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I would like to get some advice on what MP to progress to. I play a YTS62 and use a otto link 6* tone edge (.098) with a Vandoren Jazz 2 1/2 reed. I play in a community band in my hoome town in Australia and our music is about 60% rock and 40% jazz. My band leader wants me to get a " edgy" sound and suggested a metal MP ( he is not a sax player). I am willing to pay up to $300 but if i found one that was outstanding i would wait and save more for it. There is not music shop in my area that allows trying them out , so i only have research and advice to guide me. Anyone got any suggestions.
 

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Well, looks like I'm the first one here, so I'll just go ahead and say what many actual mouthpiece makers will tell you: in terms of sound, the material the mouthpiece is made of actually matters very little compared to all the other variables (chamber, facing length, baffle), and of course much less than the actual player.

For example, an intermediate player will find it much easier to get an "edgy" sound out of a Vandoren Jumbo Java (rubber) in, say, a .105 tip opening than on a metal Otto Link Super Tone Master in a .105 tip opening. The Link will have a lower baffle and, as far as I know, a bigger chamber.

An experienced player will be able to take both of those mouthpieces and shape the sound to his or her desires. Granted, it'll be a bit easier to get a bright sound on the Jumbo Java than on the Link (and a darker sound on the Link than on the Jumbo), but a pro will be able to get a ton of variation out of a piece. This comes from control over air support, tongue position, and familiarity with the equipment.

If your rubber Link feels stuffy and muffled, it may be poorly or unevenly faced, so taking it to a good mouthpiece tech could help you get a bigger, fuller, brighter, easier sound with it. You could also try a couple Vandoren or D'Addario pieces if you have the option to do so. They're generally more consistent than modern Otto Links, facing-wise, so you might have an easier time getting a flexible and useful sound out of one of those.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Heavy wheather, thankyou for the advice , but just to clarify something , as i said in my post the tip opening on the otto link .098 are you saying i should try .105 tip opening?or wasthat jyst an example
 

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All excellent advice from HeavyWeather77 there. It is true that your Link may not be faced well if it is a stock piece. You could also try experimenting with different reeds on your current mouthpiece first but I can't recommend any as this is all personal and comes from trial and error so to speak. The Jumbo Java will probably feel as easy to play as your Link despite the bigger tip because it has a very high baffle in it, but you may not be able to control it at first. It will probably be brighter and edgier than your Link but you may not like the response or tone . You really have to try things out for yourself and not go by everyones opinion on here.
 

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I would always recommend experimenting with different reeds before investing in a new mouthpiece. Reeds aren't cheap these days, but they're cheaper than mouthpieces, and there's a pretty good chance you can get some more "edge" to your sound just by getting the right brand and size of reed. Lots of info online from people who have rated different reeds from bright to dark.

And of course I have to second everything that's been said about sound coming from the player and not the mouthpiece. Michael Brecker came up playing a Link, and I don't think anybody would accuse him of lacking an "edge"!

All that said, if you do decide you want to invest in a new mouthpiece, I would suggest looking at 10mfan's stuff. His Ultem HR pieces are within your budget (though just barely!) and he's got a range of different models that cover a whole spectrum from very warm and spread to very focused and edgy. If you go to Steve Neff's website, he has reviewed just about all of 10mfan's stuff, with sound samples, so you can hear for yourself what they sound like. (Caution: Steve makes everything sound great, so visiting his website can be dangerous!) Something like a Robusto or a Showtime might be good for your needs, but I must say everything I've played from Mark (10mfan) has been superb, and very versatile. Good luck!
 

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My first question is, do you want an edgy sound? Back in the 30's Lester Young was hired by Fletcher Henderson to play in his orchestra. Those in the band as well as Henderson's wife wanted him to sound like Coleman Hawkins. He subsequently quit and went back with Basie, and the rest is history. Now, if you're not satisfied with how you sound that's another matter. This band leader is a little bit out of line if you ask me as an individuals sound is a personal matter and should not be trifled with. There's some good advice here on how to achieve that edgy sound, but in all honesty if you already have a particular sound in your head you will eventually fall back to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks reet , to tell the whole story on the band leader,he actually organised a mouth piece for me (on lone) it was a Yanagisawa 6 metal , i had never played a metal before
And although he said it was producing the sound he was after , i am not sold on its sound , thats why i thought i would ask this forum and try and get a MP with a sound i liked and would satisfy the bands need.
 

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My first question is, do you want an edgy sound? Back in the 30's Lester Young was hired by Fletcher Henderson to play in his orchestra. Those in the band as well as Henderson's wife wanted him to sound like Coleman Hawkins. He subsequently quit and went back with Basie, and the rest is history. Now, if you're not satisfied with how you sound that's another matter. This band leader is a little bit out of line if you ask me as an individuals sound is a personal matter and should not be trifled with. There's some good advice here on how to achieve that edgy sound, but in all honesty if you already have a particular sound in your head you will eventually fall back to it.
That is really great advice. IMHO , no one should Organize a mouthpiece for YOU. It would be like someone suggesting to me to play a 120 or 130/0 Stainless Berg to sound like Lenny Pickett or whatever. The mouthpiece and your personal sound and approach are all personal
 

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Most m/p's work on a YTS 62 vintage or modern,take my word for that. If YOU are happy with the Link on a personal level keep it,there is no need to change up to a bigger tip opening because this will not make your sound 'brighter'. Why not try a temporary baffle or small wedge in your Link for when you play in this band you mention? This 'hack' has been discussed many times on here, it's dead easy to do and costs peanuts...better still it does work!
 

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Rico Metalite M5 (.095") or M7 (.105") would be a cheap way to get an edgier rock/funk/r&b sound, but can also play bop. Surprisingly flexible, versatile mouthpieces, though you'll probably need to work to tame it a bit for the softer jazz charts.
 

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Thanks reet , to tell the whole story on the band leader,he actually organised a mouth piece for me (on lone) it was a Yanagisawa 6 metal , i had never played a metal before
And although he said it was producing the sound he was after , i am not sold on its sound , thats why i thought i would ask this forum and try and get a MP with a sound i liked and would satisfy the bands need.
Jim,
everyone has their story on how they got started playing an instrument. Some start out playing in primary school at the behest of their parents and end up sticking with it. Others hear a particular musician and become inspired and decide they must try their hand at it. I think it's the latter that forms how they want to sound early on because they were actually inspired by someones sound, they already have something in their head that they're hearing. In most cases we end up listening to many other players and then gravitate towards their sound as well, and then, incorporating all of it, we achieve that sound that is ours. Those in the former group tend to develop the fundamentals quicker but seem to search more for their personal sound until they find someone that fully inspires them to take them in that direction of no return.

If you don't have a personal sound locked in at this point, my advice (which ain't worth much) is to start listening to as much saxophone music a possible in all different genres. There is some player out there or maybe two or three that will really inspire you. Then, just try and cop their sound. Eventually you will own your sound, and nobody can tell you to change it. If you are already at that point and have that particular sound you want but feel the need to refine it with equipment, go here, https://theowanne.com/# and read everything Theo has in his resources section. This should give you all you need to know about how different mouthpieces produce certain sounds.
 

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Rico Metalite M5 (.095") or M7 (.105") would be a cheap way to get an edgier rock/funk/r&b sound, but can also play bop. Surprisingly flexible, versatile mouthpieces, though you'll probably need to work to tame it a bit for the softer jazz charts.
Not to mention cheaper than a box of reeds!
 

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Well, if you want a bright hard rubber tenor MP a Vandoren Jumbo Java will probably do the trick. I haven't played one myself but I have a suspicion it'll still have playing characteristics similar to your Link, at least more so than something like a metal Berg Larsen 0 chamber or something like that.

And the Vandoren is a quality piece, whereas those Metalites are kind of questionable.

Also you can try a Meyer small chamber.
 

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I use an Otto Link STM 6* metal mp w/vandoren 2.5 java green reeds on my yts62 (& rovner lig) and it works great

the vandoren jumbo java gives a nice big open bright sound, also good (but link stm is best imo)
 

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And the Vandoren is a quality piece, whereas those Metalites are kind of questionable.
I've only ever had good experiences with fit and finish on Metalites. I've heard of occasional molding issues, but in general they seem to be pretty consistent. I will admit that the sound isn't for everyone, but the same can be said about any mouthpiece. The Metalites (and Graftonites) are consistent, inexpensive, and sound great.
 
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