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Discussion Starter #1
Why does my, new to me, Buescher True Tone C-Mel, 129XXX, quack like a duck through the lower register?

This is my first sax with snap in pads, do the snaps rattle? I leak tested it, all tight.

Playing with a Yana #7 metal tenor MP that sounds great on my King Tenor from same era.
 

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The pads make no difference to the sound of the C melody.
In my experience the characteristic duck-like sound is eliminated by the use of a Bb tenor mouthpiece....clearly not so in your case.
The C Mel is an extended alto which can sound tenor-like with a hairy Bb mouthpiece.
 

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It is the vintage mouthpiece that makes it stuffy or are you using the Yana Metal?. I use a modern Morgan for C but a bit expensive. You can try the various brand name C mouthpieces (not those ebay ones) OR the aforementioned tenor. I had the best luck using my normal Selmer alto mouthpiece.
 

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As I've said before the neck bore is smaller than a 140 alto which can't help create an open tone.
I played my Buescher C Melody for a few years at gigs with a Morgan C mpc or various tenor pieces and finally decided that it was to much work for little results.
 

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My experience is that Bueschers do well with Tenor mouthpieces, like metal links or Bert Larsen's.
Conns and Holtons like alto pieces better.
I tried a few modern C Mel mps, but never liked the sound.
Try different mouthpieces and you might find one that gives you a sound that you like with OK intonation.
 

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Adding my experience, for what it's worth. The best results I've had on Buescher and Martin C-mels has been with a Buescher C-melody mouthpiece that was opened up to 0.085" with a significant rollover baffle to get some projection out of them. My tenor mouthpieces didn't work since they all have large chambers and made the C-mel flat in the palm keys.

I tried all sorts of mouthpieces and concluded that my two C-melody saxes would not give me the dynamic range I wanted. I've used my Martin C-melody on "acoustic dinner" gigs in a duo with guitar or piano, but outside of that I haven't found much use for it.

As I've said before the neck bore is smaller than a 140 alto which can't help create an open tone.
I played my Buescher C Melody for a few years at gigs with a Morgan C mpc or various tenor pieces and finally decided that it was to much work for little results.
Sounds pretty much like my experience.
 

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Too often we get a C Melody thinking it will be an edgy tenor in concert pitch. I think of it as an extended alto but never expect it to NOT play like a vintage 20s horn.
 

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I guess evolution and inovation between 1919 and 1950 has something to do with the difference between my C melody and 140 alto.
 

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I agree with the postings above. I like my C melody to play Bossa Nova, Choro, jazz standards, balada etc.
I don't think it would be the best horn to play in a rock band without amplification and electronic aids.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Duck call solved. I used a Babbit made alto piece, a Meyer metal 7 and the Buescher is sounding really nice.

The end of the neck is a bit large but the piece fits almost an inch up the cork. It is in tune mostly and blows pretty free. Top end is off the charts.

I heard that the mouthpiece originally came from Wolfe Tange but they couldn't sell it so the Meyer name went on it.

Whatever, it plays well, Meyer might want to add a C-Mel tag to their advertisements.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It doesn't sound like a duck call, it just won't peel paint off the walls.
Hey, I grew up in duck country and I could call them in with this C-mel using tenor pieces (metal or rubber) or a shorty that came with a Martin C-mel. Now with the metal Meyer alto piece, it peels paint!
Pieces I tried, ALTO: Selmer C*, Goldentone, un-named clone, Rico Metalite and Meyer metal. Tenor: Hite Premier, black plastic clone, gold metal clone (looks like cross of a Dukoff and Lawton) and Yana 7 metal.
 

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I had Bill Street make me a hard rubber C melody piece. It's an 8, but not too open, and works very well. I never had much luck with
tenor or alto pieces. In my case, the main issue with the C melody is that it doesn't have a sound that I'm really conditioned to hearing, so I find myself trying to make it do what it can't.
 

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I have had an old Conn C mouthpiece opened up and it really didn't make it that much better. Best to either get a dedicated modern C mouthpiece or experiment with the alto/tenor combo. I had a Lelandais tenor streamline that was great on a C Melody so you never know. A Woodwind Co. Alto was good too.
 

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In my case, the main issue with the C melody is that it doesn't have a sound that I'm really conditioned to hearing, so I find myself trying to make it do what it can't.
I feel certain that most of us who either play or have played C Melodys would secretly agree with your statement.
Delightful little horns that, however much we try, cannot quite cut it in the world of either the tenor or alto.
 
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