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Discussion Starter #1
This is going to be longish. I have some thoughts on the new 10mfan Black Widow 7** metal mouthpiece and I thought that I'd share them. First....and perhaps the most important thing to consider...I was NOT looking to change mouthpieces. I was perfectly happy with my BW Gen. I HR piece. It has a big fat sound with some focus, just like I like a tenor piece to have. I had NO intention of buying another mouthpiece, perhaps EVER. Mark texted me and he wanted me to try out the new metal piece so I had him send it to me over the Thanksgiving holidays. I had lunch plans with my daughter on Friday after Thanksgiving so I had a couple of hours to go by work and play it and lay down a couple of tracks – easy-peasy. I could just play a few notes, box it up and send it back to Mark on the same day. End of pt. 1.

Pt. 2 is the actual playing. I have to mention that the BW metal is absolutely gorgeous...like jewelry for the horn. It is also very comfortable to play. It's not slim profiled like my Guardala Super King - it reminds me of the profile and feel of a Link.

I have been playing my HR 8 with a Legere Signature 2 reed and that's where I thought I'd start with the metal piece. I slapped the Legere on and I used a Francois Louis ligature that I used with my Link STM NY. The lig was a perfect fit. I like metal ligatures and the less “fiddly” the better...a 2-screw plain "Bb" lig is my preference but I didn't have one that fit the BW. The FL was fine, though. The Legere responded great so I didn't try any other reeds. I have not had good luck with Legeres on my Guardala so I was pleasantly surprised when it played well on the BW.

One thing that I noticed right off the bat was that the metal BW had more focus than the HR. I had no trouble adapting to the mouthpiece. Something that I noticed immediately was that it had an evenness to the scale that I don't get with my Guardala or my Link. The upper registers of the horn have a “ring” that are reminiscent of a good Berg. The thing that the metal piece does better than my HR is the very bottom of the horn. I feel that the best sound that I previously got from the bell tones was with a NY Link. The BW metal has that same silky (it makes me think “chocolatey”) sound that I got from my Link. A low Bb with a little proximity effect from the mic will shake the earth. Subtones were in tune and spoke easily. The best piece that I ever played as far as subtones being in tune was my Robusto 3D. The metal is like the Robusto in that regard.

Another point that I need to make is this: I don't play in acoustic, straight-ahead jazz groups so I'm not the right person to ask about how this piece would work in that setting. However, one of the best jazz tenor players that I ever heard live in a quartet played a Dukoff M chamber so I think that it's possible to do this with the BW metal. I play a lot of different genres, from pop ballads to gospel to fusion to rock and my HR did those things extremely well. I obsess over tone and expression so I recorded a few different things with a couple of different styles; one a Boots-ish tune (Just a Closer Walk with Thee) with honking and growling and a smooth tune (Against All Odds) with some control and finesse. No problem for the metal. I sent a text to Mark and told him that it was like playing a classical piece with a rocking sound - easy to play loudly or softly but nasty when it needs to be. The HR did those things well but the bottom of the horn wasn't as focused and resonant as with the metal. There is also “thickness” and spread to the sound with the HR that is not quite so evident in the metal piece. The metal is more “compact” sounding but it still has fatness and warmth. Overall, I've never played a better piece for my style of playing.

Pt.3: I have changed mouthpieces. Dang it.

Here are the links to a couple of recordings. I did these very quickly with zero time to get used to the mouthpiece:

Just a Closer Walk with Thee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb6JKWbkLdU

Against All Odds:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBqHs_3EV4s
 

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Greg,
Thank you so much for that great review! I’m really thankful for the fantastic videos and I can’t wait to put some more up on the website when you do them. Such a beautiful sound and such a terrific player. You play with great expression and a great use of dynamics, and I always look for that stuff.

I’m so glad this piece has been such a perfect fit for you, and I figured you would enjoy it because you enjoyed the black widow hard rubber so much.


These pieces will officially be released to the public in about three weeks and I will post when that happens. In the meantime, if you would like one of these just contact me and I will get you on the list. Happy holidays to you Greg, and thank you again for such feedback and wonderful videos.

All the best, Mark
 

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Always a great pleasure to listen to you Greg. Your a great inspiration, thanks so much. Have a great Christmas and New Year.
Rob.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Always a great pleasure to listen to you Greg. Your a great inspiration, thanks so much. Have a great Christmas and New Year.
Rob.
Thank you Rob for the kind words. Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Greg,
Thank you so much for that great review! I’m really thankful for the fantastic videos and I can’t wait to put some more up on the website when you do them. Such a beautiful sound and such a terrific player. You play with great expression and a great use of dynamics, and I always look for that stuff.

I’m so glad this piece has been such a perfect fit for you, and I figured you would enjoy it because you enjoyed the black widow hard rubber so much.


These pieces will officially be released to the public in about three weeks and I will post when that happens. In the meantime, if you would like one of these just contact me and I will get you on the list. Happy holidays to you Greg, and thank you again for such feedback and wonderful videos.

All the best, Mark
Thanks, Mark. Hope you have a great Christmas. More recordings are forthcoming!
 

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Greg, man you are getting a damn good tone on that mpc. And great playing, as always...

But, oh NO, just when I thought I'd never spend another dime on a mpc! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Greg, man you are getting a damn good tone on that mpc. And great playing, as always...

But, oh NO, just when I thought I'd never spend another dime on a mpc! :)
Thanks so much, JL. I recorded a couple of takes with my Guardala with a Legere and with a Rigotti and A/B'd the tracks with the BW metal/Legere. I knew my HR BW wasn't as focused so I didn't record it. The Guardala is really focused and has a great, classic low end but the BW metal piece was fatter and more resonant and easier to control. It plays with a bit less resistance than my HR BW but it speaks as easily and evenly. I wasn't going to buy another mouthpiece, either. Oh well, LOL.
 

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Wow nice thoughts,
 
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