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Discussion Starter #1
I would like your suggestions please. I have two altos, a Martin "The Martin" and a Yamaha 62

I have tried lots of mouthpieces, but I can only get the dark, thick sound I like from a good ol' Selmer S80 c* . The others I have tried are:

Yani 6 Metal (way too bright but good for pop)
MeyerHR 6 (Too boring and thin sounding)
Jody Jazz HR5 (Very nice, but a bit bright and not as complex as the selmer)
SR Tech .85 (I think it will be nice, but it is too open for me)

So I try out all these pieces, like I did last night, and then stick the selmer back on, and the selmer sounds the "fattest" of them all with a nice dark tone. This suits my 1950's sound which can be heard here:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Pva7iyAtLfc

The problem is the selmer is closing up on me when pushed, and I love my Rico Royals 2.5, any harder reeds sound shrill to my ears. I also like the flexibility of a softer reed for slurs and bends.

What other dark pieces should I try? I have ordered a Runyon SR 5, because according to their website, it is the only one darker than a selmer s80 c*. Or should I just try a more open Selmer ??????
 

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The Caravans and Raschers are the darkest but they only come in pretty close facings. The Selmer S-90 is darker than the S-80. A 190 facing is equal to a C*.
 

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Try darker sounding reeds ála Vandoren blue box with your mouthpieces first. A good dark alto mouthpiece which I like a lot, is a HR Otto Link 5*. Try it if you have a chance.
 

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Great sound. It seems like you're getting a great vibe with the french style classical mouthpiece. I would recommend you try out a Rousseau NC4 or NC5. I used a NC4 after the s-80 and found it similar in range to the sound of the s-80, but a lot more flexible and freeblowing. A larger tip s80 or s90 should also be on your list.
 

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I wrote this somewhere else and other times, I like your sound very much but I agree, you would most definitely benefit from a slight improvement on the darkness of your already very good sound. You could try my suggestion for a Otto Link STM 5* or 6 (not more.... for the reasons explained earlier in another topic). Alternatively how about trying a Selmer Super Session D or E?
 

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You're using a classical mouthpiece, and all of the others you escribed are jazz pieces, and will therefore be brighter than the C*. I would suggest a few things here...

First, a Rico Royal 2.5 is too soft of a reed to use with that piece. You say that you don't like the shrillness of harder reeds, but nearly everyone I know that plays a close facing piece like that uses at least a 3, and normally a 3.5. The trick is that you'll need to work at getting your sound under control with a harder reed and eventually, you should be able to control it like you want. You should probably try some different reed brands too, particularly Vandoren or Hemke, which will help a bit with the sound. If you are able to close off a piece, you either need a larger facing (which will generally be brighter) or a harder reed.

Second, if you are going for a 50s type sound, you might look at a 50s type piece. Something similar to a Gregory might do it or a Morgan L chamber. Again, though, neither of these will help if you don't get a larger tip opening or a harder reed. Both of these will be brighter than the S-80 C*, but will also give you better projection. There is also the option of something like a Caravan, but you'll need to have that refaced because they only come in one tip and it's actually closer than a C*.
 

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I say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

You have a great sound and approach. If your reed is closing up that usually means that either you are using too soft a reed for the mpc..or you can keep the reed :D and get a bigger mpc. Well, or you can keep the present setup and not blow hard; work around it, that is. But I don't think that's the solution you're looking for.

If I were you, I would simply go on the quest for the Holy Reed Grail. Personally, I don't have good luck with blue box Vandoren for jazz but I think you should try some #3s just to be sure. I highly recommend that you try Alexander DC's. I would start with a few #3s and if that doesn't do the trick, try #3.5s. http://www.superial.com/dc.html
 

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Yes, I agree a 2.5 reed, esp. Rico Royal, is pretty soft for a C*. Try working up to a Vandoren classic 3 or RR 3.5. An alternative is to go for a more open S80 such as a D or E with softer reeds.
 
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