I'm trying out a bunch of mouthpieces from WWBW for my Martin Comm III alto -- seven to be precise: MacSax D-Jazz 6, Phil-Tone Aurora 6, Ponzol EBO .075, JodyJazz HR* 5M, Vandoren V16 A5M, Selmer Soloist D, D'Addario Select Jazz D5M. Planning to keep one or maybe two and return the rest. What specific tips do you all have on mouthpiece comparison?
What I've been doing:
- testing intonation throughout the range; all the pieces seem about equally good on this front -- some of them play a little flatter in the low register, but that's probably my technique
- playing at different dynamics throughout the range
- playing a ballad head on each piece
- playing some bebop style lines on each piece
- trying each piece with a couple different reeds, keeping the reed brands constant across pieces but using a different individual reed for each
- taking notes on each piece and how it plays with different reeds (though this hasn't actually been as helpful as I expected because it's so hard to describe tone quality in words)
- most of all, just noodling around on each piece to get a feel for what it can do!
Any obvious steps I'm missing?
After spending a few hours playing all these pieces over the last couple of days, there's actually one that clearly stands out for me and is almost certainly a keeper, and another one that's a pretty clear runner-up. But I definitely want to spend some more time before making any decisions. So, what's your procedure for comparing mouthpieces?