiece, I think an hour is at the tops for my parents. I'll think about doing that shipout thing. I still am clueless in my mouthpiece search, -tenor562

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        2. by The_MarkVI
          (80 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          easy. meyer 5M or 6M question over

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        3. by The_MarkVI
          (80 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          www.wwbw.com is better than the real place. Buy a few mouthpieces and then return the ones u dont want for a full refund

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        4. by KCSaxGal
          (46 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          I think the problem is that he's too young to have his own credit card and it's hard to get parents to agree to buy a bunch of mouthpieces.... even if you are going to return all except for 1. I agree that a Meyer is a good bang for the buck. I have a 6M on my alto and enjoy it.

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        5. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          I actually like the Otto links better on tenor. It's a little more beefy to me. For a tenor, probably try a 6* to start, because you going from such a small chambered mouthpiece. Maybe later change to 7 or 7* for a tenor. Also, I do like the V16s, but Javas I think are better for jazz, and then maybe go to blue box or stick with V16s for clasical. Javas have more heart, so with more resistance you get better life and more projection.

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        6. by PsuSax
          (25 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          If you are going to go for a concert and a jazz set up all off of one mouthpiece, i wouldnt' go with a meyer, otto link, berg larsen, or any strictly jazz mouthpiece. You will stick out like a sore thumb in concert band because you will not have a appropriate tone for concert band. If you want something that is versatile for both, go with a Vandoren V5 series hard rubber mouthpiece. I would say a tip opening that they call a T35. This will be more open than a selmer C* so you will get a bit bigger and less pinched sound. For concert band set up I would use vandoren blue box (2.5/3) and a rovner eddie daniels ligature. For a jazz set up, use the same ligature but use either vandoren v16s or rico jazz selects (great reeds, durable as all get out). This should provide you with the most cost effective bang for your buck, while still getting the most appropriate usages out of your mouthpiece.

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        7. by KCSaxGal
          (46 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          If you were to suggest a mouthpiece strickly for concert band on tenor, which would you suggest?

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        8. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          yea, that's exactly it about the credit card thing. My parents dont' want to buy even one mouthpiece, they just payed for half my horn. How are the V5's? I'm interested in them, but Vandoren doesn't advertise them well enough to get a lot of information, so I need to rely on you guys. For ligatures, is the Eddie Daniels better than the Optimum? Just went to a lesson today, working on this tough handel piece. Finding that I need some more tone quality and response to make it really sound good. A Yamaha 4C doesn't seem to do much, but my instructor commented on how my tone is way better than before. For concert band, nearly everyone reccomends the Selmer C* for school band, but it's way too closed for tenor. The Larry Teal Selmer mouthpiece sounds like a good bet. Any opinions on it? Still Searching, -tenor562

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        9. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          The V5's are prettyg good, but I think youre best bet would be an Otto Link for jazz, and a Larry Teal for classical, if it's not too pricy. I pretty much dislike all Rovner ligatures, and I do like the Optimum, it's great for legit, and some peope use it for jazz too. Because of the 3 different face plates, it's quite versatile. Just buy it w/out the cap, because it costs 35 bucks more, because of the gold plating. just bend out the edges of a black plastic cap, and it'll fit. A 4c is definetly going to hold you back in the projection, flexibility and tone department. Yes, I would definetly say that the C*s are too closed for tenor, and the Larry Teal if a very popular legit mouthpiece for tenor. I'm not sure what the price is on one though; if it's too much, you could always buy an s-90, instead of the s-80(C*).

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        10. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          Though C* tends to be quite ideal for alto, it tends to be too closed for Tenor. Most tenor classical players like someithing between C** and E (or similar openings). There's no doubt about it. If you have but one shot to buy a mouthpiece, you need to try a few out. It's best to use them in the settings you currently play in.

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        11. by bronzemonkey992
          (22 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          aren't the Larry Teal mouthpieces more closed than a C*? Thats what I have found on alto... Wouldn't it be similar on the tenor?

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        12. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          I beleive that the LT is a B*

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        13. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          I'm thinking that that is way too closed for me. I'm thinking about getting the V5 with the V5 optimum ligature. Probably in a 6 or 7 Facing so that it will be more versatile. Are they ever going to make optimum mouthpieces for tenor? What do the pros use in concert band?

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        14. by spottspidermunki
          (55 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          pro's use many different pieces. they can typically control their tone enough to sound decent on any reasonable piece. although, i do know that at the university of alabama, everyone's weapon of choice (including the prof) tends to gravitate towards a VanDoren T35. Joel

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        15. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          Yeah, well the LT is ENORMOUS inside.

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        16. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          Will the LT fit a Optimum V5 lig? What's the difference between the Optimum V5 and V16 ligs? How does the Larry Teal work on Yamaha Saxes? I've heard that Selmer mouthpieces don't go well on Yamahas. All of you Yamaha owners, what works well? I'm thinking of either the V5 or the Larry Teal, or even a Selmer Soloist. V5 is on top right now, since I can probably get the Optimum Ligature with it. What facing would work best? I'm thinking about getting a middle facing so it would work for jazz and legit.

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        17. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          If I had to make a blind suggestion, I'd recommend a soloist in either D or E facing if you're looking for just one highly-versitile mouthpiece.

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        18. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          this thread has kind of gone all over the place, but I thought I'd offer my opinion on tenor LT's. They are rather closed. I would call them medium chambered - not large chambered. A good quality tone that is neither shrill or stuffy. More closed than a C*, but they have a longer facing, so the low end isn't "trapped" by the lesser tip opening - still plays freely down there. I've found C*s lose their effectiveness down low. Tenor in concert band has FAR different requirements than in jazz ensembles. In a concert band, tenors are there to blend in, so the usual qualities of "projection" and "edge" sought by most jazz tenor players are not generally appreciated in a concert band. So if you're a jazz fanatic, you would probably be disappointed firsthand with a C* or a LT. If you're a conductor, however, you appreciate that the tenors are under control and blending with the low brass. C*s and LTs, when you try to really crank up the volume, will disappoint, so they are poor crossover pieces. A suitable crossover mpc would be perhaps the Soloist D or (my preference) a vintage MC Gregory. Vandoren Java (not Jumbo Java) in a T35 size might do it, too. T45 possibly, if you can play with hard enough reeds to keep the buzz off in concert band. Selmer metal jazz on alto with a bell mute suffices for concert band playing, but Selmer's tenor jazz metals enhance the mids a bit too much - great for projection, but unacceptable to most concert band conductors.

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        19. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          saxmaniac, what's your opinion of the V5's? I found a place where I can get one for around $70, and they look to be a good choice. Where do you go to try out mouthpieces? Marshall Music?

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        20. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          Yes, the optimum lig fits the LT. If you end up getting the V5, get either a 5 or 6 facing, too big, and it's start sound jazzy.

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        21. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Mouthpiece Search

          I kinda want it to be in the middle, because I might play jazz band next year in highschool, if I don't have any sports going on. the optimum with the interchangeable plates sounds good to me.

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