Praising the Alto Finesse
Wow! This is the best classical alto mouthpiece I have ever tried including the Caravan (both medium and large chambers), the Rascher, the Optimum by Vandoren. It's beyond description. The sound is so pure, clean, but not dull or hollow at all which I frequently observed in other legit mouthpieces. Mine is 5 in its opening, and I am playing on the Yanagisawa A991 with the Hemke (3.5).
How does the Finesse's tip opening compare to the Rascher? I'm thinking about switching, but I really like my current facing.
I don't know the exact opening of the Rascher, but what I can tell you is that the Finesse is very easy to blow. I had no problem switching from the Rascher to the Finesse with the setup that I described in my previous post. My experience with Runyons is the facing does not matter much if they are within 2-4 opening differences. Hope this helps and enjoy!
I just recently obtained a Finesse 5, and I have to say it's better than I expected. I had tuning problems with the Caravan Large and it felt stuffy and dead sounding. I just couldn't play the way the Caravan required me to play. But with the Finesse, I have no problems. It's very dark sounding but doesn't require relearning your embochure like the Caravan. The Finesse has a chamber similar to the selmer s80/90, except the Finesse chamber is larger and has rounded edges on the corners. It resembles an oval with flattened sides, not quite square but not quite round. I highly reccomend this mouthpiece for those on s80 and s90 mouthpieces that want a much darker sound without relearning all the tuning and embochure tendancies of a large round chamber mouthpiece. It definitely fits the middle ground between the Rascher/Caravan mouthpieces and the selmers, but definitely leans towards the Caravan side in terms of darkness in tone. Plus, it's cheap, I got it used for $16.55 and shipping on ebay!