Some will tell you that chamber size makes a difference in intonation but I've never found that to be the case, especially with any of my vintage sops and altos. The old "saw" was that one must use a large-chambered piece on vintage saxophones for best results. Not me. But everyone is different.
I have definitely repeated and perpetuated that old saw -- primarily because I've found it to have more than a grain of truth.
AS ALWAYS, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY.
I had a Selmer LT hard rubber alto mouthpiece, for awhile, and I had my standard Sigurd Rascher, which is virtually identical to a Buescher 'piece from the 1920's (or earlier) and is very fat. The LT was horridly out of tune on horns from the 1920s I played (Conn stencils, Martins), but they responded extremely well with the Rascher. I also found that other 1920's vintage horns played better with the Raschers as opposed to more modern 'pieces -- although I really, really liked the Martin period mouthpieces better.
Pete, I neglected to discuss "intonation quirks" on old Conns. Every old Conn I've owned had those quirks, regardless of what mouthpiece I used. It was enough to turn me off of those horns.
I love Bueschers (have six altogether) and none display the quirks that I experienced with Conns. I'm not prepared to make a blanket accusation, though. I recognize that many love their Conns and seem to deal with their quirks. I just didn't want to be bothered. DAVE
I've not played many Buescher-made Bueschers. My biggest experience with a Buescher was with a gold-plated TT bari and that was one of the best sounding horns I evar played. I didn't really care for the keywork or bullet hole through the bell, so I got my Keilwerth-made Bundy, instead.
However, I agree with you on the Conns. I've had several from the New Wonder era and I absolutely hated the intonation. I also disliked the very "spread" sound. However, the 30M Connqueror sounds SO good, I'd forgive a lot of minor problems.
BTB, I forgot about the octave pips on early sopranos. You're absolutely right that pushing on a mouthpiece so far would cause issues. Same with a sopranino. Hey, Mr. Eppelsheim has the octave vent on the mouthpiece for the Soprillo!
Regarding mouthpieces and "base" intonation, one would think that the overall internal volume of the mouthpiece would be the determining factor -- in other words a fat, stubby mouthpiece might have the same volume as a long, skinny one and thus both would have the same "base" intonation. But I'm just making an assumption.
Here's an interesting question: with a default embochure, what pitch should a sopranino, soprano, alto, teno, bari, bass, contrabass mouthpiece sound? Mouthpiece only, not mouthpiece + anything else. Hey, we've got people that make them that post here .....
(Yes, I'll split this thread in awhile.)