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.