@Pete Effamy ; Thanks man that's a very comprehensive answer. The last couple of sentences we could all learn a lot from. It is all about that 5% and putting that right totally. Any practice session should be devoted to your weakest points in my opinion. Sure ; take time out to have a blast and enjoy but you have to be your own critic and address those issues that are lacking : they are not gonna fix themselves.
As to mpcs. I kind of prefer hr but tend to go for offset Bergs which mostly come in assorted metals. I used to be on a mpc " quest " searching for that perfect sound...we've all been there I guess. Had some great ones. Lamberson DD : Gale " companion " ( that was great ! ) Pillinger slant link : various Dukoffs etc etc.
Ìt always seems to come back to Bergs. The classic R&R / R& B sound ; again in my opinion and up for debate ? They work for me.
I can't afford two grand for a Freddie Gregory or à Guardala so I am very up for opinions as to mpcs that fit my sound concept...no hurry. I'm playing a Quantum right now ; it's just fine ( though I've managed to lose the spoiler ).
Thanks again Pete
Yes, always practice what you can't do, otherwise it's not a practice session it's a playing session. I think that many people have forgotten about Bergs. They were a prominent piece in the 80's and I think I had one for a bit - but ahead of the time when I was capable of utilising it. Marienthal played one on tenor when he came over to the UK with Lee Ritenour in the 90's. It's just a tool - like the rest of your gear - and it sounds like you've already figured out what suits you and the way you want to play.
Whilst I had hundreds of clarinet lessons over the years I never had any on sax, and I think that someone might well have pointed me towards the gear setup I now use. That would have been great, to have had this setup 30 years ago.
Not all pieces will match every horn for you. For quite a few years I had a Yanagisawa A800 Elimona alto. Very nice player, but to get a pop sound I was using a Dukoff D10! It didn't feel at all big. When I changed my horn to a Mk6, I couldn't control the Dukoff at all. A800 smaller bore instrument? Something different..
All brands/types of reed don't always suit each mouthpiece either. Playing the clarinet is much easier in this respect as the range of sound is far smaller. If you ignore early clarinet jazz styles and go from the Swing era then they are considerably less again. Goodman to Daniels isn't much distance, though at times Eddie uses a lot of air and less focus in the sound - but this is pretty easy to back off to.