Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Big Band Mouthpiece

Dave Collins
User ID: 1731514
Mar 10th 1:00 AM
I'm searching for a new Big Band alto piece. I used a Meyer 5M for a while, but it's beginning to sound thin and not as rich as I want it. Buzzy, too. I'm looking for somehting almost tenorish. I need more volume and projection, too. It worked fine for a while, but the better I got, the less I liked it. What are some good alto pieces for traditonal jazz/big band work? BTW, I'm selling the 5M if anyone is interested.

[email protected]
User ID: 6354283
Mar 10th 11:55 AM
Dave, I had a 5M that I wanted more from. I play the alto in a big band. Tried an SR Technologies Legend for quite a while and I have no problems with that. But I sent my 5M and also a C* to Jon Van Wie and what he did to them was awesome. It's worth the $60 to find out how good the 5M can be.
User ID: 2442714
Mar 10th 5:29 PM
Yeah, Dave --- Don't give up on that Meyer until you let Jon Van Wie have a shot at it. I had a Meyer 7 that was BLAH. Jon brought it to life. He really knows what to do with a Meyer. Perhaps you need to have it opened a tad as well?

You can blow $60 just on the SHIPPING costs of having Woodwind and Brasswind send you stuff to try. Heh....

Check E-mail is [email protected] Tell him what's going on, and see what he says.

Good luck! And if you find a better Big Band Lead Alto mpc than a JVW Meyer, let ME know! HAW!!

Good luck,
Dr G
User ID: 0916684
Mar 11th 12:02 PM
SteveS - since you asked... RPC .090" is what our lead alto player uses. I have several (maybe more ) JVW 'pieces and love his work but I've gotta admit that the Coelho .090 is killin' on Jim's Serie II! Jim is a real Phil Woods fan too so it's all the more interesting (to me) that he settled on a Coelho for the last couple years.
User ID: 9600383
Mar 11th 4:32 PM
Dave- I played the same Meyer good tone but stuffy for me. Had the C**, a little more open nice dark, but little flexability and not alot of volume. Am now playing a JodyJazz #8 (made by Runyon)and absolutely loving it. Has alot of baffle to give it great tone quality even in the large tip openings, so you can have more flexibility required for jazz. Very rich and full sound from bottom to top of sax.
User ID: 9467593
Mar 12th 5:15 PM
Let me suggest a Barone NY 6M. It is the most luscious HR alto piece I have. By comparison, my Meyer Limited Edition 6M seems flat. You can buy the Barone for $70-80 on eBay. My two main alto pieces are the Barone NY and a Guardala King R&B.
Dr G
User ID: 0916684
Mar 18th 9:46 AM
Have you tried that Barone in a big band setting? I'm curious as to whether it can both blend with a seciton and cut for soloing.
Dr G
User ID: 0916684
Mar 18th 9:47 AM
Hey Harri, where is that spellchecker for dyslexic fingers? (Make that "section", please)
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Mar 18th 11:09 AM

Having a sense of your background, I can't help but think that you would be happy with a large chamber Morgan jazz mouthpiece. Ralph's mouthpieces are along the lines of the OLD Meyers.

I'd suggest starting with a 6L. Its chamber looks like a wind tunnel. We're talking about a big, RICH, and project sound! There is also the 6EL model. It's sound may be a little brighter than the L model.

If you want a medium chamber mouthpiece, try a 6M or 6E.

Good luck!
Roger Aldridge
User ID: 0735934
Mar 18th 11:26 AM
Oops... Looks like I need Harri's spellchecker too! Make that PROJECTING sound not project.
User ID: 1947624
Mar 30th 10:10 AM
I am using a Doc Tenney Bari 77. I asked him to make this one so that I could be loud without losing the control. I have recently rediscovered this mouthpiece and started using it for combo work. It is only loud if you want it to be.
User ID: 7935363
Mar 30th 11:59 AM
Dave - I have two Meyer 6M's, both refaced by Jon; one over a decade ago, one recently. The facings on the two are different, but I'm here to tell ya' that they're both excellent. I've got a lot of fullness and projection, although the Conn Lady Face is also a factor.

I play lead in a big band and if anything, the director is asking me to hold back. My sound is, for him, too big for the band, and that includes projecting (not "louder") above the brasses combined.

I would consider getting your mouthpiece worked on by Jon.
User ID: 1850204
May 26th 8:28 AM
If you're doing lead, I found that the Dukoff D7
projects and gives enough edge to be heard "over"
those insensitive, self-absorbed parts players;)
User ID: 9948493
May 26th 11:11 AM
If you were looking to buy a new piece, I'd suggest the Barone HR NY 6. I use one in a big band setting, and it blends great (lots of mid-low frequency for a fat sound) but can cut thru when pushed. I was playing a Barone HR Jazz 5 and it was great for sectionals, but I needed more edge for playing lead as my Selmer BA alto is a dark horn.
Since you have a Meyer, I'd suggest sending it to JVW and ask him to work his magic. I've never been disapointed with his work.
User ID: 0255034
May 26th 6:16 PM
ive been tru about 20 alto mpcs since i took a lead alto chair about 4 yrs ago. like most i started on the meyer 5m but needed more volume and edge to get over a VERY loud band and useless sound man. beechler diamond inly 5ms and runyon custom jazz (w spoiler ) were almost enough but still needed more . metal yani another almost but too reed selective. dukoff too much .lakey perfect volume and edge but for some reason very tiring to play . my search ended with the runyon x.l . for me the perfect lead mpc. easy to play soft as well as honking out solos. reed friendly and still gives a personal sound but finally enough of it. thanks brian a & bootman!