Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello dear SOTW community,
I haven't yet introduced myself - I'm Albert, a 17 y/o living in Germany. While reading through some threads recently, I was really impressed about how much knowledge everyone's got!
I tried to use the search function to find some results regarding my question - though without success.

I've been playing on a Selmer C* mpc on my alto until last week. My dad came up with new mouthpieces which were unbelievably cheap. Now I have an Otto Link STM 5* and also a 6* ,though I prefer the 5* (both are USA models).
After some effort of comparison, I decided to stick with the metal OL STM mouthpiece due to the fact that it seems to be coming closer to the sound I want to achieve.
Today I made some calls because I wanted to inform myself about the Cannonball alto (Raven). The service asked about my current mouthpiece, so I told him that I am currently playing a Otto Link STM. After I told him my setup he was pretty surprised as he hardly meets any alto player using metal mpc's. He also told me that they are rather common on tenors but not on altos..
Now my main question is: Are metal mouthpieces, in this case Links, worse on altos or why are they so hardly used?
I guess it is up to everyones preference wether he/she wants to use a hardrubber or metal mouthpiece, but are metal mpcs even recommendable for alto players?

Again, I am sorry if there were many threads concerning this subject, but I couldn't find what I was looking for.
I'd be glad to recieve some answers :)
cheers!
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
17,488 Posts
Hello Albert, welcome to SOTW :).

It's true that metal mouthpieces are more used on tenor than on alto, but still a lot of alto players play metal mouthpieces (Otto Link or others). Sonny Stitt is a great example of an alto player sounding and playing fantastic on a metal Otto Link (it's on older model than the one you have). I'm a tenor player myself, but I have an alto which I play about 1 hour each two years and I use a metal Otto Link STM 9*.

You will probably get a lot of different answers here, but in the end the most important thing is that you like the mouthpiece you play yourself. So if you are happy with your metal Otto Link STM 5*, just play it and let others think what they want :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,783 Posts
I am not sure who plays a metal link on alto ...but so far as metal mouthpieces go ....Tom Scott, Dave Sanborn, Candy Dulfer, Mindi Abair, are a few professional players out there who use metal mouthpieces ...that is just off the top of my head ...I will bet others will soon add to this list
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I play on a vintage master link for jazz and a vintage selmer classic c* for classical, its just a matter of your taste in sound.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician.
Joined
·
3,224 Posts
I play a metal Link 6*. I think they are great for alto. I've tried several other pieces but, for the price, the Link is best for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
I got a used modern OL STM for my (barely played) alto for literally a song, it was barely playable and somewhere in its life, someone had tried to reface it? I had ucatenor reface it and now has a deep, dark sound (Darth Vader anyone) with a lot of core. Way more complex than my Meyer. For what little I play, I really like it, although I really to have to watch intonation with it, although that may be a tenor/alto thing since I play very little alto.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,289 Posts
Albert: Another WELCOME to SOTW. Disregard comments about metal vs. plastic/hard-rubber and just play what suits you best. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Wow thank you all for the fast, and what's most important, productive responses! Well, it seems like there are more professionals (and players in general) playing metal mpcs on the alto than I thought! :)
I guess everyone's right, i should stick with what suits my sound of preference the most, thanks again, it was kind of a motivation too :p
Now this might be a little bit offtopic, but has anyone tried playing a metal mpc on a cannonball sax? There's still some time left until I make my final decision on which sax to buy, but I definitely have a CB in mind..
Could he/she tell me his experiences with it?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
Wow thank you all for the fast, and what's most important, productive responses! Well, it seems like there are more professionals (and players in general) playing metal mpcs on the alto than I thought! :)
I guess everyone's right, i should stick with what suits my sound of preference the most, thanks again, it was kind of a motivation too :p
Now this might be a little bit offtopic, but has anyone tried playing a metal mpc on a cannonball sax? There's still some time left until I make my final decision on which sax to buy, but I definitely have a CB in mind..
Could he/she tell me his experiences with it?
Well, you should probably get a Berg Larsen metal with a "bullet" chamber. Really, though, the mouthpiece you choose will probably be compatible with any horn brand. Pick what you like. Hopefully you are trying a variety of horn makes.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,289 Posts
Albert: Cannonball, Selmer, Yanagisawa, Yamaha . . . it doesn't matter. They are all basically conical tubes with vents. Most of them play in tune.

I have several altos (and sopranos) in my closet ranging from a mid-20's King and Buescher TT, altos the thirties, forties, a MKVI from the early '60's, and a modern Ref 54. I can set them side by side and use my one favorite mouthpiece on all of them successfully.

I have/had metal mouthpieces for alto and I prefer plastic/hard-rubber, but that's just me. It isn't the material from which a mouthpiece is made, it is the internal design of the mouthpiece in question . . . the chamber design, size, baffle design, tip opening, length of lay, side rails, etc. Don't get hung up on the material. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
I am not sure who plays a metal link on alto ...but so far as metal mouthpieces go ....Tom Scott, Dave Sanborn, Candy Dulfer, Mindi Abair, are a few professional players out there who use metal mouthpieces ...that is just off the top of my head ...I will bet others will soon add to this list
As mentioned, Sonny Stitt at times played a metal Link on alto (he liked to use the same kind of mouthpiece on both alto and tenor) and I think Jesse Davis played a metal Link on alto too. Metal Links, even Links in general, are fairly uncommon on alto. I could be wrong, but I think it might be because they maintain a large chamber while medium and small chambers are generally preferred on alto. When you do see metal pieces on alto, it's normally people going for brighter and more contemporary sounds (like the players you've mentioned) and those mouthpieces are geared towards those sounds (smaller chambers, higher baffles). The vast majority of pieces aimed at classic straight ahead jazz tones are made of hard rubber (or resin). Unlike tenor where there are a lot more metal options for that kind of sound.
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
17,488 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Once again I realize how much time has to be invested until i find my ideal setup, but I guess I've got some time left for now..
The players mrpeebee posted are great, though I seek for a different tone.
What really impressed me was this tone (he was also using a link STM, though a vintage one which could be a reason for the great tone)
http://youtu.be/dDK9RItjyZQ
By the way, is it wrong to assume that modern smooth jazzists have brighter tones in general?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
276 Posts
Dear Albert,
I'm Patrick from Wuerzburg (gruesse Dich)
most players I know use HR mouthpieces on their alto.
I myself played an Otto Link STM 7 and felt fine on my Conn Tranny 6M.
As I sold it to a German girl she wrote me that it is the best MPC she ever
had on her alto.
So all in all it depends on you as a player to feel good on your stuff.

Cheers und beste Gruesse aus Unterfranken
Patrick
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
17,488 Posts
Once again I realize how much time has to be invested until i find my ideal setup, but I guess I've got some time left for now..
The players mrpeebee posted are great, though I seek for a different tone.
What really impressed me was this tone (he was also using a link STM, though a vintage one which could be a reason for the great tone)
http://youtu.be/dDK9RItjyZQ
By the way, is it wrong to assume that modern smooth jazzists have brighter tones in general?
The guy in the clip you posted sounds indeed great :). He plays an Early Babbitt Otto Link that is refaced from a smaller tip. EB's have already more baffle compared to modern STM's and the reface normally also creates some extra baffle, so that's what makes this piece more bright. Most modern alto's players (like Candy Dulfter) don't use a Link, but another metal mpc with a much higher baffle, which makes them sounding much brighter (in my ears most of the time ugglier, but that's all personal preference). The EB player in the clip you posted sounds great because his sound has IMO more complexity compared to those very bright pieces as often used by others. A big part of that is the quality of the player, but it's also a character you get from an Otto Link because they have rounded side walls in the mpc chamber.

This is a lot of techno talk about mouthpieces and what they can deliver, but the most important thing for you (and for all of us!) is to learn to play the sax properly. The real quality comes mostly from the player, the mouthpiece is also a part of that, but you shouldn't loose yourself in gear head stuff before you learn the basics properly. That can be done very well on your STM or any other (quality) mouthpiece you like to play.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
39,230 Posts
Piet Noordijk, played Berg Larsen alto ( In this video, in Dutch, a great trio with him Han Bennink, Ernst Glerum & Michiel Borstlap)

During the video he gets to be called a “ legend” from Benjamin Herman



Paul Stocker , plays a Dukoff ( be patient to hear when he plays)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Hello dear SOTW community,
I haven't yet introduced myself - I'm Albert, a 17 y/o living in Germany. While reading through some threads recently, I was really impressed about how much knowledge everyone's got!
I tried to use the search function to find some results regarding my question - though without success.

I've been playing on a Selmer C* mpc on my alto until last week. My dad came up with new mouthpieces which were unbelievably cheap. Now I have an Otto Link STM 5* and also a 6* ,though I prefer the 5* (both are USA models).
After some effort of comparison, I decided to stick with the metal OL STM mouthpiece due to the fact that it seems to be coming closer to the sound I want to achieve.
Today I made some calls because I wanted to inform myself about the Cannonball alto (Raven). The service asked about my current mouthpiece, so I told him that I am currently playing a Otto Link STM. After I told him my setup he was pretty surprised as he hardly meets any alto player using metal mpc's. He also told me that they are rather common on tenors but not on altos..
Now my main question is: Are metal mouthpieces, in this case Links, worse on altos or why are they so hardly used?
I guess it is up to everyones preference wether he/she wants to use a hardrubber or metal mouthpiece, but are metal mpcs even recommendable for alto players?

Again, I am sorry if there were many threads concerning this subject, but I couldn't find what I was looking for.
I'd be glad to recieve some answers :)
cheers!
Sounds Like the myth is pretty well lbusted by now. "Metal mouthpiece" can mean anything. I have a Goldbeck and a Berg. Worlds apart. When I started playing 2nd alto in a big band with the Goldbeck people said "you shouldn't really play metal on alto but yours sounds ok..." Of course. As Phil Barone said "it's all about the chamber". It was fine for what I was doing and blended fine. The Berg is for a different application. There's no right or wrong material as others have said. I come back to Ellington, "if it sounds good it is good.""
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,166 Posts
In my experience, the way many metal mouthpieces like Bergs are designed (medium or small chamber and noticeable baffle, although I believe your Link is an exception) tends not to be favored as much by alto players. It seems like it would be easier to overdo the baffle and make the thing sound harsh than with tenors. There are still plenty around, though. I use a '50s Runyon metal alto (no baffle, btw) when I'm not in the mood for my modern Soloist E.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top