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Long time listener-First time caller. After 30+ years of playing tenor, much of that time making a living at it, I've decided to switch to alto. Two years ago I purchased a Barone Classic (unfortunatey it didn't come with one of his renowned mpcs!) and a Vandoren A5S.
Being relatively new to the world of alto and not wanting to get back on the mpc merry-go-round I'm wondering if anyone has compared an A5S to an Optimum AL4. The A5S is getting pretty close to what I want, but I'd like to warm it up a bit. Looking for a West Coast, clean and dare I say, Desmond-esque vibe (yes, I've used the search function). Is the jump down in tip as massive as it seems? Suggestion?
 

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I play an A45 Vandoren on my alto and a V16 T7 on my tenor. I think right now, Vandoren is making the best mass produced mouthpieces on the market! As for the Desmond sound, have you considered a Phil-Tone Solstice? They are advertised as a mouthpiece for the west coast sound. Steve Neff reviewed one on his website and provided a sound clip. His review is enough to convince me to try one. The link provided is for the review.

http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2011/09/phil-tone-solstice-alto-saxophone-mouthpiece/
 

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If it's Desmond you want, going with the small chamber was probably a mistake. A medium chamber would get you closer to what you're looking for. So if you think that the A5S puts you in the ballpark, maybe you should try an A5M.

+1 for Phil Tone. I haven't played that model but I've play others. He does great work. If I were going after that type of sound, I'd definitely be incline to buy one.
 
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