Re: Mouthpiece setup
Mouthpiece choice entirely depends on the sound you are looking to get from the saxophone. Also, the same mouthpiece can sound widely different depending who is playing it. So, it's really a personal decision as to what mouthpiece to play.
I may sound like a cop out answer, but honestly, the best thing you can do is to find a local shop that stocks a decent selection of mouthpieces and play thorugh a few of them and select the one that seems to get the sound you are after and plays with a good response and easy feel. Most decent local shops will stock Vandoren (V16 ebonite or Optimum series), Otto Link, Meyer, Selmer S80 or S90. Also, if the shop is hip enough, also check out Berg Larsen, Jody Jazz or MACSAX.