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Hi, I have been playing sax for 3 years. I think now is a good time for me to upgrade my setup. I will be purchasing new sax, and would like new gear to match it. The sax I will likely get is a YANY A901.

In the mpc setup, I would like a dark sound, a bit darker, but just as jazzy as Eric Darius. I don't know his setup, however. I have done a bit of reading, and think that a hard rubber, close tip mpc(preferably with a flat/no baffle) will get me where I want.

The problem is, I don't know where to look, and my budget is at most $150, but am trying to get to $100. What do you recommend for a dark, rich tone? It doesn't have to be what I have thought of, as long as it gives me the desired tone.

P.S. My reeds are Vandoren Traditional 3's and 3 1/2's, I currently use a stock plastic mpc with it's ligature. Both are unmarked. The sax comes with a metal mpc, but I have no details on it.

Thanks, MB
 

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Well, the A901 is among my all-time personal favorite Altos! Big, fat sound, tends nicely to versatility, and with a lot of "body" to the tone. Pair it with the right mouthpiece, and you'll never "hit a wall" in the tone or volume department!

Now, what mouthpiece? Many would say a Meyer for the classic sound you appear to be after. And for your smalm budget, and relative newness, you can't go wrong with a VanDoren. Consistently built, and on Alto, built similar to a Meyer, with far better consistency!
 

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A lot of what you are after comes from the player and not the mouthpiece. One reason to view mouthpiece recommendations as being inconsequential is because every one of us play mouthpieces differently. What is dark for me may be bright for you. DARK is subjective anyway and what may sound dark to one person may not sound dark to another.

After all is said and done here on SOTW, it will be up to you go forth and search out what works for you on your saxophone playing the kind of music you want to play. Is it somewhat expensive to do that? Sure. We've all done it - I doubt that many here have settled on their chosen mouthpiece because someone else told them what to buy.

Don't get too hung up on recommendations unless the person making the recommendation is sitting next to you giving you lessons and can see and hear what YOU are doing that could be enhanced by some equipment change. You'd probably find better success in going with whatever mouthpiece comes with the horn, if one does. THEN, go through the reed-trials - a change in reed can give you a lot of tonal differences. AND, you may achieve your dark-goals with a softer reed, not a harder one. DAVE
 

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Vandoren mouthpieces play well and are within your budget.

Is the stock Yanagisawa any good?
 

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I may be able to make one for you at that price. I've got some older blanks around here of various pieces. One may fit the bill

Phil

Phil-tone

I will post if I do shortly
 

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Ive got a few pieces. I sent you an email. I've three pieces that may work for you that I can rebuild to your specs and within your budget. All good hard rubber.
 

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Take Phil up on his offer. You can't get a better piece for what you want to spend. I bought and sold 6 mouthpieces on alto before very happily landing on one of his.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am getting it from a dealer in Nashville and he didn't say if he had the stock mpc. I'm actually not sure if he does. His exact words from the email were "I can include a basic student mouthpiece and an excellent metal mouthpiece."
 

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Take Phil up on his offer. You can't get a better piece for what you want to spend. I bought and sold 6 mouthpieces on alto before very happily landing on one of his.
+1

Anything Phil makes you will be hand-finished by a master craftsman and, hence, better than anything the dealer is likely to throw in.
 

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Thanks guys. Any one else with a student can get in on the deal too. MB is first in line but all three are great medium to medium large round chamber blanks.
 

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Take Phil up on his offer. You can't get a better piece for what you want to spend. I bought and sold 6 mouthpieces on alto before very happily landing on one of his.
Definately take Phil up on his offer! At least you know you will be starting with a flawless mouthpiece, and any subsequent problems that may arise will not be a faulty mouthpiece!
 

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+1

Anything Phil makes you will be hand-finished by a master craftsman and, hence, better than anything the dealer is likely to throw in.
For sure! A lot of those dealer pieces are thrown in because they're expendable.
 

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+1

Anything Phil makes you will be hand-finished by a master craftsman and, hence, better than anything the dealer is likely to throw in.
And for only $150? What a deal!
I sound like I'm giving a sales pitch. :D
 

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Maybe I missed it, but is this A901 you are buying a new one or a used one. If new, it should come with a Yanagisawa 5 alto mouthpiece. Don't accept anything less and don't pay for it beyond the price of the saxophone. Those are included.

I agree with the others about "Sigmund451". I have one of his Sapphire soprano mouthpieces. It is a pleasure to play. DAVE
 
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