Whether you opt for the Vandoren T20 or T25, you’ll be playing a reed from the V5 line, and the T one is a specific variant, which is a mouthpiece line dedicated for tenor saxophones.
Generally speaking, the Vandoren V5 line comes in a wide range of models that suit both jazz and classical music, however, the V5 jazz line doesn’t include T variants. I find this a little bizarre because the most famous saxophone size for playing jazz is the tenor.
What makes them stand out is their traditional round chamber, which gives them an advantage when it comes to playing mid and lows. Playing a high pitch would sound less edgy or thin, and the sound tends to be darker and more robust.
Vandoren T20 vs. T25: Short Answer
Both the Vandoren T25 and Vandoren T20 facilitate articulation and are quite easy to blow. The difference is that the T25 is more open to making blowing even easier. On the other hand, the T20 is more compact and centered. And although it’s a little harder to play than the T25, it produces a better sound overall.
The Full Comparison
The Vandoren T25 and T20 actually resemble each other so much that they’re the only two in the 5-mouthpiece variants that have the same mouthpiece 204 opening (1/100 mm) and medium facing lengths of 25mm.
However, because the T20 is slightly more compact, resistant, and requires more effort in the blowing process, it works better with low to mid reed strengths (2 to 3.5), while the T25 pairs ideally with mid to high reed strengths (2.5 to 4).
And although they both weigh 1.6 ounces and measure 1.75 x 6 x 1.75 inches, the T20 comes with a slightly wider tip rail. This makes the sound it produces darker and the tone more focused than what you’d hear with the T25.
Pros and Cons In a Glimpse
- Easier to play
- Ideal for beginners
- High pitches can be on the verge of sounding shrill
- Produces excellent sound
- Might need a little more blowing power
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In brief, to decide between the Vandoren T25 vs. T20, you’ll have to ask yourself what pitch and registers you want to hit. In terms of price, there isn’t that much difference, so it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
If you’re looking for high-pitch tones without a trail of shrillness, opt for the wide tip rail on the T20 while pairing it with a lighter reed.
On the other hand, if you’re already playing on stronger reeds (2.5 to 4), you should opt for the T25.
And while both mouthpieces are excellent for playing dark tones, the T20 does a slightly better job when it comes to keeping the mellowness of those dark tones.