You’ve gone from a ESM 6* to an PPT 8* in a week based on reviews. Realize that the dominant character of a mouthpiece comes from its chamber, not its tip opening. You might be completely happy with a PPT 7*, and be better able to play it comfortably. It’s difficult to give you better advice, since we don’t know what else you’ve been playing in your 2 1/2 years.
G’luck in your quest.
Thanks for the reply. I didn't "go from a 6*" to anything based on reviews - much less in a week. I was looking for a 7* ESM jazz, and someone who plays that mouthpiece on the forum confirmed that it's a joy and was his main piece UNTIL he bought the PPT 8*. He still uses the ESM, but prefers the PPT. And that got me thinking.
Based on what Pete said and "openings not being standard" with PPT (or words to that effect), a PPT 8* sounds like a good choice. Also, based on Pete's description and the subtle diferences between the openings, I read, and understood that the 7* PPT won't be "bright enough" or dynamic enough (in my interpretation of what the differences are between a 7, 8 and 9).
For teh apst 2 1/2 years I've played (in the following order):
Bari Esprit x2 (one I opened and constantly modified with baffle inserts)
Link Tone Edge 7
Bari Hybrid 7
3 metal chinese mpcs 8* or 9* (Can't remember the names now, but the one's recommended by SirValorsax on his Youtube channel)
My last unbranded, high "ice cream scoop style" baffle HR - about a 7 as well.
and lastly the ESM 6* which I bought on a punt thinking to open it up, but decided on keeping it as and look for a 7*.
Along the way I've played so many different reed brands and strengths, that now I'm nearly 100% sure that Java Green (2.5) is what floats my boat (will drop to a 2 without any dent in pride in the mpc calls for it or want a quiet/"easier" blow. Although still open to suggestions.
Really, I'm not buying anything based on reviews. I'm moving closer toward the sound I'm looking for with each mpc purchase and enjoying the journey. I've also "settled on" wanting to try the PPT 8* as what I read resonates with me.
Thanks for the well wishes.