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A few days ago I went digging through my mouthpiece drawer trying to figure out which of my pieces sounds best on my recently acquired Top Hat & Cane tenor. When I bought the horn I had two pieces with me, a Phil Barone Hollywood 7* and a Berg 110/2M (metal). The horn sounded great with both pieces but the Hollywood was far and away superior. Over the years I've tried a few different mouthpieces and had pretty much settled on the Hollywood. I bought it when I was playing a YTS 62II and none of my other pieces seemed to give me what I was looking for. It also sounded really nice on my Super 20 but it worked me pretty hard.

Anyway, after playing the crap out of the horn with the Hollywood for a few days I really wasn't satisfied. It sounded great loud but I had a hard time playing soft, especially down low. Plus, that setup was really working the fool out of me. I surmised that the combination of the big, open chamber of the Hollywood and the big bore or the TH&C were just too much mouthpiece and too much horn for me. I can sound really super good for a while but then I get fatiqued. The thought of playing a 4 hr. gig with that setup seemed too much like hard work.

So, after trying the horn with all the pieces in my collection I dug way down in the bottom of the drawer and pulled out my old Florida STM 7 (small font) that I had pretty much abandoned after I bought my Yamaha. That piece with a RJS 2h filed on the Top Hat & Cane sounds so unbelievably good I just can't get enough of it. Plus, it has just the right amount of resistance so that I can play loud or soft and I don't feel like I'm straining at all. Very comfortable.

I never really paid much attention to mouthpieces before I started hanging out on SOTW. A mouthpiece to me was just another tool. As for the Otto Link it was given to me by a friend when I was in Navy Band Orlando back in 1976. He had owned it for several years before that and had decided he didn't want it any more. For many years it was the only tenor mouthpiece I owned. Now, it seems to have moved back into the #1 position for the foreseeable future.

My only problem now is what to do with my Hollywood. Guess I'll hang onto it. It seems to work really nice on a Mark VI. Who knows? Maybe I'll buy myself a Mark VI style horn one of these days or maybe a Phil Barone Classic. Otherwise, if I need to play really super loud I can slap it onto the TH&C and drown out the trumpet section. :mrgreen:
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