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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I have been playing alto just as a hobby for almost a year now. No formal lessons but can play standard jazz tunes already. I plan to have a formal lesson soon as my schedule permits. I own a Yamaha YAS23 with a 5C mouthpiece. Most would consider it decent but I think I am ready to try other MP. I lean more on dark and round sound but is also capable of giving that bright tone when needed. I play mostly jazz standards, latin jazz and funk music. I will eventually be upgrading my sax as well but i want to try a new mouthpiece with the YAS23 first. Suggestions please? Thanks in advance.

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Hello, welcome on SOTW. Normally these threads end up being a list of all the mouthpieces on the market , reflecting the many different ideas that the various members hold on various mouthpieces.

You have a good mouthpiece but a saxophone player wouldn't be a saxophone player if, at some stage, he would not feel the need (or rather the Gear Acquisition Syndrome otherwise known as GAS ) to part with some money to accomplish something that he thinks that only a new mouthpiece would give him or her.

On alto sax, a classic combination would be a Hard Rubber Meyer. Alternatively I found that a HR Phil Barone or Ponzol HR mouthpieces can be very good combinations too ( they are all more or less loosely based on similar design).
I would not recommend a metal Otto Link.

No doubts many others will chip in with their advise, the only way for you to know what is good for you is to go to a shop and try as many mouthpieces as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply. Unortunately, I dont have that luxury of trying out mouthpieces since there isn't much available where I live (Philippines). Even my Yamaha 5C had to be special ordered. This is the reason why I had to rely on feedbacks from actual users here at SOTW.


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I second the advice on the Meyer. Also Vandoren Java mouthpiece are nice for all around stuff. These two are fairly similar.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks JazzHouse. Any particular size/series or model? I am currently using a Rico or Vandoren 2.5 reed.


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Probably a Meyer 6M or 7M. M is for medium chamber - the choice of Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods and countless others.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks much Jazz House. That is the kind of sound I am actually after. Big fan of Phil Woods here. :)


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Hello, welcome on SOTW. Normally these threads end up being a list of all the mouthpieces on the market
:) ...and after about 3 posts people even take no notice of anything in the post other than the word 'mouthpiece'.

But actually there I do kinda have an argument. Why 'all round MP'? In the Yam, you alread have an 'all round' mouthpiece, i.e. it isn't particularly good at anything, other than allowing a beginner to progress. Decide what you want, then go for that. If you can't get to a shop, then use ebay, you can pick up mouthpieces and if it turns out you don't get on with them just put them back on. It may not be overly cheap, but that's the way it works with mouthpieces, you have to try them to see what works.
 

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:)
But actually there I do kinda have an argument. Why 'all round MP'? In the Yam, you alread have an 'all round' mouthpiece, i.e. it isn't particularly good at anything, other than allowing a beginner to progress. Decide what you want, then go for that. If you can't get to a shop, then use ebay, you can pick up mouthpieces and if it turns out you don't get on with them just put them back on. It may not be overly cheap, but that's the way it works with mouthpieces, you have to try them to see what works.
Yes. I was going to say "stick with the 5C" but I have a feeling that in posting this thread the OP is already started on the traditional and highly engrossing (if somewhat expensive) "mouthpiece hunt". Given the circumstances, I also think that ebay (or here?) may be the way to go.
 

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I think an allrounder is necessary. If you don't have access to a variety of mouthpieces, then minimising search time is important. Plus it's nice to only have to use one mouthpiece.
 

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I think an allrounder is necessary. If you don't have access to a variety of mouthpieces, then minimising search time is important. Plus it's nice to only have to use one mouthpiece.
That is quite true, but even within that category there are a number of strong contenders. And there's also the issue of what tip size..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are times I wanted to play like or sound like David Sanborn and there are times that I feel like sounding like Getz or even Phil Woods not necesarilly play as good as them but...you get the drift. :) This draws me to the conclusion that I need something at least in between. I am not in a position to get two or more different types of mouthpieces because of the availabilty issue here. Although I might just consider getting two, one for each sound that I am after. :)


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...This draws me to the conclusion that I need something at least in between
Then you won't sound like either, that's the point I was trying to make (and I guess RootyToottoot too).

If you want to sound like Getz some times, then other times you wanna sound like Gato Barbieri, you can't buy a mouthpiece 'in between'. It won't work.

...of course, the reality is you'll never sound like neone else neway. Far better to seek your own sound than try to imitate someone else.
 

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The standard "step-up" mouthpiece for jazz alto is a Meyer. It's what students in the U.S. are commonly directed to. 6M is the most standard tip size.
 

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Actually I kinda understand what the OP means when he says something "in between". Coming up in high school I had the typical run of the mill Meyer type piece. Went off to college (long time ago and far far away) and we all wanted to sound like Sanborn...and what the heck, Bobby Dukoff was just down the street, so we all played Dukoff's. Now, 25+ years later, I don't always want the sharp edge of a Dukoff but don't want to lose that edge completely.

I ended up with the Jody Jazz HR* because it was in between. It's very, very reed friendly and I can darken it up or brighten it up with different reeds to alter what I'm hearing out of the horn, enough to make me happy anyway. And I think they are very consistently made, which given the OP's circumstances, reduces the risk that he'll land on a dud. Some of the modern Meyer's are, IMHO, very inconsistent.

No matter what, enjoy the search.

P.S. Unless you are playing both classical and jazz, DO NOT get two mouthpieces. Get one that you can work with and practice, practice, practice. You'll get much more out of that than you will out of futzing around with two jazz pieces. Again, just MHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, by deciding to get something in between, I really dont intend to sound like anyone. I only mentioned those great sax players cause I like their styles hoping I would sound at least somewhat close. :) Like I said, I am just a hobbyst and there is no pressure to find a sound of my own. I play just for relaxation.


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3 of the best all around alto mouthpieces for the money, and all very similar in design, are the Meyer 6M, Jody Jazz HR* 6 and the Vandoren V-16 6M. The Jody Jazz and Vandoren have better quality control when it comes to the facing.
 

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I agree that you should keep the 5C and keep using it. Once you have a second mouthpiece, you will occasionally want to use the 5C.

Then get either the Meyer (I would go for a 5 or 6, personally), Vandoren V16 M, or a Hite Premier (if you really wanna keep the cost low). Any of the latter will give the horn a darker tone than the Yammy. The V16 might be the one which has the best high-end response....the Premier will really not punch any highs.

I also wanna applaud you (OP) for NOT being on a "gotta find my sound" search. What an incredible digression in most saxophonist's lives, IMHO !

You will sound like you, regardless of your setup. If you just wanna push a particular aspect of tone (darkness, brightness, punch, smokiness, etc.) then having a second m'piece is the right path to take. You could also experiment with some reed brands. Lately I have been using 2 brands which aren't on most folks' radear: Gonzalez and Macafferri Masterpiece. They are quite different from the ol' Ricos or Vandorens...

Have fun, and don't get all caught-up in the search....
 

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Definitely a Meyer or Vandoren java or v16. Definitely go for 6m or maybe even 5m for the type of playing you're describing. good luck!
 
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