With 42 Choices, How Do You Choose The Right Morgan Soprano Sax Mouthpiece?
Author: David Hoskins
The Morgan Mouthpiece Company has been designing and making professional quality saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces for over 35 years. Throughout the years, we have developed a rather mature product line and continue to add new models from time to time. Currently, we have six models of soprano saxophone mouthpieces with 7 different facings for a total of 42 options. So how does a player choose the right soprano saxophone mouthpiece?
First, consider the material and price. We offer all of our models in both a resin and a hard rubber. The Vintage Models are made of resin and the Classical and Jazz Models are made of hard rubber. The same mouthpiece made in two different materials will have similar core tones. However, the resin material will have a bit more brightness than the same mouthpiece in hard rubber. The hard rubber version is a bit warmer and more complex. For most of us weekend warriors, the resin material is going to work great and in a live Jazz/Rock setting your audience will not hear the difference between resin and hard rubber. However, if you are a serious soprano player or do a lot of recording, then I would recommend the hard rubber mouthpiece. There’s nothing quite like the depth and color a good rubber material can give. Generally speaking, the hard rubber models are twice the price of the resin models, so price may also be a factor. The resin models are great mouthpieces for the money and a great value, but we feel the hard rubber models are our best.
Next, consider the chamber / choke and tone of the mouthpiece. Generally speaking, the larger the interior of the mouthpiece, the darker and warmer the tone will be. We offer three different chambers / chokes on our soprano mouthpieces. What I mean by choke is the throat of the mouthpiece. When looking through the shank of most modern soprano saxophone mouthpieces, you will see a small pea-size opening in the throat. For many modern mouthpieces, this choke is small (Fig 4 is a Vandoren S35). As you open this throat up and enlarge the chamber, the tone will get darker and warmer. The choke on our Jazz and Vintage Model (Fig 1) is larger than most mouthpieces from other companies. This is our brightest mouthpiece for soprano. It has a lively tone without being harsh. The choke throat on our Classical and Vintage Classical Models (Fig 2) is larger and produces a darker core tone with more richness. The Jazz Large Chamber and Vintage Large Chamber Models (Fig 3) have no choke in the throat and a large chamber. These are our darkest and warmest mouthpieces. The Large Chamber mouthpieces also have a shorter shank for more tuning range on vintage and curved soprano saxophones.
Now, consider the tip opening. It is always difficult for us to recommend a tip opening since it is kind of like a shoe size…everyone is different in what they are comfortable with. Moving up in shoe size is not going to make you run faster, it’s just going to be more or less comfortable for you. However, keep in mind that more embouchure strength is required for soprano and that soprano is not the main instrument for many of us. We tend to find smaller tip openings (4 & 5) work well for the majority of part-time soprano players. Many Classical players will stay in the small tip openings (1 & 3). If you play a lot of Jazz / Rock soprano or are playing for a living, then the larger tip openings may work best for you.
Tip Openings Available: 1 (.045), 3 (.050), 4 (.055), 5 (.060), 6 (.065), 7 (.070), 8 (.075)
Also consider the saxophone you will be using. All of our soprano mouthpieces tend to work well on both vintage and modern soprano saxophones. If you have a modern soprano saxophone and are looking for a great modern and versatile mouthpiece, then I would recommend the Jazz or Vintage Model. If you have a modern saxophone and want to darken the tone, then I would recommend the Classical or Large Chamber models. If you have a vintage soprano and having tuning issues, then I would recommend trying a Large Chamber model. If you do live Jazz/Rock playing and need to cut through, then try the Vintage or Jazz Model. If you have a vintage curved soprano, then try Large Chamber model.
Hopefully, this will help guide you through our soprano saxophone mouthpiece options and you discover what a finely handcrafted Morgan Mouthpiece can do for you.