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Discussion Starter #1
You guys are always so helpful – here I am, yet another person seeking advice re: tenor mouthpieces. I’ll give as much detail as I can, sorry for the long read! I've searched the forum and read lots of good advice, but, always looking for more.

I am primarily a bari player. Bought a tenor a couple years ago and am really diggin’ it, but am ready for a different mouthpiece.

On bari, I play a Rousseau JDX 6 with ZZ 3.5 reeds (YBS-52). For me, this is the perfect sound. It’s big enough to anchor the section nicely. The sound I get is fairly warm and a little edgy, but not extremely so. I can get a pretty focused sound on it, which helps it cut through, even though it isn’t the biggest/loudest thing around. It's versatile, in that I can get a good range of volume and edge depending on how I play it. (To give you a better idea, I use the same setup in a Wind Ensemble as I do a big band, and get lots of compliments on the sound on both ends of the spectrum – so, for me, that's good.)

On tenor, I have a Rousseau NC5, also with ZZ 3.5 reeds (YTS-82Z). With this setup, I get a very pure, fairly warm sound. It sounds nice. Too nice. A little too Guy Lombardo, if you know what I mean. I want something more like the sound I get on bari – a little edgy, a little gritty, warm-ish, a little on the darker side of center, rather than the brighter side. I’m up for experimenting with reeds, too. I’m not looking for anything too extreme, as I’ll do the same kind of playing with the tenor – some Wind Ensemble work and some big band work, and I prefer to use a single piece for both. I’m a section player, not a monster jazzer (although, gosh, I’d like to be!)

I tried a Rousseau JDX 6 on the tenor early on, and didn't like it - had trouble with pitchiness in general, and had to pull it w-a-a-y too far out for comfort.

I prefer hard rubber to metal … and I haven’t done any experimenting with pieces on the tenor yet, so I’m pretty much a clean slate!

And that, Dear Abby, is it … any good advice?
 

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you could always try an Otto Link HR Tone Master, they are known to be dark and a good versatile piece. One of my friends played on one for wind ensemble and he had a really good sound, it waas warm witha lttle hint of edge, but for jazz he used a Metal Link STM. It is probably a mouthpiece that can be pushed to sound a little jazzier so it may work for you. I can't think of any other good HR mpcs at the moment, but I am a little inexperienced in this department. I too am a Bari-Player by trade but just picked up a tenor a couple (probably 8) months ago.
 

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Try a Rousseau Studio Jazz.
 

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The new rubber tenor V16s are wonderful. I really liked the one I tried and many compare it to a good slant link.
 

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I'll toss my 2 cents in. :D
I did a quick search of Rousseau facing it appears you are playing a .090 0n bari and . 085 on Tenor. I could only find a NC5 listing for alto a.070 and a 5R on tenor so I am guessing .085 for tenor.

.090 is a fairly laid back piece on bari but as you describe perfect for holding the section together. You will not over power with it.

If your Tenor piece is a.085 that is equivalent to a Link 5* so yes "Too nice. A little too Guy Lombardo"

I suggest you move at least to a 6* Link or .095. Go test play a MORGAN 7 L, E or what ever. Pick a piece and play the [email protected] out of it. :cool:
 

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I've been messing around with a HR 6* Link lately. My usual mouthpiece is a metal Link 8. Using the same reeds (LaVoz Medium), it responds pretty well, with a nice, easy dynamic range. My problem with it is that, while it's dark, it won't work for Wind Ensemble, which I had hoped to use it for, just because it's a little too dead sounding. It's dark, but in more of a Joe Henderson kind of way. Like Joe, but without that livliness that he always had in his tone. It could really use a touch-up. It's nice, and I like how easy it is to play (because it's a 6*, most likely), but it's not about to unseat my metal Link for most of my playing. It's a decent emergency backup, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone for all the ideas. I'll order a few for trial, along with a good selection of reeds, and spend some time with them ... (If there was a local place with any stock, I'd try 'em here, but no such luck!)

If I have any startling revelations, I'll let you know!
 

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Moonpie,,maybe a Jody HR would be a good choice also! I did own two of those,my 7 was a great mpc,,should have kept that one for a second mpc!
It plays,easily,kind of dark,depending the reeds you are using,,Lavoz medium were great with the JJ HR!Nice sound overhaul on tenor!
Anyways just another suggestion!
AQll the best,
Saxobari
 

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If you are still shopping, you might want to try the Springer Rollover or the Hard Rubber (http://www.springermpc.com/mpcprof.html). The Rollover model is aimed more at large bore horns but has more edge than the Hard Rubber. These pieces are purposely finished roughly, but they blow easily and beautifully over the whole range of the horn. I bought an 095 some time ago and liked it enough to then buy a 105 (both Rollovers); I call them my 100 dollar wonders. -- Good luck.
 

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I'm too new at this to give any advice but I can share my recent experieince. I was also looking for my sound and feel on tenor and wanted something that had body, was easy to play in allk registers and stayed in tune. I settled on a metal Link, STM 8* NY. I use a Rico Royal 2.5 french cut. It has a warm sound and can generate bite and punch. I was surprised how comfortable the metal was for me. If I put a 3 reed on it, it gets too stuffy for me but that may be due to my lack of chops.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's an update ... (and thanks to everyone for all the suggestions, too!)

I ordered a number of different pieces, and much to my surprise, the one I like best is the Link STM.

I'm surprised because something about the mechanics of playing the metal mouthpieces has always felt a little like nails on a chalkboard to me.

I'm still deciding between a 6* and a 7 and am in search of a ligature to replace the stock Link one. I've tried a bunch of different reeds, but my ol' favorites, the 3.5 ZZ's, seem to work pretty well on both the 6* and the 7.

This STM is exactly what I'm looking for - warm, with just a little edge - nothing too radical. One of the things I particularly like is that is seems so easy to play through the full dynamic range - the "softs" still sound full and it just seems really easy to vary the dynamic level. Also - the intonation is great with this thing - much better than with the Rousseau NC I've been using - really spot on.

I also tried Vandoren V16, a Ponzol and a Barone, a Rousseau JDX5, a Link HR, and a Jody Jazz HR, all in the same general "size" vicinity as the Links.

Of these, the one that came in "2nd" was the Jody Jazz. It was a close 2nd, and if I had lots of $$, I'd probably have kept it in addition to the Link, because I thought it was really interesting to play.

So, I'm now a "happy camper" on tenor. I still have a bari-piece problem to deal with - but I'll post that elsewhere!
 

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It's not very hard to see why most everyone has a link or two in their collection, it's the tenor piece that has been used by more greats than all the others combined. You got a good size as well, not too big and not too small. Enjoy.
 
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