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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot of people tell me I have a Paul Desmond and Stan Getz approach when I play alto (although I cringe when they say this because that would be truly understating their playing abilities...)

However, I have been working on a more warm and airy approach for a few months now. I think I have come pretty far, but I am now thinking about buying a new mouthpiece that would make playing like this easier (it is still acheivable on my current mouthpiece, which is a meyer 6m)

Regardless of the obvious fact that all players are quite different, I am wondering which mouthpieces would you, from past experience worked well for you and recommend? I am thinking about an HR Link.

I tried out the HR Link on alto and was very happy with its sound. However, I think I might buy it online because the one in the store is about 97 dollars. Are the quality control issues really bad with Otto Link Tone Edge mouthpieces, or are they just slightly blown out of proportion?

Thank you for all your honest feedback!
I apologize for the long and unorganized post
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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I would buy the exact one you played and liked. If it works for you that is great.

In answer to the first question, alto mouthpieces that have worked well for me included Lawton, Vandoren Java and refaced Meyer. I have tried a few Links and did not like them, instead of warm they gave me dull and stuffy.
 

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HR Links are very inconsistent off the shelf.

I have a refaced HR Link 6* (.080) that plays like a dream. It is dark, but not stuffy at all. Many refacers do a good job with these pieces. Mine is from Doc.
 

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I tried out the HR Link on alto and was very happy with its sound. However, I think I might buy it online because the one in the store is about 97 dollars. Are the quality control issues really bad with Otto Link Tone Edge mouthpieces, or are they just slightly blown out of proportion?
If you play a mouthpiece you like, BUY THAT PARTICULAR MOUTHPIECE! The inconsistencies from one piece to the next will otherwise break your heart.
 

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There are allot of mouthpieces that claim to be dark and a stock Tone Edge is well known to lean towards dark. I bet you liked the Tone Edge you tried over a Meyer, to me all Meyer's are just too bright and shrill. I'm in the process of having Phil Engleman (Phil-tone) "build" me a alto Tone Edge to be darker than a standard one and with less resistance. I played a tenor Tone Edge about 30 years ago for a while but never an alto. I had been searching for a really dark alto piece for several months tested a bunch and didn't like anything. Then after speaking with Phil he ended up recommending that he create a good dark piece, with the qualities I wanted by starting with a Tone Edge and re-working it.

If you decide to get a Tone Edge from an online source you should plan on having it refaced to clean it up and improve playability.
 

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If you play a mouthpiece you like, BUY THAT PARTICULAR MOUTHPIECE! The inconsistencies from one piece to the next will otherwise break your heart.
Another vote for what Pete and Kelly have said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the honest feedback

Sorry if I'm getting a bit off topic, but I've heard that the Vandoren V16 is modeled after an Otto Link (supposedly not the Meyer, from what I've heard).
Does anybody find this to be true? I've only heard good things about Vandoren's consistency, but having only tried a paint-peeling V16 A8 (only one at my local store), I'm not sure if they are generally brighter or darker than Links.

If I can find a used Vandoren off ebay, I might buy it instead of a Link because of price and consistency

Thanks
 

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The V16 A8 is made with a short facing which favors the higher partials. The small chamber A8S I also have found to be in the paint-peeling vein.

In the marketplace area, I have posted a Keilwerth 7 rubber alto mpc FS for a low price. This is a fairly dark jazz piece, more like a Meyer large chamber or Link Tone edge. If this is interesting to anyone, best to email me.

In general, I agree with the "buy the one you like" comments. However, try to give it a fair assesment. Sometimes in a brief trial in a store, one gets excited about the some aspects of a new mouthpiece but overlook some of its disadvantages.
 

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The V-16 alto pieces are Meyer based, not Link based.

The V-16 tenor pieces are the ones that are closer to a Link.
 

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I remember that I tested a Selmer alto piece a few years ago and the sound I got was what I call "Stan Getz sound". I think it was an soloist, I don't know very much about selmer pieces
 

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Apart from the choice of mouthpiece you could also try using tenor reeds on your alto. I've been doing that for about 6 months now and I must say that the sound has become a bit darker, more tenor-ly. But perhaps this is the result of wishful thinking because I wanted it to be that way. Anyway, playing tenor reeds on an alto sax makes the playing a bit more comfortable for me: tonguing is easier (the targe is bigger!) and the low register seems tamer.
 

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I just realized this thread is a little bit funny, as Stan Getz has stated in interviews that he developed his sound trying to sound like an alto when playing lead as part of the Four Brothers.

No offense intended!
 

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+1 for a refaced Tone Edge. Bought a stock 5* and spent two days adjusting it; easily gives a sweet fat tone, but stays very flexible.
 

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Here's a question regarding Getz's sound.
From the Mel martin interview:
Mel:The one question that is most important to me when I think of you and your music is your sound. Could you fill us in on how you conceived your sound and how you actually developed this concept?

Stan:I never consciously tried to conceive of what my sound should be. I never said, ' I want this kind of sound!' I believe it was because of the bands I played with from the ages of 15 to 22. The first one was Jack Teagarden, who we all know played trombone, but his sound was so great, so...(pause) sort of legitimate, and effortless. I never tried to imitate anybody, but when you love somebody's music, you're influenced. Then I was with Benny Goodman when I was 18 and I believe his sound had an influence on me; such a good sound that he had in those days, you know? And, in-between I heard Lester Young of course, and it was a special kind of trip to hear someone like Lester, who sounded so good and almost classical in a warm way. He took so much of the reed out of the sound. I really don't know how I developed my sound, but it comes from a combination of my musical conception and no doubt the basic shape of the oral cavity. I did always try to get as much of the reed out of the sound as I could.

Mel:You mean, hear more of the reed ?

Stan:No, just the opposite. I always wanted to take as much reediness out of the sound as I could and hear more of the breath.
What does he mean by taking the "reediness" out of his sound ? A legit sound ?
 

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Apart from the choice of mouthpiece you could also try using tenor reeds on your alto. I've been doing that for about 6 months now and I must say that the sound has become a bit darker, more tenor-ly. But perhaps this is the result of wishful thinking because I wanted it to be that way. Anyway, playing tenor reeds on an alto sax makes the playing a bit more comfortable for me: tonguing is easier (the targe is bigger!) and the low register seems tamer.
Wow, that's a concept I've never heard of before! Did you come up with that, or are there other well-known players who have done that?
 

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Wow, that's a concept I've never heard of before! Did you come up with that, or are there other well-known players who have done that?
Earl bostic
 
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