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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little context:

Soprano and flute are my two main axes. Given my druthers, I mostly play "out" on the soprano, and mostly play lyrically on the flute. Not sure why, but that's just how things have panned out over the last 20+ years. Last fall, I lost the ability to play the flute for a couple of months and was faced with the question of what might fill that gigantic void.

On top of all of that, I've been undergoing some professional transmogrifications the last couple of years (mid life stuff), so I treated myself to this Couf Superba 1 last year (thanks again to Randy and his great crew). Despite what I've read about the Couf, I find it to be a delicately voiced soprano. None of my SopranoPlanet pieces played badly on it, but none of them seemed to make it sing to its fullest potential.

I've done repeated business with Joe over the years, and sold a couple of fantastic SopranoPlanet pieces to fund the purchase of the Metropolitain. He's great at asking questions, and has never really suggested a direction, up until this purchase. We went back and forth and eventually the Metropolitain made the most sense. My reference point was Shorter's playing on 1+1, in particular a couple of spots where I swear that Shorter stops playing and a soprano vocalist starts singing.

In case you haven't read Joe's description of the Metropolitain, it's entirely accurate. What he doesn't tell you is that it's even more magical than his words can describe.

I sent him the following blurb:

It's this magnificent, beautiful thing, which was obviously created and meant to be played on my Couf. It speaks with a deeply personal, introspective voice, and I keep finding myself falling into this wonderfully delicate, yet not fragile, singing voice which exceeds the sweetness and melancholy brought to mind by Shorter's playing on 1+1. All of this goes without commenting on the impeccable intonation, the freeing of the upper register of the horn, the curious smell of quality rubber, and the stunning visual presentation of a piece which looks antique, and almost dares me not to play it for fear of marring its pristine form. To echo your other client: I've had a hard time taking the horn out of my mouth since the piece arrived, because all I want to do is make it sing.​

When I have better light I'll try to capture some pictures and post them. It really looks like an antique.

On top of all of that, and despite doing repeated business with Joe over the last many years, I'd retained some skepticism regarding tip size meaning little if anything on the soprano. Imagine my surprise when the package arrived and I saw .064 written in pen on top of the box. I raise the detail because I've migrated to much larger tips and softer reeds over the years, and my current favorites on soprano are Alexander 2s. I happily use them on two other SopranoPlanet pieces which are comfortably in the 80s, and I used them on a FL I used to own which measured a whopping .105.

In short, if you need a lyrical voice for your soprano, I highly recommend you reach out to Joe and see what the Metropolitain might do for you.

(Tongue-in-cheek comment to a purchaser of one of my former SopranoPlanet pieces: Joe has a new design in the works. You may end up with your wish after some time.)

Affordable and Reliable Mouthpieces
701 Posts
Do you have any sound clips with the Metropolitain?

I have been interested in this model for quite a while now. I talked to Joe before and like you said, he is top notch when it comes to giving advises and guidance. He is never railroading you to the more expensive pieces.
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