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Discussion Starter #1
What is the absolute darkest alto? And I know this may be in a wrong area sorry.
But....
My private lesson told me not to use a Metal mouthpiece on a Alto. Could you use a Metal mouthpiece on a Dark alto though, to mellow out the sound?

Just some thoughts.
~Carbs
 

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There is nothing wrong with using metal on an alto. David Sanborn and Hemke both use metal (not sure if Hemke still does) so you have every end of the spectrum covered here.

Darkest Alto would probably be a Beuscher, York, Martin, etc. I played a MK 6 that had a dark sound, and it was silver plated.
 

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So wait...your teacher told you not to use metal so your going to find the darkest horn possible to try and get by with metal mouthpiece? Carbs you got a good meyer just what are you trying to do here :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My teacher told me that Metal didn't sound all that great on Alto. In the upper octave, and I tend to agree with that line of thinking. I was courious about if playing up in the upper octave with a metal mouthpiece would mellow out the sound of a extreamly dark horn. It was just a passsing idea.
Why I want a Dark Alto sound is I liked it on my Martin, but it was time to move on.

Ohh and my Meyer has a huge stinking dent in it, probably hit a wall on my stand :(. I should probably replace it.
 

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They can sound great, just depends on the player, not the horn. Sanborn and Marienthal and a bunch of other sax players use metal and sound great.
 

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A metal alto mouthpiece can same the exact same as a hard rubber mouthpiece. I sound the exact same on an S90 as I do on a selmer metal C*. The baffle in many of the metal alto mouthpieces that you are talking about is what makes it sound thin up there.
 

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Do you just want a metal mouthpiece to have a metal mouthpiece? I mean, if your teacher said no metal, he probably means it for the best. Yes, many people sound great on metal mouthpieces on alto. But for most people, it's harder to learn to use a metal mouthpiece WELL on alto. I'm not saying it's a totally different ballgame, but they are pretty different. Even some of the metal mouthpieces I've tried that had no baffle have sounded very bright. And I play on a really dark horn. You wouldn't think so by looking at it, but once you play it, you'd think it was the greatest classical saxophone ever made.

Anyway, I'm not trying to sway you from getting a metal mouthpiece ... but maybe you should try out a ton of mouthpieces before thinking that metal w/a dark horn is the way to go. CountSpatula had a good point about it being the player that makes a good sound ... not the setup. I have always been a firm believer with that. If you've got a decent enough setup that is versatile enough, with enough practice you can achieve anything you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank guys.
Hey Andrew don't like the Cowboys??? ;)

I just wanted to point out that I am pretty happy with the moutphiece part of my setup right now. I was just wondering about if it made any difference with a Dark horn.
 

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COWBOYS EW It's saddening they will probably do good this year (for once).

Carbs what it all boils down to, no matter what you use your always going to sound like you. Don't let the gas take over!!! :)
 

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Subtle differences aside, I'm inclined to agree with the driving theme behind the advice given, to wit the sound is largely from the player, not the horn alone. The never ending quest for "chops in a box" is largely a futile, time waisting pursuit.

I can get a darker sound on just about any alto, because that is my core sound ideal. Parker and Hodges could as well, and both had a darker tone as alto players go IMO.

Just how dark can one really get on an alto, frankly? Taken to extremes, one should just stick to the Tenor (which is my first love).
 

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A high baffled metal mouthpiece (or any mouthpiece left of center) is not a mouthpiece one should use during the development of a sound concept. An extreme mouthpiece should only be used in response to an already developed tonal concept. You are paying your teacher to know the difference and you should trust him since he has heard you play and understands fully your playing environment/situation (are you playing in jazz bands, do you have a mic with reverb, do you have to blend, are you a studio musician, do you have electronics altering your sound.)

And of course there are metal alto mouthpieces that are not as bright, ect but for every middle of the road metal alto mouthpiece there are 50 hard rubbers that are a better design. Tenor is a different story.
 

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Carbs said:
What is the absolute darkest alto? And I know this may be in a wrong area sorry.
But....
My private lesson told me not to use a Metal mouthpiece on a Alto. Could you use a Metal mouthpiece on a Dark alto though, to mellow out the sound?

Just some thoughts.
~Carbs
Time for a new teacher.

If metal is soooooooo bad on alto....why do they sell do many.

I play, on alto...
Beechler Bellite...metal
Link STM....metal
Selmer Classic ...metal

All three sound quite distinct, and range from brightish to dark, and all absolutely sing in the upper register. To some extent I can influence it as a player, but the mouthpiece makes it easier.

Frankly your teacher should know better than to blame the material, and if you are playing an STM, then any thinness is not the result of a high baffle., In any case, changing horn to suit a particular mouthpiece or your teachers prejudices is just plain nuts. Just learn to play what you have.


Darkest alto? Anything in a black nickel finish innit;)
 

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sinkdraiN said:
You are paying your teacher to know the difference and you should trust him since he has heard you play and understands fully your playing environment/situation.
Had his teacher said what you said, then fine. But to say one should avoid metal altogether because metal doesn't sound all that great on alto? It's too bad there are so many oblivious teachers out there disseminating false information.

Carbs, material of a mouthpiece is no indicator of tone quality. Want an example? Order yourself a Vandoren Jumbo Java (hard rubber), one of the brightest mouthpieces you'll ever play on. At the same time order yourself a Selmer metal classical, a great 'dark' classical mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I agree with you Saxy, I have owned the Jumbo Java and I hated it. No control what so ever at all. Its been awhle and I don't remember his exact words, about Metal Alto pieces. It was just a simple questions, that has been taken out of control.
 
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