“Vintage” Selmer Soloist D Tenor Mouthpiece

I’ve always loved Rich Perry’s sound on tenor and always wanted to try a “Vintage” Selmer Soloist.  I had this Selmer soloist refaced to a .105 by Brian Powell.  It plays great.  It’s very different than a link type mouthpiece.  It’s hard to explain, it has more of a focus and core to the sound.  The top register has more ring to it but can tend to get too bright if I force it too much.  I want to spend more time on it to see what it can do but here’s a sample.

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Hello,
    I have such a mouthpiece, Selmer Short Shank Soloist D refaced to 0.105 by Erik Greffenhagen. It is really a great mouthpiece but I have a problem with the tuning : I have to pull the mouthpiece very very far on the cork.
    Do you have the problem with this mouthpiece?


    • Yes, the mouthpiece had to be really far out on the cork but once it was in the right place the intonation was fine. You just have to find that sweet spot first. I think it’s because the chamber is smaller than a link type piece.

  2. Yes, when you find the sweet spot, the intonation is quite perfect, but this spot is REALLY VERY FAR OUT…so the mouthpiece is moving around the cork. Maybe I should get a new cork with a bigger diameter?
    Do you remember how far was the mouthpiece on the cork?
    I really love this mouthpiece but for the moment, I just can’t play in tune!!!!!


    • A bigger cork will help with the wabble. A trick is to boil some water and then dip the cork part of the neck into boiling water. It will expand the cork to it’s original size. Just dip it in the water for a few seconds and then take it out and dry it. My Soloist was about 3/4 inch further out than my other pieces as I remember.

  3. Thank you for the trick! I’m going to try this tonight.
    My Soloist is also 3/4 inch further out than my other pieces…so if it worked for you, I hope it’ll work for me!!!

    Thanks a lot!!! And keep on testing mouthpieces, it’s very interesting and by the way, you sound great!

  4. Hey Steve, why is the word “vintage” in quotes in the title of the post? Is it a real short shank?

    Also, have you tried the modern ones to compare?

    • It’s in quotes because I took the person I bought it from at his word when he said it was vintage even though it is proven. I miss that piece. I should have kept it!

  5. My goodness steve! Can’t believe you sold it. I’ve listened to about every mpc review on your site (if not every) and I feel this piece had the most ring to it. Very hard to describe, but the tone is so rich!

  6. Avatar Iain Ferguson says

    Sorry to say this Steve but I agree with Mike! I think Selmer really know what they’re doing when it comes to mouthpieces.
    I’ve got one of the New long shank Soloists in an F which is a bit close but it’s great for getting that dark sound. I use it for Wind Band, orchestral and marching gigs (which I do a lot of in the Royal Marines!)

  7. I have a Selmer short shank Soloist D tenor mouthpiece for sale. What should I ask for it. Untouched and table is perfect. Lay shows a tad of wear. John

  8. How does it sound compared to a Tenney Jazzmaster? Thanks. Allan

    • The Soloist is more focused sounding. Like the sound is more compact and centered. The Jazzmaster is more spread and bigger sounding. Although, I could get more volume out of the Soloist because of the smaller chamber.

  9. Thanks Steve.
    Which is more suitable to a classic ballad between the soloist or the Jazzmaster? The Jazzmaster is a little bit brighter to my ear based from your clip.

    • They both would sound great on a jazz ballad. Ones not better than the other. They are just different and it depends on the players preference.

  10. Steve,
    If your still dying for a soloist type piece, there’s always the Mouthpiece Cafe Espresso. and the tip opening is a 7* so you don’t have to compromise the reed strength .

    Oh the Mouthpiece Guys are also coming out with the Espresso Alto piece, I’m wondering if you’re going to test the piece out or not.

  11. I forgot to mention Steve that I have asked my wife to listen to the sound clips of the soloist and the jazzmaster. She prefer the sound of the Jazzmaster due to the clarity of the notes.

    • I do that a lot also. It’s interesting to get a non-saxophone players perspective on the sound and which one they like the best. Sometimes my wife really likes one over another but can’t tell me why.

  12. Wow… great sound…your best clip…

    If a mouthpiece has been touched it always has the refacer name on them? cause i bought a vintage soloist and i hope it wasn’t changed/touched…


    • That’s not always so. I’ve tried many pieces that weren’t marked but had been refaced. Of course, I think refacing is a good thing depending on who did the work of course. This mouthpiece was refaced by Brian Powell and it was 100% better because of it!

  13. Brian is a great refacer.
    What is your opinion about the differences between a long shank and a short shank? (besides the shank and the prices…)

    thanks a lot

    • The long shanks I have tried sounded darker and tubbier to me. The short shank was a little bit brighter and more alive. I preferred the short shank. I’ve only tried 2 short shanks and 2 long shanks so that’s just my opinion from playing those. On a side note, the short shanks are shorter and have a small chamber so they sit really far out on a tenor neck cork.

  14. Hi,

    What reeds have been used in this clip?

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