Need advice about my Drake SOS

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  1. #1

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    Default Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Hello
    Please excuse me for my bad english...
    I need advice about a mouthpiece
    I play traditional jazz on a soprano Buescher TT
    I recently bought a Drake sos
    A very good mouthpiee: easy blowing, warm, powerful with finally
    trebbles powerfull like those of sidney Bechet
    (Unlike my old Buescher mouthpiece or my Selmer Claude luter)

    The only complaint: for me, it is not melodious enough

    Is that because I took too much opening: 8?
    Would a smaller opening give it
    a more melodious sound?

    Is it from the material: resin?
    Should I try a morgan wide chamber hard rubber?

    Should try a Aizen LS or Missing link?

    Thanks

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    theneighbordubh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    I don't think a smaller tip would make any more lyrical, possibly the opposite. I think a larger chamber hard rubber is a better bet.

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    geval: Welcome to SOTW.

    I play exclusively traditional jazz (soprano, alto, clarinet) and have done so for 60 years. Bechet is my #1 inspiration.

    Right now, I'm using a 1927 Conn NWII straight soprano (from the estate of George Probert, who played with the Firehouse Five plus Two for many years). I have a few other brands and ages in my closet, too. I had played for years on a Buescher TT (1928) but sold it a couple of years ago.

    I use a variety of mouthpieces (most in the .070 tip-opening range) and soft cane reeds (usually #2 from Vandoren and Alexander). I do not amplify my horns and I avoid microphones like the plague.

    I feel somewhat qualified to address your questions. I have several Morgan Vintage soprano mouthpieces in plastic, plus one Morgan Jazz hard-rubber, and one Morgan Vintage "Large Chamber" plastic. With one exception, they are all the #7 tip (.070"). The outlier is a Morgan Vintage #6 (.065").

    Every player should expect a different reaction to various mouthpieces so my experiences may be only mildly interesting to someone else, but here they are . . . all of my Morgan soprano mouthpieces are excellent. My favorites are two Morgan Vintage #7 pieces. My least favorite is the Morgan Vintage "Large Chamber". The Large Chamber has no influence on tuning (and that is true on my Conn, my previous TT's, and a '26 Martin straight I still own), nor on tone. It is just not quite as responsive as my smaller-chambered pieces. I also neither hear or feel any differences among the various materials (plastic, hard rubber, metal - I have a metal Link STM, too).

    I also like a Sopranoplanet Missing Link .072 I bought from Joe Giardullo, a Phil-Tone Solstice .070 I bought from "Sigmund" on SOTW (Phil Engleman, if I got the spelling correctly), and Selmer's Super Session J (.069, although Joe measured one of my three SS-J's at .070). Any of the mentioned pieces serve me well. If I had to choose only one it would be the Morgan Vintage #7 (regular-chamber).

    I've also had recent fun with a smaller Selmer S-80 D, E, and G using a synthetic Fibracell Premiere 1 1/2 reed. The smaller pieces with the synthetic reed were close to results I got with the .070 pieces using #2 cane reeds.

    I know a guy who uses one of those Selmer Claude Luter mouthpieces. He gets a HUGE sound out of it, but sounds more like Probert than he does Bechet. Of course, he was a protege of Probert's his whole life. I've never played one of those.

    I don't know what a Number 8 mouthpiece means in actual measurements. I'm guessing it is pretty open. Maybe a softer reed would give you a more melodious tone, although I admit to not fully understanding what you meant by that. I know that when I use open soprano mouthpieces with soft reeds, I can play with more than enough volume and still get a warm, expressive result. OR, you could maybe try a different reed brand or cut? I always end up adjusting my cane reeds anyway, so the starting number is not accurate when I play them. They almost always end up softer than the number would indicate.

    Good luck with trad jazz. I'm glad to see someone who "understands" come on board this site. There are only a few of us! DAVE
    Dave

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    Distinguished SOTW Member CashSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    I agree Dave, my setups are similar to yours (#74 BARI HR and HAWK II #8) I know too hard a reed stops warmth cold. Mr Geval try a softer reed, you have good Mpc I think. Let us know..

    Cheers from Vegas


    Cash

    Cash's vintage Demo Recordings circa '99-'03 SF Bay Area www.box.net/cashsax

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    JPWGibson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Just to give some indication of how a Morgan large chamber can sound, here is Erik Greiffenhagen playing one:



    Erik is a very fine mouthpiece refacer, and perhaps you might benefit from getting in touch with him for some options. I think he well understands the traditional sound, and can likely help you out in your search.




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    Distinguished SOTW Member CashSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    go to www.box.net/cashsax check "wonderful world" I'm playing a vintage King Curvy and Lakey as I recall.

    Cash's vintage Demo Recordings circa '99-'03 SF Bay Area www.box.net/cashsax

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Thanks for all the tips, especially those of Dave
    which gives me the benefit of all his experience
    The videos and sound clips are very interesting
    and rich of lessons
    The morgan large chamber seems very melodious and soft
    And I will order one to test
    I will try other reed marks: currently
    I have Lavoz medium hard and Rico 3
    That being said, I confirm that the Drake SOS remains a very good mouthpiece for traditional jazz, warm with a rich sound
    (Olivier Franc plays a Drake after an Otto Link HR)
    But ... a little too dark for me to get the sound of Sidney Bechet ....
    Yet SB played on old (?) large-chamber mouthpiece
    But may not be as wide as the drake sos ?

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    geval: I don't know what Bechet used. Given Claude Luter's close association with Bechet, I'd imagine that the Selmer-Luter mouthpiece may be similar to what Bechet used.

    A couple of years ago, I played a memorial jam session for George Probert in his back yard, and his protege was there, playing the old Conn soprano that George used on all of his gigs (my Conn from Probert's estate is a different soprano than the one Probert was always seen and heard with). The protege-player told me that his mouthpiece came from the same place as did Bechet's - from Selmer-Paris. The claim was that Selmer made Bechet's mouthpiece especially for Bechet. I doubt if that claim could be substantiated unless someone has personal knowledge of it. However, it COULD be true, so I don't dismiss it.

    I've seen videos of Olivier Franc and he is the closest I've ever heard anyone else come to Bechet's unique sound. It would stand to reason that Bechet may have started his soprano career on a vintage large-chamber mouthpiece. After all, that's what everyone used in that era. But as time marched on, maybe Bechet also moved on to more modern mouthpieces. I just don't know.

    I'm not one to think the chamber size matters. Like I wrote before, of all the soprano mouthpieces I own and have played, the large-chamber is NOT my favorite. But everyone is different and there is just no way any of us can predict how you will react to any mouthpiece (or chamber-size). So you must move forward alone in this regard and see for yourself. All that I would advise is that you don't play one and then think it is the best UNTIL you also play a regular-chamber of the same design next to it. Side-by-side comparisons are the only way to sort it all out for yourself. DAVE
    Dave

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Dave : I also ordered a Vintage morgan with regular chamber....
    About the bechet sound, it must also be considered that Bechet used sax selmer from the fifties
    Why did you leave the buescher TT for the conn ?

    Gérard

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Here is a rehearsal of "Passport to paradise" with Buescher TT and Drake SOS
    https://we.tl/wAmVMHczC0

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    geval: I'll assume that was you on the soprano. VERY nice. Very Bechet-like. I have the music for that tune PASSPORT TO PARADISE) as well as few other Bechet-tunes. Good stuff. I envy your ability to achieve that sound. Where do you and your band-mates live?

    I knew that Bechet had other sopranos - most of us do (NOT that I'm putting myself in THAT class). I had the TT for several years, but finally tired of fighting the intonation on it. Oh, I could play it in ensembles just fine - and did so, But when I'd listen to recordings of it, I could hear the intonation issues.

    I didn't acquire the Conn until after I'd moved the TT. The Conn was a gift from Probert's estate, as was a 1959 Selmer MKVI soprano. I didn't have an intention of buying either one, but when they were presented to me by Probert's widow, I was surprised and honored to receive them. They turned out to surprise me and are now my favorite sopranos. They will never leave my (and the family's) possession.

    In addition to the Conn and the MKVI from that estate, I also have a '26 Martin, another MKVI from 1972, and curved Yanagisawa.

    Good thinking to get the regular-chamber, too. I'm anxious to read about your results. But from listening to that recording, I doubt if a mouthpiece change will help you sound any better. DAVE
    Dave

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Thank you, Dave, for the encouragements
    We are a small amateur group in Bordeaux; But the guitarist and trombonist had the honor of accompanying people like Albert Nicholas, Bill colemen or Memphis Slim
    The great era !

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    I had a good friend and fellow band-mate who moved to Paris and ended up playing with a couple of excellent reed guys who had some time with Charquet & Co. My friend passed away a couple of years ago.

    These guys played on the streets and did really well with it. When I was on vacation in Paris, I joined them one Sunday afternoon and we had a ball in the 4th Arondisement. The two reed guys did BLACK STICK (for other readers, a Bechet tune seldom heard these days). We also did a reed-trio on SI TU VOIS MA MERE, too (me on a borrowed TT soprano) among many great trad tunes that day. Large crowds that day to listen to us. DAVE
    Dave

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    Just 2 words "Navarro Maestra". I have been playing this mouthpiece for almost 2 years now, and I swear if I had to buy an other soprano mouthpiece it would me another Maestra. Listen to this clip of Bobby martinez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEblBTZZHEA

    P.S when I first got it I thought I wouldn't project A LOT but I didn't care because the sound was amazing and it's a soprano anyway. Now I can tell you that it does project but you will have to give it a few days.
    Selmer Reference 36 tenor, mouthpieces RS Berkeley Chris Potter, Navarro Maestra HR 8, Theo Wanne Gaia HR 7*;
    Yanagisawa 902 soprano, mouthpiece Navarro maestra 7;
    Yamaha alto 62 purple label, mouthpiece Ted Klum acoustimax 6

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    Forum Contributor 2008 DaveR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    I second the vote for Navarro's Maestra, it's the best sounding soprano piece I've got. It's taken me a while to get into it, since I've come from small chamber pieces like Vandorens, but it's now really locking in for me.
    The only other pieces I have that I would really highly recommend are Joe Giardullo's SopranoPlanet Missing Link and Ed Pillinger's NY or PJ chamber pieces which play absolutely beautifully (the PJ has a little more focus than the NY).

    "Opinion is what exists between ignorance and knowledge." Anon.

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    Default Re: Need advice about my Drake SOS

    The Drake Soprano Mouthpiece is fantastic! I advise to go to a smaller opening to achieve the sound and color that you are looking for. The magic size is .065 and just maybe a .060 Drake NY Jazz. I also use this on my 1927 straight Buescher True Tone Soprano. And also my Yanagisawa, and Keilwerth. You are on the right track with the Drake. Just go lower in size for Gods Sake!

    PS If you want to go darker and or more traditional older style than try the Drake "Son Of Slant". Otherwise keep the Drake NY Jazz piece in smaller size!
    Last edited by Mezzzz; 03-23-2017 at 03:21 PM. Reason: spelling

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