Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Rubber vs Metal on alto

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User ID: 1578334
Apr 20th 7:38 PM
A great many alto players I know are dead set against a metal mouthpiece on alto yet for certain types of music........i.e. that done by Sanborn, Rangell and others, the sound can be great. Is it just a matter of personal preference?
Fun Bun
User ID: 8416263
Apr 20th 8:50 PM
I don't like they way metal feels on any horn. It's just too small. So, yes. It is a matter of preference.
Moab Man
User ID: 9245273
Apr 20th 8:56 PM
I have been playing on a Link for years. Never got into the metal feel. I think if you want a bright sound, go metal. For a more pure sound, stick with rubber. I say go for what works best on your horn and accomplishes the sound that you want.
User ID: 1132714
Apr 21st 6:30 AM
No metal-ever-on alto,a good HR Link or preferably Selmer Soloists- E and bigger.
User ID: 8604013
Apr 21st 10:32 AM
I have used metal on alto (a silver Yani no 7) but don't like the feel of metal in my mouth, so went back to rubber. Plenty of players do use them, so go for it if you like it, there are some fine alto metal pieces out there.
User ID: 1076954
Apr 21st 12:31 PM
I've been playing metal on alto almost my entire playing life. I love people like Thomas. That may work for you and your sound, but...
User ID: 0512724
Apr 21st 7:55 PM
My experience goes from Berg Larsen rubber or metal. Both are fine mouthpieces and I think it depends more on how does the mouthpiece fits on you than the material it is made of. Some ebonite mpcs. can be very bright and may have a lot of power. The 110/1 BL I used had a great volume. Even louder than the Bronze I am using now.

A good mouthpiece-reed combination that fits you has to be found by trying.

Good Luck.
User ID: 0025534
Apr 22nd 1:09 PM
I hear ya. It's fun looking, but it's also tedious..... to say nothing of time consuming and expensive. Most of my play-testing has to be done from online retailers, since there are no local stores in the area with much variety in the way of mouthpieces. All this being said, finding that just right mouthpiece-reed combo, should make it all worthwhile. (then I'll need to obsess on something else)
User ID: 9600383
Apr 22nd 5:55 PM
I agree with Giles.

It IS true that most players prefer HR or Plastic on Alto. But its only a material. Material does affect response, but so do many many other factors. Its the balance of all of them that makes a good equipment set up for each individual. Some of the factors are within the individual themself.

Finding the right combo is the 'Holy Grail' of saxophone ... and it happens with luck and perceverence. Than you still seem to keep trynig to 'one up' it even after you find it.

I feel like my sweet spot in mouthpiece equipment is like frankenstein .... a combination of the right baffle, the right shaped piece, the right reed, and THE WAY I BLOW, with MY mouth, and lungs. It just so happens that my piece is metal, and try as hard as do, Ive never been able to better it.

But God knows I'l keep trying... :). Thats the curse
Dr. Ben
User ID: 9308123
Apr 23rd 12:29 AM
I recently went back to my metal Beechler 7 and now I'm thinking the Meyer will have to take a back seat to it. There is something so right about the sound of that mouthpiece (I tried a few 7's and picked the darkest sounding of the lot). I had problems with chirping but it's been proven more and more that the right reed (and strength) makes all the difference in the world (in regards to chirping and tone). It's got an incredibly centered and focused sound that the Meyer lacks - the Meyer has a more spread and hollow quality which I don't mind but don't prefer. The Beechler really is a fantastic mouthpiece. I see why so many pros use it.

I should say that it takes a LOT of skill and control to play one of those babies right.
User ID: 9335603
Apr 23rd 8:56 AM

Why Selmer Soloists over the Links. What do the Soloists have? Why Soloists E and bigger? What does the additional facing size do for you?

Put it this way, if I get another moutpiece I want warm, responsive, sweet. Does the Soloist give this?

Does the larger facing size need more effort for you or less. How about more air?

How about soooft playing even low-down?

Thanks muchly.
User ID: 1014104
Apr 23rd 11:11 PM
Does anybody tried a Beechler Bellite Metal Custom for their alto? I'm interesting on it, how's the tone?
User ID: 0512724
Apr 28th 5:58 PM
The shorter the facing, the softer the reed you may need. For the same tip opening, shorter facing needs a softer reed.

The Beechler I have heard all are very bright, though I like them.

My teacher used a Beechler for years at his alto and he was able to get amazingly high altissimo notes.
User ID: 1341734
Apr 29th 6:03 PM
I played a Selmer jazz E metal on alto for years and every night somebody told me I sounded like Paul Desmond and I mean EVERY night.Only problem was I was trying to sound like Sonny Stitt!
User ID: 0443584
Apr 30th 11:59 AM
i am playing jj #6, actually i like nelson rangell and eric marienthal type of tone, but a lot of them say i sounds like paul desmond too. so sad.....
User ID: 8185963
May 1st 10:14 PM
dukoffs,beechlers,bergs,branchers are some of my favorite alto metal pieces. thomas,stop dishing out that ultra narrow minded nonsense. real players can sound awesome on metal as well as rubber.
User ID: 8185963
May 18th 5:26 PM
ive also been playing metal altos for years. the only rubber piece i had that came close to the sound i like was the jumbo java.that was too hard to control. couldnt play soft and pretty with it at all.played a beechler 6 for years on a chu berry alto that i really didnt like.i know ,all these guys love chus but i never met a chu i didnt want to sell immediatly. then i got a mark 6 and went with a dukoff. recently i just got a beechler bellite 5 and i cant put it down. best alto piece for alto piece i ever played period. its all there . sound, response,intonation,ease of play and altissimo. gets the sound i love. tried every brand of rubber piece out there and nothing even comes close to the beechler. love it!i guess it comes down to what sound your after,vinatge? contemporary ? bright ?dark? i always loved marienthal,koz,harp,paulo,and many others. so the bellite sound was what i liked from then on it was just trying to get the right facing for me.
User ID: 2073324
May 20th 3:50 AM
IMHO, go for the best feel in your mouth.. after playing my alto metalite for a while, I've made my mind to go hunt for a real metal mouthpiece.. I just don't like the feel of it.. I love how my metal Dukoff tenor piece feels..

But, nevertheless.. go for the TONE!...
User ID: 8185963
May 21st 10:19 PM
i use dukoff tenor and love the dukoff altos too. try the alto like 2 numbers down from your tenor. example. if you use a 8d tenor try a 6d alto etc.. after experimenting i found this to be right counter point to match the tenor and alto feel and ease of play.
User ID: 9767833
Jun 7th 3:26 AM
I've been using a Berg 105/1 rubber with a #3 Rico reed on my King Super 20 SilverSonic Alto since the early 60's and still going strong. Of course this is a very personal choice for the sound I want with the music I have been playing (R&B, Jazz, Rock mixture). Thanks to this forum, I have learned a thing or too about reed strength and will be going down a notch on the reed(to a #2 1/2 maybe a #2). I always wondered why I was the only one in the band that was so wiped out at the end of each gig. See, us older guys can change too.
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