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I recently purchased two mouthpieces... one Selmer Larry Teal (.055" closed tip with a long facing) and a Vandoren Optimum AL3 (.060" closed tip with a medium long facing-as advertised). Both the Teal and Optimum have round throats.. the diameter of the Teal appears slightly smaller. To-date I have tried Vandoren 2 & 2.5 reeds and La Voz medium and medium soft reeds. For the most part, the reeds all sound rather stuffy... a few of the La Voz medium soft and a couple of the Vandoren 2's blow without much resistance, but in general, they all play rather hard. This seems odd to me given that these pieces should take even stiffer reeds given the tip and facing dimensions.

I realize that these pieces are best suited for classical play and have a rather dark sound to them, but I was surprised by how stiff the reeds seem and how stuffy the sound is... I play a Selmer Mark VI Alto and historically have played a Soloist C* and an S90 - 190 with medium La Voz reeds. Any thoughts on the new mouthpiece reed combinations would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I played the AL3 for a few years. Firstly on size 3 vandoren classiques, then finally on 3 1/2's as I found the 3's were too soft. However, reed strength is a rather personal issue, and I believe that different people are suited to different strength reeds and mouthpieces. I've now changed to an S90 170, this is the best saxophone related purchase I've ever made. It's changed my world. However, I can see this mouthpiece not working for a lot of people. Basically what I'm suggesting is experiment with everything and see what works best for you.
 

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I know what you mean about the AL3...most of the cats I know who blow that piece play a #3 or even a 2.5 I play vintage vandoren alto clarinet 4's on it..but I'm strange and they work for me...You can hear this sound on some clips of mine on Youtube...search Philip Sparke Carnival Ryan Knight The inside rehearsal takes are clearer than the outside takes but you get an idea of the AL3 sound I blow...

Have Richard Hawkins of Oberlin make you a piece! Tell him I sent you...
Later..
 

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it can be alot of problems, but first try a harder reed, if it doesn't work, then you probably are blowing too much with your lips. Try using much more air from the diaphragm, the lips should stay relaxed. Most importantly, give it at least a week to get adjust to it. good luck!
 

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I would recommend getting several recommendations before sending a prized mouthpiece to an unknown refacer. Or just send a test piece or try someone else's reworked piece. I have seen 4 RH-faced mouthpieces owned by the same client. I can not recommend his facing work.
 

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I own a Larry Teal I purchased way back in 1975 for classical playing. You are not plowing any new ground by any means. Reed selection for all mouthpieces is just one of those crazy things us sax nuts do!
I had better success with the Teal by using a medium hard reed but with adjusting it a bit with a reed rush. A reed rush is typically used on double reeds, such as basson, English, horn, etc., but I found it most usefull in adjusting the reeds for a classical mouthpiece such as the LT. Problem I always had was once you got a good response to the lower stack notes, then the reed would seem too soft for altissimo notes. BUMMER! So...work toward really strong and responsive altissimo while adjusting the reed so it will more easily produce good responsiveness for the lower register by taking off a bit of reed material from the sides and center of the heart section of the reed. This takes some experimentation. Play and sand...play and sand... Eventually you will find a good combination and you will be pleased with the results. The LT is an awesome tool once you find the right reed combination and adjustments for your own personal embouchure.
HOPE THIS HELPS.
Good luck!
 
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