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Yanigisawa 990 soprano, Yamaha Custom alto, Selmer Mark VII tenor
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I have a Mark VII tenor that I've owned for about 15 years, and I have been unable to find a mouthpiece to help darken the tone on this horn (especially in the upper range). Does anyone have any recommendations or pieces that have worked for you? Thanks, in advance!
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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There’s lots of “dark” pieces to try, but in 15 years you’ve probably played a large enough sample size to know what works and what different designs/ geometry bring to the table. Have you tried slowing your air speed and using softer reeds? If you and the horn trend bright it might just not be the best axe for you. Also, are you really playing that bright or is it just how you’re hearing yourself? How do you like your recorded sound?
 

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to me the tone is way more something that comes from the player that the mouthpiece. The Mouthpiece is only a tool that the player uses to achieve the tone that he produces. It is way more likely to assume that you have a bright approach than all the mouthpieces that you have tried.

Anyway.

If you find that this horn is too bright for you, it is not worth your effort to try to darken it with a mouthpiece that may not suit the horn.

Don't fight the horn change it. ( and you may very well find that you are bright on other horns too)

Ad about tone, again, watch this.

 

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Big booming low end. Top whiny high end. Yeah, that's a VII tenor unfortunately. A mouthpiece that matched very well with my VII tenor (before I dumped it) was a Ponzol M2 (NOT the plus + model). Sort of a baffled Link. Not a dark mouthpiece. Just one that helped make the horn sound more balanced.
 

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I played a Otto Link STM and a Jody Jazz HR on mine when I owned one .The STM Seemed to be more Warm, Mello Sounding to me.The reed made a difference to me also I found a Java Red was a more darker tone than others. I think Scott Hamilton Plays a Link , but not a VII for sure. Maybe listen to his tone on You tube and get an idea. But I think it has a lot to do with the player.
 

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I have a Mark VII tenor that I've owned for about 15 years, and I have been unable to find a mouthpiece to help darken the tone on this horn (especially in the upper range). Does anyone have any recommendations or pieces that have worked for you? Thanks, in advance!
For me, a low baffle and/or large chamber plus a harder reed can result in quite a dark tone. However I can brighten it quite a bit depending on how I play. So it's going to be a combination of mouthpiece, reed and you. I prefer very bright mouthpieces, so I can't give you specific recommendations on dark ones.

I don't agree with VII's being any brighter on the top end than other horns, like the VI.
 

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For me, a low baffle and/or large chamber plus a harder reed can result in quite a dark tone. However I can brighten it quite a bit depending on how I play. So it's going to be a combination of mouthpiece, reed and you. I prefer very bright mouthpieces, so I can't give you specific recommendations on dark ones.

I don't agree with VII's being any brighter on the top end than other horns...
Not bright. Whiny.
 

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without any ideo of how OP plays and how he wants to play these, mine too, are only guesses
 

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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Otto Link Super Tone Master NY ( New York ) gives the darkness you are looking for.
 
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Any low-baffle, large chamber mouthpiece with a mellow reed like a blue box, Hemke, etc should get you in the ballpark. Harder reeds usually sound a little darker than softer, so use the hardest you can comfortably manage.

I've only ever played one Mark VII, but it struck me as a relatively neutral horn, tonally. Not particularly bright or dark.

What kind of "dark" are we talking about here? A smooth, light, Warne Marsh kind of dark? A fuzzy, buzzy Ben Webster kind of dark? A focused, clear Seamus Blake kind of dark? There are lots of ways to have a dark sound and the sort of other colors you want in there will help determine what kind of advice we give you.

What are you using now that isn't dark enough? Maybe we can start from there.

Without knowing any of that, though, my preliminary advice would be to get a Link and play with your embouchure and voicing until you sound dark. Record yourself. I usually perceive my own sound as being much brighter than it actually is, especially if I've been playing in a small room.
 

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i owned 2 mk7 tenors . like dirty says they are mpc neutral . not picky about mpc. you can use whatever you like on them
 

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vi tenor/alto, yss-62 soprano, the martin baritone, muramatsu flute, R13 clarinet
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Chiming in as someone who has a few vintage tenors, including an early VII: my horn is certainly not whiny.
 

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Martin Commitee 3 52bari & 56 tenor 49 Big B tenor 58 Buffet Alto, 28 Martin sop, bassclar Leblanc
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Did you try a moderate opened Selmer Soloist (E) ?
 

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I have a Mark VII tenor that I've owned for about 15 years, and I have been unable to find a mouthpiece to help darken the tone on this horn (especially in the upper range). Does anyone have any recommendations or pieces that have worked for you? Thanks, in advance!
"Darken" is relative - what are you playing now? What reeds are you using?
 

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I play a metal Fred Rast 7* with BSS 3.5 reeds and I can get a dark tone --- to something quite bright if I push it. Not like a Tower of Power sound, but brighter for sure. I'll post something tomorrow maybe. Fred is local here in the Bay and I ran into him while he was giving lessons. He basically let me try 4 of the same version. I figured I had to buy one and really spend some time with it. It's been great. I had just purchased my first tenor and had a crazy time finding a decent mouthpiece. Just the availability in stores to do a visual inspection alone limited my options. I'm typically an alto player and have played the same instrument for over 21 years (Mark VII alto with a metal Meyer 7J). It served me well in college, but I had not shopped for gear since. Just having the ability to test play several was really awesome. It helps that they play well also though.

I also have a Metal Vandoren T7 and a Selmer LT. The Vandoren is also nice, but has a longer facing curve. It's more gradual. The Fred Rast is more ... well curvy (like more of a C shape). If you want a reeeaaally dark sound, the LT will get you there, but it's more for classical music. I'd probably use a harder reed with the LT. It's similar to the C* but with a round throat. I play on 4 Blue Box Vandoren with the LT for classical music on my alto.
 

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Did you try a moderate opened Selmer Soloist (E) ?
I agree with Oliver. Maybe check out a Selmer Soloist. The E facing might be a nice balance between the classical sound (C*) and a more jazz sound. The throat has a U type shape which lends itself to more jazz players. Many players have used them in the past and their quality control is pretty amazing. I have several LT's (variation of the soloist) and they all play the same. I've had them for years.
 

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Hi, I’m a long time MkVII fan, but I dumped the original neck for a Reference 54. The horn is more balanced and responsive.
I play very bright reeds (Fiberreed Carbon), and Link STMs or similar have been my best matches so far.
 
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