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TON KOOIMAN has developed thumbrests for all woodwind instruments and has become renowed all over the world as a first class inventor who intends and succeeds, I might add, to make our lives more comfortable so to speak. I first got to know him as an ace repairman and when I got the word regarding a thumbrest for the tenor I didn't hesitate to try it out. The Mark VI tenor, my horn, has an angle originally developed to gain comfortability in big band sections. This angle, although great for when you have your horn sideways when sitting down, is a strain on your wrist when standing with your horn in front, the way I prefer to play. This thumbrest has a hinge which enables you to alter the angle which resolves this issue. I never looked back and I strongly recommend you to check it out.
I was introduced to the BARI REEDS in the late eighties and have been playing them ever since. I prefer to keep my setup as simple as possible which leaves me with more time for the music. I use Bari Star Medium and Hard but I do work on them a little.
Personally I find that this reed works best with a warm mouthpiece with some resistance. The reed will compensate for the resistance which leaves you with a full tone with rich overtones plus great flexibility in phrasing. Check out the different positions of the ligature on the reed, little movement has relatively big consequences, more than a cane reed in my experience. For me it works out great so its worth to check it out. One more thing, although these reeds are made out of a synthetic material each reed will still sound slightly different. So get a couple and experiment.
As all the pro's know, sound on stage is always tricky. I took it upon myself to do some serious research in collaboration with, wrote an article on Dynamic mics, Condensor mics and Ribbon mics. I took many of these mics on the road and I ended up with two mics that really stood out. My most favorite is the Royer 121 which I currently travel with. It is just mindblowing, a very natural sound, no non-sense, is uses phantom power so no problems with possibly damaging the ribbon and no feedback. It is not cheap but worth every penny.
Marc Mommaas Royer R-122
The close number 2 is the Zigma 69. What a great mic, a wonderful natural tone and a great alternative to the more expensive and brighter Neumans. The only downside is that it is sensitive to feedback on stage which is true for ALL condensors. Therefore, on large stages no problem, but if to close to the monitors or drums, then you will have a problem. I ended up purchasing both the Royer and the Zigma and am very happy with them with the note that I will use the Royer on the road. Hope this helped.