Saxophone Forum


by lake4wa
(13 posts)
10 years ago

Selmer Mouthpieces

What's the difference between a Selmer S-80 C* and a soloist? Are some made in France, and some in U.S.? Are the old ones or new ones any different, or which is more desirable?

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Selmer Mouthpieces

    Well, Soloists are vintage and are somewhat collectable if in good condition. More "desirable" in that regard. They have an arched or "horseshoe" chamber as opposed to the S80's square chamber design so they play a little differently. They're all made in France, I'm quite sure. There may be some Soloists out there with a round chamber as well. Selmer's Larry Teal mouthpieces have a round chamber and have only one facing profile to choose from. I prefer LT's to the S80's, personally. The S80 is generally regarded as a classical style mouthpiece - mostly because there are so many other alternatives that give an edgier sound that modern jazz players are usually looking for. The " C* " is the facing which primarily has to do with how open the tip is. There are more open facings called C**, D, E, F, G, H, I, & J. There are less open facings, but C* is considered by most "as closed as you'd want to be". I'm sure there's folks who can play jazz quite well on an S80. It all has to do with the resultant tone you are trying to achieve. Soloists are used by both classical and jazz players, but again, not particularly "edgy" by modern standards. I don't think that the S80 design has changed since it originated - so old or new shouldn't matter too much except in terms of possible wear (which can be either good or bad - you never know until you play it). The S80 is a common, mass produced mouthpiece which is readily available - but that doesn't mean that it's a bad mouthpiece. There are collectable mouthpieces that play like crap and there are common mouthpieces that play just fine. It's fun chasing sax gear around, but don't get too caught up in it. It's a real racket. Once you find something that's comfortable and sounds good when you play it, the search is over.

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