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All,
I've just discovered the Claude Lakey line of jazz mouthpieces, and I'm wondering about them for a brighter jazz tone. I haven't seen much about them on the forums, but one or two people have said that they are incredibly bright. I play on a P. Mauriat PMXA-67r alto, and it has a nice warm tone that I love. The only issue is that on my Selmer S80, the tone is very dark. For jazz, it isn't so great. I play on Rico Hemke 3, and I'm wondering if a Lakey mouthpiece would be beneficial to get a bright jazz tone for me? What is the difference between the Original Alto and the Apollo Alto Brass mouthpiece? Does anybody have any experience with these two?

Thanks,
Payton

:)
 

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I don't know if I'd characterize them as "bright" - but they are incredibly loud. Lots of projection.

I play on a 4*4 with one of my groups, I don't have to blow my brains out to be heard.

It's not a "nuanced" sound but I find it rather complex. There's lots of buzz and punch.

The Apollo I have is very similar, but I don't find it projects as much as the original. The tip openings between the originals and the Apollos aren't the same, a 7 in one isn't exactly a 7 in the other.

I'll find one of my sad little recordings so you can hear what I sound like using one. I'm playing on a King Zephyr Special.


https://youtu.be/RBNx1UtiR1Q

Please excuse the not-so-inspired soloing. :mrgreen:
 

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I've never played a Lakey myself, but I had a couple friends in college who did and sounded good on them... and, indeed, they were loud. But I think they all tended to move on from the Lakeys after a while because of being rather locked in to a sound. A loud, rather bristly sound.

Also, it seems to me that going from a Selmer S80 to a Lakey is kind of like going from a butter knife to a bazooka. You might like to try one of the many well-made Meyer-like pieces out there like the Vandoren V16 or D'Addario Select Jazz for alto. Or even just a regular old Meyer, although they're not as consistent as the others these days and you might need a good tech to clean up the facing. If you're looking to spend a little more cash for some reason, the Retro Revival, Mouthpiece Cafe, or Phil Tone pieces are probably worth a look, or anything finished by Eric Falcon or Matt Marantz. :)
 

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Yeah, when I was young all the North Texas lead players used these. Bright and loud. Very little else. At that time the NT style of lead alto was LOUD!!! and BRIGHT!!!!

Most of the guys I am still in touch with have long since moved on.

Honestly, I think that if you need to project better playing lead, you will have much better results working on airstream and on developing the ability to get a variety of tones. However, that takes time and effort, no quick fix, and it doesn't make anyone any money.

And truthfully, as LOUD!!! as all the NT bands used to play back in the 70s and 80s, even the loudest blowing alto player needed something like a Lakey to keep up.

Did I mention that those guys used to really play LOUD!!!??

For a student, coming from a Selmer C*, I would just go with the standard recommendation, Meyer medium chamber 5 or 6.
 

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Yes, "bristly" is a good word to describe the Lakey sound. And LOUD. They also have intonation tendencies which make them difficult to play in tune and their facings are very inconsistent, frequently terrible. A few players can master a Lakey and love them, but many can't or won't and hate them. I tried twice (two different mouthpieces, both with good facings, at two different times) and gave up, because playing in tune was too difficult. I would basically agree with turf3, try a Meyer and/or a V16 first, perhaps a Beechler medium chamber. For the short term you could try slapping on a louder reed such as a Fibracell on your S80. Though an S80 is not a good choice for big band.
 

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I recently got an Apollo ebonite 8 for my Couf Superba 1 alto playing Big band jazz. It definitely has more volume, and is edgier or brighter than my vandoren A45 V5 that I often use. I also play a Meyer 7m when volume isn't necessary.
I tried out a Wanne NY Bros as well. That was like a "plus" version of the Meyer, but not too noticeably different in volume or tone, and I needed something to cut with the big wall of overblowing brass behind me.

The vandoren A45 does pretty well, but I was looking for good intonation and volume and a bit brighter tone without going crazy bright. The Lakey apollo accomplishes this pretty well, but it is also a bit buzzier. Also, if you need resistance to help with control, this apollo is a challenge as it is much less resistant than most mps i have played on alto.
Another good no to consider is the Wanne Durga 3, especially the non metal ones. They are sweet, and can pop through a wall of brass and still give you a nice sound, perhaps a little easier to control, but also fairly low resistance. Much higher price tag tho.
 

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I played an earlier Lakey Jazz 5*3 for 1.5 years - Lots of power and projection, easy altissimo, very easy to play. However, it was lacking that mellow core i prefer these days. I still like it enough not to sell it ;)
 

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I've never played a Lakey myself, but I had a couple friends in college who did and sounded good on them... and, indeed, they were loud. But I think they all tended to move on from the Lakeys after a while because of being rather locked in to a sound. A loud, rather bristly sound.

Also, it seems to me that going from a Selmer S80 to a Lakey is kind of like going from a butter knife to a bazooka. You might like to try one of the many well-made Meyer-like pieces out there like the Vandoren V16 or D'Addario Select Jazz for alto. Or even just a regular old Meyer, although they're not as consistent as the others these days and you might need a good tech to clean up the facing. If you're looking to spend a little more cash for some reason, the Retro Revival, Mouthpiece Cafe, or Phil Tone pieces are probably worth a look, or anything finished by Eric Falcon or Matt Marantz. :)
This ^^

I've tried all sorts of Lakey pieces, couldn't get a sound out of one that was 'good'. The facings are inconsistent. I know a couple of players that were at NT in the 70s and 80s that still play them. If I were going from a S80 to a 'jazz' piece, I'd pick a MeYer type piece, too.
 

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I found a Lakey 4*4 in my drawer and fooled around with it for half an hour. It's definitely not for me, and I don't know where I got it. The intonation is awful. Since I picked up the alto again, I'm perfectly happy with my Rico Royal Graftonite C-5.

I understand that the first #4 indicates, but what does the second one indicate?
 

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I got a Lakey cheap off ebay about 20 years ago, didn't like it much, left in the box of mouthpieces for 15 years, got it out to sell it, had a go on it and was surprised how good it was - altissimo was great, tonally quite flexible although a bit on the bright side, didn't have any problems with intonation...
I was tempted to keep it, but didn't think I'd use it much since I much prefer my Lawton, so I sold it on ebay for a reasonable price and kinda regret selling it.
Always a good idea to try a mouthpiece before you buy it
 
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