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Seems these are popular for the current modern tenor approach. I think Seamus Blake and Jon Irabagon both play Reso Chambers.
Ben Wendel as well. I think that these are like the ToneMaster of the rubber world. People saw the cover of Blue Train and want to sound just like that. Then they buy an original piece or even get one worked on and it's not bright like that.

I wrote an article about Reso Chambers a few years ago because so many think they can sound like that just by blowing into the mouthpiece. Some setups just go from the start, but if you aren't voicing the same way someone like Seamus or Ben Wendel are, they will feel deader than they'd hoped. Keeping these small or playing original with the hardest reed that still feels responsive and playing along with these guys helps I find.

What people like about these is the chunkiness to the sound I find. If you can learn to brighten them up, there is no comparison. Slant Tone Edges for instance will feel tighter, brighter and thinner if you get into the Reso thing. Most people will gravitate to a Slant type piece for this sound because it starts brighter. This is a generalization of course but I have played dozens of these and worked on quite a few. I really like them around modern 5*-6*. You can really push a piece like this and it never gets too bright.
 

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You've touched on something important because when I say they are hard work, it's like when we describe resistance. The chamber is deeper/more open with a wider throat so right away it can feel free blowing BUT the amount of control that it takes to brighten up the sound on an open chamber is tough. You need to be playing with the "hee" sound in mind or it will only stay dark. That's fine for many people especially if you never perform in public and need to cut in a sax section or blow over other instruments. I'm not saying it's impossible but it's way harder. As they come, there is very little upper baffle behind the tip rail.

Both Seamus and Ben Wendell were not playing on original pieces either. In each case, a refacer would open it up and here's the thing: revoice the piece. Some try and keep the spirit and leave it dark while others want the overall color (dark/whatever adjective you use to describe sound) but with more brilliance/brightness/upper partials. The late great Doc Tenney referred to it as EQ. Reso's natural harmonics are lower and so it sounds dark to most listeners but can feel hard to play.

Another example of vintage gear that can be hard to project but feels nice are slant sopranos. That open chamber Wayne thing we love to hear but they aren't as easy to play as a soloist and if you practice a lot of soprano you can end up sounding the same on both, just one is easier to use.

I find guys who work their Allard stuff a lot get more out of 'stuffy' gear while some want something that's a little more to the point for one reason or another. These days most players want a little of both. Not many pros playing original Reso's for that reason and as you can see there are no shortage of copy type pieces that all compensate by adding baffles to voice the piece brighter.
 

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I am not necessarily looking to buy a new mouthpiece, and I don't buy hard rubber pieces anyway, irrespective of the level of sympathy I have for those who manufacture them. I think I have some basic understanding of common mouthpiece designs, but the Reso Chamber appears to be rather distinct from other Links, and just about any other mouthpiece out there. The replies in this thread help to reduce the mystique somewhat, and I appreciate them irrespectively of underlying intent if any.

A few years ago, I would indeed just have bought a piece to figure out what it was all about, but those days are gone. It yielded a pile of mouthpieces that were hard to sell, certainly with my - approaching zero - level of salesmanship.

My reasons for starting this thread were (a) curiosity and (b) an everlasting struggle with trying to figure out whether to embrace or fight what appears to be my inherently darkish tone on tenor. The latter is hardly of general interest.
Other points to consider are that there was more than one incarnation of Reso Chamber and some of them have smaller cores than the others. It's not something I've kept track of but noticed and discussed with guys that are hard core about collecting. Baffles remain similar to any NY era Link, rubber or metal. It's the short convex shape that Theo describes as a rollover. Not long and flat like the Tone Edge pieces that they eventually made.

I think part of the reason they carry some mystique or cache is because a few people have used them at a high level but they only made them for such a short run. Most people have never seen one in the wild let alone played a bunch of originals or numbers or various refaced ones.

As for your point "b", there are definitely many people who naturally just have a darker sound. Some guys spend their whole playing lives trying to brighten up that sound, and it is possible but to what end? I used to wonder when guys like Liebman would talk about developing a personal sound it means finding your voice. If you hear your voice and don't like it, you can either try to stop sounding like you, or do what many others have done and find something you love about your playing and develop that. Kenny Garrett said he didn't know his sound had anything special to it until he heard a recording and decided to pursue it. Tristano used to make his early students undergo psychoanalysis as artists should know themselves completely. I think somewhere in these two examples lies a lot of room to find what you love the most about what you do. I'll bet you have a nice sound!
 
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