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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Now and again there are threads asking what sort of mouthpiece will help an alto to get a deeper huskier sound, more like a tenor sound. I've always gone for a deeper sound with lots of lows on alto but I have found what I consider to be a possible solution for some people. This might help tenor players that only play alto occasionally or are just looking for a darker concept on alto than is common in mainstream alto mouthpieces (Meyers et al).

A while back I got a Conn Steelay mouthpiece from a fellow forumer. The tip opening was around .052". I sent it to Erik Greiffenhagen and asked him to open it up to .080" and make it project but still retain the dark qualities of the mouthpiece. He also bored out the shank a bit to fit modern neck cork sizes better and duckbilled the beak a little to make it a more comfortable fit in the mouth. The mouthpiece has scooped sidewalls, a huge round chamber, and a small rollover baffle near the tip that is slightly trough-shaped a la saxscape mouthpieces. It is a very fine mouthpiece and I am still getting used to it but I feel a lot of potential in this design.

What I noticed is that the alto responds a lot like a tenor now, since on tenor I play on larger chambered otto link mouthpieces. This mouthpiece also takes a huge amount of air to play, a lot more than my meyer, and the sound is more mellow and has more potential to be dark and sultry. I couldn't see myself using this mouthpiece when I play lead alto or in funk/cover bands, but as maybe 2nd alto and in jazz soloist and jazz sax quartet settings, I think it's a real winner. Because of its emphasis on the dark side of the spectrum it is very useful on gigs where I have to play softer, like my regular sunday brunch gig. Playing the meyer on that gig required painfully soft dynamics, but with this mouthpiece I can sing a little bit and still be well within the realm of tasteful volume/projection. I feel like with plenty of time spent and long tone work, it might be useful in a lead alto setting or with louder bands, but for now I'll use my Mojo meyer for that.

So, for those of you looking for a more tenor-like sound on alto, this might be a good avenue to go down if you can find one of these old conn mouthpieces. The only thing I might've done differently was have it opened to a little less, maybe .075". I chose .080" since that is the same tip as my meyer, but it feels a little larger because of the large chamber and smaller baffle. Good luck!!
 

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Why would you want your alto to sound like a tenor? Let the horn sound like it was meant to be heard, as an alto. I fyou want to sound like a tenor, why not just play tenor? It just doesn't make any sense to me. And it sounds to me like this is one of those mental things, not a mouthpiece problem. Whatever, not trying to argue with you or tell you what to think, just trying to make sense of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Even so, your post comes off as antagonizing. I feel like you haven't read even the first paragraph of my post which basically lays out what I'm about to go into. Let me try to make sense of this for you. I think of it as just a way of saying that you want a deeper, darker sound on alto, which gels more with the school of tenor playing that is fond of large chambered mouthpieces for a darker sound. Quite obviously, it's still going to sound like an alto no matter what you do. What I'm talking about is the actual quality of the tone throughout the range of the instrument. When people say they want their alto sound to be more like a tenor sound, I think what they're really thinking about is trying to achieve a bigger, darker sound as is more common in tenor playing. The state of affairs with alto mouthpieces is that small and medium chambers are the status quo, and the status quo with alto playing is a brighter, lighter sound. I think the solution to a darker, bigger and altogether different alto sound from what one is used to is a larger chamber and plenty of long tones. Too often the solution "get a meyer and practice your long tones" is offered, most likely to no avail. A medium chamber mouthpiece is going to have problems achieving a very dark tone for most people.

Simply, I was trying to offer a solution to a question I see posed here now and then which IMO goes largely unaddressed because of people who like to get hung up about misnomers and semantics rather than actually addressing an issue and offering productive thought. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.
 

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How does it sound antagonizing, evan after I said that I wasn't trying to argue with you. Apperently, nobody can try to engage in conversation here without offending somebody.

That aside, I just think that say in that you want to sound like a tenor is a much different thing than wanting a darker and more resonant (if I could assume that) tone. I have a different feeling on each horn and I just couldn't get that tenor state of mind on alto, which is why I find the concept of "making a tenor sound like an alto" an impossible task.

:eek:ccasion:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not offended, just think you missed the point altogether at first. But now it seems you've got it. I agree with everything you've said. I do think that more advanced players who want a deeper sound more reminiscent of a tenor school of tonal thought often simplify (and thereby confuse) by saying they want a tenor sound on their alto. Then everybody comes in and tells them to just get a tenor.

On that note, possible reasons to not "just play tenor":

- tenors cost thousands of dollars.
- tenor mouthpieces cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, when totalled at the end of one's life.
- Kenny G started on tenor.
- my solution came to a grand total of $140. I think that's the least I have in on any of my mouthpieces, ever. Conn Steelay mouthpieces transform altos into tenors, until midnight. Then your alto turns into a brass pumpkin.

:yikes!:
 

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Solution for all 3:

- Hire the mob to "eliminate" Kenny G. and take his tenors and mouthpieces (and money whil eyou are at it).

:twisted:
 

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My sound on alto (JJ ESP on a JK SX90R) is very large and and, to my ears, "tenor like". That is one reason I'm considering moving to a Ref 54 alto. I miss the sweeter, slightly more delicate sound that I had on alto before moving to the Keilwerths. For section work, I think I used to blend better before moving to the JK. If I was more of a solo type player, I would embrace the Keilwerth sound on alto more, I think.

BTW, I don't have the same feelings about my sound on the Keilwerth tenor.
 

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Y'all realize that this thread makes no sense, right?
 

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Maybe cuz an alto is not going to sound like a tenor...just my guess seeing as the mouthpiece is different length, reeds different size, saxophone is smaller..
 

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CountSpatula said:
Maybe cuz an alto is not going to sound like a tenor...just my guess seeing as the mouthpiece is different length, reeds different size, saxophone is smaller..
There's hope for the youth of 'merica...:D
 

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Razzy said:
Not offended, just think you missed the point altogether at first. But now it seems you've got it. I agree with everything you've said. I do think that more advanced players who want a deeper sound more reminiscent of a tenor school of tonal thought often simplify (and thereby confuse) by saying they want a tenor sound on their alto. Then everybody comes in and tells them to just get a tenor.

On that note, possible reasons to not "just play tenor":

- tenors cost thousands of dollars.
- tenor mouthpieces cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, when totalled at the end of one's life.
- Kenny G started on tenor.
- my solution came to a grand total of $140. I think that's the least I have in on any of my mouthpieces, ever. Conn Steelay mouthpieces transform altos into tenors, until midnight. Then your alto turns into a brass pumpkin.

:yikes!:
I'll sell you a bundy I tenor for 140 bucks, plays good, just adjusted.

Add shipping and the case. Case price is $350 (it's a good case). Just add shipping and a mouthpiece, and you've spent less than $1k on a tenor.

Not thousands.
 

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Eh...I just think if I wanted a "darker, huskier sound" similar to my tenor, I'd just play tenor :)

How come people don't want a bari-like sound on their tenor :(
 

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Did you read the entire thread? We already went over this. Take better notes, there will be a test and a 500 word essay at the end of the thread. :)
 

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I read the start of the thread, or the "main subject" and clearly see "tenor-like sound on alto." This leads me to agree this thread has no sense...
 

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I get confused as to why a dark big sound would be considered tenor like. In my eyes thats just a great alto sound.

Would a dark tenor sound be considered bari like?


BTW You asked why the thread makes no sense, and apparently I had to repeat what has been said...so the point of this conversation?
 

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Razzy said:
I do think that more advanced players who want a deeper sound more reminiscent of a tenor school of tonal thought often simplify (and thereby confuse) by saying they want a tenor sound on their alto. Then everybody comes in and tells them to just get a tenor.
Less confused? ;)
 

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saxymanzach said:
Less confused? ;)
More confused, even less sense.:cool:

I, mean, really, one can't let the mouthpiece do ALL of the work. That's like having a different bow for every situation for a violinist.
 
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