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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Until I came to this forum, I had never heard of a lot of these small hand finishing shops that were producing quality mouthpieces. I have heard raving reviews about Morgan, and others. How do these compare to their (significantly) less expensive retail brethren (Selmer, Otto Link, Meyer)? Are any of these brands available in stores? Can any of these brands be had for less than $200?

I am very intrigued by the seeming attention to detail in a Morgan or RPC mouthpiece but the idea of taking my chances by ordering one from the web and spending $300 is not at all intriguing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Othello3 said:
Until I came to this forum, I had never heard of a lot of these small hand finishing shops that were producing quality mouthpieces. I have heard raving reviews about Morgan, and others. How do these compare to their (significantly) less expensive retail brethren (Selmer, Otto Link, Meyer)? Are any of these brands available in stores? Can any of these brands be had for less than $200?

I am very intrigued by the seeming attention to detail in a Morgan or RPC mouthpiece but the idea of taking my chances by ordering one from the web and spending $300 is not at all intriguing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You might want to consider having a mouthpiece refaced. You could send a mpc you own or buy a used one in the Marketplace and have it refaced to your specifications.
 

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Morgans are under 200. A lot of others are too that are hand finished (such as mine...another shameless plug;) )

Anyway, there is a big difference between those and Babbitt mouthpieces...Babbitt makes Links, Meyers, Wolfe Tane...Hite now I think. Babbitt doesnt have the greatest reputation since they crank out pieces on machines and are quickly finished. On the other hand they are fairly inexpensive and make great mouthpieces if you find a good one or if you have it worked on.

I suppose Selmer still makes Selmer mouthpieces. They are typically good pieces without being reworked. Vandoren also makes a lot of pieces and they finish out well. They are a great out of the box piece. They suffer from bad marketing and a failure to name their pieces in a way that people can remember....Most sites dont describe them in way that helps the buyer have any idea what he is getting. Nonetheless, its a good product.

In terms of trying mouthpieces, most specialty mouthpieces are not carried in music shops. This forum in the for sale section and ebay is a great way to pick up used but good moutpieces. Typically, if you buy used you can turn it over for little to no loss. Of course, if you have an idea of what your looking for you can narrow your search. Beware of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) the search can become distracting. Dont fall for hype...also dont convince yourself you have to spend 300+ dollars for a piece that plays and sounds good.

Trane played Links...and you dont have to go vintage to get a good sound...I personally think a reface of a Link is worth it...you can get into a good refaced Link for just under 200. Less for hard rubber. There are a lot of options out there.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am currently the (not so proud) owner of a Meyer mpc (old but not old enough to not be made by Babbitt). Its ok, but it doesn't have a very interesting sound. Its not dark and centered or bright and cutting, its just boring. If a refacer can rework it to sound better, great, but I am not spending $100 a mpc I don't like very much.

I noticed that Morgan is the only one really that sells several sub $200 mpcs. How does a $42 protone compare to a $180 Jazz mpc? Also, who sells Morgan other than Junkdude?
 

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The best place to buy a Morgan is from Junkdude. He is his direct distributor and lives near Ralph. You can be sure you are getting the real deal through Dave at Junkdude. He is a great guy to do business with....if your buying its a good opportunity to start a business relationship that will be worth your while.
 

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Try an RPC. If you don't like it, I'll buy it from you
 

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Sigmund451 said:
Morgans are under 200. A lot of others are too that are hand finished (such as mine...another shameless plug;) )

Anyway, there is a big difference between those and Babbitt mouthpieces...Babbitt makes Links, Meyers, Wolfe Tane...Hite now I think. Babbitt doesnt have the greatest reputation since they crank out pieces on machines and are quickly finished. On the other hand they are fairly inexpensive and make great mouthpieces if you find a good one or if you have it worked on.

I suppose Selmer still makes Selmer mouthpieces. They are typically good pieces without being reworked. Vandoren also makes a lot of pieces and they finish out well. They are a great out of the box piece. They suffer from bad marketing and a failure to name their pieces in a way that people can remember....Most sites dont describe them in way that helps the buyer have any idea what he is getting. Nonetheless, its a good product.

In terms of trying mouthpieces, most specialty mouthpieces are not carried in music shops. This forum in the for sale section and ebay is a great way to pick up used but good moutpieces. Typically, if you buy used you can turn it over for little to no loss. Of course, if you have an idea of what your looking for you can narrow your search. Beware of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) the search can become distracting. Dont fall for hype...also dont convince yourself you have to spend 300+ dollars for a piece that plays and sounds good.

Trane played Links...and you dont have to go vintage to get a good sound...I personally think a reface of a Link is worth it...you can get into a good refaced Link for just under 200. Less for hard rubber. There are a lot of options out there.

Good luck

A few things about this post:

'Trane played links, but they would be considered "vintage" in this day and age, and I'm pretty sure that at least a few of them were worked on. Selmer also makes some of the most inconsistent mouthpieces ever, with uneven facings and poor quality rubber.

That being said, I think the rest of this is right on. You can find good off-the-shelf pieces, but it can defintitely take some work. And refacing or "perfecting" a mouthpiece is really becoming more and more important with a lot of the stock pieces, especially if they are made by Selmer or Babbitt. They just don't have the time or manpower to devote to making their pieces as well as they used to - or should.
 

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I went through quite a few mouthpieces and found some really nice ones. But yeah, try an RPC (less than $300 and worth every penny) and you'll at least see what some of the fuss is all about. I haven't played a Morgan, but would bet they are also great mpcs. Of course you have to special order these, unless you find them used. I know Ron (RPC) has a return policy if you don't like the mpc, but that's not too likely.
 

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My .02

I agree quite a bit with Sigmund. If you're on a budget and want a solid mouthpiece, go Vandoren. The Java line (I prefer the non-Jumbo) is a great line of well-designed, well-finished, versatile jazz pieces for alto and tenor. The V16s are enjoying a good rep too.

I play a Morgan on tenor, however, and I love it. I'm 99% certain you won't find a better mouthpiece for under 2 bills... or possibly at all, at any price. I play an Excalibur, but the Jazz models are probably great too. A Protone will probably not be as good, but I haven't tried one so I can't say. I'd imagine that you'd get what you pay for, even with Morgan.
 

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Every time Morgans get mentioned I feel the moment looming nearer where I spend yet more money on mouthpieces... I really would love to try his jazz piece for tenor!
 

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Rick Adams said:
Every time Morgans get mentioned I feel the moment looming nearer where I spend yet more money on mouthpieces... I really would love to try his jazz piece for tenor!
I've played a Morgan on tenor and they are very good indeed, in my opinion. And they're good value. If you order via junkdude you might have to get ready for a long wait, though. May be worth contacting the site first to see how long orders are taking to come through.
 

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RootyTootoot said:
I've played a Morgan on tenor and they are very good indeed, in my opinion. And they're good value. If you order via junkdude you might have to get ready for a long wait, though. May be worth contacting the site first to see how long orders are taking to come through.
Junkdude still has the LA Sax Handmade by Morgan Alto 7M available for $85.00.
 

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Agreed. New vandorens have very nice facings.

Othello, if you want a really high quality mouthpiece, be ready to spend some cash. Morgans are a BARGAIN for what they are. Hand finished pieces by a mouthpiece master, made with very high quality rubber. Now I haven't tried Lambersons or RPC's, but I trust other members here enough to say that they both are great pieces. Of course Lambersons are around $350, and RPC's are $235 or $285 depending on which model you get.

I'm still not sure refacing any current machine worked pieces would be better than those pieces listed above because as mentioned before, the quality rubber used today is very poor.
 

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The waiting is over on Ralph Morgan mouthpieces.
Dave at Junkdude and Ralph have resolved the backlog, and most pieces are in stock. Last month, I purchased a 7L and got it in 2 days. It's brilliant, btw.
 

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Rick Adams said:
Every time Morgans get mentioned I feel the moment looming nearer where I spend yet more money on mouthpieces... I really would love to try his jazz piece for tenor!
Yeah...I've said elsewhere that I don't need to try another mouthpiece because I have a good Link, but I could see myself trying a Morgan someday...
 

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You can get a hard rubber Barone for about $150 depending on the horn.
 

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Martinman said:
You can get a hard rubber Barone for about $150 depending on the horn.
Man, don't do that $^#% to me! I'LL TELL YOU WHEN I NEED ANOTHER MOUTHPIECE!:twisted:
 

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J.Max said:
A few things about this post:

Selmer also makes some of the most inconsistent mouthpieces ever, with uneven facings and poor quality rubber.

.

What is the basis for your statements about this? As to the hard rubber used in modern Selmers, I was told by [someone in the pro sax/ mouthpiece manufacturing field]that source of hard rubber has remained the same for many years, and it is the same source as Vanduren. It is one factory (that make the hard rubber, not the mouthpieces). As far as I know modern and new Selmer and Vanduren are all made from the same hard rubber. Do you have any info to the contrary?
 
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