I would go with a Selmer C*. I find them to be much more versatile pieces than the Vandoren classical mouthpieces. There are, of course, many players that enjoy the AL3 mouthpieces like Claude Delangle and the whole french school of playing. I just find their sound to be limited, sometimes stuffy. A C* will be a mouthpiece that even a student can continue playing on for a long time....
I'd pick the C* any day. I think it blows a bit easier, which was good for me when i first got it early in my playing career. Also, mine at least tends to have a really dark sound to it which i like, but by swapping out ligs and reeds i can make it do just about anything
For my legit playing I've recently switched from a C* which was cleaned up by Ed Zentera to a stock Vandoren AL3. The AL3 has a warmer sound, less back pressure, excellent intonation, and response in the extreme upper and lower registers is better, overtones pop with less effort. I'm thrilled with the switch to the AL3 and now I'm having my students try out both before upgrading their mouthpieces. I'm a jazz guy and have never enjoyed playing a legit setup. I enjoy playing legit etudes and literature with the AL3! So much more enjoyable when I'm not fighting the mouthpiece for the sound I want.
I played an S80 C* for several years. A number of months ago, I began to get dissatisfied with it; it was stuffy, too resistant, and often sounded harsh. At first, I thought it was me and put up with it for a while, thinking it would go away if I worked on my tone. And my tone did improve- on my jazz mouthpiece, that is. No improvement on the C*. So I bought myself an AL3, and all those problems disappeared. Even my private tutor thought the difference was astonishing; it was like night and day. Now, this doesn't mean that you will have the same experience, but if one were to ask me my two cents, I would recommend the AL3 any day of the week based on my own personal experiences with both pieces. I'd still try both if I were you, though.
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