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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had 2 recordings of me recently with my pop band. His Merry Men

The first recording we did was a live recording:
Never Never Live at the Zoo

Solo starts at 2:13. Apologies for the end of the solo - I always try to end the solo earlier but no one ever takes my visual or subtle Musical cues so I have to make some sort of ridiculous notion on the end. Or sometimes the guitarist just wants to make me do something silly.

The second one is was a Pre Production for the album - it was the same tune.

Anyways, I listened back to the recording after we finished it, and came home and listened to the live recording and decided that I hated my sound for this kind of music. It's too broad, it's too dark, and it seems to lack focus. I suppose it's hard to record a saxophone sound as it is, especially with just 1 mic. And it's not that I dislike my sound, I just don't like this sound for this kind of music.

This stuff is quite a contrast to what I used to play - I was playing a lot more straight ahead stuff Look for the tune Central Park West On my Myspace.

So to the nitty gritty, I want a mouthpiece that will deliver a more focused sound, but not so focused that I'm going decapitate people. I need something with a big chamber! I want it to be Metal! I want it to be fairly flexible as well, something a little more versatile.

Currently I play a Otto Link EB TE 6 that's been opened up to a 9 by a great friend of mine Gabriel Vatavu. Which is great for jazz, and beautiful for ballads, but hasn't really been treating me well for pop and funk.

I have a Link STM 8* but I just can't seem to make that sing any more.

Years ago I played a Vandoren V16 T75, but I sold that because I believed it played too bright - this may have been a mistake, but I did want the cash for it. It was very versatile, but it got too focused when I pushed it.

Now I guess I'm looking for another serious mouthpiece and I would like some people's opinions on the subject or on the mouthpieces I haven't tried.

I was considering a Vandoren V16 Metal .... yes I know again, but this time I want a bigger facing to compensate the amount of hot air I seem to have.

I was also considering a Drake Metal Medium Rollover. I keep looking at them and saying OOOOOH, but I haven't tried one so I don't really have an opinion. They look like what I want though: I think the high baffle will be too bright for me.

I would consider a Theo Wanne, probably a GAIA or AMMA but I'm not sure if I can afford that kind of moolah.

Can anyone offer their opinions on my thoughts? Or an opinion on these mouthpieces at all? Or offer any other ideas?

This would be much appreciated!
 

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Drake has a new metal line, which if you go to his site, you can check it out. Basically he offers two different pieces in metal. Aarons quality is about the best out there from what I have found... Good Luck. Hope I helped you a little
 

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RPC 115B will do it. It's HR, but will cut any metal piece. FWIW, I play a link STM .120 for jazz, and a HR RPC for rock/funk/ska.

A more open tip only darkens your sound. 8* or 9 (.115-.120) is about perfect, imo.

If you go with one of Theo's pieces, the Durga would cut pretty well.
 

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the saxgourmet neck enhancer is a great little gizmo you pop on the tip of your neck...best thing is when you dont need it you just take it back off.... really punches up your sound...i would compare it to switching to a sterling silver neck... except much cheaper,of course (I play silver with the neck enhancer on gigs!!!)
get it from Steve Goodson or you can get it from me alto,tenor and bari
 

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So to the nitty gritty, I want a mouthpiece that will deliver a more focused sound, but not so focused that I'm going decapitate people. I need something with a big chamber! I want it to be Metal! I want it to be fairly flexible as well, something a little more versatile.
I know your reluctant to shell out so much, but to my mind you've just described the Theo Wanne Durga! Or, try the Datta - very similar and might even suit you better for much less money. There's a trial policy on these so you've nothing to loose.
 

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What are you talking about? You sound great mate, not too dark at all, just right I'd say. You'll only end up sounding like yourself if you switch pieces anyway.
Great band too by the way.
 

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This is some of the best live funk playing I have heard on this site in awhile. You sound great! Count yourself lucky to be in that band as well.

I will say that in the first tune you are not amplified enough on your solo towards to end but the tone is extremely good but I can see where you might want to additional edge and volume in the solo side of things.

I switch between a Ponzol brass M1/.110 for jazz and fusion, and Guardala "Studio" for fusion and rock. Look for my recent review of this Ponzol for more information. The Guardala is by far the grittiest, edgiest, dirty solo mouthpiece I have ever played and it has the ability to project 12 city blocks when I play with my fusion band in our entertainment district on Sundays outside.

B
 

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I want it to be Metal!
Why? Just out of curiosity... Limiting it to metal just limits your choices. Most versatile and flexible mpc I've found yet, that can go from a whisper to a sceam is an RPC which is HR.

In any case, I thought your tone was fine. I wouldn't change anything if I were you. No need to get any brighter.
 

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Anyways, I listened back to the recording after we finished it, and came home and listened to the live recording and decided that I hated my sound for this kind of music. It's too broad, it's too dark, and it seems to lack focus. I suppose it's hard to record a saxophone sound as it is, especially with just 1 mic. And it's not that I dislike my sound, I just don't like this sound for this kind of music.
Of course this is all purely a matter of opinion, but FWIW I agree with you! I certainly wouldn't say that I hated the sound, but I agree that you could have a more appropriate sound for this style. Nice playing BTW.
 

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Of course this is all purely a matter of opinion, but FWIW I agree with you! I certainly wouldn't say that I hated the sound, but I agree that you could have a more appropriate sound for this style. Nice playing BTW.
Yes, it's definitely a matter of opinion. I just find it refreshing to hear someone playing in this style with a good tone! But then that's also a very subjective observation on my part.

In any case, if benbyrne wants a more focussed or brigther tone, then that's what matters for him. I sure wouldn't limit the search to a metal mpc though. Unless there is some good reason for doing so that I'm not aware of....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for the kind words, good input and suggestions.

Yeah I'm very glad to be part of this band - His Merry Men are the only people I really play for at the moment and I have a lot of faith in the band!

I'll tackle the questions I deem easier to answer first.

so why metal?

I'm a big believer that the material of the mouthpiece has less to do with the sound than the design of the mouthpiece. Keeping that in mind I've also realised something else recently: embouchure really affects the tone too (now I know everyone is going to say DUH! - but bear with me). So to find the closest set up to help me get the sound I wanted I picked up my STM 8* (which I haven't played since I started playing tenor 5 years ago). I noticed automatically that just due to the fact that the STM is a lot smaller than my TE I had to apply more pressure from the sides of my embouchure just to get it to play right - and in turn that seems to help me play brighter. On my Otto Link Tone edge 9 I play with a very relaxed embouchure, on my STM I play with quite a relaxed embouchure but there needs to be more pressure because it's a smaller mouthpiece. That's one reason I'm choosing metal.

On that subject I also spoke to a friend of mine about his Jody Jazz DV that he loves. I had heard him play on a link that I know he had my mouthpiece refacer add a baffle to and do some extensive work on and to be honest I didn't like the way he sounded on the link, and he mentioned that the shape of the link really didn't suit his embouchure.

Another reason for getting a metal piece is because I love that TE Link, and I love the sounds I can pull from it and I'd like to leave that mouthpiece for playing more straight ahead jazz - so I figure that psychologically I can leave that mouthpiece shape as something else and I can treat this new mouthpiece/sound as something completely different.

As for wanting a brighter more focused sound it has nothing to do with projection as I know that when I used to play on the streets people could hear me over traffic 2 blocks away. As a soloist in a jazz setting I love that darker sound - I'm a huge Ben Webster fan! But when it comes to playing in a funk/pop/rock setting I'd prefer to be able to cut a little more. I'm not asking to sound quite as bright Brecker, maybe a little more like Potter or Branford instead (I know that I've got a lot of practicing before I start sounding like any of those cats).

I don't know if any of this helps you guys answer my questions. Or if it answers any of your questions.
 

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You want real projection and cut just get a Guardala. For loud amplified music it will play dirty for you. Not really suited for all that much else imho but man I love my studio DG for such purposes. B
 

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I see what you're getting at regarding the shape/size of a mpc. The thing is, HR mpcs also come in different shapes and sizes, though not as variable as metal. The RPC for example has a lower beak profile than most HR mpcs. And I'm sure there are other examples. Bottom line, you have to try them out.

But when it comes to playing in a funk/pop/rock setting I'd prefer to be able to cut a little more. I'm not asking to sound quite as bright Brecker, maybe a little more like Potter or Branford instead (I know that I've got a lot of practicing before I start sounding like any of those cats)..
Reading your quote above, there are certainly a lot of mpcs that will do the job. Sounds like you'll want some baffle, but a larger tip to balance it out. I keep mentioning the RPC because I went through lots of high baffle metal mpcs that were all too shrill. Finally found what I wanted--cut, projection, and still a fairly fat, warm tone (very similar to what you describe above), on a 120B RPC. It did surprise me to find this in a HR mpc. Now I know better. Going back to metal, you might try some Ponzols, or maybe a Berg (if you can find a good one).
 

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Ponzol Mouthpieces are VERY VERY good. I like my M1 brass series prior to Peter going Stainless. Very focused, warm but when pushed can produce a little buzz/edge but not much. Mostly just a very nice versatile jazz piece, not really a "cutting" piece although louder than most when pushed.

B
 
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