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Discussion Starter #1
After listening to both clips by Ted that prove once again he's not only a great mouthpiece wizard but a burning player on his Super 20 I find it hard to decide which mouthiece I like better. Of course those clips weren't recorded on the same day, with the same reed etc, but I guess Ted's playing will be quite consistent.
What I heard is that the Tonamax is softer, more balladesque and lyrical than the NY model that seems to be more "outspoken" or "direct", however far those attributes will take you.
I guess Sebastian will chime in sooner or later. He will have had to time to really compare them.
 

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HA! You really hit it on the head when you say that it's hard to tell because of what a good alto player Ted is. I find professional demos hard to interpret because most pros can really overcome all the difficulties that the saxophone has to offer because their reputation depends on only having 'good days'.

That being said, I wouldn't describe the Tonamax alto as more ballad-esque but the geometry is quite different than the NY. The VersiTone (Tonamax) is a very cool proprietary design that has a wider throat, not very round sidewalls and a shorter baffle profile. I don't know if Ted would agree but to me it's a good cross between a Meyer NY and a Brilhart chamber. Very open sounding and not overly bright. The NY model comes closely out of Ted's own Meyer Bros (the first piece he let me play when I moved to NJ). This is a much more aggressive piece to my mind: rounded sidewalls and throat and a more pronounced and longer baffle profile.

I say these things but take it with a grain of salt because they are all extensively hand finished. I don't mean hand finished the same way some folks talk about polishing the oustides or insides and a big job and think they've created a masterpiece because it's shiny .... I mean that the finishing of the baffle, tip, table and rails are all hand cut as are the pieces all individually made to size. It's not fun when you've spent hours finishing something and it looks perfect but then Ted plays it and goes back to the drawing board with the baffle because it doesn't meet his standard! But that's how you make a masterpiece.

What are you looking for for your alto setup?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for a very detailed and helpful answer. It is indeed this more aggressive character of the NY model that I heard and find confirmed in your statement.
I have got three Meyer mouthpieces (NY USA 9M Small Chamber, NY USA 5M Medium Chamber and Bros NY 5M Small Chamber). Taking the name "Versitone" literally this might mean that the Tonamax might give me the chance to vary the character of the sound a little bit more than the vintage Meyers do: they ARE great mouthpieces, but a mouthpiece that is a bit more versatile might be fun.
On the other hand, I will have to work on my skills anyway to make things happen. If you look at this video you will be surprised what a Meyer 6M can sound like. I really love Simon's tone here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWjU6JAQFbw
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since I'm mostly a tenor player I'm not that experienced with vintage altos. If Simon's wonderful tone does not only prove his chops and musical talent but also the stunning character of a Balanced Action, I will be on the look-out from now on. There's one offered around here at the moment (without front-f), but of course I have heard that a King Super 20 (Ted) or Silversonic is not a bad alto either..... I love my Inderbinen, but I might go for one of the old horns as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I found a second-hand Versitone Tonamax locally which is indeed a great find. It has just been delivered by the postman. Before I play it and compare it to my Meyer mouthpieces, I can say that the baffle of the Tonamax is more prominent than on my Meyers. Accordingly, I expect it to play with more focus and treble.
In addition to the pics below, I took a short video that shows the baffle as I'm turning the piece in daylight.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bq7lb3tf79ealxz/Klum Tonamax Baffle.mp4?dl=0

I have just started a comparison of audio clips in a new thread:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...tone-Tomamax-6-compared&p=2723626#post2723626
 

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Ted mentioned that the tonamax has a larger chamber and fuller, warmer sound. (As compared to the Ted Klm NY modedl)
 

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I just tried a NY model 6 and really liked it! This was a marbled rubber version. I thought it had great complexity and core with power. Recorded really well also. Now I have to track one down as the one I tried wasn’t for sale, ha...
 

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Oh dear lord. I got my alto tonamax 6 from Ted Klum today. It came in a timely manner as explained before hand by Jai. If you are practicing hard and not quite comfortable with your mouthpiece- I just have to say don't ever believe people that tell you it's not the mouthpiece.

This thing is a dream come true. So happy with it. I'll keep my Navarro Maestra 5 alto incase I need more firepower if big bands ever come back.

Thank you Ted Klum. I am one with my alto now (New Reference 54 812XXX).
 
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