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I"ve been playing alto for about five years, and I was looking for a jazz mouthpiece recently this past summer. I picked up the Meyer 5M, and I really am not liking its sound.
So I was doing some mouthpiece shopping, and I found the Rico Metalite. Does anyone know anything about this mouthpiece? Does it play well? How's it sound?

(I'm on a P. Mauriat PMXA-67R)
 

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Some people like these and others loathe them.
I’m in the latter camp.
They are very cheap, which is the reason people say you should try one.
You have little to lose.
On the other hand, I feel the $30-40 you save by not getting one can go toward a decent piece.
But the obvious choice for alto would firstly be a Meyer.
You could also try the different Vandoren and Selmer pieces along with whatever else your local store may have.
I assume you are located in the US (as many on SOTW are) so you can also take advantage of the many trial and return systems available through various retailers.
 

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Many threads and discussion on this controversial mouthpiece. I believe it was Arnold Brilharts last creation? For those who believe its all about dimensions like chamber proportions and facing, [not materials] the Metalite borrows from many proven respected designs. Tone and response is interesting. At the price, everyone should try one as a demonstration of design. At the price, it suffers from badge-of-shame status though.
 

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I had an interesting experience recently with these. I sold a Holton 232 that I'd had in storage to another member. I decided to give it one last blow and all I had with me was a Metalite M5. Boy was I surprised. It sounded big and full and not shrill at all. It was a good match. Almost reconsidered . . .
 

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What don't you like about the Meyer? I like the Meyer type sound and just acquired a V16 6S which I really like. Nice pop, the fast response reminds me a bit of my old Beechler diamond inlay, but with a more balanced sound. I considered trying a metalite a few times on tenor, never ended up doing it.

My best advice is to go someplace you can try a few different designs and see what works best with you and your horn. If you like a darkish more round tone, a hard rubber Wolfe Tayne or Otto Link hard rubber might be the ticket on alto.
 

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I find the Metalites to be quite good on Tenor, OK on Bari but I never liked them on alto or soprano. For Alto, I find the Meyer hard to beat although I prefer the Selmers. Have you tried a Selmer Super Session?
 

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Also recommend the Beechler HR or Yanagisawa HR on alto.

I really like the Ricos on bari. Great for high volume playing in rock or RnB.
 

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The one thing the Metallite has going for it is its ability to remove wall paper. Melts right off as the mouthpiece emanates overtones of fingernails across a chalkboard. The table where the reed lies is made from the only substance known to be slicker than teflon. So your reed also tends to slide around even if your ligature is as tight as it will possibly go. I honestly can't see how anybody can tolerate these mouthpieces.
 

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+1 for the Selmer Super Session; I use a D. And I agree that Metalites are better on tenor, though I sometimes pull out my M7 alto for that Sanborn "Young Americans" vibe.
 

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One thing to consider is tip opening as your 5M is around .071ish and going with some of the Metalites may be difficult as altos generally run .070 and then .080. My Super Session is a D and they may not be available anymore in that facing.
 

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The one thing the Metallite has going for it is its ability to remove wall paper. Melts right off as the mouthpiece emanates overtones of fingernails across a chalkboard. The table where the reed lies is made from the only substance known to be slicker than teflon. So your reed also tends to slide around even if your ligature is as tight as it will possibly go. I honestly can't see how anybody can tolerate these mouthpieces.
I have zero issues with reed to table...I use Rovner ligatures. I love the paint-peeling, bright raspy tone.

To each their own...On my Buescher Bb Bari I actually prefer the M7 and M9 Metalite to my Otto Link STM and to a Runyon Quantum (Brilhart Level-Aire modern version) I have for it.


As cheap as they are, folks should try them all...you may love them or hate them.
 

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I agree that the Baritone and Tenor pieces are the best of this line.

The alto sounds a bit brash IMO. Maybe it would work better for rock.
 

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I use one as my main on baritone - they tend to be bright, loud (but not necessarily full-sounding), and brash with tons of attitude. But, like any mouthpiece, if you use it a lot you will move past the tendencies of the piece and sound like you. As it's been my main piece for years, I can play a ballad on it as easily as a James Brown cover and everything in between.

As everyone else said, they are one of the cheapest mouthpieces you can buy - but don't be dissuaded by the low price, it is a real mouthpiece (not a knockoff). If you are looking for a brighter, louder piece, it's worth a try for the price. But also as everyone else said, you'll either love it or hate it. It's definitely NOT a middle-of-the-road mouthpiece!


Note: I'm not sure about alto, but they have a smaller outer diameter than most bari pieces - I use a Rovner tenor ligature because of that. I initially had the same slip-sliding problem mentioned above, and using the tenor ligature fixed it up.
 

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Love the alto, especially the M5, with a Fibracell or even a Legere Classic.
 

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Have a Metalite 11 that I was using for awhile on my Buescher 140.
Surprisingly controllable with a soft reed, huge dynamic range.
I'm going for a much mellower tone so now a I use a Couf Artist 9*
A little more round and full than a similar Meyer.
 

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Then Rico Metalite mpc was designed by Arnold Brillhardt . The great especially for the price . I see a lot of them used on bari saxes . I would stick to 5,6,7 . They sound like a metal mouthpiece utilizing a high baffle . Perfect for the early jazzer on a budget

stevegraysaxes.com
 

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In this video, Pee Wee Ellis is playing a Metalite.
 

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I am continually amazed how good the M7-9 sound on my old Taiwan Bari..I've had a couple very expensive Bari sax rigs mpc/horn that didn't thunder like this cheap stuff. I know Doc in TOP played his metalite for awhile. I keep a spare alto tenor m7's in the bottom of my case. I tried one yrs back on Sop but didn't work for me.

I first bought about 10 of them (11's too) found while on the road in the mid-west, old music store close out specials 7 bucks apiece.
 
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