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Discussion Starter #1
im trying to restore a martin c-melody handcraft, if been playing it with a vandoren alto mpc, its working, however im not convinced that this is the right mpc for it...what do you suggest?
 

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I'm on much the same track and here's what I've found from trial and error and good SOTW advice.

First you have to know how you'd like to sound - traditional Cmel, tenor with a bit more top or alto with a bit more bottom.

It's hard to avoid the traditional Cmel sound which has been given a few colorful descriptions here mainly concerning strangled animals. The geometry of the horn dictates that you'll always get a subdued sound when compared with the more full bodied sound of the alto and tenor. But I've heard it said that The Martin Cmels might be the exception to this rule.

One thing is for absolute sure. If you get an old Cmel mouthpiece then that's how you'll sound.

So if you're looking for the other alternatives then go for an alto piece for an altoish sound and a tenor piece for tenorish sound (but be prepared for some surprises where your sound is the exact opposite of what you were expecting).

My rule of thumb, and bear in mind it's early days for me, is to go with the mouthpiece you're most comfortable with. For me it's a Lakey tenor. You might have to have your neck recorked. Luckily mine fits pretty well. Or you could use some packing -teflon tape and the like. Check out your intonation across the range with whatever you choose - might be some other surprises there.

Let me be the first of the C Melody coven at SOTW to welcome you. I'm sure my fellow deviants will chime in too! :)
 

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I use an alto mouthpiece on my 5 C Melodies and still have not found the best one. The vandoren should serve you well but the low end may suffer. Judging from the photos, you will not be playing below D since the C# key is missing on the bow. The modern C melody mouthpieces made today can be rather expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
someone here in manila told me that sound varies from person to person.. i have a friend who plays great jazz but bad pop, we have tried putting different mpcs in his alto but the quality of the sound is still jazzy and relaxing.

i play pop and gospel music with my sax (israel houghton and the new breed songs). it goes well with my other horn...mark VII but im thinking long and hard for the c-melody

my vandoren sounds pretty good but im still not satisfied. thanks for the tip, a friend also prescribed berg-larsen, im gona try that too. i hope i can find the right piece
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the horn is still on the process of restoration. but once its finished (including the missing keys), ill be trying some of it out.
 

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patmiller has pretty well covered it.
The C tenor is a bit of a chameleon & can sound tenor-like, alto-like, or, heaven forfend. it can sound like a C melody. This latter sound is the reason why it did not survive...thin, stuffy, weedy, quiet & farty.
As pat says, the Martin certainly has the beefiest sound, so, with a tenor mouthpiece, it can sound remarkably tenor-like.
So, you choice of mouthpiece really depends upon your intended use of the horn.
If you have no friends, little musical taste, & live with your parents, then I heartily recommend the original C tenor mouthpiece.
If you play in a Folkie Band or in church, I would recommend the oh-so-sweet, well engineered Conn with either an alto or modern C tenor piece.
For Down & Dirty Blues or R&R, (ie. PROPER saxophone) one instinctively reaches for the Martin with the weapons grade tenor mouthpiece. :)
Welcome to the sax pariahs' club.
 

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I have a tenor Jody Jazz HR that I use on my 1920 Conn C-Melody, and it is a lot more tenor sounding then with the stuffy sounding Babbitt piece that came with it.I haven't tried any alto mouthpieces on it yet.
 

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this Conn C melody which I've sold to the player (Raaf Hekkema ) in the video is played with its original Conn Eagle mouthpiece which was opened up by our member Stan who did a wonderful job. I've published this video many times because I am proud to have been able to sell this great horn to (refurbished by Tim Brennan in Haarlem) to such a great player

for a more Jazz approach, I would like to know what Andrew Krasilnikov uses on this Conn.........
 

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Thanks Milandro! I've heard the Dowland here before. It's quite beautiful! The jazz tune "Alone Together" is
a good example of the CMel. sounding like a tenor. As soon as I've got my 3 CMels. "up and running", I'll be able to try alto and tenor pieces, side by side. Then I'll probably have to go on the hunt for more pieces to try. I'm hoping I can find something I like.
Welcome Marc Daniel! Lots of good advice from the CMel. players here. Wish I had a Martin!
 

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Welcome Marc Daniel! Lots of good advice from the CMel. players here. Wish I had a Martin!
sandy.
If you thought that the Conn sounded like a tenor you really should buy a Martin.
If you play in a tenor style it is the horn for you....with, of course, a tenor mouthpiece
I am a recent convert.....now I use my Martin Typewriter C tenor exclusively, the difference in cojones is remarkable.
Sadly my TT & L&H are relegated, in their cases, under the bed.
 

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I have a 1916 Conn and prefer the tenor sound. I play tenor mainly, so I have a lot of tenor mouthpieces that I've tried on the C melody. While more of them than not sound terrible on it, for some reason the Runyons all sound great including current Custom, --clear and bright, 50's custom --darker and buzzier, old SR with serial number--dark and mellow with a little buzz, 22--similar, and quantum, which even w/o the spoiler screams out r&r. All of these are full sounding and subtone easily. How they would play on the Martin, however, I don't know.
 

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Trying all mouthpieces you can get your hands on is the best idea, like the gang here told you.
I am using a link STM tenor (refaced by Phil Tone) on my Buescher now, with great results.
Welcome to the club. Keep us posted on the progress of the restoration and mouthpiece search.
 

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Sandy, if you have large hands I wouldn't recommend the Martin. I own a Conn and Buescher, had owned a Martin, Aquilasax and Wurlitzer (Buescher). The Martin has a "cramped" fingering for my hands and, though I tried to work with it I gave up. $0.02
 

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im trying to restore a martin c-melody handcraft, if been playing it with a vandoren alto mpc, its working, however im not convinced that this is the right mpc for it...what do you suggest?
If you want to keep some of the dark singing quality these have, I'd recommend a tenor Brilhart or a Rico Graftonite. Those work very well on my Buescher. If you want to scream and shout, well, just get a tenor. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i have tried to put a berg-larsen (the metal one) into it.
judging from the sound, the horn gave a rather sharp, pop like sound,

the vandoren gave it a jazzy feel, more relaxing type,

when i borrowed a tenor mpc, it gave out a rather lower dark sound (i dont know the brand of that mpc)

thinking from what i experienced, the horn is really a hybrid of a tenor and an alto. it really depends on what i want to sound like or what i want to feel when i use the horn.

for now, since i have my mark VII as an alto horn, im going to try to put a tenor mpc, maybe a berg-larsen to the c-mel.

once again milandro, your advice really did help.

thanks guys, if you have any more advice, feel free to post it here... all your help will be deeply appreciated
 

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Cheers Marc, enjoy you horn! A lot of people use tenor mouthpieces on C melodies and get different responses . I found that the Conn C mels respond perhaps better to an alto piece while the Buescher (and I guess the Martin too due to its design) can be played with a number of tenor pieces. Mind you! A high Baffled piece might be nice to play but impossible to control so, personally, I would go towards something with low baffle and a buzzy reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
milandro

i use a 2.5 vandoren or rico reed for the alto and for the tenor, i use 2
it gave me a low buzz but i had some problems on the growling part, any suggestions? is it the reed or the mpc?
 

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hard to tell at a distance. One thing, why 2 on tenor ? iI you use 2,5 on alto you should be able to use at least the same on tenor if not more ( because of the longer lay) a reed that is too soft can give a number of problems. When I was talking of buzz I thought more of the type of reed rather than the thickness. Fibracell, for example, is a very buzzy reed, I find.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
when i started to learn how to play, my mentor prescribed 2.5 for tenor and alto, but as we were going deeper into the lessons, i had a problem with a bite on the tenor.
maybe i just got used to the 2.5 and 2 due to the practices and the lessons

i will try other thickness like 3 or 2.5 on the tenor, i ddnt really distinguish the difference on the types, mainly bacause the only reeds available here are vandoren and rico.
i havent tried to go to special shops like yamaha to browse their selection but i will try to find other brands...

what brand do you recommend?
 
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