Here’s another clip of a great Selmer Soloist that Mark Sepinuck let me try. For those of you who don’t know Mark he is one of the premier dealers of high end mouthpieces. If you look on ebay he goes by “10mfan”. I met Mark years ago when he used to live up near Boston. I went to his house one day and he pulled out all these vintage mouthpiece for me to try. It was like a dream come true for me.
Besides being a dealer of high end mouthpieces, Mark is also a great sax player. I remember him taking his sax out while we were hanging at his house and playing a bit. He is a great player. This fact is important to me because if Mark says a mouthpiece is amazing then I know that he knows what he is talking about because he can play.
This mouthpiece is a Selmer Soloist short shank model that was refaced by Theo Wanne. Whenever I see that Theo Wanne has refaced a mouthpiece I get interested because the mouthpieces I have played that he has refaced have been great.
Selmer Soloist Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece
Because of the short shank and small chamber of this mouthpiece, it has to be positioned far out on my neck cork to be in tune. I have heard from other players that this is normal for a soloist. This soloist has a .090 tip opening which is really small for what I am used to playing. It didn’t feel small at all though, it played great with a Vandoren Java #4 reed and felt like a .105 tip to me.
Soloist have a sound and response all their own. It’s hard to describe, but for me, the sound is dark when played softly but super focused. It has a small horse shoe shaped chamber that tends to focus the air column and sound into a tight core in my opinion. When you really blow hard on these mouthpieces they can get super bright so you have to be careful. If you can keep your airstream stable and under control then the Soloist can get one of the prettiest sounds from the high end. The low end can be nice and lush sounding but it isn’t as fat and spread sounding as a great Otto Link mouthpiece. I think this is due to the smaller chamber of the Soloist.
This was indeed a great example of a Selmer Soloist tenor mouthpiece. Thanks again to Mark for letting me play it for a little while. Keep him in mind if you are looking for a special high end mouthpiece for yourself.
This clip is from a fragment of the tune Beatrice that I did for Sax on the Web. I couldn’t put the whole tune up because it was too big but I took some bits and pieces from the recording so you could hear the sound of the mouthpiece.