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 Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: kawallace91 
Date:   2012-07-18 16:24

I'm currently a music ed major, and I'm starting to get in to some private teaching. I'm primarily a clarinet player, but I told the owner of the store I'll be teaching at that I could also do beginning lessons for a few other instruments, one being the sax. I took a woodwind methods course a few semesters back and really didn't have trouble with the sax. I plan on buying a used instrument (I bought a used flute a while back that has served me well so far), so I'm willing to invest a little more to get a good mouthpiece. What are some good sax mouthpieces out there, or at least some good brand names? I'd like to spend less than $150 if possible. If it helps, on the clarinet, I play a Vandoren M13 mouthpiece with V12 reeds, strength 3.5+. I don't really plan to do jazz either, so I'm looking more for a "classical" mouthpiece.

Also, it seems to me that Selmer and Yamaha are generally good brands for saxes. Are there any I should try to stay away from? Last I checked at the pawn shop, they only had a Bundy and a Vito, which I know generally aren't great. For my purposes though, I think they'd probably be okay.



Post Edited (2015-09-01 02:07)

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: DrewSorensenMusic 
Date:   2012-07-18 17:28

Ebay or find a used Yamaha YAS-23 (I'm assuming you're going alto). There are so many on the market, the price is cheap. Also, they much better tuning and tone compared to the other comparable models. It is possible that Jupiter brand may have a good instrument. I have not tried. Probably just well enough stick with Yamaha cause it works.

Mouthpieces are subjective to the player, but I'll give it a go. I personally play on a Clark Fobes Cicero 13 for clarinet, so I'm coming from the opposite end of the spectrum from you (I play short facing, you play long facing).

While I do not like Vandoren clarinet mouthpieces, I play on a Vandoren A17 Alto Sax mouthpiece, and chose it over every other mouthpiece on the market. This has a short facing, so I wouldn't recommend it for you. Perhaps it would be worth trying a Vandoren A15, which has a longer facing, and might be more appropriate when switching from the M13.

From what I remember the Selmer S80 C* and C** are popular classical mouthpieces. The S90 may also be worth a look, maybe try the 190 facing.

I did not like the Rousseau Classic, too dark for me, but if that's what you're going for, it's worth a shot. Definitely in your price range. Maybe 4R or 5R.

You may get some other poster that will recommend a few other brands. Otto Link hard rubber, Meyer, Berg Larsen, and others. It is definitely worth trying lots of mouthpieces. WWBW has a nice system, if you or someone that trusts you has a credit card you can use.

Drew S.
Saxes, Flutes, Clarinets, Oboe, Recorder, Folk Wind Instruments
http://www.youtube.com/user/DrewSorensenMusic

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: Merlin_Williams 
Date:   2012-07-18 21:15

To the OP: Vitos are quite often very good saxes.

Vito saxes marked made in Japan are what you want to look for. If they have lacquered bodies with nickel keys they are identical to Yamaha student models - because Yamaha had a reciprocal stencil arrangement with Vito. Vito made harmony clarinets for Yamaha for a while.

Vito also sold a line of intermediate/entry level pro horns made for them by Yanagisawa. Excellent price/quality ratio.

Jupiter Canada Artist/Clinician
Stratford Shakespeare Festival musician
Woodwind Doubling Channel Creator on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodwindDoubling

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: DrewSorensenMusic 
Date:   2012-07-19 03:15

Also, what wasn't mentioned was ligatures and reeds, which make all the difference in the world.

As far as ligatures go, if you are playing on the Vandoren Metal ligature, maybe you'd want that for sax as well. I play on Rovner Dark Ligatures for all my mouthpieces, every instrument. I think they're just fantastic. I play with a bright setup though, so it helps mellow out the tone.

Reeds: I think the most consistent sax reed is Lavoz. They are cheap and very, very good. I do not like Vandoren reeds. I play on Hemke Reeds, which are lighter compared to similar reeds with the same number. I think the back thinner.

Drew S.

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: kawallace91 
Date:   2012-07-19 20:51

Thank you both for your input! I also talked to one of my good friends today who is a classical sax player. She plays a Vandoren AL3 and definitely recommended it. She also mention that the Selmer C* is good. Since I'm comfortable with my Vandoren clarinet mouthpiece, I'm thinking that might be the way to go on sax as well. I just wasn't sure if their sax mouthpieces were generally as good as their clarinet ones.

I played a Rovner clarinet ligature for a number of years. It's been a long time since I played with a metal one! I'm sure I'll be experimenting with reeds. My friend plays on Vandorens, and I ordered a box last time I ordered clarinet reeds. They're what I've always used for clarinet, but we'll see how I feel about them on sax.

Regarding Vitos, I did have a hunch it was probably a better option than a Bundy. I started out on a Vito clarinet, and it served me well. If a Yamaha doesn't show up, I'll probably go with it.

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: Wes 
Date:   2012-11-08 05:44

Some of the Rico metalite mouthpieces are inexpensive and pretty good, especially when refaced. Try the VD Java saxophone reeds. I had a very good Vito alto and have played in public on a Bundy II alto saxophone with very good applause, although at home I have a MKVI.

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: afmdoclaw 
Date:   2013-12-20 22:38

Yanagisawa makes a fine alto played by many pros (Herring, Slagle etc etc)
Vandoren V16 mpc and great price
Reeds-- you must experiment
Ligs --- personal preference but most are WAY WAY over-priced so beware

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: jthole 
Date:   2014-12-02 10:44

I second the choice for the Yanagisawa hard rubber mouthpieces. I like them better than the Vandoren and Selmer mouthpieces I tried for alto.

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: katiemules1 
Date:   2014-12-04 21:17

The brands you suggested would be very useful for you, especially starting beginning students on instruments. As a clarinet player, you're playing it safe by going with the brands you've mentioned. They're durable and will produce a decent sound. Good luck!

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: Wisco99 
Date:   2015-01-17 20:12

If you are talking about alto sax, either a Selmer S80 C* or a Meyer 5 M, medium chamber. The Selmer will work for classical or jazz. A Rovner light on it works great. On tenor sax it gets more complicated depending on the horn you play, and the music. On a Selmer Mark VI a Selmer Soloist C* is great, but has limits if you need power. Something that is middle of the road, easy to control, and can play in tune over the entire range of the horn will work. Being able to hit a low note softly is essential because you will have them on exposed parts. I always carry at least 2 mouthpieces and 2 ligatures on sax. If you have a rock solo that you need to scream out, you will need a piece that has a high baffle. Having an easy to control, and a screamer piece will cover your tail.

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: locke9342 
Date:   2015-07-30 22:56

A word of warning, when switching to a metal lig is you may slide the ligature onto the Reed tip and split it ( I have obviosly never done this), so be especially careful putting on the ligature

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: Burt 2017
Date:   2015-08-31 22:04

I've had good results with a Selmer S80 C* on alto and tenor for classical, and a Meyer 7 (alto) and Meyer 6* (tenor) for jazz.

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 Re: Saxophone mouthpiece for a clarinet player
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2015-12-20 06:34

Old thread....

If you like S-80 C*, go with that. However I would encourage you to look at others. As a saxophone player I was never happy with the S-80 series. I don't like the sound, and never felt comfortable with it. One design can't suit everyone. The C* was counterproductive for me.

There's a video online of "Big Dave" online trying out C* pieces. He's playing Bebop and sounds incredible. It's just not how I wanted to sound playing classical.

You can try Selmer S-90, Soloist, or Concept series. Rousseau (Classic, NC), Vandoren Optimum, Caravan/Rascher, and Fobes Debut are all options. I like the sound of a round chamber.

IMO a Bundy that's been checked for leaks and regulated would be fine for a doubler to use in college.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2015-12-20 06:35)

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