Caravan Sopranino Saxophone Mouthpiece
Introduced in late July 2014, the Caravan Sopranino Saxophone Mouthpiece is a premium mouthpiece that features two especially significant design characteristics: (1) The tone chamber is a little larger compared to most other modern sopranino saxophone mouthpieces, providing for a more mellow tone and much less tendency toward stridency, while not so large as to make the pitch center too low; and (2) The mouthpiece body is the same diameter as the Caravan soprano saxophone mouthpiece, hence a standard soprano saxophone mouthpiece ligature fits it; and the table, facing curve, and tip are sized to fit a standard soprano saxophone reed, so reed and ligature issues are greatly simplified. The more substantial body and larger reed also provide for enhanced sound characteristics and embouchure comfort without sacrificing pitch. (NOTE: In most cases, a standard soprano saxophone reed will have to be shortened a little to avoid contact with part of the sopranino saxophone mechanism just below the neck cork.)
This mouthpiece comes with a metal ligature and cap, although the Rovner soprano saxophone ligature offered on this web site fits the mouthpiece and is recommended as more advantageous mechanically and acoustically. Saxophonists who are experienced with sopranino mouthpieces are aware that significant differences in bore diameter may be encountered among various mouthpieces. Dr. Caravan used a 1980s vintage Yanagisawa instrument (serial no. 78900xxx) for most testing and determining bore dimension. (Tests were also done, to a lesser extent, using an older Buescher sopranino.) The facing curve on this mouthpiece is quite similar to the facing on the Caravan soprano saxophone mouthpiece, and the tip opening is around .041 in.
(NOTE: The reasonable question arises as to why sopranino saxophone mouthpieces are so expensive compared to other saxophone mouthpieces. It is simply because they are much more difficult to produce due to their small size. The mouthpiece factory must use special handling and non-routine processes throughout the manufacture of sopranino mouthpieces, and the costs reflect this.)
The Ronald Caravan Saxophone Mouthpiece
Ronald L. Caravan: „Available for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, this mouthpiece represents a modern manifestation of Adolphe Sax´s original mouthpiece design. The „open chamber“ characteristic (no construction in the tone chamber) provides for considerable tonal depth and darkness in quality for „classical“ performance on saxophone, but the tone chamber is also sized to allow for plenty of power and richness compared with older open-chamber designs. The beautifully balanced sound this mouthpiece can produce comes primarily from the deep baffle and round tone chamber that blends smoothly into the bore of the mouthpiece. Wider side and tip rails provide for greater purity in the tone and greater homogenity of color throughout the saxophone´s range.
This saxophone mouthpiece has been designed to make it easier for the saxophonist to produce a tone quality that corresponds appropriately to the sounds heard among other woodwind performers in symphonic and classical music in America – an „American“ sound representing, more or less, a syntesis of various European „schools.“ The sound this mouthpiece encourages is a particularly attractive alternative to the brighter, „brassier“ sounds generally associated with the French school and the mouthpiece characteristics that produce those results – a sound concept generally not found favour among other symphony musicians in this country.“