Just sent a piece to Bill for a cleanup and balancing more than a refacing. I read on this site that he did realy good work and thought I'd give him a shot. Got the piece back and it looked like not much was done except a repainting and VERY little to the tip and table. Some small nicks were left in the tip and rails. Just looked to me like it was not a complete job. I called Bill and left a message for him to call me back and describe what was done. I've not heard from him. If this seems harsh, it's certainly not meant to be anything personal toward Bill. A return phone call would have been nice though. I'll try someone else to get it right.
Bill street currently refaces and produces mouthpieces for his students. My jazz directly at Amherst College used his mouthpieces exclusively and highly recommends them to his students. I've played the alto and tenor models and all I could say is that they are very versatile. The alto was one of the most free-blowing mpcs I've ever tried, and really had the ability to open up the tone of my series III which normally produced a 'boxed' tone. The only reservation I had about it was the ultra-clear tone, think clarinet. That was my impression of it. Comparing the Bill Street tenor with the Zagar Cool and Jody Jazz as well as Guardala Studio, which I played side by side, I would say that it beats the Zagar and Jody ESP hands down by its projection, evenness, and versatility. You might be surprised to hear that it beat the Jody ESP for me, but it's also because of my personal preference for round chambered pieces. The mouthpiece has smoothed side walls and a completely rounded chamber; there simply are no edges inside. This gives an extremely wide range of timbres, as opposed to the straight wall contruction of the Jody ESP in addition to the spoiler that didn't seal well, creating unwanted turbulence, which I felt obstructed my tone. Compared to the Zagar, which is also a round chambered piece, it was simply much more free blowing and projected more. The playability of the Bill Street was similar to the Guardala Studio, the major difference being the nature of the sound. Guardala being a fat smooth sound while the bill street gave a mellower yet fat sound. The overtones and altissimoes on that thing are just crzy. And for $150, I think it's one of the best mouthpieces on the market.
I trialed one of his jazz mpcs a while back. It played very well as described above. I still play my Cool School because it is a larger chamber and the tuning was much better on my older Buescher. If I remember right the Street piece has a substantial long rollover baffle that helps it project but effectively makes it a medium chamber.
I went to University of Southern Maine where Bill Street is on faculty. Bill always did my flute repairs. Bill does AMAZING work. He's an incredible technician and his mouthpiece work is incredible. He's also a heck of a guy. I've played a Sonare flute that he tweaked and if I was blindfolded I wouldn't have been able to distinguish it's springy action from my handmade Powell, which could even do with some adjusting)
As for his mouthpieces:
As a theatrical woodwind doubler with a major instrument of flute, it's important to have the right mouthpiece to get a great sound but not wreck your lips for the flute. Especially in theatre where you need to go from a jazz saxist to a classical flutist instead of to jazz flute sound in a big band. I've played his alto sax mouthpieces and they play like a dream, and though I hadn't played a sax show in a while but I sounded like a pro. Was able to put down the sax and pick up the flute in 2 measures and still have a singing classical flute sound. (With an inferior sax mouthpiece I feel like I sound like a 7th grader when I quick change to flute)
I haven't played a more than a few other pro mouthpieces, but after the sound and feel of playing Bill's, I don't really feel I would care to try any other. But, then again I'm a flutist doubling saxophones...and not first a saxophonist, but I still need the BEST mouthpiece in order to do my job.
Bill Street reconditioned my MK VI Soprano and customized a Selmer HR mpc for me many years ago (27?) with excellent results. When I unloaded the horn a few years ago, his handicraft was a selling point.
From what I've seen (limited sample) he does very clean work. I was going to have him fabricate a C-melody mouthpiece for me at one point and had a phone conversation. He wasn't excessively friendly, but as I say, I've been impressed by the limited sample of his work that I have seen.
Bill Street does excellent work. I highly recommend him.
I recently had him tweak my tenor mouthpiece, and I'm blown away by how well it plays now. I've been using it as my main jazz mouthpiece for 12 years , and now it's just like new but better than before - plays better in tune, seals better, speaks easier in the soft and low ranges, and has more "flexibility" and character. My love for playing has been rekindled
I've also played necks and horns he's modified, and all I can say is, this guy really knows what he's doing.
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