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Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for the past few years since starting back on the sax I have been switch back and forth on mouthpieces trying to get a bright sound. My friend, a fellow sax player, put me on to Beechler so I purchased a diamond inlay, Beechler M5S. I played it for a while but it wasn't bright enough until I switch over to metal mouthpieces due to what I read on SOTW. I bought a beechler bellite but never adjusted to the small mouthpiece because it hurt my mouth. I tried hard rubber again (Beechler diamod inlay s6s and Barone NY HR) and then reattempted metal with the beechler bellites and arbs. I tried 1 Bellite and like 3 different ARBs but I sold them all because they all were chirpy and squeeky. Talk about quality issues.
Anyway, I crossed Brancher B series through Nelson Rangell's website and bought one on ebay for about $125-a metal B24. I thought that the tip opening would be a difficult transition for me but I was so wrong. I have to say that this piece was a pleasant surprise. It was bright, freeblowing, thicksounding up and down the horn. Altissimo was as easy as it was on hard rubber but with more bite. Altissimo was always a struggle for me with the metal beechlers but maybe that's because I never really adjusted (so I thought).
(Now in present tense) The Brancher B24 metal comes with a gold metal ligature that seems flimsy by sight but it is a bit more solid. The ligature is definitely easier on the reeds than the beechler ligatures and the screw stays tight when you play. I really do like this mouthpiece, but....
...everytime I have played my bassplayer in my band says that I don't have the same bite in my tone like I had with the Beechler ARB (even though it was an inconsistent mess for performance). So finally this past month I set out on the quest for the old tone and I think I got it back...
I bought the Beechler ARB custom metal also getting an Olegature (to save my reeds and keep the edge that gets lost with rovners). MAN!!!! No SQUEEEEKS!! NO CHIRPS!!! Nice and bright, edgy, and focused, very even up and down the horn, with easy altissimo, major projection, and...My tone is back!!! at least I think so at home and on recording.
I am looking forward to performing with this new mouthpiece in my arsenal. As far as my mouth hurting, it doesn't anymore because I practice more and I've adjusted to metal mouthpieces.

Oh I play on a Cannonball Stone Series Raven Alto w/ fat neck. I used Vandoren Java 2.5 and I used RICO plasticover 2.5 and they both played great.

Now I still love my Brancher which I will not sell, but the Beechler ARB custom metal 6 will be my everyday because tells the full story of what's on my heart.

L.
 

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Being someone that prefers brighter mouthpieces, I really dig the ARB series for alto and tenor as well. If I could find one (or an old Level Air) around a 9 opening for tenor, I would probably buy it in a heartbeat. I've never tried a custom ARB, though… I'm interested if it's noticeably different than a plain ol' one.

I do love my Brancher J31 on tenor, though. I find it to be very close to a Berg 0 now that I've gotten used to it.
 

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Tough call. Take it from someone who has played Brancher J31 on Tenor and found it to be broad and if practiced on long enough, a great tone spread. I currently play a Berg Larsen 130/0 ( DON'T LAUGH! ) which I've had since 1971. It was ripped off a couple weeks ago along with my favorite mouthpiece...an original Levelair 10*. I was heart broke, but thanks to 10Mfan I got a great vintage 130/0 that plays every bit as well as my stolen one. I can't find another levelair anywhere because, I know, they are used as door stops. I started these types of mouthpieces out of necessity in the late 60's and early 70's to cut through trumpet sections in Don Ellis' and Buddy Rich's bands.

I've been working with a student who is playing an ARB with 3.5 Java's and he's having a rough time. Won't listen to me about backing off on the reed. I like the ARB he has as it's nice and bright but has wonderful spread and tonal qualities. I have no problem with it on my Mark VI and would recommend it to a player who is in a fusion or otherwise loud band. For your buck, if you can find one, try a levelair in an 8* or 10* if you are so inclined. I don't think you'd be anything but surprisd at them. If anyone has a connection for a Vintage Levelair let me know! By the way...the new Levelair's are Runyons and come with a spoiler, which is a gimmick. You can learn to buzz tone a Selmer D Soloist if you want. That's all about playing and any good teacher will use your spoiler as a tooth pick. So try a Vintage or go with the Brancher or ARB. They are both great pieces for what you are looking for. I just threw in the Levelair as a serious suggestion...I wouldn't recommend a 130/0 Berg unless you've got a lot of time and patience.
 

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Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Arb metal and the brancher's are a great pprice for your buck if u are searching for a bright tone. This would be compared the expensive $500 plus stuff that's out there. About 6 months ago I spoke with Jody Espina about the JJ DV for alto letting him know I was looking for a bright tone. I told him what I was playing ( brancher b 24 at the time). He said the Nelson Rangell who plays both the arb and the brancher tested the JJ DV and did not go with it because wasn't bright enough. Based on that he stated that his mpc probably wasn't a right fit for me. So I've stuck with the brancher and finally tried an ARB that I like comPletely.
Oh the Beechler ARB custom metal is a regular Arb but it is handfinished to insure consistency. I do notice the difference from my other three.
 

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I like the arb metal altos also. I have a 5 that is probably the best piuece ive ever played for the modern sound.love it
 
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