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I don't know what prices for US pieces are like, but firstly what mouthpiece you get will depend on your horn, your throat cavity, and also how you like to blow. Plus your definition of dark. I think Cannonball had a dark sound and he played a Meyer 5 which are usually very bright pieces (the ones I've played at least).

Plus your choice of reed will change things as well. Add to this that certain reeds don't work well with certain mouthpieces and/or certain horns and really all you can do is try a few things.

That said rubber Otto Links are pretty dark. Of course the older ones are much better (better rubber, better facings, better quality control) but they're also far more expensive. I've heard good things about rubber Berg Larsen pieces as well although again the vintage alto pieces can get pretty expensive.

Whilst there's no substitute for blowing them, why not look at rubber Links, rubber Bergs, and maybe a Selmer Soloist piece. The new versions of these aren't quite as good as the old ones but they're much cheaper.

Alternatively check out what your favourite sax players play and see if you can get something similar.

-Dan
 
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