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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got what appears to be an Elkhart Super Tone Master 6. Any love for these on alto (I know that many consider them to be more of a Tenor thing)? If so, what reeds do you find work well? I know that is highly individual. For reference, I'm using lately a Java (green) 3 on either my Selmer Larry Teal or my Meyer HR 5. Maybe it's worth dropping down a reed strength for the Super Tone Master 6?

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They can be good if they have enough baffle. They can also be dead as a doornail. There are some great pros who play them but only a few. This one looks like a nice reface has been done but looks are far from everything. In terms of market love...not much. If you like it then play on. Its worth trying a few reeds that might work for you. Id lean towards brighter reeds. It does not appear to have a lot of baffle.

You might end up loving it. It would probably make a good section blender. Im not sure about a lead piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
They can be good if they have enough baffle. They can also be dead as a doornail. There are some great pros who play them but only a few. This one looks like a nice reface has been done but looks are far from everything. In terms of market love...not much. If you like it then play on. Its worth trying a few reeds that might work for you. Id lean towards brighter reeds. It does not appear to have a lot of baffle.

You might end up loving it. It would probably make a good section blender. Im not sure about a lead piece.
Thanks for chiming in, I think I have the perfect reed to try, it's a bit too bright and soft for my other mouthpieces.

Edit: Just gave it a try. 2.5 Chinese reed, (which feels softer than other brands' 2.5).

My overall impressions: Very nice!

On the one hand, it's not a super "forgiving" (for lack of a better term) piece. It took some attentive embouchure work. Maybe that's just because it's (slightly) more open than what I'm used to.

On the other hand, the tone I'm getting from it is top notch! It's definitely not dark, as the "newer" ones have been described (maybe that's meant to be relative to the older ones). If anything it's slightly on the bright side.

High notes are a slight struggle though, I think it will just take some adjustment. I especially couldn't get any altissimo at first (just squeaks) but this improved slightly by the end of the practice.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Otto Link STM NY 7
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You will find a subtle change in embouchure and voicing. If at first you do not move it the way you like, just keep playing. Small changes in voicing make a Link speak. So for altissimo, subtle mouth positions is the rule. Take in a little more of it.
 

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I use a 6*. The ebonite versions tend to be more popular but I like the metal.
I use a 2 Gonzalez RC on the 6*. I'd probably try a 2.5 on a 6 tip.
 

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VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
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I just got a 6 from ProWind. I originally ordered it to pair up with an original Martin Committee which I subsequently left with Ken to make “less stuffy“. While I wait for the Searchlight, I’ve been trading it off with an old Meyer Bros, on a loaner Aristocrat. I thought the Meyer was a little bright on the Martin, which is rather weighty, and so thought of trying for a more “smokey?” sound. I really like the STM on the Crat, though I got to admit that on THAT horn, the Meyer is a great match.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just got a 6 from ProWind. I originally ordered it to pair up with an original Martin Committee which I subsequently left with Ken to make "less stuffy". While I wait for the Searchlight, I've been trading it off with an old Meyer Bros, on a loaner Aristocrat. I thought the Meyer was a little bright on the Martin, which is rather weighty, and so thought of trying for a more "smokey?" sound. I really like the STM on the Crat, though I got to admit that on THAT horn, the Meyer is a great match.
For alto, I'm relegated to a bundy II for the time being. I bought this mouthpiece way back in college from someone second hand (as I recall around $50), but hadn't given it much thought over the years. Now that I'm starting to get back into playing, I thought I'd give it a try, and it really opens up the sound on my horn. As I mentioned, my impression is that it seems a bit "finicky" but well worth the effort. Once I started to lock onto it, I was pleasantly surprised at the tone I was getting.
 

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I played one for a couple of years, trying to use "equivalent" setups on tenor and alto, and recalling that Sonny Stitt had also done this for a time. I played many jazz gigs and lead alto in a jazz big band as well as a show band with this piece. Then I switched to a Meyer and found that for "equivalency" was better - the Meyer on alto and Link on tenor gave me a more similar playing feel.
 

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The STM was my first "jazz" mouthpiece, a 6* from the 1990s. Mine definitely is a darker and less projecting one, but honestly it has a good tone color in itself. The altissimo requires more careful voicing but in return is much less harsh. I have too many mouthpieces now, there are others I prefer but if it works for you, use it. People make a mountain out of it but frankly, it's a matter of taste and skill and the right reed and some time will find the beauty of it.

I always was happy with how mine played and I also found using softer and brighter reeds worked well. It wasn't quite what I wanted, but then yours might be better, or just be the right thing for you!
 

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I played one for a couple of years, trying to use "equivalent" setups on tenor and alto, and recalling that Sonny Stitt had also done this for a time. I played many jazz gigs and lead alto in a jazz big band as well as a show band with this piece. Then I switched to a Meyer and found that for "equivalency" was better - the Meyer on alto and Link on tenor gave me a more similar playing feel.
I always found it interesting that the most popular vintage mouthpieces were different on alto, tenor, and bari. Apparently it's such a well known phenomenon that Vandoren's V16 branded mouthpiece is more or less a Meyer copy for alto, a Link copy for tenor, and a Berg Larsen copy for Bari. Not the most original design idea, but they came out really good. I don't have the vintage versions of the original mouthpieces to compare, but I like the V16s in all three sizes, and better than the new versions of the Meyer or Link (I never tried a Berg Larsen, new or old).
 

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Reading this thread made me realize that right now I'm using an Otto Link for every horn (Soprano, Tenor, and Bari) except Alto and I don't even know if I've even tried an Otto Link on Alto.
 

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I have a STM I've got new in 1995 that sounds awesome on alto. It's very loud though! I wouldn't call it bright, but it does project greatly without much effort. Much more so then my Meyer or RPC hard rubber ones.
 

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I’ve had two of them, a 6 facing and a 5*. The 5* played well and was noticeably brighter, but also had noticeably more baffle than the 6. The 6 played really well but you had to use a bright reed to keep it from getting tubby. As an experiment I put a thin layer of blue tack in the chamber floor, down from the tip, and that added zip that erased the tubbiness. Didn’t really brighten the tone that much though, just added guts. Make the blue-tack permanent and add a little more baffle, that would be a formidable mouthpiece.
 
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