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· Forum Contributor 2010-2016
1,696 Posts
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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