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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago I settled on a Meyer 5 for alto and it's been awesome.

I have spent lots of time and $$ trying to find a tenor piece that gives me the same response as my alto. I'm beginning to think that it might just have more to do with the difference between tenor and alto saxes, but I still have this suspicion that the right mouthpiece will do the trick...

I'm not a fan of the Meyers on tenor, and I am currently using a Morgan hard rubber piece.
I have tried Dukoffs, Links, Bergs, used a Ponzol for a long time. I think I want a metal piece because I'm currently looking for more edge than the Morgan, but the big goal is playing response...

I know this is rather convoluted, but any thoughts?
 

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you may have to shop about a bit!..but from what you say you have tried the popular makes,is money a factor?..i ask this as you can spend a lot more on a piece,and to a degree i think you get what you pay for, for instance theo wanne mouthpieces are meant to be very good!?,but they are not cheap, i play on LAW pieces primarily, and they are excellent but they cost me 240£ each, but to be honest they work, and i dont intend in looking any further, of course sometimes you come across a piece that is real cheap but plays very well!!, its all about trial and error really, personally i liked the older" bergs, but they varie in performance occasionally one is a monster player!...its all a quest for some, and not for others, good luck.
 

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it's going to be tough to give advice seeing as how we have no idea as to what it's like. Even if we did, I can't think of any pieces that are similar to an alto piece in terms of response. alto and tenor are, IMO, very different instruments, and response (no matter what the mouthpiece) is going to come with practice.
 

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If you just started playing tenor, you shouldn't be mouthpiece shopping. You should be building your chops on the horn. There is nothing wrong with a meyer on tenor. They make metal ones. You need to be playing tenor for a while until you go out and start looking for mouthpiees. Heck, Joe Henderson played on basically the stock mouthpiece.

I'd stick to Bergs, like a 90 or so opening and a 2 or 1 chamber, Otto Links, or Meyers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression -- I have been playing tenor for years. I teach music as well as play out in multiple wedding and corporate bands and gig on my own.
My issue is that I've never been able to find a set-up on tenor that I'm as comfortable with as my alto setup.
btw - I play a Yamaha Custom alto and a Selmer Paris series III tenor.
 

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I also used a Meyer (#7) on alto and was very disappointed by Meyer 7 on tenor. After trying out a lot of mouthpieces, I have settled on two: a Vandoren Optimum for smooth playing and a JodyJazz DV for strident. I think the Optimum TL3 would be closest to a Meyer 5.
 

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Is budget a huge concern? I ask because the Theo Wanne Gaia is one of the best sounding hard rubber tenor pieces I've played!
 

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I think you're just feeling the differences in the instruments. The bore size, mouthpiece size & lay, reed size, internal volume, neck shape, frequency range, etc... make the two horns (alto vs. tenor) respond a little differently.

If you'd still like to investigate a little more what I'd do is mess with the stuff you already have- swap the mouthpieces on your alto and tenor- don't push the alto piece all the way on, and the tenor piece will take a few wraps of paper on your alto neck to fit snug. I'm not suggesting you try playing gigs this way (although, one of the alto players in the Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Orchestra was here in Colorado at a jazz festival a few years back doing a master class and he was playing a tenor Link STM on his alto) just see how the horns feel when you do this. Try swapping a tenor reed on to your alto piece and see how that feels as well. This usually works okay.

Likewise, some of the difference likely comes from the difference between the Yamaha and Selmer. My experience (owning Yamaha 875 Custom tenor and Selmer Series II alto, as well as trying numerous Selmer tenors over the years) is that Selmers tend to have more resistance than Yamahas especially in the bow and bell tones.

This things may not give you exactly what you want but they should help you "bound" the issue so you know at the extremes what the limits are.
 

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I don't think you can. Alto's are going to be somewhat more "responsive" simply due to the smaller size. Air has less of a distance to travel, keys are lighter and closer together. It's physics. Both my altos are not "World Class" saxes - my tenors are. The altos are somehow quicker and lighter to the touch and for obvious reasons require a little less effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you guys so much for all of the great advice -- it's extremely helpful!
I guess the deal is just to start trying more mouthpieces, keeping in mind that a big chunk of the difference IS the difference between the horns.
$$ is not really that much of a factor if I buy used, because I can always re-sell and buy to try out others. (I play guitar as well, and I trade guitar pedals and other gear all the time).
So... maybe I'll check out the marketplace and see what's available....
 

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I think I want a metal piece because I'm currently looking for more edge than the Morgan, but the big goal is playing response...
As usual, I need to point out that it's not the metal that gives a mpc more edge. It's the design, primarily the amount of baffle. So don't write off HR mpcs. I don't know which Morgan you have, but I believe they have fairly large chambers and a low roll-over baffle, which doesn't translate to much edge. OTOH, hard rubber mpcs with baffles like Jumbo Java, Berg, RPC, etc will have considerably more edge than say, a standard metal Otto Link.

By far the mpc with best playing response I've tried is an RPC. But that's just my experience and I certainly haven't tried them all by any means. So many choices these days...
 

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Can you give us an idea of a tenor sound that is conceptually what you would like to sound like? Just to give us a ballpark idea of which direction to point you. Do any of the clips on my site sound close to what you want sound wise?
You didn't answer my question though. What kind of sound do you want?
 

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You need to hear the edge I get on my Morgan Jazz 9M!

I suggest you experiment with different reeds. The Morgan needs a reed with a American jazz cut, so use Rico jazz select, Rico royal, la voz, Vandoren Java,green or new red box. For more resistance go harder in strength. Blow, I mean really blow air through that horn...
Next, your sax, is the darkest of all the tenors. People are going hate me when I say this..
but the Selmer Super Action Series II tenor is in my opinion a classical horn.
They made the bore larger and deeper. It's perfect for concert band.
Try out a Mark 6, Yamaha 62, SBA, or even a vintage King super 20 and you'll see what I mean!
Nefertiti,asked a great question, what kind of sound are you looking for,
a Stan Getz cool west coast tone or a rock 1950's,Sha Na Na tone think ( King Curtis, Junior Walker), Or do you want a contemporary Mike Brecker (Dave Guardala metal ) tone,
The tenor is it's own horn. It takes time and hard work to get a killer sound...
The hard rubber Meyer for tenor is not bad at all, but it's used more commonly in the smaller tip openings for classical tenor saxophone. If the tip is opened up, with a small chamber you can get a great contemporary sound. Joshua Redman uses Hard rubber Links, they are killer!
I also play on an old OTTO Link Super Tone Master 8, metal, and it's great for that Dexter Gordon type of sound......It's very similar in tone to the Hard rubber MORGAN...They both have hollowed out sidewalls, roll over baffles and round chambers. (with Vandoren 3.5 javas)...
Please tell us your Morgan model, facing number and reed info...
 

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You need to hear the edge I get on my Morgan Jazz 9M!

I suggest you experiment with different reeds. The Morgan needs a reed with a American jazz cut, so use Rico jazz select, Rico royal, la voz, Vandoren Java,green or new red box. For more resistance go harder in strength. Blow, I mean really blow air through that horn...
Next, your sax, is the darkest of all the tenors. People are going hate me when I say this..
but the Selmer Super Action Series II tenor is in my opinion a classical horn.
They made the bore larger and deeper. It's perfect for concert band.
Try out a Mark 6, Yamaha 62, SBA, or even a vintage King super 20 and you'll see what I mean!
Nefertiti,asked a great question, what kind of sound are you looking for,
a Stan Getz cool west coast tone or a rock 1950's,Sha Na Na tone think ( King Curtis, Junior Walker), Or do you want a contemporary Mike Brecker (Dave Guardala metal ) tone,
The tenor is it's own horn. It takes time and hard work to get a killer sound...
The hard rubber Meyer for tenor is not bad at all, but it's used more commonly in the smaller tip openings for classical tenor saxophone. If the tip is opened up, with a small chamber you can get a great contemporary sound. Joshua Redman uses Hard rubber Links, they are killer!
I also play on an old OTTO Link Super Tone Master 8, metal, and it's great for that Dexter Gordon type of sound......It's very similar in tone to the Hard rubber MORGAN...They both have hollowed out sidewalls, roll over baffles and round chambers. (with Vandoren 3.5 javas)...
Please tell us your Morgan model, facing number and reed info...
Well you are correct about the Serie II being the darkest horn.

I don't hate you for saying it's a classical horn.

Selmer's specs and marketing hype even say the neck design is for playing the horn in a seated position.

But on the other hand the OP said his tenor is a Serie III not a II.
 

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Yes, you're correct he did say that.
Please tell me how is the tenor series III is any different than the tenor Series II? other than 2 octave levers... or is that the alto only...
Just Selmer marketing hype.
(I'm Not refering to the reference models)
 

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Selmer's specs and marketing hype even say the neck design is for playing the horn in a seated position.
So that's why Mark 7, Super Action 80, and Super Action Series II and III necks look so stupid, compared to Mark 6 necks.
(They bend up way higher than the Mark 6 neck). I noticed that back in 1978, when my brother got a Mark 7 tenor, our necks were angled so different. (My neck was the SBA,1952)
 

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Hey, I know what you mean about the Meyer 5. It is a nice piece.

Contrary to what a lot of people are saying here, I'd say check out some hard rubber tenor pieces. I can't really recommend brands, but go to a music shop. The best way to figure out what pieces you like is to play like 20 different ones. That will definitely narrow it down.

That said, you're not really going to find anything exactly like a Meyer 5. Alto and tenor are two different beasts.
 

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Contrary to what a lot of people are saying here, I'd say check out some hard rubber tenor pieces.

That said, you're not really going to find anything exactly like a Meyer 5. Alto and tenor are two different beasts.
That's not contrary to what I said. No need to limit the search to metal mpcs, and as you say there's no tenor mpc that will play like an alto. Different concept...
 
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