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Thread: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

  1. #1

    Default Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    I had Joe Giardullo make me a "Missing Link" mouthpiece. I just wanted to report my satisfaction with his work and with his interaction with me.

    I have had quite a bit of trouble with soprano. I first bought one back in 1973 but then traded it for a great sopranino. I got very comfortable with the sopranino and played it in all kinds of settings. However, it wasn't until about 2003 that I bought another soprano. Given that I had not played soprano for 30 years, I found it very difficult to get under control.

    I went through many good mouthpieces including an old selmer metal E and F, a selmer HR C*, a Yani metal 7 and 9, a slant sig 5 that had been opened up a bit by one of the best refacers, and two Riffault-style pieces that had also been opened up by another great refacer, just to mention a few.

    However, I never could get totally comfortable with those pieces. I never got the sound I was looking for and always had trouble with intonation. (I play on an 85,xxx Mark VI which may not have helped my intonation but has a beautiful tone.)

    I read about Joe and Soprano Planet on this forum and decided to talk with him.

    He was very generous with his time. We exchanged several emails and had a good phone call at which time he interviewed me on what I was looking for in a piece, what my problems were, etc.

    He suggested a "Missing Link" in a 0.055" facing.

    I got the piece about a month ago. It took me a week or so to get adjusted to it. I play 2-3 hours per evening.

    I really like the piece. After playing overtone exercises from Sigurd Racher's "Top Tones for the Saxophone" I no longer have issues with intonation. I can play up to Bb above high F with no problem.

    The tone is wonderful.

    When I play softly I get a very warm, dark tone.

    Then when I start to push the tone "opens up" and I start hearing the overtones kick in and give me more bite.

    Control is great, intervals, even large intervals, are easy to produce in all ranges of the horn.

    This is exactly what I was looking for in a mouthpiece.

    Joe was very kind and helpful in talking and interacting with me to understand what I was looking for and what I needed and did a wonderful job in coming up with a great mouthpiece for me.

    I just wanted to thank him publicly for all his hard work and to let others, who may be struggling with soprano, know about this great opportunity to work with a real pro in mouthpiece design and construction, to help them tame this rather difficult instrument.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Hello tempesax
    Good to hear. I have order a Missing Link from Joe G., and I have the same experience like you. He's a very generous man, and we had several e-mails talking about me, my horns, and my demands. He then new what kind of piece he would make to help me produce a better sound (not to mention practice a lot of course). He made me a piece facing 057, warm and even, did he tell me. I haven't seen it yet. I have tracked the mouthpiece, and it has been stuck in COTTEKILL, NY since March 24 (custom maybe - the piece is going to Europe). I'm looking forward to get it, put it on my Selmer silver Series III, and just play it for hours.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    I've dealt with Joe on two occasions with results similar to yours. Great guy to work with. Understanding and caring are two traits that come to mind when thinking about him. I'm glad that you found your mouthpiece.

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2012 Joe Giardullo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Many thanks for the kind words. They really are appreciated.

    I regard an inquiry or order as an act of trust, and I try to make certain that I always keep that foremost in mind.

    There are few more important obligations than to honor a trust, IMO.
    Info@Sopranoplanet.com
    world class mouthpieces for soprano saxophone
    New: ALMA for alto sax !

  5. #5
    makemyday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Quote Originally Posted by tempesax View Post
    I play on an 85,xxx Mark VI which may not have helped my intonation but has a beautiful tone
    Just out of curiosity, did you ever had a tech modify you horn? For example, mine was made perfectly straight and has banana shaped pieces of cork in a lot of the tone holes and that really changed the world for me: great intonation and ditto sound. (I did order a ML with Jo, though - can't wait what that will do for my playing!)
    It's true: a dirty mind is a joy forever!

  6. #6
    Buescher27's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    I'm just saving up for a mouthpiece from Joe, a few friends on our French forum saxofan.fr having raved about their (different openings and internals I guess) Missing Links. But I wonder what the Open Sky would do on my Elimona... Steve Lacy oriented, yummy... I guess I'll mail Joe when the dough is ready

  7. #7

    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Yeah, I can attest that the ML and VI play well together.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Just out of curiosity, did you ever had a tech modify you horn? For example, mine was made perfectly straight and has banana shaped pieces of cork in a lot of the tone holes and that really changed the world for me: great intonation and ditto sound. (I did order a ML with Jo, though - can't wait what that will do for my playing!)
    I did this on my tenor quite a few years ago. I had forgotten about this technique. I may try it again on the soprano. However, with the Missing Link I don't seem to have the intonation issues I was dealing with with the other mouthpieces.

  9. #9
    Allen Halstead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    I am lucky to live fairly close to Cottekill, ny and will have the honor of spending some time with Joe to assist me in finding the right mpc for my newly acquired sop. Having spent over 40 years playing tenor, 30 years on Alto, I am sure it will be an awesome experience in assisting me in getting comfortable on the sop ... Looking forward to this opportunity ... perhaps a ML will be in my stable also ...we'll have to see ...
    Tenor ..1973 Selmer Mark VI #211xxx .... RPC .115B ...Selmer 2-screw Lig ...
    Alto ...Yanagisawa A991 #320XXX....RPC .090B ...Selmer 2-screw lig ....
    Sop.... Yamaha 475 .... RPC .080...... Rico H lig ....

  10. #10
    Forum Administrator and Contributor 2009 drakesaxprof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    +1 for the Missing Link. Just received one that I won on eBay, and it plays great. It is a .068", and is quite comfortable. This really strikes a great balance between the tonal flexibility and warmth of a large chamber piece, and the "pop" and response of a smaller chamber. Works very well on both my Serie III and Armstrong Heritage (Superba) instruments. Nice work, Joe!
    I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass. - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
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    I am a Conn-Selmer and Rico artist, and Membership Director for the North American Saxophone Alliance.

  11. #11
    Forum Contributor 2012 Joe Giardullo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Quote Originally Posted by drakesaxprof View Post
    +1 for the Missing Link. Nice work, Joe!
    Thanks, Drakesaxprof. That's the balance I was after in that piece. Have fun.
    Info@Sopranoplanet.com
    world class mouthpieces for soprano saxophone
    New: ALMA for alto sax !

  12. #12
    McFlurry129's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    Another +1 for the Missing Link . Joe definitely knows his sop stuff, he can make the perfect mouthpiece, with the perfect tip opening, just knowing your horn and reeds. Very nice tone, and very freeblowing. With it i can finally play across the whole horn no problem. Thanks for the piece Joe!

    Brandon

  13. #13

    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    I just wanted to chime in with a word of thanks and respect to Joe for his great customer service. I haven't finally made a decision on which way to go yet and so can't comment on the mouthpiece itself, but I have corresponded with Joe by email and he is extremely knowledgable and generous with his time and advice. Judging by this care I expect Joes pieces might be superb.

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member 1saxman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soprano Planet "Missing Link"

    I have also switched to a SP 'ML', a .090". Big for soprano, but the thing really blows great. I was already using 1 1/2 reeds on a closer piece, which would indicate less resistance in the bigger 'ML' because they actually play even better on this more open piece. Overall its more even throughout and the tone is thicker. I can now play the straight neck which previously was 'oboe city'. Unfortunately, this mouthpiece has made me start wondering how great it might be on a really premium soprano instead of my Taiwan saxello. But my soprano does play well and it has an 'earthiness' or 'funkiness' that I have not found elsewhere. You could say that the better horns are too 'pure' for me.

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