Saxophone Forum


by jinhyung.ahn
(6 posts)
14 years ago

METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

Hi, I play on a Yamaha CustomEX, Claude Lakey 4*3, and vandoren optimum lig. I recently started jazz and I was wondering if anyone bought a Dukoff/Bleecher metal, and what #/Tip Opening. Im not into smooth jazz but I like the sanborn/koz sound. I believe it has to do with their mouthpiece (?). I haven't asked my teacher about getting a metal mouthpiece yet, any suggestions?

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by alexd4life
    (1 post)

    3 years ago

    Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

    The material affects the timber and color of the tone but not necessarily the brightness eventhough it could impact brightness too. Brightness happens because the airflow is accelerated which comes from baffle hight, and chamber size. If the piece has a small chamber, high baffle or a combination it should be a bright piece and if the the chamber is medium or large the sound is big. On the other hand hard rubber because of the size of the piece in general it should have a bigger, lauder more ressonant tone. I personally own a beechler bellite and a beechler custom diamond both in size 7, and the diamond is way lauder more ressonant than the bellite which is brighter but still has a fat tone. You can warch videos of me playing the bellite in youtube under Alex de francisco...hope this helps

    Reply To Post


  2. by Dark Eyes
    (138 posts)

    14 years ago

    Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

    The metal has really very little to do with the actual sound produced by the mouthpiece. The factor that determines how bright or dark the sound will be is the tip opening. A hard rubber alto mouthpiece with a tip opening of .115 will have a much brighter sound than a metal mouthpiece with a tip opening of .90 Also, the maker of the mouthpiece determines some of the sound. Example: otto links tend to be a little darker and fuller sounding than Berg Larsens do. Whether or not the moutpiece is metal is not the most important thing. Find a mouthpiece that suits your personal prefernce, however. If you want a bright sound then I would go with a wider tip opening. If you want a sound like Sandborn (Mark VI with a Dukoff 8 I believe) then go for it. Also, another player who has a really nice sound is Gerald Albright. His choice in music, smooth :-(, is not to my taste but his sound is excellent. He uses all cannonball instruments. You can find out his other equipment on his website. He has a hard rubber alto moutpiece but I would say that its brightness rivals Sandborn's but without the edgy buzzing. Check out Albright's album Live at Birdland West (straight-ahead jazz w/ a few ballads). It is a really good album especially the version of "georgia on my mind" and "C-jam blues". Anyways, there are all sorts of different sounds that you can have and rarely do they rely heavily on the material that the mouthpiece is made of (exception of wood mouthpieces). Tip opening is where it is at. Good luck with finding a mouthpiece. Cheers, Dark Eyes (unloved thesis)

    Reply To Post


    1. by Dark Eyes
      (138 posts)

      14 years ago

      Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

      Here is the link to Albright's Live at Birdland West www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3913353 Cheers, Dark Eyes (unloved thesis)

      Reply To Post


  3. by The Insomniac Saxman
    (141 posts)

    14 years ago

    Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

    I use a Beechler bellite #7 for contemporary playing (I have a rubber Meyer 6M as an all-purpose setup) primarily because it has a brighter sound, and allows me the ease of working the altissimo register appropriately for the style. There are lots of guys out there that will tell you to never buy a metal mouthpiece for alto, but if that's the sound you're going for, it's worth giving a try. I don't know your particular situation (how long you've played, what your skill level is, etc.) so it would be best to ask your teacher for his opinion. When alto students have asked me in the past, I encourage them to develop their sound on a good rubber mouthpiece like a Meyer before even considering a metal mouthpiece, so that they don't develop any bad habits (in fact, I rarely practice on my Beechler, but can play it properly because my fundamentals are solid from having to play a pure setup like my Meyer all the time). I've written a two-part article on mouthpiece selection. You can read it at: www.saxophone.us/sax/sax_mouthpieces_the_working_saxophonist.html Good luck!

    Reply To Post


    1. by sultanofsax
      (31 posts)

      14 years ago

      Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

      Dark Eyes, the comment about the material of the mouthpiece not making a difference sounds absurd to me. It only makes sense that a Stainless steel mouthpiece would be brighter than hard rubber because of the fact that ons is metal and one is rubber. I would say to try a Dukoff D chamber or a new Brilhardt Level Aire, for 2 reasons. The dukoff, becasue i play one and love it, and Sanborn happens to play one too. The BLA because is has a nice sound and both pieces are under &150.00 Best of luck.

      Reply To Post


      1. by CountSpatula
        (602 posts)

        14 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

        So Sanborn plays on a Dukoff? I wonder if I put a dukoff on my alto I'll magically sound like Sanborn. Metal or Rubber or whatever it may be, you'll always sound like you. You said it only makes sense that stainless steel would be brighter than hard rubber, but you provide no information that leads me to believe that, can you explain? The inside of the mouthpiece is what really determines (Compare a Jumbo Java with a Metal Otto Link, then tell me which is brighter).

        Reply To Post AIM


    2. by Donnie The B
      (282 posts)

      14 years ago

      Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

      Saxman- Thanks for your article on mouthpieces. I've been playing for over 40 years and never thought so much about the effect of chamber shape - always concentrated on tip opening and chamber size. Also, at some point I got it in my head that a slight roll-over baffle was THE answer. So I was glad to read your baffle research. At least you might have stopped me from wasting any more money! I too have looked for a mouthpiece that can go from (in my case) an oldies rock 'n' roll band to a jazz/blues combo. I finally settled on a vintage Selmer Soloist F, to go on my Mark VI tenor. It's somewhat hard to find even an F in these. But now you've given some more useful information. - - - - - - Later.

      Reply To Post


      1. by selmer 4evr
        (309 posts)

        14 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

        WHAT DETERMINES SOUND? is not even the tip opening but the distance from rails to baffle and the SIZE of the chamber ,,nothing to do with materials used ,,,stainless steel was used because it permitted the maker to work with the piece with files and metal tools that's all ,,,,,,,and also because a rubber piece needs to have thicker walls while metal can be thin walled and still hold its shape . It is also a question of economics you can fetch more money with a snazzy look ,,,brass gold plated ,,stainless,,, pure silver etc. The proof is Marcel Mule played classical on a metal mouthpiece. Fred Hemke had a METAL S80 produced for him by Selmer and it looked identical to the rubber version same shape and wall thickness Same Sound as well. HAS ANYONE SEEN THE ADJUSTABLE TIP OPENING PIECES THAT WERE AROUND IN THE 40S AND 50S

        Reply To Post


        1. by sultanofsax
          (31 posts)

          14 years ago

          Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

          My comment about the material a while ago said that stainless would be brighter than rubber and so on and people wanted a basis for that. its the simple fact that rubber would be less sound reflective than steel. So you could say that the softer the material the darker the sound. Plastic is kindof hard and has sort of a bright-ish sound, and rubber has a darker, and metal for the most part is brighter. The otto links are made of brass, and are not as bright as the brilhart level air, which is made of stainless.

          Reply To Post


        2. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          14 years ago

          Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

          If material has ANYTHING to do with the sound, I don't think it would be very noticeable mouthpiece wise. The INSIDE is what affects the sound the most. If I remember right, the baffles on the Otto Links and Brilhart are completly different. Slap on a Jumbo Java and compare it with a Brilhart and tell me which is brighter. And by the way, I have a Beechler Bellite which is made out of pretty hard steel, and it's darker than my rubber RPC 90, which can be as edgy as a gold JJDV...

          Reply To Post AIM


        3. by sultanofsax
          (31 posts)

          14 years ago

          Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

          i am not saying that the material is the only facotr in the brightness/darkness of a mouthpiece. if you has 2 mouthpieces, with the exact same cut, but one was made of hard rubber, and the other was stainless steel, the metal would be brighter. i also have a link super tone master, and it is a very dark metal mouthpiece, in comparisson to say my brilhart or dukoff.

          Reply To Post


        4. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          14 years ago

          Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

          If it was brighter, neither you nor the audience would notice. I think speed of airflow (baffles increase) contribute to brightness, reflecting would have more to do with volume in my opinion...but the loudest mouthpiece I've ever used isn't metal...haha.

          Reply To Post AIM


      2. by saxdudedc
        (11 posts)

        14 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

        Is Fred Hemke's metal mouthpiece the same ones we can buy online? (the Selmer Paris Classical Metal Mouthpiece that can be bought on wwbw.com. www.wwbw.com/Selmer-Paris-Classic-Metal-Alto-Sax-Mouthpiece-(Closeout)-i46758.music I'm really curious to know. I also heard somewhere that Hemke only uses the metal mouthpieces for recordings?

        Reply To Post


      3. by CountSpatula
        (602 posts)

        14 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

        Does it really matter what Mr. Hemke uses or not? Just because you play on the same mouthpiece as him doesn't mean you will sound the same. You'll sound like you. Find a mouthpiece that works for you and stick with it.

        Reply To Post AIM


      4. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        14 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE--ALTO SAX

        Yanagisawa metals (stock) are probably the best made alto metal mpcs that can be had for under $200. Ponzols are also excellent and affordable. To go non-affordable but excellent, check out a Jody Jazz DV.

        Reply To Post