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My setup is a Selmer Series II alto (A good one :) late 5xx,xxx with Vandoren Blue Box 3.5's (adjusted/balanced) and an Optimum ligature. Have had the s80 for a while, as well as the s90. Ordering the al3 tomorrow, and will post my impressions in due time.

S80 C* - Very medium mouthpiece, which is what it's known for. It not difficult to produce altissimo notes in tune. Because of its medium facing length, I feel the need to sand down the lower blade a little in order to even out the response in the lower and upper registers. It doesn't offer too much resistance, therefore, if going from an open note to a closed note or vice versa, it is not as rounded out/controlled. It can easily be overcome, if are actively examining everything you play. That being said, the mouthpiece can handle both loud playing and soft playing fairly well. Good choice of mouthpiece if you want to have one piece that can play in a concert band, small ensemble, and soloistic playing all pretty well. It doesn't really have any "down-sides," unless you get a bad one.

S90 180 - This mouthpiece is very similar to the S80, with the biggest difference I've found being the facing length. It has a longer facing than the S80, which means that blue box Vandorens fit very nicely with it and it offers a little more resistance. It also, because of the longer facing length, plays well with only balancing each side if you have a decent reed. I find that I do not need to take off much of the lower blade for it to sound even across the range. This piece definitely rounds out the response of each note also. You won't have to work as hard to sound even across the range. Playing altissimo on this piece feels similar to playing it on the S80. The only down-side to this piece is how it handles different amounts of air put into it. It just can't handle playing loud as well as if I was playing loud on the S80. This happens in the middle/lower register of the horn, especially in the lowest octave range. The tone suffers noticeably, and the reed responds a little differently. This is not a major major downside, and can probably be overcome. For soloistic playing and chamber work, I would say it's slightly better all around than the S80 if and only if you aren't playing loud stuff consistently. For band work, I would probably suggest the S80 C*.

Very excited to play on the AL3.
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