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A quick gander at the published setups of a few alto players using Bergs:

Tim Berne 95/2
Arthur Blythe 95/1
Craig Handy 105/1
Dick Oatts 90/2

If these were Meyer pieces, the above tip openings would correspond to Meyers running from just below 10 and heading toward 11 -- and no alto players I know of play Meyers that open.

Is there something about the design of alto Bergs that makes the wider tips work in that context? Or do players who want really open alto pieces gravitate toward Bergs, perhaps because Meyers that open don't make it?

So, as the subject line states: I'm wondering why Berg altoists seem to almost uniformly play much wider tips compared to Meyer players....
 

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First, Bergs tend to run .010" smaller than marked. But I have seen them from .025" small to .010" large. The vintage HR Bergs are on size more often than the other models.

Second, the high baffle does help the reed to speak a little easier due to the venturi effect near the tip. This is worth about .006" (on alto) in tip opening IMO.

So in total, a Berg marked "95" with a .085" actual tip opening might compare better in playing ease to a .079" tipped Meyer. Meyers are popular from .073" to .085".
 

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....and some of other well known alto mouthpieces might be running larger than their claimed tip opening size. I play an RPC 90R, and my sax tech recently measured it (using some device that I assume is pretty accurate) to have a tip opening of 0.096".

The largest alto mouthpiece tip opening I have heard of someone on SOTW using as their regular piece on alto is BigHunk, who lists an RPC alto .105 in his signature.
 

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Wedge baffle/bullet (Berg) vs rollover (Meyer)...Dukoff players use larger tip openings for the same reason.


EDIT: Mojo nailed it, but I thought I'd mention the Dukoffs also. It's not just because Dukoff players want more volume.
 

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I'm playing a philtone Meyer that's marked .092. Nice big dark low register, with that Meyer 'pop' on the articulations.

Disclaimer:

I'm not comparing myself to Mr.'s Berne, Blythe, Handy, or Oatts. They are masters.
 

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I was playing a big tip opening on my Berg alto HR piece, it was 95/0 M. Now I play on a Barone NY 6M (based off of the Meyer NY), go figure. I'm having Phil open up the NY to a 7 and he's putting a baffle in it for me at his suggestion. We'll see how it works out.

In summary your observation seems to hold some truth.
 

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It may have something to do with the taller beak and embouchure of a Berg compared to a Meyer - the less focused embouchure, a larger tip opening seeming more suitable because of that. Just supposing... Meyers "feel" right to me around .076-.085", but Bergs don't seem to have "enough" for me unless they are minimum .085 - upwards of .130+
 

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130...im hoping your talking bari there.:shock:
 

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In my own berg experience, when I want a berg, I'm looking for a big powerful sound that just screams and plays nice and loud. I want to have to take a breath for every 2 notes. It's a bunch of fun to grab a vandoren 4 and a big berg and shake the room until my neighbors kill me. Berg's are just about as inconsistent as inconsistent gets and I really don't know why. Really pisses me off. I get 1/15 berg's that work. NEVER buy a berg without a return
 
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