Saxophone Forum


by sax_maniac
(984 posts)
10 years ago

They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

At the risk of starting another mega-thread that might deteriorate into childish squabbling... (by the way, if you're tempted to squabble, please do the rest of us a favor and do it via email to each other unless you have a point that contributes to the discussion...) In the modern era of mass production and profit outweighing process control, certainly mpc producers are perhaps doing less hand finishing and such to perfect their product before they distribute it. However, with modern technology and precision process control, wouldn't you think that tolerances would be better controlled - lending modern mpc production to more consistency and less need for hand finishing and other forms of screening? With CNC and laser cutting, you would think that mouthpieces could be spat out with the same consistency of synthetic reeds. There are certainly vintage mouthpieces in mint untouched condition that play like crap. But they still sell for a mint. Maybe that "awesome" Hollywood is untouched because as soon as anyone plays it they put it away with a twisted look on their face. Mark VI's and SBAs sell for a mint so Selmer created the Ref horns to recapture the market they probably wish didn't exist - except for propping up their brand name which is seemingly worth less and less as time passes. So as Berg Larsen reintroduces the duck-bill, for example, is it really worth trying to track down an old one unless you are an avid collector? You might have to try five to get the one you really like, but that's no different than hunting down a true killer vintage piece. Killer price don't mean killer performance, of course. Well, now that I've started the fire - anyone care to throw gas on it?

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

    Sadly enough, even though the modern technology, and use of lasers and CNC machines should help produce a better mouthpiece today, I just don't find the same precision and craftsmenship as some of the older models, with a few exceptions. Take Jody Jazz for example. Jody's mouthpieces are some of the finest mouthpieces available today. They sell for a premium price, but you only need to look at them to see that the quality and craftsmenship is far superior to many of the other pieces on the market. Companies like JJ Babbitt (Meyer, Otto Link) still make a pretty good mouthpiece. Others like Dukoff, Runyan, and even Berg Larson, don't seem to be the quality that they were years ago. Now having said that, how much is too much money to spend for a vintage mouthpiece? When a vintage piece costs more than the brand new equivalent piece, it's too expensive! I may spend a little more for a vintage piece in exceptional condition if it's a fairly rare model. I am looking for a vintage Conn Steelay tenor piece actually. But, rather than spend a fortune on some old mouthpiece, buy a new Otto Link, or a new Jody, and put your OWN teeth marks in it!

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    1. by blackfrancis
      (396 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

      Interesting points, fellas. I think maybe "they" are still making them like they used to, but the names have changed. That is to say, there's still some folks out there interested in quality and craftsmanship. Now if you really prefer an older piece, that's a personal thing, but there's a lot of new stuff to look at and try out. By the way, if you need that Gale, check free trading...

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      1. by TANGO SIX ONE
        (255 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

        THe Knights Templat agree its a good post. There is no room for driver error.Indiidual craftmanship means even in a vintage batch they will be some that are not very good but the not very bright individual buys them anyway .The lazer thing cuts out the driver error but the carth 22 is you got to have the individual craftsmanship driver error and all, to get great stuff.Because this means every one is different so you may come across a bad one but by the same token you may hit the jack pot.(Bird Lives)

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        1. by cwhiley
          (25 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Look, it's the Knights of mispelling and atrocious grammar again! Is it Templar or Templat? At least spell your own nickname with consistency! Driver error? What in the world are you talking about? "Lazer" thing? Carth 22? You have absolutely nothing sensical to contribute. Please save your childish, hazy, vauge, unintelligeable, and useless ramblings for another discussion forum. You waste our time with your mindless rantings.

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        2. by blackfrancis
          (396 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Remember now, Maniac states no squabbling. I want to add a recent experience- I just got a Jody Jazz HR for my tenor(8*). A very nice piece that's truly made right. Great hard rubber tone, lots of nuance and dynamic range, killer low register. It can be pushed to sound pretty agressive, too. Also attention to customer service and satisfaction. Jody is on the right track. No driver error here!

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        3. by TANGO SIX ONE
          (255 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Response to cwhiley: The knights templar state :You work it out, it may take you about 50 years.If you cant make it first base dont bother.Attack our order for what.Because it makes you feel good and you need the attention.Odear the knights have met people like you over many years.Yes an excellent contribution by you.We hope that makes you feel better.As the knights have already said you may just about get it in about 50 years time.The interesting thing here is we have the ability to read between the lines and find your very very amusing. Both this post and yours are a total waiste of time but we react to your attack.Its just a guess but we think you are a fan with the initials KG. That would explain a lot of your lack of understanding.Never mind all good fun , go back to the blackboard. (Bird lives)

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        4. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Come, on for crying out loud... Ever heard of email? I'm sick of reading all this retarded rambling bickering crap. Either contribute to the thread in a constructive manner or start your own goddamn thread to find out of anyone cares to hear what you have to say. And if this thread is such a waste of time, then your perpetuating this childish banter is in the realm of anti-matter. I wish this board had a blocking capability like SOTW. (Deep breath) To contribute a comment on modern mouthpieces to not be a total hypocrite, I'll add that I'm recently into a Vandoren V16 metal for tenor (T55) and Vandoren seems to really have a solid handle on quality control and good design. The piece plays like a really really good Link STM. A little pricey, but the first metal mpc on tenor that I've actually been able to tolerate - much less enjoy. I will always trust Vandoren products - in that I can be sure that the piece coming out of the box is of high quality and repeatable from piece to piece. You either like it or go to a different model. You don't have to try 4 of the same to pick out the "good one" - they're all "good" or they're all "bad" depending on your tastes. (Boots Randolph lives)

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        5. by TANGO SIX ONE
          (255 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Response to saxmaniac : Sounds to the knights templar like your losing it.You have a right to an opinion like everyone else.But guess what a lesson fron the knights order.You cant control people,It may make you mad and send you to malfunction, but people will do and say what they want.That is a fact of life.Sax quest can decide to cut them off the forum, its thier decision.But attempting to control like this is frustration and in some part insecurity.The knights only respond in a non musical post if they are being attacked.We have a right to defend ourselves.In response to theV 16 T55 its absolute nonsence to believe they are all the same.Thats just a lack of experience.(Bird lives)

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        6. by eman19
          (131 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Oh come now tango, what he's saying is that if you have a problem with someone, email them, instead of annoying everyone else on the board with the some what less then witty reparte that seems to come about whenever someone gets annoyed by your rambling way of answering a question. I wholeheartedly agree with him by the way. I do agree that you have a right to defend yourself, but do it straight to the person, not on the forum. Thats just my opinion on the matter though. As for mouthpieces, most of the ones I've tried/play on are vintage, but most of the new ones I have played seem decent i.e. Otto Link, Meyer, and Vandoren. However, I prefer vintage links for tenor and my vintage Steve Broadus S3 for alto.

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        7. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: They just don't make mouthpieces like they used to. Or DO they?...

          Tango's writing might not be the greatest, but I can usually get the point of his message, and I think that's the main thing. Sometime's my posts have missing or added words or misspelled words also. It all depends on what time I got home from the gig, how much sleep I had before, and how much I had to drink! Tango and I have gone a few rounds before, but I admire the guy's opinions and his dedication to the Knights and this forum. Lately, I've seen some very informative, positive posts from Tango, so lets cut him a break! (Bird Lives!)

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