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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a quickly advancing, yet temporary student of classical saxophone, and I switched from a Selmer S90 190 to a Morgan 3C about two months ago. The Selmer piece was quickly set aside b/c it lacked the fullness and/or richness of the Morgan. I have read many posts on SOTW that state the Morgan is a dark mouthpiece, but I find the piece to have a very warm and radiant sound with a variety of colors. In many ways, as a former jazz studies major, I find that the piece offers a touch of Otto Link 6 edge and Meyer 6m brilliance. I also describe the piece by comparing it to a Rousseau NC4; the NC4 lacks the fullness of the Morgan but is a little brighter in tone and initially easier to play.

From a manufacturing standpoint, the Morgan is incredibly well made and finished while the Selmer and Rousseau pieces mechanically leave a lot to be desired.

Essentially, mouthpiece descriptions are made by comparing pieces, but I am not sure how the semantics of tone identification are applied in discussing mouthpiece sound. Does a uniform code or systematic approach exist for outlining and discussing mouthpiece sound?

For comparison, I am playing a Yamaha 875EX, the Morgan 3C, Rico Reserve 3.5 reeds, and a gold-plated BG Ligature.

Thanks for your help!
 

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No, there is not a uniform code since perception of sound is so subjective, however, there are a number of words that are used to describe tone. Here are some words that are usually considered antonymns :

bright - dark
edgy - mellow
thin - full

Here are some more commonly used descriptive words:

large, spread (aforementioned two often used together), focused, pure, live (I've heard of this word to describe John Coltrane's sound, which was said to be rich in middle partials), shrill, fat.

I'll leave it to other people to add to the list.
 

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I think lots of people mistake bright to be thin and edgy. But in my definition, bright means that there is a lot of overtones in the sound. That means you can have a bright sound with lots of body or low overtones as well. The result is a large sound with lots of color.
 

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I agree with Demolisher about people confusing "bright" with "edgy". For example, Eugene Rousseau has a bright sound, but I wouldn't call it edgy! It's very focused, and rich in overtones...

I think that relative dark and bright has more to do with which overtones are "loudest" (more pronounced) in the sound. A dark sound will have the lower overtones emphasized, whereas a brighter sound has the higher overtones emphasized (which is why it's easier to get altissimo with a brighter sound).
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Your comments are all very helpful in helping me establish a common language for describing a mouthpiece's role in sound generation. I can see why the Morgan piece is described as dark. But the Morgan piece also produces an amazing altissimo. I can speak highly of the Morgan piece and am kind of surprised his classical pieces did not obtain more popular acclaim.

I found the S90 190 to play quite well, but I felt it lacked something for about nine months of the one and a half years I played it. I tried the Morgan a few months back and was awed by its richness and color. It plays the most even scale of any piece I have tried and generates more color than the latest line of Vandorens (AL3 and Al4). The Morgan is a bit harder to focus than the Selmer and Vandoren makes, but the extra effort, especially for more experienced players, is well worth the effort.

Thanks. . .
 

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The Morgan "C" pieces are excellent. As far as altissimo goes, it's easier to produce good high tones when the tip rail is nice and even, and it will be better on a hand-finished piece.

He's more well-known for his jazz pieces because most classical players don't try new pieces. (They'll stick with whatever they were "brought up" on.) There are actually many good handmade pieces out there that don't get much attention: Fobes, Ridenour (which is really more of a Rascher style mouthpiece), Richard Hawkins's "Sinta", and even Pyne, who is very well-known for his clarinet pieces.
(BTW, James Houlik played on a Bilger-Morgan mouthpiece at one point.)

I would never say that his pieces aren't well known.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I qualified my statement regarding Morgan mouthpieces not receiving more popular acclaim. I am thinking that horn, reed, and ligature set-up has a considerable impact on mouthpiece selection. I strongly prefer the resonance, ring, and full-bodied sound I receive from the Morgan and Rousseau mouthpieces. This is likely impacted by my set-up (YAS-875EX, Rico Reserve Reeds, a BG Gold ligature, and the Morgan piece). I played this set-up on a later edition Selmer SA80II and felt I lost the ring and resonance on the Selmer horn. Likewise, I played the S90 190 on the YAS-875EX and missed the full-bodied partials and overtones of the Morgan piece.
 
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