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Discussion Starter #1
It seems it is rather uncommon to use metal mouthpiece on alto? Or is it just my wrong impression. But if yes, why?


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there are tons of discussions on this matter and it really is immaterial what one uses but what they do with it.

The fact that a mouthpiece is made of any material says absolutely nothing on

1) How it plays.

2) How YOU will play on it.

Just think of this:

Charlie Parker played on mouthpieces made of metal, ebonite and acrylic (let alone on how many horns), can you tell the mouthpieces (or the saxophones) apart?

Just to disband a myth or two.

This is (go past the Dutch presentation of the program).

Benjamin Herman on is Selmer with an Otto Link STM metal alto (which lots of people say is no good on alto!).

Lots of closeups.

 

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I don't think so [but it doesn't matter, explained later].

Lots of players in the 70's and 80's were using metal for pop and rock - which is a hint, that metal is more about appearance, than tone/volume. Research the most brilliant tones, and you'll find some were using hard rubber[like a Lakey]. Research thicker tones, and sometimes they are using metal [like a NY STM]. Both go against perception. Its an association, not a correlation: folks who like brilliant tone, and are interested in presentation as part of their performance, tend to also like [the look of] metal. The best myth buster along these lines is a $25 Metalite, and its not even hard rubber, but some lowly nylon..yet it can produce a brightest razor edge zing that will slice your ear off. Never seen a pop or rock artist [or professional] play a Metalite.
 

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there are tons of discussions on this matter and it really is immaterial what one uses but what they do with it.

The fact that a mouthpiece is made of any material says absolutely nothing on

1) How it plays.

2) How YOU will play on it.

Just think of this:

Charlie Parker played on mouthpieces made of metal, ebonite and acrylic (let alone on how many horns), can you tell the mouthpieces (or the saxophones) apart?

Just to disband a myth or two.

This is (go past the Dutch presentation of the program).

Benjamin Herman on is Selmer with an Otto Link STM metal alto (which lots of people say is no good on alto!).

Lots of closeups.

Thank you, André. I've not had the pleasure of hearing this gentleman previously.
What a fantastic sound!
 

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Cheers :),

Benjamin is one of the best Dutch players (although he was born in London).Often voted one of the best dressed man in the NL. He also plays with the New Cool Collective (already a 25 years old formation!).

Here a brief concert.

 

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Cheers :),

Benjamin is one of the best Dutch players (although he was born in London).Often voted one of the best dressed man in the NL. He also plays with the New Cool Collective (already a 25 years old formation!).
I love STMs on alto. I have one I bought new in 1994. It’s loud, clean sounding and easy blowing.
Not sure I like that band style, but he’s indeed a good player. That’s a funky finish on that Selmer of his !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The reason I ask is that I am thinking to try a Berg Larsen metal on alto. I like dark tone and soft Jazz, so I like my STM. I also bought a HR Berg 95/2/M and I quite like it. It is louder than STM, and it is dark with a very solid core sound. That's why I am curious how a metal Berg with similar configuration sounds like. However, a metal Berg is not cheap, so, just thinking if I should spend that money. And if I don't like it, how easy or difficult it is to sell it. If it is rather uncommon for people to use metal on alto, that just mean it is harder to sell.

Maybe let me ask the question in a different way, anyone try a metal Berg 100/3/SMS (or something similar) on an alto and how does it compare to STM or a HR Berg?


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Elton Dean and Arthur Blythe played metal Bergs on alto, I think /1 and /0 which are much brighter than the /3 you are mentioning. Check out their tones, which are rather edgy. A trouble with Bergs is their facings are not very consistent so if you try only one you may get a dud facing. And yeah it will be difficult to sell and expensive to have refaced as stainless steel is difficult to work on. My advice, if you like the HR 95/2, keep it and play it.

If you want something different, buy a HR one either new such as a 95/3 or a used one that is marked as something similar in facing. If you don't like it, take it to a refacer to adjust to your desires. Meanwhile you will have the 95/2 as a backup (though you may need to have the refacer measure it.)
 

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I have an STM and love it but I really like the Mindi Abair (Theo Wanne) other than the price. I loaned it to a friend who is a professional sax player and he returned it after 2 weeks because he bought his own. I tried the TW Fire and I am not a fan of that one.
 

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I've a Berg stainless steel mouthpiece I use quite a lot on alto — specifically on my old Conn NWI, which was made in 1924. It has Selmer-syle pads with plastic resonators and with most mouthpieces it plays with a sweet tone, but is a bit short on volume. The Berg mouthpiece woke the old girl up. There's double the volume available, with a full, complex tone - a very satisfactory result. The Berg is a genuine 100/2 with offset SMS and denim table. I play it with a Vandoren Red Java 2 or 2½ reed.
 

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I've a Berg stainless steel mouthpiece I use quite a lot on alto — specifically on my old Conn NWI, which was made in 1924. It has Selmer-syle pads with plastic resonators and with most mouthpieces it plays with a sweet tone, but is a bit short on volume. The Berg mouthpiece woke the old girl up. There's double the volume available, with a full, complex tone - a very satisfactory result. The Berg is a genuine 100/2 with offset SMS and denim table. I play it with a Vandoren Red Java 2 or 2½ reed.
Damn Mike, you must have some chops.
I couldn’t blow a 100 tip on alto without popping something.
Even though I like a .130 on Tenor.
I’m down around a 5-6 tip on alto but strangely I play a 7 on soprano.
None of it makes sense to me.
The first alto mouthpiece I bought was a metal Beechler 8 tip.
Man was tha hard work, whenever I played it everyone though I was playing soprano.
I’m guessing it sounded pretty bright and focused.
I haven’t played much alto for a while now but just got a nice Yanagisawa 901, so am now looking for a nice 5-6 tip to work with it.
Chances are I will go Hard Rubber as when a horn is smaller, so to is the mouthpiece profile.
And a thin profiled piece on alto wouldn’t feel right for me.
 

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Despite the fact that you can list a number of players who use metal MPs on alto, it still remains a less common choice than hard rubber.

There are historical and cultural reasons for this.

I have used both, and personally I now prefer HR on everything. Pete Thomas and I had a colloquy some months ago about whether the supposed "jaw opening effect" of the larger outer dimensions of the hard rubber MP makes any difference, and (if I'm representing his viewpoint correctly) he believes based on a certain set of test data that it doesn't; in my case I think that thre may be psychological effects and so I believe the case is "not proven" either way.

In the end it probably comes down to personal taste. I've got a big head, big jaw, and my face is meaty and fleshy around the embouchure, so that may be why I prefer a bigger (exterior dimensions) mouthpiece. Metal pieces seem kind of small to me. Maybe someone built a bit lighter in the embouchure area might prefer the smaller exterior of a metal piece. Of course even that explanation ignores things like the douible reed instruments.
 

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that may very well be but even Charlie parker played a number of metal pieces (among many rubber and plastic) yet most people would remember the white piece.

and it is not that we talk of the “ metal period or “ rubber period” :whistle:




 

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Peter King



Piet Noordijk (Berg Larsen)

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Let me give an update. I bought a metal Berg 85/2/M and to my surprise, it is very different from the 95/2 HR and the Otto Link STM. It is quite a bit brighter and less focus, I feel. The Otto Link is very dark compared to it. So far, I like the Berg HR the best because it has a good balance.


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Just to chime in on this old thread - it definitely seems that the dimensions (chamber, facing curve, tip opening, baffle) make a much bigger impact on the sound of a MP than the material it's made from - as others have stated there are plenty of bright rubber MPs and lots of dark metal ones.

I'd also be curious to hear from anyone who has tried a stainless steel berg with a 3 chamber.

I played a STM 6 alto the other day, which is too small a tip for me, and ordered a pair of 7* to test out because the 6 was nice and round and dark.

Sonny Stitt played a metal STM on alto for quite a few years and his sound on it was clear, resonant, deep and dark without any real buzzy-ness, just a bit of ring and cut (subjective terms of course...), and based on the photos from the liner notes of the "Charlie Parker with Strings" CD it looks like he used a metal link on (at least some of) that album, on which he gets a much darker than usual sound.

Anyway, I'll let you all know what I think about the STMs once they get here, if anyone is interested.
 
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