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.)