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Ive been playing a Rico Metalite M7 with Rico Royal 2 reeds for a while now and from the get-go I have been quite unhappy with the tone of my playing, I've saved up about £180 ($230) for a new mpc and I'm going to look into a new reed choice as well (I have more money available if needed). I'm studying jazz at music college so I'd like something with a darker sound and that would blend well with the other saxes in my big band (old-timey swing style music) and would love some advice for a nice new upgrade! I have already spoken to some people and they suggested something along the lines of a Jody Jazz HR* 7 but I am unsure and would just like some pointers if possible!

Thanks in advance
 

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I have been very happy with my Jody Jazz Jet 7 for "big band" work. I use a Legere Signature #2 1/2 which gives the resistance I like. It is versatile enough to give a big sound with an edge when pushed, but a sound that blends with a section when required. My second mouthpiece choice when less edge is wanted is a Rousseau Jazz JDX 6. It is also a very versatile piece having a range of colors for playing different styles. Both of these mouthpieces are a good value for the money and don't cost "an arm and a leg" like some bari pieces do.
 

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+1 on the RPC
 

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Didn't love my RPC but it sure was loud. You might try a Drake.
 

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I like a simple old Otto Link STM on Baritone.
You could try a 7-7* with a Fibracell 3.
Regardless of what people say, you can get sufficient edge on these if you put the air through them.
 

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Berg Larsen rubber round darker sound. Woodwind and Brass offers trial of 5 at a time for a small fee. Def worth it. I don’t care for metal too bright.
 

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+1 for Berg Larsen. I play a marbled HR one.
I tried a couple of modern Berg Larsens against RPC's, and I found that the Berg Larsens were smoother at the top end.
But I have heard that Berg Larsens are not consistent, so you may need to try more than one.
 

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+1 for Berg Larsen. I play a marbled HR one.
I tried a couple of modern Berg Larsens against RPC's, and I found that the Berg Larsens were smoother at the top end.
But I have heard that Berg Larsens are not consistent, so you may need to try more than one.
And don’t kid yourself that metal pieces are brighter.
The stainless Bergs are just far more expensive to reface if they’re dodgy.
The darkest Berg baritone piece I own is a 120/2 Stainless one.
It’s darker than my 3 chamber rubber piece by a reasonable amount.
As much as I like my 120/2 Berg, it’s a fair way down on the list of pieces I reach for.
The PTT Signature and power pieces are also definitely worth a mention too.
They are well made and powerful pieces with plenty of edge and low on the chainsaw factor.
 

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And don’t kid yourself that metal pieces are brighter.
The stainless Bergs are just far more expensive to reface if they’re dodgy.
The darkest Berg baritone piece I own is a 120/2 Stainless one.
It’s darker than my 3 chamber rubber piece by a reasonable amount.
As much as I like my 120/2 Berg, it’s a fair way down on the list of pieces I reach for.
The PTT Signature and power pieces are also definitely worth a mention too.
They are well made and powerful pieces with plenty of edge and low on the chainsaw factor.
I would recommend trying some of the more standard pieces from a dealer that allows trials, before committing to a bespoke mouthpiece.

Otto Link HR
Berg Larsen HR with the larger chamber
Meyer
Vandoren
Yanagisawa

I will note that Link and Meyer both come out of the Babbitt factory which seems to have variable QC; Bergs come from their own factory which is also known for variability; Vandoren pieces, on the other hand, are widely reported as being high quality and consistent. If the Yanagisawa pieces are anything like their saxes, their quality is likely to be excellent and the only question would be whether you could get what you want.

If you want to develop the quality of your sound on baritone, I would submit you need to do two things, one more important than the other:

1) As you are now considering, get a higher grade mouthpiece

2) - Much more important - spend enough time on tone building exercises. Very few baritone players spend enough time practicing tone quality and airstream control on baritone to get the level of quality that alto and tenor players take for granted. Baritone is not a part-time larger version of tenor; it has its own character and demands and you need to spend as much time on the baritone as you would on any of the other saxes, if you want to sound good.

Take someone with a weak airstream and poor embouchure control and give them a $1000 mouthpiece and they'll still sound like someone with a weak airstream and poor embouchure control; take a seasoned professional baritone sax player (not a tenor or alto player doubling on bari) and they will sound fine on the el-cheapo $30 MP.

Finally, don't be fooled into the concert band blend-at-all-costs mentality when it comes to baritone in a big band. Rarely is it your job to blend with the other saxophones. Usually your job is one of: Anchor the sax section by providing a stern secure bass note/line; double bass trombone; provide rhythmic accents to the band as an independent entity; provide a "continuo bass" line under the melody that is not doubled by other voices; provide "scoops" and the like to punctuate the music. So in your search for a sound that is less in-your-face-buzzy-duck-call-chainsaw-rattle, don't forget that most of the time one should be able to hear the baritone distinctly. That anchorman sound is best achieved not by equipment but by learning how to use your air and breath to project a big round sound under the band. My point here is that you don't want to overreact and end up disappearing into the mix. You should be emulating sounds like Charlie Fowlkes with Basie or Carney with Ellington.

Basically, in a big band the sax section is "suspended", if you will, between the two pillars of a strong projecting lead alto voice and a strong projecting baritone voice. This applies at ffff or at pppp. Check out "Little Darling" by the Basie band. You can clearly hear the baritone and alto saxophones throughout the melody part, despite the pianissimo dynamic level. This in my mind is what a baritone sax in a big band should be doing.
 

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If you can afford it, or manage to find one second hand, I’d strongly recommend an RPC from Ron Coelho. I play one of his high baffle pieces, in a 110 tip opening, with a Rico Jazz Select 2M or 2H, and find it to be the most wonderful and flexible setup. I play Bari in a big band and we do quite a varied programme, one minute playing Basie’s L’il Darlin, the next minute Crunchy Frog by Gordon Goodwin. The RPC just gives me everything I need, from playing delicately and softly in the Basie piece, to punchy and soloing in the Goodwin piece.
There are loads of pieces out there, and I’ve tried many, and bought and sold quite a few, but I always go back to the RPC.

Good luck with the search.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the help guys, I'm going to go to a dealer that does trials and get a few of the above suggested, Thanks!!
 
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