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My neighbor gave me a sax she had in the garage for a few years. It looks like a Martin Stencil, but I'm not sure. It came with an old Broadus Perfected Alto Mouthpiece and one of Bill Street's hand made C-Melody mouthpieces. Any info you folks can give is greatly appreciated. I don't know when I'll use it, but it does play well and is a good specimen.

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..they play best with a C-melody mouthpiece... I was using bass clarinet reeds on it
 

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Made by the Indiana Band Inst. Co. which was later owned by Martin. Consider it a Martin as it shares the same features.
 

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...good to know about Bill Street looks good!!!
 

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..they play best with a C-melody mouthpiece... I was using bass clarinet reeds on it
My Martin "Master" C tenor case contains the original 1929 mouthpiece.
After reading the above, I fitted it....out of curiosity.
I am well aware that we all have differing tastes but, playing with that mouthpiece it became apparent to me why the C tenor died & why it is still regarded with derision by some. It sounded as if I were half a mile away, playing in a sewer.
A dreadfully stuffy hollow sound, the only point in it's favour was that it is barely audible.

For the last two decades, I have played C tenor, in place of a Bb tenor, in Blues/Rock bands using a hefty Bb tenor piece.
I would be reluctant to use the original C mouthpiece in a folkie band with piano accordions & banjos....it is dreadful.
But, our individual tastes do differ.
 

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Cap'n:

I doff my hat to your experience. But I'll put in my newbie 2 cents anyway. I just got my C-Mel fixed and playable, and I come to both it and the rented alto with fairly new ears.

I have a limited range of pieces to try on it: the Buescher C-Mel and a Yamaha Alt 4c. The Alto piece sounds pretty lousy on the C-Mel.

The rented alto is a Selmer Aristocrat - a nice student horn in good shape.

I just recorded side by side samples of my quavery, halting, goof-filled playing on the C-Mel and the Alto. The C-Mel has a slightly nasal quality, certainly, and I suppose the "stuffy" label comes from the association of a stuffed nose. But I also hear tremendously more character in the C-Mel sound. It reminds me of the difference between a bright, birch-topped guitar and a mahogany-topped guitar. The mahogany lacks the bright high overtones, but it is rich in the lower-pitched overtones, and the sound has a dense if slightly fuzzy body. FWIW.
 

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Cap'n:

I doff my hat to your experience. But I'll put in my newbie 2 cents anyway. I just got my C-Mel fixed and playable, and I come to both it and the rented alto with fairly new ears.

I have a limited range of pieces to try on it: the Buescher C-Mel and a Yamaha Alt 4c. The Alto piece sounds pretty lousy on the C-Mel.

The rented alto is a Selmer Aristocrat - a nice student horn in good shape.

I just recorded side by side samples of my quavery, halting, goof-filled playing on the C-Mel and the Alto. The C-Mel has a slightly nasal quality, certainly, and I suppose the "stuffy" label comes from the association of a stuffed nose. But I also hear tremendously more character in the C-Mel sound. It reminds me of the difference between a bright, birch-topped guitar and a mahogany-topped guitar. The mahogany lacks the bright high overtones, but it is rich in the lower-pitched overtones, and the sound has a dense if slightly fuzzy body. FWIW.
Hey that avatar looks familiar... ;)

I have tenor pieces you might want to try on that horn, and one alto piece even I'd like to try since I got it after my True Tone went to Martin Mods (as it still hasn't come back yet). Getting a tenor piece to fit is as simple as wrapping the cork in PTFE plumber's tape. If you want something more durable, use heat shrink tubing.
 

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Cap'n:

I doff my hat to your experience. But I'll put in my newbie 2 cents anyway. I just got my C-Mel fixed and playable, and I come to both it and the rented alto with fairly new ears.

I have a limited range of pieces to try on it: the Buescher C-Mel and a Yamaha Alt 4c. The Alto piece sounds pretty lousy on the C-Mel.

The rented alto is a Selmer Aristocrat - a nice student horn in good shape.

I just recorded side by side samples of my quavery, halting, goof-filled playing on the C-Mel and the Alto. The C-Mel has a slightly nasal quality, certainly, and I suppose the "stuffy" label comes from the association of a stuffed nose. But I also hear tremendously more character in the C-Mel sound. It reminds me of the difference between a bright, birch-topped guitar and a mahogany-topped guitar. The mahogany lacks the bright high overtones, but it is rich in the lower-pitched overtones, and the sound has a dense if slightly fuzzy body. FWIW.
Yes, I will agree with all that; the C tenor starts at a better place than the alto in my opinion. Take up Mal's offer of the tenor mouthpiece trial however before committing yourself the the endemic sound of the C tenor with original mouthpiece.
 

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The C-Mel has a slightly nasal quality, certainly, and I suppose the "stuffy" label comes from the association of a stuffed nose. But I also hear tremendously more character in the C-Mel sound. It reminds me of the difference between a bright, birch-topped guitar and a mahogany-topped guitar. The mahogany lacks the bright high overtones, but it is rich in the lower-pitched overtones, and the sound has a dense if slightly fuzzy body. FWIW.
The C Melody saxophone, like any sax, requires some time to develop your voice on the instrument. It reminds of comments I've heard about playing the soprano or sopranino. Ya gotta do your long tone exercise for a long time to get that sweet soprano sound. Just because you can pick up a new kind of sax and play, doesn't mean you should do it in public until you've done due diligence. :cool:
 

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I’ve found that a tenor mouthpiece which is a hair too edgy and slightly squirrelly on the bell notes for a tenor frequently excels on the C-melody. The happiest marriage I found was an ARB metal piece (circa 1982- a platform design) and a Conn straight neck C. I – not for the faint of heart- sawed off (and then rounded/smoothed the end) the last 5/8 inch of the shank so that it fit neatly onto the Conn tuning-neck style cork and the result was a horn that pretty much fulfilled the promise of a C melody; a piece with a lower range than an alto and a higher top than a tenor- some of the full voice of a tenor but with the high end purity of an alto.

The intonation was as good or better than with the ‘20’s era C-melody mouthpieces (my experience with these was about the same as many others; sort of nasal and tubby).

The ARB mouthpiece worked well with King and Buescher C-melody horns as well so it does not appear to be a specific model horn effect. An older Level-aire (also a Brilhart design) and a Selmer Jazz metal piece (what I currently use- someone thought enough of the ARB to want to buy it from me) both worked very nicely also.

Straight hard rubber “cork it to fit and see what happens” attempts have worked OK but haven't, for me, lived up to my aspirations with the horns’ perceived potential.

Based upon nothing but pure speculation I figure that the issues associated with many bright tenor pieces (and the ARB was a platform design that, when hooked up to the VII I used for decades, could make a Jumbo Java appear suitable for a quiet Christmas eve rendition of Away in a Manger); excessive pull required for tuning and poor bell notes wound up nicely compensated for when applied to the smaller volume (hence smaller “missing cone”) of a C melody.

Additional tinkering with that effect is possible with the Conn tuning neck since you can alter the effective volume of the chamber by fully inserting the piece on the cork and then lengthening the neck by turning the tuner to a more extended position (smaller chamber) or only partially pushing the mouthpiece onto the cork and then shortening the neck with the tuning ring adjuster to effectively enlarge the chamber volume. No doubt Professor Longhair’s scientifically inclined cousin has acoustic studies on this; I just play the thing myself.

Whatever- it worked really well for me and your own mileage may, of course, vary!
 

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+1 for not bothering with the original mouthpiece.
My C-melodies (Conn, Martin, Bueschers) always sounded much better with some tenor mouthpieces.
From Rico Graftonite B or metalites to my link STM.
 

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The happiest marriage I found was an ARB metal piece (circa 1982- a platform design) and a Conn straight neck C.…
Interesting. I've also been using an Arb piece on the C-mel, but it's an alto Arbex model.
 

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The ideal is surely the most versatile....the C tenor is played through the whole spectrum of music, from Rock to Folk...and beyond.
Using the original mouthpiece it is impossible to sound anything other than quiet, stuffy & sweet...it's original role. When pushed, only the sound of a dying swan in a sewer is available.
With a bright (good point Henry D) modern open piece, the whole palette of sounds is available.
It is possible to play even a D9 Dukoff or Runyon Quantum tenor piece quietly & sympathetically...in fact, I played exactly that set-up recently, in church, at a relative's funeral & it did not break the stained glass windows.
I would not attempt however to play any of my mouldering accumulation of original wimpy Conn, Martin or Beuscher mouthpieces on stage with an amplified Blues/Rock band.
In fact, the only sound not available to you when using a modern, open alto or tenor piece is, to everyone's great relief, the traditional C Melody sound.
 

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I concur, but I do still keep a Buescher c-mel mouthpiece for those moments (rare and few) that I want a victrola type of sound coming from that horn.
 

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Interestingly, I've just tried a Jody Jazz HR tenor mpc that I won on ebay - intonation is good on both Martin Bb and C Tenors...

Bit Meyer/Link'ish with steroids until it's pushed, then it gets edgy enough... Not in Lawton 8*BB "Coming through..." territory, but then I'm not often there, these days. Getting gentler in my dotage [rolleyes]
 

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A really informative topic! Well, I just "bit the bullet" and picked up a King C Melody on ebay. The instrument has been re-padded and is in perfect playing condition but doesn't come with a mouthpiece. Here's my dilemna: I would prefer the meatier sound of a tenor rather than the brighter sound of an alto. I may someday pick up a C melody MPC but not right away. My concern is with intonation in using a tenor MPC. Any thoughts?
 

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+1 for not bothering with the original mouthpiece.
My C-melodies (Conn, Martin, Bueschers) always sounded much better with some tenor mouthpieces.
From Rico Graftonite B or metalites to my link STM.
I'm currently enjoying using tenor pieces on the Buescher and Martin: vintage HR and Tonalin Brilharts and a Graftonite C.

But as a devotee of Rudy Wiedoeft, I keep coming back to that velvety parlor sound - especially since both horns came with near pristine stock mpcs, including ligatures and caps. :)
 

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A really informative topic! Well, I just "bit the bullet" and picked up a King C Melody on ebay. The instrument has been re-padded and is in perfect playing condition but doesn't come with a mouthpiece. Here's my dilemna: I would prefer the meatier sound of a tenor rather than the brighter sound of an alto. I may someday pick up a C melody MPC but not right away. My concern is with intonation in using a tenor MPC. Any thoughts?
I'm using a Graftonite B3 on my Buescher. It sounds great. Intonation wise, you have ti jam it pretty far into the neck to get on pitch. I also tried a Metallite, and while it was a bit too much for my newb embouchure, if you're an experienced player, it would probably yield all kinds of great sounds. Both available on Amazon for ridiculously cheap, so experimentation is pretty painless financially.
 
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