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Discussion Starter #1
This is my tenth year playing the alto sax, so I’m looking for something nice to upgrade to from my current Selmer Concept mouthpiece. A bit of info on me: I’m usually playing symphonic music, but do a bit of jazz as well.

Edit: Clarification on the Selmer Concept piece. My director isn’t fond of it because the tone is just so different from the other instruments. It’s been nice to play on, but it doesn’t seem to work for the setting. I really don’t know a ton about mouthpieces, hence the random selection of choices. ;-;

Here are five mouthpieces that I have narrowed down. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

DURGA Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/Theo-Wanne/DURGA-Alto-Saxophone-Mouthpiece

GAIA 2 Metal Alto Saxophone Motuhpiece: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/Theo-Wanne/GAIA-2-Metal-Alto-Saxophone-Motuhpiece

GAIA Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/Theo-Wanne/GAIA-Alto-Saxophone-Mouthpiece

Mindi Abair Custom Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/Theo-Wanne/Mindi-Abair-Custom-Alto-Saxophone-Mouthpiece

https://www.silversteinworks.com/product/leo-alto-mouthpiece/
 

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The Durga and Mindi Abair are high baffle pieces. They are not suitable for symphonic music. Get the Gaia or better yet talk to 10mfan and get one of his pieces.
 

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These mouthpiece choices seem a bit unusual if you are intending to continue focusing on symphonic music and jazz. I would recommend contacting a member who is also a mouthpiece manufacturer, like Sigmund451 (www.phil-tone.com) and discuss the sound, articulation and feedback that you would like to achieve in a mouthpiece, and go from there.
 

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What's not "nice" about your Selmer Concept? That's a top of the line professional mouthpiece.

If you're interested in buying a second, more jazz-oriented mouthpiece, that could be a good idea.
But… why only Theo Wanne? There's lots of good mouthpiece brands.
 

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You can't "upgrade" from a Selmer Concept. It's a top-of-the-line classical mouthpiece, as noted above. If your goal is really to start using a completely different style of mouthpiece, then watch your step. Too radical a change could make the adjustment very difficult for you.

Perhaps what you should consider is using two mouthpieces: one for symphonic music (you could stick with your Concept), and one for jazz. But a moderate jazz piece would be a better choice than a screamin' demon.
 

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Your choices are all over the map.

You will likely get hit over the head with a bassoon if you play some of those in concert band.

Are you looking for a jazz piece or are you just looking because you have GAS?

If you need or want a jazz piece it would be wise to spend some time thinking about and then talking about what you would like your sound to be.

...I say that because sound wise those pieces are across the spectrum. It looks more like a shotgun blast than a laser beam. Shotgun shopping is really expensive and frustrating (unless you are actually buying a shotgun...they are loud but their tone sucks).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My director and I haven’t been very fond of the tone of the Concept. I’ve tried changing reed types as well as ligatures, but it doesn’t seem to mesh well with the other saxophones.
As for only Theo Wanne, it’s just because I know it’s a quality company and had some friends recommend them. I’m not the most knowledgeable on mouthpieces.
 

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My director and I haven’t been very fond of the tone of the Concept. I’ve tried changing reed types as well as ligatures, but it doesn’t seem to mesh well with the other saxophones.
Based on your statement above, I would ask what the other saxophonists that you are not meshing with are playing. Then it would help responders if you would describe what you do not like with your tone when using the Concept, and what you would like your tone to sound like. Is your current tone too bright, too dark, maybe too thin in certain registers, etc, etc. If you explain your tonal issues it should really increase your chance of getting good recommendations from SOTW members.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Based on your statement above, I would ask what the other saxophonists that you are not meshing with are playing. Then it would help responders if you would describe what you do not like with your tone when using the Concept, and what you would like your tone to sound like. Is your current tone too bright, too dark, maybe too thin in certain registers, etc, etc. If you explain your tonal issues it should really increase your chance of getting good recommendations from SOTW members.
I'm not the most knowledgeable on this kind of stuff as my choice of mouthpieces shows. All i can say is the tone of the Concept is easily noticed when played in a group of altos. It's kind of dull instead of warm and full. I'm assuming it's due to the mouthpiece being plastic instead of rubber?
 

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I'm not the most knowledgeable on this kind of stuff as my choice of mouthpieces shows. All i can say is the tone of the Concept is easily noticed when played in a group of altos. It's kind of dull instead of warm and full. I'm assuming it's due to the mouthpiece being plastic instead of rubber?
How much effect mouthpiece material has on the sound can be a bit of a controversial subject.

I'd reiterate the question that was asked before: What pieces are the rest of your section playing on. You may also want to consider your tip opening. I play jazz, so I'm not familiar with the Concept (I played on an S90 when I was playing in the symphonic band in college), but what tip opening does it have? That can have an effect on your tone.
 

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Forget the pieces you are looking at.
Theo's, Mine...whoever else you listed...these are primarily jazz pieces.
If you dont mesh on a selmer you will stand out like a sore thumb with a jazz piece.
You sont need to go soend five hundred bucks

Why dont you mesh?
Are you too edgy...too loud...need to know more
 

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I'm not the most knowledgeable on this kind of stuff as my choice of mouthpieces shows. All i can say is the tone of the Concept is easily noticed when played in a group of altos. It's kind of dull instead of warm and full. I'm assuming it's due to the mouthpiece being plastic instead of rubber?
The Concept is made of hard rubber, not plastic.

Blending is an important consideration. It's impossible to assess your situation without hearing you and your section mates. But assuming that you are a reasonably good player, using good reeds and a decent horn, then if the sound of a Selmer Concept is a total mismatch for your saxophone section, there is something wrong with the section. A sax section in a concert band should ordinarily not sound like the sax section of a big band (there are times when the big band sound needs to be imitated, but they are the exceptions).
 

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I have heard similar problems with the Concept from other players. It was a major reason I didn’t switch to one. Try one of these: Rousseau NC4 or RC4, Selmer S90, or Vandoren Optimum AL3. These are all made to blend in band an orchestra; the Concept is designed to be a soloists mouthpiece.




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I have heard similar problems with the Concept from other players. It was a major reason I didn’t switch to one. Try one of these: Rousseau NC4 or RC4, Selmer S90, or Vandoren Optimum AL3. These are all made to blend in band an orchestra; the Concept is designed to be a soloists mouthpiece.




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"Kind of dull instead of warm and full" (see post #9) is not a typical characteristic of the Concept -playing one myself, I'd be surprised if the other players who complained about the Concept said it is dull.
Moreover, it is not consistant with your characterization of the Concept as a soloist mouthpiece...
 

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"Kind of dull instead of warm and full" (see post #9) is not a typical characteristic of the Concept -playing one myself, I'd be surprised if the other players who complained about the Concept said it is dull.
Moreover, it is not consistant with your characterization of the Concept as a soloist mouthpiece...
Yes, I kind of worded that poorly. I meant that some people have difficulty blending with it in a band/orchestra setting for whatever reason.


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Seems the easiest way t do this is find out what most players are using in your setting and get it or something like it. My guess is a selmer s-80 which i find deadly boring but it has its place.
 
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