Antigua Winds
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Default Review - PPT soprano

    I have been playing my PPT soprano for a few months now and decided it was time to post something on it since I am not seeing any other reviews.

    My setup - PPT 6, Vandoran Java 2.5 or 3 reed, and BG tradition Ligature. I ordered it based on the recordings on Pete Thomas site when I was immediately struck by how the sound concept resonated with me. I wanted a great in-between mouthpiece that was easy to play in tune and was very flexible. This piece fits that perfectly for me. It is not too bright and not too dark. but can be shaped either way. This piece seems to have just the right amount of resistence to play smooth and soft in a free and easy sort of way, yet could be pushed to achieve a strong rich sound with some edge without being loud and obnoxious. I have excellent control over my intonation with this piece. I have two soprano's. A curved which is very focused and a saxello which is very spread sounding. It works equally well on either and seems to be very reed friendly. The thing I like about it the most though is that it sounds like a saxophone - not a flute, or oboe or clarinet. Highs speak easily and clearly without pinching off and yet are not piercing either.

    Looks are not an issue to me though some might find the color (or lack of it) intriguing, however the craftsmanship appears to be excellent. The beak and rails on it seem very thin to me (same with the Tenor piece) and the top vibrated my upper teeth so much I needed to put a tooth pad but that was not an issue since I normally use a pad to protect the mouthpiece from my teeth.

    When most boutique mouthpiece designers are charging $250 - $500 for a mouthpiece, I am grateful to Pete for coming up with such a great playing piece for such a good price.

    (disclaimer - I am far from being a pro player, recognize that my experiences are subjective, don't work for Pete nor had ever met him until I inquired about this piece.)

    Marshall

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    hey Arlington, what shop do you go to? (the one in Falls Church is OK, but even Wheaton is getting lean on stuff like mouthpieces.)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Arlington, VA
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    686

    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    I purchased it online through Pete's site: http://www.petethomas.co.uk/

    The only place around here I have found a decent selection of mouthpieces was L&L in Gaithersburg, MD. It has been a few years since I have been up there so I don't know if it is still true, but when I was looking for a Bari piece, they had 8-9 different ones for me to try out to include a couple boutique ones like Jody Jazz. I was brand new at the time to bari, so I ended up with something conservative, but it was fun to actually try so many pieces out. I was rather surprised at their selection as everyone else only had 0-3.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    thanks. i'll give them a try. (not that i'm in dire need or anything, but i miss being able to go somewhere, try things out and pick someone's brains.)

    i should mention i have a ppt tenor piece which i'm very fond of. very expressive, but that high baffle can be tricky to someone as undisciplined as myself.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Arlington, VA
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    686

    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    Which Tenor piece do you have? If I understand correctly, for tenor, each size is different in more than just tip. I play the PPT 7 on Tenor and though a little brighter than my Morgan, I never thought of it as having a very high baffle. I will have to compare the two and see as you now have me curious.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    yeah, i got the 7 as well. looking for an edgy link for my old horn. steve neff had an interesting review on his site. i use a soft legere signature with it, splitting time with a ponzol ml.

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by rzzzzz View Post
    thanks. i'll give them a try. (not that i'm in dire need or anything, but i miss being able to go somewhere, try things out and pick someone's brains.)

    i should mention i have a ppt tenor piece which i'm very fond of. very expressive, but that high baffle can be tricky to someone as undisciplined as myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by rzzzzz View Post
    yeah, i got the 7 as well. looking for an edgy link for my old horn. steve neff had an interesting review on his site. i use a soft legere signature with it, splitting time with a ponzol ml.
    (Warning: this post may contain marketing material, but relevant)

    The 7* is likely to be the edgiest, although I don't use that word, it has negative connotations to some people, so in the spirit of good marketing hype I shall use the term "sparkle", as I hear it as the nicer sort of edgyness.

    The original PPT was a 9*, made for myself, as there is no other mouthpiece I know of that does what it does in terms of versatility. However as you probably know higher baffle mouthpieces work best for most people with very wide tip openings. Wider than the 7* IMO, though you will notice in Steve Neff's review he was very surprised that a high baffle piece wasn't too bright. he bought it, but in the end it did become too bright for him. i would always recommend if you want the full potential of the wide tonal range, an 8* or 9* is better.

    Having said that, the new metal PPT (almost ready for production) seems to be mellower than the Onyxite.

    BTW, and back on topic as this thread was orinibally a soprano review, here's a soprano PPT review just received, of which I am very proud. From Roberto Laneri, recently retired woodwind prof at Florence Conservatory:

    "Message: Hello Pete, a little feedback re. the PPT soprano mouthpiece. The jist of it is that it has replaced the Lawton 8*B I've been playing for exactly 30 years! I remember buying it in a store on Shaftesbury Ave. after recording with Peter Gabriel (and shelling out the £200 I received for the session). Since hen, I haven't found a mc. which would give me that kind of sound, notwithstanding the difficulties in control (especially in the low reg.) and intonation (for which I've learned to compensate in time). Recently, I bought a remake made by Lawton's son, and found it very disappointing.
    Anyhow, playability and intonation on the PPT are superb, which frees a lot of energy for music (like, ideas for improvisation seem to come more abundantly and fluently). Also, the action on my already smooth Yamaha 875 feels even smoother.
    The sound to my ears does not have the tremendous authority of the Lawton, but I'm sure a little practice in the next 30 years will make it perfect. By the way, the price is very reasonable too. So, thanks to you and Ed for the great job, and only 2 questions: 1-does it come in metal as well? and 2-are you guys planning an alto model?
    All the best,
    Roberto Laneri"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    I have been playing the PPT #7 soprano for a couple of weeks on a Keilwerth SX90ii. Like someone else here had mentioned, I also bought it based on the audio I heard on the Taming the Saxophone website.

    I've recently come back to playing after a few years not. This mp has helped me fall back in love with my horn. (I think it may have been the metal Otto Link I had been using previously that significantly contributed to my falling OUT of love with it).

    It's true what others have said .. this mp is neither too bright not too dark and can go either way, very easy to play, and yes indeed it makes intonation (relatively) easy .. more so that the Theo Wanne Gaia sop MP, which I recently tried out.

    So many thanks to Pete for coming up with this wonderful mouthpiece.

  9. #9
    Forum Contributor 2014
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    Default Re: Review - PPT soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by rzzzzz View Post
    yeah, i got the 7 as well. looking for an edgy link for my old horn. steve neff had an interesting review on his site. i use a soft legere signature with it, splitting time with a ponzol ml.
    Hey, rzzzzz - old post, but how does the PPT compare to the Ponzol soundwise and also resistance-wise? I, too, play a Ponzol ML 100 with a 2.25 Legere Sig reed.
    Thanks
    Selmer Mark VI tenor, Yamaha 82zUL tenor, Yamaha YAS62 alto, Yamaha YSS475 soprano, Cannonball Vintage Reborn soprano, Yamaha WX5 wind synthesizer, various blues harps (Louisiana saxes), ocarina, didgeridoo

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