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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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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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