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  1. #1
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    Default Claude Lakey Mouthpieces

    Anybody out there using or used Claude Lakey mouthpieces? If so, what do you think?
    I used one on a YAS62 alto many years ago, worked ok. I had one on tenor too, big brite sound. Quite a few guys I know over here in the UK use them, especially on Yamaha horns. Any views out there in cybersaxland????

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  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member bfoster64's Avatar
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    I have several Lakeys. They are a good mpc for venturing into the world of high baffles without spending an arm and a leg. However, I never got attached to them. Production quality is not great and there is substantial variation between individual mpcs. The finishing is not so good--rails uneven, planes not aligned, etc. I liked the general sound and projection of the tenor 7*3, but it was tough to play in the low register and hard to control. My alto 6* projected like a laser (my ears are still ringing from it) but the sound was pretty thin and lacked body and complexity, especially in the low notes. It was a pretty good piece for loud rock music, though. Intonation on the Lakeys is not great. I'm really glad I tried the Lakeys, though, because before that I had never really played with a high baffle, and now I am playing a tenor Fusion and an alto Jody Jazz DV.

  4. #4
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    lakeys do work well on yamaha

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    I've never liked them. They are so loud and harsh sounding, even for rock music. I had a very hard time keeping one in tune, too.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-675, Selmer Concept, Winslow Lig,Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth Buffet Expression Alto, Selmer Concept,Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth SX90 tenor, customized S80 C*, Winslow lig, Hemke 3.5
    Wildcard saxophone: Buffet S1 tenor

  6. #6
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    When Claude Lakey was alive, he hand-finished his pieces. I visted with him at his shop/home in Arleta, CA many times. I have several Lakey pieces (soprano and clarinet) and my daughter played an alto Lakey for years. I never cared for the pieces, even though I bought several and enjoyed Claude's company. DAVE
    Dave

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    Dave, are the Lakey clarinet mouthpieces as crazy loud as the sax pieces?
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-675, Selmer Concept, Winslow Lig,Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth Buffet Expression Alto, Selmer Concept,Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth SX90 tenor, customized S80 C*, Winslow lig, Hemke 3.5
    Wildcard saxophone: Buffet S1 tenor

  8. #8

    Default small chamber, not so high baffle?

    Been a while since I played a Lakey, and I will never buy one, but I seem to recall they have VERY small chambers though not so high a baffle as some pieces. For me, very small chambers tune worse than high baffles opening into big chambers. Also today's Lakey's tend to have very poorly done facings and rails.

  9. #9
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    You guys came to the same conclusion as me, the overall finish was poor and they were very hit and miss generally. The sound was a bit harsh, which, like I said suited the YAS62. I think If you got a good one, (big "if") they could work well. I know a few guys who are playing them and the love them. Down to personel choice again. I know one guy, who has painted out the white teeth guard to cover up the fact he is playing a Lakey!!! He sounds fantastic tho. Often thort what they would be like on baritone, but they were never made. Well, if they were, we never saw them in the UK. Cheers G

  10. #10

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    I know it's fun to diss Lakeys, but I'll offer another perspective. Nothing wrong with the Lakeys I played. A 6*3 Tenor I bought was a little too over the top for me, but the 7*3 Alto and Tenor pieces I own are just great. They project well, yet still have a good depth to the sound; really made a couple of my problematic horns come alive. BTW - the 6*3 has found a good home with one of my sax-playing friends, who likes it as well as I like my 7*3s.

  11. #11
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    J.Max: The Lakey clarinet pieces I have are OLD. When I used to visit Claude, he told me he tuned his clarinet pieces to A=443 so the users could tune to sharp environments. My Lakey clarinet pieces are shorter than my other mouthpieces and the Lakeys do allow me to come to pitch more easily than my other pieces.

    I can use a standard-length barrel with my Lakey clarinet pieces, whereas I use a specially short barrel for my favorite clarinet piece (a Vandoren 66).

    Tonally, my clarinet Lakeys have a more focused tone than most others, but not as fat as my VD 66. The Lakeys aren't any louder than my others, though.

    I did a tour of Israel years ago (with George Segal's Dixie band) and used a Lakey soprano sax piece on my MKVI. I always regretted that - the Lakey soprano was very strong but lacked focus and gave me a very spread sound. Had I to do it over again, I never would have used that piece. DAVE
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by knighttrain
    I know it's fun to diss Lakeys, but I'll offer another perspective. Nothing wrong with the Lakeys I played. A 6*3 Tenor I bought was a little too over the top for me, but the 7*3 Alto and Tenor pieces I own are just great. They project well, yet still have a good depth to the sound; really made a couple of my problematic horns come alive. BTW - the 6*3 has found a good home with one of my sax-playing friends, who likes it as well as I like my 7*3s.
    It's not fun to dis Lakey mouthpieces. It's only fun to dis Sugal mouthpieces.
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-675, Selmer Concept, Winslow Lig,Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth Buffet Expression Alto, Selmer Concept,Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth SX90 tenor, customized S80 C*, Winslow lig, Hemke 3.5
    Wildcard saxophone: Buffet S1 tenor

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Dolson
    J.Max: The Lakey clarinet pieces I have are OLD. When I used to visit Claude, he told me he tuned his clarinet pieces to A=443 so the users could tune to sharp environments. My Lakey clarinet pieces are shorter than my other mouthpieces and the Lakeys do allow me to come to pitch more easily than my other pieces.

    I can use a standard-length barrel with my Lakey clarinet pieces, whereas I use a specially short barrel for my favorite clarinet piece (a Vandoren 66).

    Tonally, my clarinet Lakeys have a more focused tone than most others, but not as fat as my VD 66. The Lakeys aren't any louder than my others, though.

    I did a tour of Israel years ago (with George Segal's Dixie band) and used a Lakey soprano sax piece on my MKVI. I always regretted that - the Lakey soprano was very strong but lacked focus and gave me a very spread sound. Had I to do it over again, I never would have used that piece. DAVE

    Thanks! I was always curious about that. I don't play clarinet much, but I always wondered about the Lakey clarinet pieces...
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-675, Selmer Concept, Winslow Lig,Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth Buffet Expression Alto, Selmer Concept,Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth SX90 tenor, customized S80 C*, Winslow lig, Hemke 3.5
    Wildcard saxophone: Buffet S1 tenor

  14. #14
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    I still use a Lakey 5* alto mpc I bought about 20 years ago. I have intonation problems at C3. I got it because I liked it's projection, and combination of edge and subtone. It's been a good mpc for me. It cuts through when you need it to like when on lead alto in a big band, but at the same time it worked well in small group settings.

    However, I'm not so keen on the sound I'm getting now, in addition to the intonation problem. I'm thinking of trying a Lamberson Fmaj7 next.
    Ken

  15. #15
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    yes the clarinet mpcs are as crazy loud as the sax mpcs. try one for big band and you wont need the mike. i played clarinet in a rock band(hard to believe but true) and the lakey worked great. the only other mpc in the same league is the rico metalite (clarinet)they do tune sharp as dave says.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by super20dan
    yes the clarinet mpcs are as crazy loud as the sax mpcs. try one for big band and you wont need the mike. i played clarinet in a rock band(hard to believe but true) and the lakey worked great. the only other mpc in the same league is the rico metalite (clarinet)they do tune sharp as dave says.
    Was it a Supertramp cover band?

    I had to do that once...
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-675, Selmer Concept, Winslow Lig,Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth Buffet Expression Alto, Selmer Concept,Winslow Lig, Hemke 3.5
    Keilwerth SX90 tenor, customized S80 C*, Winslow lig, Hemke 3.5
    Wildcard saxophone: Buffet S1 tenor

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor 2007 Morry's Avatar
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    I've got a black anodized aluminum Lakey for my tenor, and it is a fine piece. I only played it for a few week, but was proving to be a player. However, I finally found MY piece when I got a vintage Berg HR 95/3, so it won't likely see any use.

    The aluminum Lakey piece seems to respond much quicker and easier than the brass one that I had played. Going from pp to ff requires very little effort. Very responsive piece.
    JK SX90R Gold Lacquer over Nickel Alto
    JK SX90R Clear Lacquer Tenor

    Current band:
    www.horndogsband.com
    www.facebook.com/horndogsband
    www.myspace.com/horndogsband

    Take the Way-Back Machine to the 80's:
    www.myspace.com/cornerstonebandmusic

  18. #18
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    not a supertramp band but we played at a bar where they liked dixie land (in small doses!) we played verbatim evlis pressleys king creole sound track. dixie land rock etc. i used a noblet metal clarinet with rico plasticover reeds and a bay lig. i didnt need the mike most of the time!

  19. #19

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    I have a 4*4 for alto. The finish is terrible: crooked tip, uneven/unparallel side rails, uneven window, etc. I previously used it for lead alto in big band, but tired of the squeaking. I was curious about Berg Larsens and switched to an 85/2 M hard rubber for a while. (Turns out the M is actually a longer facing, and a weaker high tessitura won't' work for lead alto).

    I recently pulled the Lakey out of my drawer and put on a sanded down Vandoren blue 3. I LOVED the sound! It didn't squeak at all and I could go from a big lead alto sound to a Paul Desmond-ish sound by backing off toward the tip. I still plan on having it refaced, but I think I'm going to stick with it. I should point out that the 4*4 is darker and more resistant than 4*3, as the descriptions say, so if you think the *3s are too bright, try a 4*4.

  20. #20
    SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2013
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    Have any of you ever seen Lakey's "Symphony Model?" This was a piece with not so small a chamber and a warmer sound quality. Very rare to find the regular plastic one.

    I have TWO of these models....get this....IN HARD RUBBER! I've never even HEARD of a hard rubber Lakey, but I've got two staring me in the face. Theo Wanne refaced both of them and they've got some brightness and edge, but with a fat warmth never heard on Lakey's. They'll be up for sale soon. If interested, PM me.

    Saxaholic

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