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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have several friends who play Sugal tenor mouthpieces. Although their sounds vary (obviously), I really like the general sound of the Sugal. My favorite sound is the Kirk Whalum models. However, I don't want to spend that much for a jazz mouthpiece as tenor is not my "main axe." I would appreciate any suggestions you might have for mouthpieces that sound similar to the Sugals but cost somewhere around $200 or less. Also, I prefer hard rubber or silver metal mouthpieces but would appreciate any advice you can offer.
 

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Hi gearaholic (I probably should have snagged that username before you!), and wecome to the forum. If you are searching for a Sugal or Sugal-like mouthpiece, that suggests to me that you probably haven't tried many mouthpieces. I have tried the Whalum I model, some other Sugal model I can't even remember the name of, and a bunch of other makers' mouthpieces, and my conclusion is that you can do a *lot* [typo corrected] better than the Sugal pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
True, I have not tried many tenor mouthpieces (never have tried a Sugal), but that's why I asked this question. I know that Sugals can vary greatly in quality and finish, so, highend, I don't doubt your experience with their playing quality. My point is I like their sound, but I'm not willing to pay that much for a mouthpiece, especially if I don't know for certain that it will be perfect. So, again, I'm looking for a mouthpiece that will get me close to the sound of the Sugal without paying as much. Thanks for your advice, though.
 

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I believe Whalum used to play a Dukoff, so assuming he did, the Sugal Whalum model is probably very similar to a Dukoff, which can be purchased for just a fraction of the cost of a Sugal. You could also get a used Dukoff then have it refaced, which would be a good idea given their inconsistency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Tully. I was leaning towards a Dukoff. I know that they typically have higher baffles for a sound that cuts, so I was going to try one of the larger chambers so the sound would also be fairly deep (hopefully). I didn't know that Whalum previously played a Dukoff, but you make a good point. Honestly I've never really listened to Whalum, I just like the sound of the mouthpiece. But, if he played a Dukoff before then it stands to reason that the Sugal model must have been at least somewhat modeled after that sound. That will be at the top of my list, but if anyone else has other suggestions, I'm open 24/7.
 

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The Dukoff seems brighter than the Whalum to me. The Whalum isn't a very bright piece, to my ears at least. You might try the metal Claude Lakey pieces.

FYI, I listed an as-new Whalum--fancy copper version--a while ago on this forum for $299 (retail was $654):
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=37690

What happened? No interest. At 1/2 retail, when nobody wants an as-new piece, that tells you something.
 

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The metal Lakey, The SR models and the LT Guardalas are well-done CNC mouthpieces. They have high baffles and the facing work will be pretty good. By that I mean 80% of them will be same so it is not worth trying out a bunch of them. If you like one of them but wish it played a little more responsively, a refacer should be able to adjust it without charging for a full reface.
 

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Sugal Mouthpieces

Well gear, on this forum these Sugal mouthpieces are not very well regarded. I think that Gary Sugal is not really that well liked and it's o.k. for folks to have an opinion about a person. Everybody has a different experience. I have had some good experiences with Gary and some bad ones.

I play a KWI and own a KWII and I have also had a Gonz I. I played a Dukoff and a Guardala King before that. You can't compare a Dukoff and a Sugal. Its like the difference between a samurai sword and a fencing sword. Both of them can cut the air, but they do it differently. Kirk Whalum switched from Dukoff to Sugal because he said his sound was to bright and thin in the upper register.

My experience has been that these mouthpieces work really well with big bore tenor horns i.e. Keilwerth and Cannonball. I own a Keilwerth SX90r, I would never play anything on it but my KW1. Its the biggest baddest combination I have ever tried. People have dubbed my horn the "selmer killer." It got that name when I switched from the KWII to the KWI. The sound is just huge. I have also tried the cannonball Big Bell Stone series with similiar results.

I own both a Mark VI and a Ref 36 tenors. Sugal mouthpieces on them is just o.k. The majority of people play a horn with a bore size that is similiar to these horns. I can understand why it dosen't work for them.

Now that I'm through preaching.

KWII - Very Free blowing, high bafflle, really good for Altissimo. Altissimo Pops out like nothing, it's cheating, it's so easy. It is on the brighter end of the spectrum for sure. It sounds buzzy on my smaller bore horns and is a "Rock" type set up for big bell tenor players.

KWI - Free blowing, smaller baffle, best Sugal mouthpiece for my big bell horn. Kirk Whalum began to use this peice on his "Gospel according to Jazz chapter II" This has worked very well for my Keilwerth.

Super Gonz I - Definitely more resistance than the other 2 models. It was similiar to my experiences with trying various "Otto Links". I don't like much resistance, so I did not take to this model. Its a really dark mouthpiece and I play in a wide range of music situations and it did not work for me.

Super Gonz II - Seems to have good reviews even on this forum. I have never tried one. I am on the look out for a used 8* for my Reference 36.

You can find a sugal for around $200.00 but a great deal of them have been altered / refaced to suit the previous owner. I'm a little leary about a mouthpiece customized for somebody else not refaced for your own indvidual sound concept. I hope my take was helpful.

Datsaxguy
 

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Peter Stevens said:
Einstein would never have made a causality/correlation error quite as serious as your furfey Tull...

If you realy believe in your mentor, also act accordingly!
How so? Tully seems to be saying that Sugals are overpriced and the market seems to agree. I do. Now, I'm glad that these pieces work well for some people; the designs are interesting, but the finishing (facing curve, table) is half-baked on a lot of them. I think the well finished Sugal would be the exception to the rule, and I say this after extensive "research", consisting of taking the mouthpiece(s) to a refacer and having them measured and/or worked on. I've owned a bunch of Sugals, (SG I' and II's, JB I's and 2's, KW I's, the Limited......), and the facing curves were a complete mess on all but one or two. And they are very difficult to work on (to reface), because of the layer of nickel under the gold, (instead of silver). Anyway, the point being, more power to you if you've got a Sugal that works for you, but there's a lot of us out here in SOTW-land that have owned some really bad finished Sugals and that would go a long way to explaining our attitude towards him and his mouthpieces! End of rant..........;=)
 

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Peter Stevens said:
Einstein would never have made a causality/correlation error quite as serious as your furfey Tull...

If you realy believe in your mentor, also act accordingly!
Whoa! I just meant that it seems their quality does not justify their ~$600 asking price, as Wersax said. I'm not saying that the rapid depreciation means they're bad, only overpriced. I like my Sugal JB, I just wouldn't pay $600 for it!

Incidentally, Einstein is not at all a "mentor" to me--I only chose that photo for my avatar because it struck me as rather funny! But on the other hand...if my avatar means I believe, as it were, in Einstein, I could argue that you, having no avatar, are a nihilist, in which case you would probably refrain from saying I ought to act as Einstein would, since that would imply a moral absolute, which would not be compatible with the nihilistic implications of avatarlessness. Ooh, this could be fun!
 
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