P Mauriat
Antigua Winds
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

  1. #1

    Default 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    A follow up review of 3 more Saxscape mouthpieces.

    Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat reviewed

    I'm sure everyone would appreciate any feedback from anyone with experience with these mouthpieces.

    Unrelated to the reviews - I'll be switching the focus of the blog to saxophone performance (technique and improvisation) with continued occasional reviews, so stop by next weekend to see the first new article.
    New Book - A Complete Approach to Overtones: Vivid Sound and Extended Range - Learn more here. Get it on Amazon or get it as a digital Ebook.
    www.everythingsaxophone.blogspot.com - blog on sax technique, jazz improvisation, and reviews.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Thanks for the review. I really like Ken's mouthpieces. I have a Fat Cat right now that I love.
    Keilwerth SX90 Black Nickel, Guardala Crescent, Zonda 3
    Martin Handcraft Soprano, Selmer G, Plasticover 2.5

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2012 swperry1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    1,755

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Nice reviews, and tenor playing! I have an xtra dark prototype that I can't put down right now. You captured it when you said it is a dark piece with a little something to it. Love the altissimo response, and how easy it is to play. I can really hear myself better on this piece than any other I have played.

  4. #4
    fsaxwas9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    2,087

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    I've made a lot of positive comments about the FatCat prototype I'm using, interesting that it seems like there are a lot of similarities as far as the positive qualities you noted in Ken's mouthpieces. Response and flexibility come to mind.

    My FatCat experience is a bit different than yours, as I don't find it lacking resistance and it seems pretty robust in all registers. Besides possible difference in physiology and setup, mine is a prototype and I was also playing a smaller chamber metal Yani before which had almost no resistance. You're getting a pretty bright tone on there... that still a 3 1/2 reed?

    Of course, your sound is fantastic on all three. I really liked your SL clip, maybe even better than your tone on the Naima. I probably liked the XDark 2nd best..

    And I also have the same experience on my Saxscape as far as hearing myself a lot better.

    Shawn
    Alto: YAS23, Greg Wier NY 6m
    Tenor: Selmer (Elkhart) 164, Saxscape FatCat Proto
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/defa...bandID=1122869

  5. #5

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    Shawn, it was my normal 3 soft which works usually works fairly well on those tip openings. I wouldn't have wanted a reed size up though, it would have been too hard. Maybe just a harder gradient of the same strength reed.

    As far as sound goes I agree with you on the Xtra Dark. I'm not a big fan of a super dark sound and it definitely doesn't fit my playing style, but that mouthpiece does feel amazing to play.
    New Book - A Complete Approach to Overtones: Vivid Sound and Extended Range - Learn more here. Get it on Amazon or get it as a digital Ebook.
    www.everythingsaxophone.blogspot.com - blog on sax technique, jazz improvisation, and reviews.

  6. #6
    Discombobulated SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Rackety Sax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    7,289

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Nice reviews and nice playing, thanks.

    For anyone who is interested, Saxscape has been selling a large number of "prototype" versions of some of his tenor models in one day auctions on eBay over the past several weeks (or longer). Most models are Xtra Darks or Fat Cats in .102" tip openings. I got a couple of the Xtra Darks. They play great and the current winning bids on them are typically under $100, a pretty much once-in-a-lifetime deal in my opinion. I have no idea how much longer the auctions will last, but definitely worth a look if these intrigue you at all. Here's the seller link: http://shop.ebay.com/saxscape/m.html...&_trksid=p3686

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2014 Smokey613's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Deep East Texas
    Posts
    1,574

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    None left ....
    Super 20 Silversonic Tenor 427xxx - Purchased New 1968
    STM Long Body 7* Refaced by Jimmy Jensen with Legere Signature 2.5

  8. #8
    Discombobulated SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Rackety Sax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    7,289

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    As I said, I have no idea how much longer they'll show up, but keep looking. They are one day auctions, so you can't snooze. Take a look at these completed auctions to see what I'm talking about (you probably need to log in to eBay to see the list) http://completed.shop.ebay.com/i.htm...c0.m283&_rdc=1

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    MA(temp) from VA from MD from NY from FL from NJ from MI from CA from MA from FRG from PA from...
    Posts
    1,893

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Recently tried a slim-profile NF 108. Played fine - kinda' reminded my of a Lamberson SB, but altissimo wasn't there for me, and I didn't like the plastic it was made from - a weird softness/slipperiness to it, and it wasn't machined very cleanly...
    64K Tenor - FocusTone Standard .105
    "A loud mistake is better than nothing." -WD

  10. #10
    Discombobulated SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Rackety Sax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    7,289

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by saxmanjack View Post
    Recently tried a slim-profile NF 108. Played fine - kinda' reminded my of a Lamberson SB, but altissimo wasn't there for me, and I didn't like the plastic it was made from - a weird softness/slipperiness to it, and it wasn't machined very cleanly...
    The couple I got also had minor machining issues. I'm guessing that this is what made them "prototypes," really seconds, but I don't know that for sure. The issue I saw is that the outer side on one side only isn't smoothly rounded. It's a cosmetic issue only, and a minor one. The chambers are rough too, but he explains that in the auction listing, and I suspect the production/first quality ones are the same. I don't play altissimo but one of the things that I liked best about them was how strong and full the palm keys sounded. To each their own, but again, for $75-$100, well worth a try. I might also comment not to take the "Xtra Dark" designation too seriously - for me at least, they don't play that dark and are definitely not in the least stuffy.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Rackety, The models I played on were cosmetically good looking, I didn't inspect the chambers in much detail though.

    I also agree that the "Xtra Dark" isn't stuffy at all. Dark, but clear and beautiful.
    New Book - A Complete Approach to Overtones: Vivid Sound and Extended Range - Learn more here. Get it on Amazon or get it as a digital Ebook.
    www.everythingsaxophone.blogspot.com - blog on sax technique, jazz improvisation, and reviews.

  12. #12
    Discombobulated SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Rackety Sax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    7,289

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by BenBrittonJazz View Post
    Rackety, The models I played on were cosmetically good looking, I didn't inspect the chambers in much detail though.

    I also agree that the "Xtra Dark" isn't stuffy at all. Dark, but clear and beautiful.
    Just to be clear, mine are "prototypes" which he characterized in the eBay listings as possible seconds/b-stock, and, as clearly pictured in the listing, have "prototype" etched on the table, so I was not at all surprised or concerned by the minor cosmetic issues. Someone who is concerned could shell out the extra bucks (I think around $250 new) for a production piece. For me, the trade-off in price was very well worth it.

  13. #13
    Discombobulated SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Rackety Sax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    7,289

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    Ben, I noticed that Saxscape seems to have deleted the KB model. Is the SL a replacement for it?

  14. #14

    Default Re: 3 Review in one: Saxscape SL, Xtra Dark, and Fat Cat

    I have been breaking myself in on a SL 110 for the past few months. It works very well on my vintage Mark VI. It has plenty of power and projection. I did add to the baffle slightly about 1/4" back from the tip. This did not change the "Linkish" tone that I could notice but did add some punch. I find it to be pretty reed friendly at size 2.5-3.0 and RR, RJS and Alexander NY all seem to work well with only subtle differences in tone and response. My main piece for a long time has been an RPC 115 high baffle. The SL compares very well with the RPC in playability, intonation, projection and I find myself using it more and more in practice sessions. From feedback on gigs, my RPC is regarded by my colleagues as on the "dark" side which is probably why it compares with the SL. One more thing, I find the SL to have slightly but significantly more focus than the RPC while the RPC has a bigger "bottom" and is more spread out. The latter can be modified somewhat on both by ligature placement and reed cut.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •