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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I'm looking for a new mouthpiece (Strictly for big band lead playing), and pretty much have it narrowed down between a few different ones. The problem is, the information I have on all of them is very vague. A good friend recommended the JodyJazz HR mouthpiece, but I'm not completely certain that's where I want to go. I've played a few jodyjazz pieces, and while they are great, I'd really like to know how they compare up to a few others.

Yesterday at a music store I played a Meyer G series mouthpiece which I liked, but I knew I could get one cheaper elsewhere should I decide to buy one. Really, my question is if you've played any Meyer hard rubber mouthpieces (Besides the New York models, because I can't afford that) what do you think of them. Also, anyone that's played the JodyJazz HR piece or the Phil Barone New York model (I've heard really good things about this too) I'd like to know as much as I can about that. If by chance someone has played 2 or more of these and can give a comparison, your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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I haven't played all the pieces you've listed but if you liked the Meyer you may want to give a JJ HR* a fair try too. They are modeled after a Meyer for the alto version and would probably have a more consistant facing than a stock Meyer might have.. I've switched to playing one on tenor but it's actually modeled after a Link HR.


Edit: The following is taken directly from Jody's site:


"The alto sax model is aimed directly at the Meyer Alto sax mouthpiece. We believe that you and your customer will be very happy with the quality and price of these mouthpieces. The sound is similar to a Meyer but with a little more projection and brightness. The Chamber is round and smooth like the Meyer."
 

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I didn't like the HR* alto piece I played. It had a nice sound, but it got really thin and shrill up high. I don't have this issue with actual Meyer's or other pieces I play.
 

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have you tried a gwind meyer copy they are quite cheap on the forum i got one for $50 but hr mpcs are not my thing it's a #5 so i might be putting it back up for sale on the forum
 

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i play lead alto in a big band and i use the jody jazz classic. it is modeled after a one off runyon. it has a rich core, nice overtones,very warm, but can produce power and edge when needed. cuts through the band very well.full sound from low to high. with the spoiler it can rock.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What I've played on in the past (For any amount of time, and this is not in any particular order)

Vandoren Jumbo Java

Beechler Diamond Inlay

Beechler Bellite

Beecher Gold (Really like this piece for certain things)

Claude Lakey, Currently playing on a 5*3 (I think, I haven't looked in a while). And I like it alright, but it's not exactly what I'm looking for.

Jody Jazz Classic, seems a little to edgy for what I'm looking for. (Since I haven't played the HR, I'd like to know the real difference between this without the spoiler and the regular HR.)

I might end up going with a JJ HR. However, I did like the Meyer piece I've played. I am a little worried about the Meyer craftsmanship though, and I don't want to shell out a chunk of change for a mouthpiece that may not play (That is something I wouldn't worry about at all if I went with JodyJazz or Phil Barone).

Thanks for all the help already.
 

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Just an FYI:

The JJ HR* tenor piece took the place of a $350 mouthpiece. Amazing value and quality in that piece.
 

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for lead alto you need the edginess to cut . if you play by your self you may sound edgy up close but it won't sound that way to the audience. i used to play third under george corwin ( he was an understudy of Hymie Shertzer) and his tone sounded as edgy as a violin by himself up close. when you added the band or just distance, the richness and warmness was all you heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After reading around some more, I think I'll order a JJ HR, and then do some more playing on the Classic and decide for myself. I know that he makes a great mouthpiece, and I won't be questioning the quality of what I'm buying.

I have one more question for saxxsymbol (I have plenty of questions apparently :p) how does that Barone neck play with your setup?
 

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even when george played very softly you could hear it above the band because of the edge.everyone who has ever heard his tone and has some knowledge of the subject said it was the best lead alto sound they ever heard.
 

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the barone reduced the highest harmonics in the yamaha tone and warmed it up a little. response and intonation was a seamless transition from the stock neck, in other words, excellent. the middle D is even better on the barone. altissimo is easy and full.
had to have the barone fitted, but i have been pleased with it. i use it exclusively on alto.

on tenor i found that i prefer the stock G-1 over the ponzol for most of my playing. the ponzol darkens the tone quite a bit. works well for cocktail jazz though and i don't have to change mouthpiece or reed setups.
 

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try recording yourself on both the HR and the classic and see what you like better. also play into a sliding glass door or wall to get a better feel for the sound coming out to the audience.
 

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The Barone Jazz HR is the one Phil suggests for lead alto playing. I am impressed with mine.
 

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I used to use a Barone NY and have tried a Jody Jazz HR ... I'm currently playing on a Meyer now though. Given, it's a NY Meyer, BUT, I have a ton of other Meyers (new and vintage) that play in the same range as my NY. They make for great alto pieces in my opinion, and are extremely versatile. Big band lead playing is just one of the many styles that I believe a Meyer can play.
 

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I dissagree with people saying the lead player has to Cut. I played in a big band last year with a girl who's sound was really dark but distinct instead of cutting it just seemed to be the front voice in the section. I thought that was beautiful.

She plays ona regular meyer that was refaced. I played on a meyer that was refaced by the same guy and thought it was crap. So I'm extra impressed by her.

A refaced meyer is alright as a mouthpiece but I think it just gives you that flat starting point. The G model is alright its a bit brighter.
 

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I have at one time owned all three of these mouthpiece brands. With the Barone I had to work harder to get the sound I wanted, and it seemed to play a little quieter than a refaced meyer or the jody jazz hr*. Out of the three, the barone and JJ don't really need refacing and can play right out of the box, because they are finished by hand and extensively play-tested.

New meyers are just crap. You almost always have to send it to be perfected in order to play right. I had a new one, I had it refaced and it was easy blowing and had a terrific sound. When I dropped and broke my marching band mouthpiece, I used the new refaced meyer, and in one rehearsal (2 hours), the heat of Texas warped the resin/hard rubber dust so much that the tip was visibly warped and the francois louis lig made very deep indentations because of the swelling of the body of the mouthpiece. it was very hard to get the lig off. When did meyer stop using actual hard rubber in their mouthpieces?

The Jody jazz played very nicely. it had a little more bite and projection than the Barone, and is a dimensionally stronger material than the resin/ hard rubber dust material that the new meyers are made of.
 

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I like my Meyer 7 "G" on my Yamaha Z.....It really does "cut" through...and is easy blowing. I play in a blues band, and find that it outplays my 1962 Berg ss 110/0. The Berg has a bit fuller sound in the lower register, but the Meyer sings above C2.
 

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The Jody Jazz Classic model is an excellent lead alto mouthpiece...while the JJ HR* would be better suited for combo work, IMO. I have both, play both, and use them extensively in these situations. They've never failed to impress.

Saxaholic
 
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