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I noticed the other day that my STM has an uneven baffle inside. What effect would an uneven baffle have? How perfect does a mpc need to be? I like my STM in general, but I am finding some difficulty with altissimo, which may just be my own problem, not the mpc at all.
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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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Started to say probably not much, then I noticed the poorly-done tip rail too. They probably should have trashed that one and moved on. You will at least need to have it corrected.
 

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If you have the baffle corrected to look straight you will also darken the piece.

The length of the baffle in terms of symmetry is of minimal importance. Especially in comparison to the proper height adjustment of the baffle.

Play the piece. If it makes you happy stop trying to evaluate it with your eyes. Most tone killers on any mouthpiece are those that cant readily be seen.

..if you work on mouthpieces every day for years you can begin to visually assess a piece but the proof is in the performance and the numbers the tools render.

The tip rail does not look so hot and It looks as though it will not match a reed curve. Those issues can cause sluggish response and cut into clarity. The tip rail is s a bigger issue than the asymmetry of the baffle. This can impact altissimo. So can a crooked facing near the tip....and the fact that the curve on many links tends to be a little high when terminating at the tip...in other words, often on a 7* the facing (even if straight) is setup for a .105 but flattens out around .103 ish. This makes top tones a bit more of a struggle.

How perfect does it need to be?

It all depends on what level of performance you demand.
 

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'It all depends on what level of performance you demand.'

In reality, you should always try to have the best instrument and accessories you can manage regardless of your level of competence and this includes maintenance. You do not accept an obviously faulty critical part because you're just a beginner or just a hobbyist - you always strive to have all parts of your set-up to be in optimal condition regardless of origin. This is because you mentally must have confidence that the equipment is fully functional so you will realize that any problems have originated with the player. IOW you need to eliminate 'Is it me or the sax/mouthpiece/reed/whatever?' by having everything in order. Doesn't have to be the finest or most expensive, just has to be able to do what it was designed to do.
 
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