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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a year ago I snatched up one of the last original 652RL models from Sax Alley, the ones made in Taiwan before they started producing in China. Its a fun and interesting horn. In some ways its very similar to my Selmer Series II, with a darkness and roundness that is always there and never loses itself as you travers up and down the horn. In other ways it differs greatly - its louder for sure, the sound is kind of wide where it spreads out and fills the room whereas the Series II is a very focused sort of roundness.

This is where the mouthpiece question comes into play. I've noticed the 52nd street can venture into an unpleasant tubbiness under certain conditions. Its usually if the mouthpiece has a squeezed throat, or a baffle paired with not quite big enough of a chamber. Think Vandoren V16 5M compared to Meyers and their clones. The V16 seems to work better, and I "think" its because the chamber is slighter larger. Is this a feature of these vintage American throw-backs with larger bells/bores, where they like larger round chamber mouthpieces? Just curious what others' experience has been.

Luckily my preferred mouthpiece at the moment, Morgan Dry Martini #5, fits the bill nicely. But its made me wonder if something like a Morgan 3C would be even better. I feel the 52nd street needs a bit of reigning in, and I wonder if that is common with other similar big bell/bore horns from Taiwan, like the Barone Vintage, P. Mauriats, Cannonballs, etc...?
 

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VI, MKX, VR, YTS26, Barone tenors. AD, TW, 10mfan, Link, Brilhart mouthpieces.
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I have the same vintage Eastman 52nd and yet use Meyer inspired pieces with it exclusively: Theo Wanne NY Bros 7 and a BARI 77. These slot the Eastman between the Yamaha 82z and Conn 6M I also play. Great intonation like Yamaha and fat tone like the Conn. But I as well find the big bore Taiwan saxes to be a bit too wild as a rule, especially since I play wider tips and softer reeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...I as well find the big bore Taiwan saxes to be a bit too wild as a rule, especially since I play wider tips and softer reeds.
When I play Yamahas and Selmers, I'm thinking - can I get away with a bigger mpc to open up the sound without sacrificing control? With this 52nd St, I'm thinking - can I keep going smaller and smaller to reign it in without losing the depth of tone. I'm even considering trying one of those new Backun TM 2 classical mouthpieces just to see.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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I have the tenor version, and I came to quickly realize that I enjoyed the wild nature of it. More an embrace of that quality than a desire to rein it in. That said, I'd definitely avoid going to the extremely small classical pieces for the type of music you want to play. I think that will overdo the goal of your intention. Try a GS NY 5!
 

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@JJsax I haven't played the Eastman altos, but from the sound that you describe, the Borgani Jubilee alto may overlap its characteristics. In the jazz idiom, I played many of the Meyer-like pieces and they worked well, but the mouthpiece that delivered the greatest range of dynamic expression while maintaining excellent control of intonation and tone was the Phil-Tone Intrepid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If so, see my comments in the final posts of the review thread.
yep, saw that. In the sax.co.uk interview with Tim, he mentions a lot of "Meyer guys" liked the TM2. I don't think he's suggesting it is a Meyer replacement, just that a "Meyer guy" may not feel the TM2 is stuffy like other classical pieces.

@JJsax the mouthpiece that delivered the greatest range of dynamic expression while maintaining excellent control of intonation and tone was the Phil-Tone Intrepid.
do you get the impression the larger chamber played a factor in being a better match to the larger bore horn?
 

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do you get the impression the larger chamber played a factor in being a better match to the larger bore horn?
No, it's not just the chamber. It's having the correct balance of chamber size and shape, baffle size and shape, and excellent attention to detail. You cannot just mix and match, ala Syos, and expect a miracle.

The Intrepid is a well-integrated piece, greater than the sum of its parts. It's like Fred Lamberson's "J" model in that regard - not what you'd expect just looking at it. In fact, a tenor Intrepid replaced the Lamberson J that I played for many years on my Borgani Jubilee tenor.
 
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