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I know all of you went to bed last night thinking to yourselves: "Gosh, if Dan changes his sax equipment, I absolutely MUST know about it. This information is very important to my life" :|

Don't worry, I've got you covered. I also need help please :?

I see a lot of folks blog about his Hollywood, NY and Jazz models but not as much abt his T/C, so I thought I'd share some impressions. I always see equipment choices as an optimization problem w/ inherent trade offs. For this reason, I'll list the pros and cons of each model:

*Sr Pro*

Pros: 1) Very easy to play and responsive. Feels efficient and free-blowing. Can handle harder reeds relatively well. If there's such a thing as a "reed friendly" mpc, this is it.
2) Great intonation. The chamber is medium-ish...but still large enough where one can push the mpc far in on the cork and tune well.
3) Even though moderately bright, the sound retains a great deal of fatness, body and warmth. This mpc never seemed shrill to me. It has hints of a Link-like charm.
4) The whole range plays very evenly. Upper register isn't chirpy at all, nor is it dull and stuffy. Low notes are fat and full.
5) Relatively wide profile for a metal mpc. Comfortable to play in an ergonomic sense.
6) Can be played VERY loudly. Feels like the mpc will take as much air as I can offer.

Cons: The sound isn't as focused and compact as it could be. At louder volumes, sound gets a wee bit on the spread side. That's pretty much the only draw back as far as I can tell.

*Barone T/C*

Pros
1) This is as focused and compact as it gets on tenor. At any volume, the sound feels really tight. Kinda like taking a flashlight and adjusting the lamp dial into a narrower beam (I know this is good or bad depending upon taste)
2) General tone/character is great. A unique sounding piece. Chamber is small, but baffle isn't too high. It plays darker than one might think looking at it. It reminds me of Bob Mintzer in that it's relatively dark but starts getting bright at louder dynamics. I feel like I can shape and voice the heck out of it, totally add my own thing to it, you know?

Cons:

1) Intonation: Due to small chamber, mpc needs to be pulled out on cork which throws off node alignment. The intonation has been really challenging for me. Granted, I've only had it for a week and i can probably overcome this w/ reeds and more practice time, but for now it's a "con".

2) Narrow Profile: Mpc feels narrow and not as comfy on the chops.

3) Not a fat sounding mpc at all. Tone is really nice but less weight.

4) Can't put as much air through the mpc and not as loud.

5) A little more reed picky. The fibracells don't work on it at all.

6) The mpc generally takes a little more work to play, has more resistance. I feel like it needs somewhat softer reeds. I've tried ZZ, Superial, RSJ and Regal Queen #3. I don't think I'd go any harder than that.

Now just quickly looking at my Pros and Cons of each, the naive response would be that the SR Pro clearly comes out on top, right? However, not all traits are valued equally. I've been playing my SR Pro for about a year and a half now and definitely like it, but I feel like some "essence" has been missing in my sound ever since I ditched my SS Berg of 16 yrs. It's been bugging me, and i cldn't quite put my finger on what was different. The focus and compactness from my Berg is what I am missing.

So anyways, now I'm in a rut and am depressed and frustrated as heck. Sometimes I wish that I'd just stuck w/ my old Berg and never started experimenting. Whoever said "Ignorance is bliss" was on to something. I think I need to post some sound clips and ask for your input. My guess is that they'll actually sound pretty similar and that the difference is more in feel. I'll do that in a few days.

By the way, some ppl were asking earlier what ligature fits this model and IIRC no consensus was reached. Per Phil, a lig for HR Soprano mpc will work. I just got a basic Selmer 2 screw for HR soprano and it works fine after several minutes of bending and adjusting. The lig for metal Berg or metal Yanagisawa will not work.

On a final note, I'd say that I would recommend the SR Pro to anyone, save those looking for a sound on the extreme end of either side of the tonal spectrum. Those looking for the darkest of sounds or brightest of sounds probably wont like it. As for the T/C, I think it's a terrific mpc, but it wont be right for most players. I'm also guessing that it'd take a bit more time to get used to than others.

Thanks for listening

-Dan
 

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Informative post, Dan, thanks.

I tried a T/C and I fall into the category you described as, "...it won't be right for most players" and it didn't take long to figure that out either. To be fair though, I had been waiting for about 7 months for a Hollywood and the T/C was sent me by mistake, so you know my frame of reference was a Hollywood sound.
 

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As for "help", try to approach this as a win-win situation. Both are decent quality mouthpieces. You can still persue your goals, but enjoy how close you are.
 

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I guess you sold the Berg so can't go back to that one?

From your description, you may like an RPC 115B. They have an interesting dark/bright palette.

Your issues with the T/C reminds me of the SR Tech Fusion which I sold a few months back. It was a very nice, easy-blowing a high baffle mpc, great for fusion or a Brecker sound, a lot of fun to play. But a certain fullness that I prefer to hear was not there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MojoBari said:
As for "help", try to approach this as a win-win situation. Both are decent quality mouthpieces. You can still persue your goals, but enjoy how close you are.
Yea. I suppose I'm better off w/ more options in my bag. I was never a gear-aholic until I joined SOTW last year. My SS berg (sold) wasn't really a good mpc, but I played it for 16 years exclusively and just knew it so well. I suppose that's what really matters.

For now, I've decided to stick w/ the Barone T/C and see what I can do w/ it. A couple of days ago I used it in a rehearsal and I played it again this morning in a classroom w/ nice reverberations. It sounded terrific! I also spent a little time w/ the tuner and playing against a droned A-440. I'm starting to get the intonation together. I just feel like the sound is so lively and unique on my T/C vs. my SR Pro. I think the extra work learning the mpc could be worth it.

BTW I'd recommend the T/C to players who dig 0 or 1 chamber bergs or Dukoff's, but need something less harsh sounding and little easier to control. So far the #3 ZZ's, Superials and Regal Queen reeds seem to work the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just played a gig w/ the T/C. The few days familiarizing myself w/ it was all I needed to get the intonation together. No question abt it, the SR Tech will be put away.

Especially once I got out of the cramped practice room, the sound doesn't come across as too bright at all. It'ss so focused that the sound really carries, even at ppp or fff. It has all the qualities of my old SS Berg that I liked, but has much more even response across the range and better projection.
 
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