In October of 2017 I got a horn that had been on my bucket list for some time: an Olds Super tenor. I had my tech, David Gsponer from Matterhorn Music, restore the vintage beauty for me. However, it quickly became clear that my go-to tenor mouthpieces—a drawer full of vintage Dukoffs—did not work on this horn. The Olds Super simply would not play in tune.
After trying more than 20+ both vintage and modern mouthpieces on the Olds, I was rather demoralized. And to make matters worse, the horn did not seem to like the Légère Signature Series reeds that I have been using for nearly a decade.
One night I took the horn along to a big band rehearsal, and the Tenor 1 player put his MP on it that he has been using for 30+ years. Mark gets the same tonal variety out of his Claude Lakey Original Tenor MP as I do out of my Dukoffs. Lushness; warmth; screaming volume and brilliance; subtlety: for Mark the Lakey does it all. Most surprisingly for me however, was that with the Lakey the Olds Super played in tune.
I contacted Claude Lakey and ordered an Original Tenor mouthpiece, and the Olds played in tune! However, as all experienced players will tell you, what works for one player doesn’t necessarily work for another. Although the Original Tenor played in tune, I was not able to get the subtleties out of it like Mark does. Most importantly, I just didn’t quite sound like me.
Then one day I was visiting a friend and fellow sax player who happened to have a Claude Lakey Apollo tenor mouthpiece. Ray suggested I try it out on the Olds, and sure enough, I suddenly sounded like myself while still playing in tune.
For me and my Olds Super tenor sax, the Claude Lakey Apollo mouthpiece provides the same excellent intonation that the Original Tenor does. However, it allows me to achieve that lush, warm tone, subtlety, as well as the screaming volume and brilliance I get from my vintage Dukoffs.
I am still experimenting with reeds, but so far I am using the Rico Plasticover reeds, which seem to be doing OK. I am however, trying some other reeds as well on my Couf bari that will hopefully be promising on the Olds as well.
I will get around to posting a sound recording in the next little while. I’ve just got a lot of stuff going on so that project is behind.
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