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Hi,

One thing that I have noticed is that after playing a certain mouthpiece and type of reed I start sounding about the same as a did on my last set-up. Sure there is a different sound coming from a high baffle or low baffle mpc but changing from a RPC, Otto-link or Yani mouthpiece initially gives a difference but after a few weeks of playing I start sounding like me again.
I considered spending some money on a real expensive mpc but decided not to because it may not make a noticeable difference in the end.

Is this good or bad? I don't know. Any thoughts, similar experience or opposite?
 

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If you're happy with your tone it's a good thing. I accept that I will sound like me sooner or later on any setup. I judge a setup on the ease of playing , in other words can I slap on a reed and play without having to deal with any specific difficulties in either the high, middle or low register of the horn.
If some part of the horn is extremely difficult to play in tune or with dynamics or simply to get the notes at all (harmonics) I feel the mouthpiece gets in the way a little and won't use it. It also takes time to get used to a setup and really get the benefits of it. I am curious by nature so I am tempted to try all kinds of stuff but usually I fall back on one trusted concept/setup, and keep on working with that.
 

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...changing from a RPC, Otto-link or Yani mouthpiece initially gives a difference but after a few weeks of playing I start sounding like me again.
I considered spending some money on a real expensive mpc but decided not to because it may not make a noticeable difference in the end.
This is very true for a lot of players, and I would say it's a good sign. It means you have a strong sound concept and are capable of attaining it on a variety of setups. What I find is that certain mpcs make it easier to attain my sound and others tend to hinder me or make me work harder to get there. For example, I like the big open sound I can get with a relatively open tip mpc. So if I play a closed tip, it is more difficult to get that sound.

One thought. IMO, if you are playing an RPC or a good Link, you aren't likely to find anything better in a more expensive mpc. Personally, I haven't found anything better than an RPC, although I have three of them and one is my favorite. But again, it's a matter of finding a mpc that makes it easiest to get your sound.
 

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Fortunately this is true. The sound is yours regardless of the setup. I disagree with JL, that you need to have a good concept to get your sound on any setup. If you sound bad, you'll sound bad on any setup.

However I found that my favorite mouthpiece is the one, that allows me to play the most comfortably across the range. I also believe that there are better matching pieces for a certain player's anatomy/frequency response than others. Someone may have the tendency to blow bright so he may feel the most comfortable on a darker mouthpiece.
 

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I've always thought that most of us confuse tone with style and technique. I think that is why, to some degree, we all tend to sound like ourselves regardless of whatever good-playing set-up and horn we use. Notice I wrote "good-playing" because when we test bad-playing set-ups or awful horns, the obstacles are too great for most of us to overcome.

So, we slap on our favorite set-ups and blow away and it sounds like us not because of the tone or the sound, but because of the way we play.

I play only trad, but if I were to break into bebop (which would admittedly be extremely difficult for me; but so would good trad to a bop player) many wouldn't be able to identify me merely by listening to what I played. DAVE
 

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I disagree with JL, that you need to have a good concept to get your sound on any setup. If you sound bad, you'll sound bad on any setup.

However I found that my favorite mouthpiece is the one, that allows me to play the most comfortably across the range. I also believe that there are better matching pieces for a certain player's anatomy/frequency response than others. Someone may have the tendency to blow bright so he may feel the most comfortable on a darker mouthpiece.
Actually I have no disagreement with anything you say in the quote above. I'm afraid my statement regarding sound concept was not precise enough. I'll clarify. What I meant to say was the ability to get the sound you want, on any given setup, requires a strong sound concept. Yes of course if you sound bad, you'll sound bad no matter what the setup. I'm speaking primarily of tone quality, but also including things like attack and release of the notes, and articulation. Style is a broader issue. But Dave's point about a poor setup affecting how you play is spot-on.

What I've discovered is I have a tendency to 'bend' the sound to where I want it (mostly subconciously, I think). So, yeah, for one example, on a darker mpc, I find myself working to brighten it up, and on a brighter mpc, I try to darken the sound. On an overly bright mpc, I just cringe and want to tear it off the horn, so I avoid those mpcs altogether. Of course it's all relative. Ideally, you find a mpc that helps you get the sound/tone you want without having to 'fight' the mpc. The reed can make quite a difference as well, so there is a balance between reed, mpc, neck, horn. And it takes a fair amount of time (more than a few days) to really bring out the best in any mpc that is new to you.
 

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For me pieces are just nuances, I always sound the same. This is why infections of GAS are so amusing for me.
 
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