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I agree with Phil that there are hobby players that are spending way too much time buying new gear when they would be better off just spending all that time practicing but that is their right. They are adults and can do whatever they want with their money why would that bother anyone. At the same time, this is a fact of life with everything. You don't have to delve too far into anything before you have to start making decisions on what you like, what works for you, what is the best value for the money, what you will be happy with. When I speak to 10 people who play golf they all tell me what stuff I need and what brands, when I speak to 10 people who hike they all tell me different advice on what backback to get, what hiking shoes, what gear and brands, etc...... I just talked to someone a few months ago that said my drill was crap and from now on I should pay more money and buy Dewalt. My drill bit the dust and I went out and bought a Dewalt. You know what, this drill is much better than my old drill. I'm very happy with that purchase. Who knows, maybe I will not be happy with this drill in a few years and someone else might suggest a better drill........

I see a mouthpiece as a tool that we use to perform just like I use that drill. My old drill didn't have the power to do certain jobs. This new drill does. In my mind, certain mouthpiece might not be what I need to do the job. I need a mouthpiece that does the job the way I want it to do the job. I want it to respond a certain way, to sound a certain way, etc...... Sure, you could say just practice the tar out of that Yamaha 4C mouthpiece you have and make it work but that is like me using this sucky drill over the last two years. It was a major pain in my butt and made every project take 4 times as long with stripped screws and messed up work. You know what I thought when I bought the new drill. "Wow, I should have done this a long time ago! I would have saved myself a lot of frustration!"
Well said. But you really should have went with Makita. Their cordless brushless tools are far superior. I am a professional.
 

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What i have learned is i just want geat that doesn't get in my way, and then i am happy.
What is gear that 'gets in my way' - as Phil said, it is substandard gear.
Everything else is truly nonsense, whimsy, etc.

I recently posted regarding a decision to buy either a new Yani TWO20 or a vintage Selmer tenor.
I appreciated all the responses and after a lot of consideration i came back to the 'pick the one that doesn't get in your way'.
X sounds like X on any gear is what i always have in my head.
Practice is king, poor equipment is a hinderance, the rest is window dressing.

Mythology is not just in saxophone gear, its in EVERY topic.
Weed, trumpets, cars, on and on.
 

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Years ago I wanted a Dewalt cordless drill. Beautiful yellow and black, nice reviews. But the ugly blue and salmon colored Makita fit my hand better. Since I needed it to drive a lot of screws for a sunroom addition I was building, I chose the Makita. I think there is a mouthpiece analogy in there somewhere.
 

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A few months ago I got out the Link STM that I played in HS and played it on my MKVI tenor that I also played in HS 40 + years ago. I hadn't played it in many years.

I still had to push to produce E3 & F3 and they barely come out - still sounds like cr*p.

No doubt that there is some value in searching for the right mouthpiece.

I've settled on the mouthpieces that I like, they make playing much more enjoyable. If the Phil Tone Bari ever arrives, I would try it though.
 

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Years ago I wanted a Dewalt cordless drill. Beautiful yellow and black, nice reviews. But the ugly blue and salmon colored Makita fit my hand better. Since I needed it to drive a lot of screws for a sunroom addition I was building, I chose the Makita. I think there is a mouthpiece analogy in there somewhere.
I had the chance to sit down with Ken Beason and Bob Sheppard this summer at Bob's place. It became an impromptu lesson, actually. Anyway, Bob wanted to try my Klum Florida and Navarro Bop Boy (My main piece at the moment). I played the Navarro first and then gave it to Bob. He sounded great, but a great deal darker than myself. He then looked at me and realized that I play much brighter than a lot of other players. If it was a high baffle piece, I'd probably get kicked out of a lot of rooms.

There, Mojo, there's your mouthpiece analogy. :)
 

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I agree with Phil that there are hobby players that are spending way too much time buying new gear when they would be better off just spending all that time practicing but that is their right. They are adults and can do whatever they want with their money why would that bother anyone. At the same time, this is a fact of life with everything. You don't have to delve too far into anything before you have to start making decisions on what you like, what works for you, what is the best value for the money, what you will be happy with. When I speak to 10 people who play golf they all tell me what stuff I need and what brands, when I speak to 10 people who hike they all tell me different advice on what backback to get, what hiking shoes, what gear and brands, etc...... I just talked to someone a few months ago that said my drill was crap and from now on I should pay more money and buy Dewalt. My drill bit the dust and I went out and bought a Dewalt. You know what, this drill is much better than my old drill. I'm very happy with that purchase. Who knows, maybe I will not be happy with this drill in a few years and someone else might suggest a better drill........

I see a mouthpiece as a tool that we use to perform just like I use that drill. My old drill didn't have the power to do certain jobs. This new drill does. In my mind, certain mouthpiece might not be what I need to do the job. I need a mouthpiece that does the job the way I want it to do the job. I want it to respond a certain way, to sound a certain way, etc...... Sure, you could say just practice the tar out of that Yamaha 4C mouthpiece you have and make it work but that is like me using this sucky drill over the last two years. It was a major pain in my butt and made every project take 4 times as long with stripped screws and messed up work. You know what I thought when I bought the new drill. "Wow, I should have done this a long time ago! I would have saved myself a lot of frustration!"
Any golfers here? Every year there is a new magical club that hits farther, takes out vibration, makes the golf swing more natural, etc. ... I think you get the idea. I've seen the same trend in avid golfers trying to improve their games with frequent equipment purchases. I haven't played in a while but I found out after a couple expensive "latest-technology" clubs that my slice was still well-intact. :) The only way I improved my swing was working with a pro and spending a lot (and I mean a LOT) of time at the driving range.

I only mention golf as a similar analogy where I've seen GAS to correct for swing, distance, whatever improves the game. But equipment doesn't make up for having a good fundamental swing and grip. On the sax, you need good embouchure and breath support regardless of the mouthpiece (assuming the table/tip/rails are in good shape).

I'm a DeWalt guy Steve...a friend of mine (and fellow sax player) is a DeWalt power tool engineer and he gets to bring home some pretty cool prototypes!
 

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As a guy that has owned numerous brands of Taiwan horns, I find that the low quality engraving on the Phil Barone horns appears to have more in common with Chinese made horns. Yes I wasted my time and money exploring all these horns but I did discover this.
 

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Any golfers here? Every year there is a new magical club that hits farther, takes out vibration, makes the golf swing more natural, etc. ... I think you get the idea. I've seen the same trend in avid golfers trying to improve their games with frequent equipment purchases. I haven't played in a while but I found out after a couple expensive "latest-technology" clubs that my slice was still well-intact. :) The only way I improved my swing was working with a pro and spending a lot (and I mean a LOT) of time at the driving range.

I only mention golf as a similar analogy where I've seen GAS to correct for swing, distance, whatever improves the game. But equipment doesn't make up for having a good fundamental swing and grip. On the sax, you need good embouchure and breath support regardless of the mouthpiece (assuming the table/tip/rails are in good shape).

I'm a DeWalt guy Steve...a friend of mine (and fellow sax player) is a DeWalt power tool engineer and he gets to bring home some pretty cool prototypes!
I put a Klangbogen on my driver..............instantly better drive............
 

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Any golfers here? Every year there is a new magical club that hits farther, takes out vibration, makes the golf swing more natural, etc. ... I think you get the idea. I've seen the same trend in avid golfers trying to improve their games with frequent equipment purchases. I haven't played in a while but I found out after a couple expensive "latest-technology" clubs that my slice was still well-intact. :) The only way I improved my swing was working with a pro and spending a lot (and I mean a LOT) of time at the driving range.

I only mention golf as a similar analogy where I've seen GAS to correct for swing, distance, whatever improves the game. But equipment doesn't make up for having a good fundamental swing and grip. On the sax, you need good embouchure and breath support regardless of the mouthpiece (assuming the table/tip/rails are in good shape).

I'm a DeWalt guy Steve...a friend of mine (and fellow sax player) is a DeWalt power tool engineer and he gets to bring home some pretty cool prototypes!
Any photographers out there? In photography there is always a new gadget you can buy that will enable you to do something easier and (supposedly) better. That hobby can really become a money pit if you let it. But at some point you realize that the gear doesn't help you unless you have your fundamentals down cold, and all the money in the world doesn't buy you a better eye.
 

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I used to do a lot of photography and some of my best photos were made with simple homemade cameras & modified cameras— once I was taking photos for a book cover and my crude homemade camera worked great but my friend’s Hasselblad was the one that screwed up
 

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Oh, yes. There's always a better lens, faster, sharper, quicker focus. Then you need a macro for closeup and a 600mm zoom for shooting wildlife. And if you are a serious birder you need some top of the line prime lenses. To be honest though, if you want National Geographic quality wildlife photos there is no substitute for top quality gear. If you are shooting snapshots of the family gathering or just stuff you see when you're out on a walk, it's more about light and composition than it is about gear. You can shoot very nice family shots with a smartphone.

But the same goes for most hobbies. The marketers are busy promoting the NEED to have their gear and people are lining up to pay big bucks for it. It's the American way.
 

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I agree with Phil that there are hobby players that are spending way too much time buying new gear when they would be better off just spending all that time practicing but that is their right. They are adults and can do whatever they want with their money why would that bother anyone. At the same time, this is a fact of life with everything. You don't have to delve too far into anything before you have to start making decisions on what you like, what works for you, what is the best value for the money, what you will be happy with. When I speak to 10 people who play golf they all tell me what stuff I need and what brands, when I speak to 10 people who hike they all tell me different advice on what backback to get, what hiking shoes, what gear and brands, etc...... I just talked to someone a few months ago that said my drill was crap and from now on I should pay more money and buy Dewalt. My drill bit the dust and I went out and bought a Dewalt. You know what, this drill is much better than my old drill. I'm very happy with that purchase. Who knows, maybe I will not be happy with this drill in a few years and someone else might suggest a better drill........

I see a mouthpiece as a tool that we use to perform just like I use that drill. My old drill didn't have the power to do certain jobs. This new drill does. In my mind, certain mouthpiece might not be what I need to do the job. I need a mouthpiece that does the job the way I want it to do the job. I want it to respond a certain way, to sound a certain way, etc...... Sure, you could say just practice the tar out of that Yamaha 4C mouthpiece you have and make it work but that is like me using this sucky drill over the last two years. It was a major pain in my butt and made every project take 4 times as long with stripped screws and messed up work. You know what I thought when I bought the new drill. "Wow, I should have done this a long time ago! I would have saved myself a lot of frustration!"
I think part of the hobby player dilemma (of which I am one) is that we just don't have the time to practice as much as we like so we stay engaged buying crap.
I went on a mouthpiece journey last year and settled on new ones for each horn and am in love with them all and can't even imagine buying others (but now looking at new horns!).
 

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Any photographers out there? In photography there is always a new gadget you can buy that will enable you to do something easier and (supposedly) better. That hobby can really become a money pit if you let it. But at some point you realize that the gear doesn't help you unless you have your fundamentals down cold, and all the money in the world doesn't buy you a better eye.
Ummm, yeah, I'm an amateur photographer too. Gotta get the latest glass, right? :)
 

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Oh, yes. There's always a better lens, faster, sharper, quicker focus. Then you need a macro for closeup and a 600mm zoom for shooting wildlife. And if you are a serious birder you need some top of the line prime lenses. To be honest though, if you want National Geographic quality wildlife photos there is no substitute for top quality gear. If you are shooting snapshots of the family gathering or just stuff you see when you're out on a walk, it's more about light and composition than it is about gear. You can shoot very nice family shots with a smartphone.

But the same goes for most hobbies. The marketers are busy promoting the NEED to have their gear and people are lining up to pay big bucks for it. It's the American way.
Well said. I don't think we should pretend gear doesn't matter. It does, in photography and in music. You can take great pics with a K1000, but I don't know any pro photographers who would use one on the job. Michael Brecker could sound great on anything, but he played a Mark VI and a Guardala for a reason.

I suppose the key is to somehow realize when the gear is holding you back and you really do need an upgrade of some kind vs all those times when we're just indulging in the "American way" and buying stuff because it's fun to buy stuff.
 
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