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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've already posted a clip of my GW Slant on my 10M, to near indifference, but on my Monday gig I was also messing around with a hard rubber Berg on my alto. On alto I've been a Meyer-type guy and specifically a Phil-tone evangelist for a while now, but I've been Berg-curious since my hero Dick Oatts plays one. When a Berg in his 90/2M facing came up for sale cheap here on SOTW a while back, I bought it ... then put it in a drawer and forgot about it.

After running across it recently, I've checked it out and I'm kind of digging it! It's not at all what I expected, which was maybe something bright and shrill and too much. It has a very even scale and I'm enjoying playing it.

Here's the sad, disturbing part: this thing is radically different from the Meyer-type Phil-tone I've been playing, but ... I sound pretty much the same on it as I do on the Phil-tone. It doesn't magically turn me into Dick Oatts, which seems like the least I should expect from a Berg mouthpiece purchase: if you can't buy your sound, how else are you going to get it?

Anyways, if you feel so inclined, check it out and tell me what you think:

My HR Berg on a TH&C Alto
 

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Kelly - I like the sound. Different from your Meyer, but in a good way. My only comment is that it sounds like a new set-up, i.e. that you're not quite used to it yet. How did you feel about your experiment?

BTW, everytime I hear you on your TH&C Alto, I get more determined to get one to make a matched set with my TH&C tenor ;-0
 

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I hear a Ornette COleman's kind of tone (with more beef to the tone) say, "this is our music"-esque
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey: Thanks, Gents, for your kind words!

BTW, everytime I hear you on your TH&C Alto, I get more determined to get one to make a matched set with my TH&C tenor ;-0
And, in the meantime, Bob, I need to get my hands on a TH&C tenor! (And, in the meantime, I'm gonna stick with this Berg for a bit and see how it feels...)
 

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I hope we're not having a 'gift of the buescher magi' moment here....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I hope we're not having a 'gift of the buescher magi' moment here....:)
I could see you penning this Christmas classic:

"The Gift of the Buescher Magi," by O. Haku.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm gonna stick with this Berg for a bit and see how it feels...
Well, I've stuck, and it's been about 3 months, and I'm really digging the Berg.

A couple of observations:

After doing tenor forever, I picked up alto about 6 years ago, and started off with a Meyer ("I'll just do whatever Phil Woods does...") and Meyer-type pieces, in the range of a 6 or a 7. My beloved Phil-tone, absconded from the pass-around, was .78 (or .078 for those seeking decimal purity...), and I used RJS 3M reeds on it. This Berg is 90/2 M, a fair bit more open, and ... RJS 3Ms feel just fine...

As I noted before, I think I sound about the same on this Berg, though it's a different design from the Meyeresque Phil-tone. What I like best about it is that it blows very evenly from the bottom of the range to the top; it's a very consistent feel from top to bottom in terms of the resistance and other feedback you get from the piece. Meyeresque pieces, for me, blow with more resistance at the top of the range -- I actually kind of liked that, then tried the Berg and liked the lack of it too...

I'd probably still recommend a Meyer-type piece for an alto student's first jazz piece, but the Berg is ... interesting.
 

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I was curious about how a Berg would sound on an alto so I had a listen, and I liked it. The Berg has a grunt and 'cry' to the sound which I prefer over the smoother Meyer type sound, not that I'm any kind of expert in these things, least of all in alto.
 

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I've been using a hard rubber 90/2 SMS on my alto for about 2 weeks now. Punchy and very full round tone - and loud as hell on my SML!
No complaints here! I'm in love with it! I think it's my Meyer killer.

Nice playing BTW - wish I sounded that good on mine!
 

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For a guy from Buffalo, that's an exceptional performance. :) Just kidding!!! Nice sound, nice licks. :notworth:

When are you guys gonna get a jazz bar up there again? Heading to visit my daughter in 3 short weeks and need a place there to hang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've been using a hard rubber 90/2 SMS on my alto for about 2 weeks now. Punchy and very full round tone
"Full round tone" is how I'd describe it too. I'd be curious as to how the SMS differs from the M -- I seem to remember one of the refacers around here saying there seemed to be no consistent difference between the two, like it was almost a random designation -- a tribute to Berg "quality control." (I should note that I'm pretty sure my piece is an older one, and I think it's unrefaced, and the facing work looks great...)

When are you guys gonna get a jazz bar up there again? Heading to visit my daughter in 3 short weeks and need a place there to hang.
The scene is sparse: lots of great players, few decent venues. Give me a holler when you get closer to your date and I'll tell you if anything worthy is going on...

Thanks, Gents!
 

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My SMS is offset, original facing with 'denim' milling marks as pictured at the Theo Wanne mpc museum website.
Great piece.
 

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I like it!.....Are you using the Larson for your lead alto playing too?

When I was growing up in Utica, Sal Alberico was the alto guy in town. He was playing a meta Llarson with his balance Action alto. Loved his sound and got a HR Berg that I used for quite a few years because of his influence. I then went in the opposite direction of you and got a Meyer!
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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It's Ornette Bucheger!!

I like it. Bergs forever!!

says he, recently returned to Berg on tenor after brief flirtation with selmer soloist sensibleness :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I like it!.....Are you using the Larson for your lead alto playing too?
I haven't done a lot of big band stuff lately, but I have used the Berg for lead, and it had fat and great wholesome goodness!

It's Ornette Bucheger!!
That name itself would be a crime against humanity.

I like it. Bergs forever!!

says he, recently returned to Berg on tenor after brief flirtation with selmer soloist sensibleness :mrgreen:
SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD, BABY! After a long meander, I'm back to my Tenney SS Berg on tenor and lovin' it -- there ain't nothing shameful about it. The SOTW hate on tenor Bergs is odd and a wee bit adorable.
 

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Wait a second. I know what I am hearing a little in that clip......Arthur Blythe. That's it!

 
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