Saxophone Forum


by elysse77
(3 posts)
5 months ago

Darker, louder alternatives to a Meyer (for alto)

Hello everyone,

I currently play on a Meyer 5 for my alto, which I love, especially the tone, but I’ve found that I can’t cut through as lead alto in a big band, and it’s a little but quieter than I’d like it to be. I didn’t have time or money to go searching for a good mouthpiece for All-State’s which was coming up so I bought a Rico Metalite, which I like but it’s a bit too open for my liking and only likes to play loud. Now that I have time and a slightly larger budget, preferably $150 max, I need a new mouthpiece that I can use in a variety of situations, but I’d ultimately like it to have a similar tone to my Meyer, maybe a tad bit darker. I’ve been eyeing the Vandoren V16, but any other alternatives that fit my budget would be nice.

 

Thank you!

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  1. by GFC
    (794 posts)

    5 months ago

    Re: Darker, louder alternatives to a Meyer (for alto)

    You could try some softer reeds for more dynamic control with your Metalite.  More open tips tend to like softer reeds.

    A #5 tip opening is on the small side by today's standards and tends to limit the volume that you're able to play.  Larger tip openings and larger chambers push the tone towards the dark end of the spectrum.  If you can try several different mouthpieces with different size openings and with different strength reeds you could get an idea of what suits you best.

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  2. by mijderf
    (222 posts)

    5 months ago

    Re: Darker, louder alternatives to a Meyer (for alto)

    It seems like you are sending mixed messages.  You state that you want a mouthpiece that will cut through a bands situation, but you end by stating that you want something with your Meyer tone, but darker.  Darker mouthpieces tend to have fewer high partials in their sound, and the higher partial tones are easier for most human ears to hear, hence the sound cuts through to the audience better when you use a brighter mouthpiece with more high partial tones.

    I, for one, cannot think of a mouthpiece that has a dark tone, but cuts through with a lead alto sound.  As mentioned above, mouthpieces that cut through generally have a brighter tone.  I guess you could try a larger tipped Meyer, and push more air to increase loudness.  In general, larger tips play a little darker, and use slightly softer reeds.

    You also don't mention the chamber size on your Meyer.  Meyer makes a small chamber version that should cut better, but again, it will be brighter.

    It could just be that you will want to stay with your Meyer for individual playing, but get a brighter piece for big band.  It is not unusual to play different mouthpieces in different situations. 

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  3. by mijderf
    (222 posts)

    5 months ago

    Re: Darker, louder alternatives to a Meyer (for alto)

    You might want to spend some time on Steve Neff's website, listening to him play and review various alto sax mouthpieces:  www.neffmusic.com

    Here he is playing a Greg Wier mouthpiece that can be found easily on Ebay near your target price.  Greg Wier sells under the name gwindplayer:
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2009/08/greg-wier-gw-7m-alto-mouthpiece/

    And here he is playing a Meyer for comparison:
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2010/07/meyer-alto-saxophone-mouthpiece-refaced-by-phil-engleman/

    He also plays and reviews some Vandorens.

    Good luck in your search! 

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  4. by elysse77
    (3 posts)

    5 months ago

    Re: Darker, louder alternatives to a Meyer (for alto)

    my issue has been solved!!
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