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Discussion Starter #1
For a deeper, tenor-like sound on alto, what's more important; the mouthpiece or the horn? The alto player in this video has a really tenor-sounding tone.



Thanks
 

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Really funny and excellent end with the dogs !, yeah, alto man has a superb sound, I'm sure he is a really great bop player.
 

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I find it hard to get accurate recoirdings of altos. The top end can easily get lost so it sounds softer than in real life.

Those guys are really good players though. Nice stuff.
 

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Mouthpiece and reed
 

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Discussion Starter #7
since no one else is answering OP's question, I think the mouthpiece is way more important.
Haha, thanks. Would a larger chambered mouthpiece with a slightly higher baffle do the trick? The Theo Wanne mouthpieces look promising.
 

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It depends on what the meaning of "is" IS . . . oops, I mean "chamber" is. I've always thought of a mouthpiece's chamber as the area inside the mouthpiece before the saxophone's neck. I suspect some folks mean the size of the opening into the neck-receiver. It never has been resolved, at least to my satisfaction.

SO, if you truly mean the entire inside of the mouthpiece until the saxophone's neck begins, then . . .

I'm one to question the overall effect of chamber size; for one reason, as an example, I doubt that many here (with the exception of true mouthpiece experts and refinishers) have ever measured the inside of their mouthpieces to actually determine their size compared to others. For example, I have two Meyer alto mouthpieces marked "Medium Chamber" and the other "Small Chamber". To my eyes, they look alike. If there is any difference, the one marked SMALL CHAMBER may have a slightly larger opening to the neck-receiver than the one marked MEDIUM CHAMBER, but maybe not. Hard to tell with a simple look-see.

There has been lots posted about large-chambers, etc., etc., especially when it comes to vintage saxophones. My experiences have shown me that my vintage saxophones play better for me with modern mouthpieces but I'm not able to tell you which one has a larger chamber.

As to baffles? There's another slippery issue. It may be easier to define a mouthpiece's baffle than its chamber-size. But honestly, when I test/buy mouthpieces (and I've done a bit of it in my time - and have boxes filled with them), I've never made a decision about whether or not a mouthpiece had a certain baffle design or size. I played the thing and if I liked it, i bought it. Other times, i bought them on reputation and either kept at them or put them away - not based on anything but how they played for me.

So, be wary of some store clerk or so-called expert who tells you one mouthpiece has a large chamber while another doesn't. Have him show you exactly why he says that. It is like bore size to me -easily talked about, harder to prove.

To answer your initial question, though, I think you should experiment with as many mouthpieces as you can. Most will give you different results, and what others experience may not match your experience. But be sure to also experiment with various reed strengths, cuts, and brands. If you can't try mouthpieces somewhere, at least do the reed tests. A different reed can make a huge difference. Stand by for the rants because I'm sure I've stepped on someone's precious beliefs here. DAVE
 

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Mouthpiece, then reed as far as equipment goes. Of course, the player has the biggest part to play - but I daresay you know that. I was always told to play facing a wall point blank or into a corner so you can hear your own sound better - good for developing tone whichever way you want to take it.

Try a "woody" reed like Vandoren V12s, by the way. I like them on clarinet and soprano, not tried them on alto.
 

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I played a Couf Superba I that was by far the huskiest alto I have ever played. The T.K. Melody alto is dark in the bottom end like this but brighter in the upper stack. I usually recommend large chamber mouthpieces. HR Link would do it.
 
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