Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We all know how expensive a mouthpiece can be,
For a $2 molded piece of plastic, sold at $80 some companies are gathering some serious bucks I suppose.
I recently went online to look at buying one, and saw one for $500, that was at first glance, not even looking for the most expensive one.

What I'm basically interested in is, some high quality, brand name mouthpieces, sold for $400 or so, must have a clone somewhere from some company!

I am definitely NOT willing to pay this MPC maffia my money, so I have decided I will support clones instead. I don't expect equal quality, but almost as much quality, for a fraction of the cost!
Besides, like a user wrote: I have to look out for number one, and number one does not have $400 to spend on a mouthpiece.

Which brands are good clone manufacturers of the more expensive mouthpieces out there?

What would be a good price category, and build material for my mpc?

I think of buying a cheap tenor as a beginner (Orpheo JazzBerry tenor sax, price $650; ~850 MRSP), just need a good and cheap mouthpiece that fits.
One that'll last me about a year to two years. Plastic is fine, unless you say other materials have a better sound.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Perhaps I should rephrase my question,
Are there any mouthpiece brands I should beware of, that are priced lower than $80?

I like a modern sound. Bright when blowing hard, but also able to sound deep and mellow when playing soft.
Main music styles are pop, fusion, soft rock.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,949 Posts
A good used mouthpiece from a reputable SotW member will save you even more.

Vandoren V-16 HR is a great example. No, I'm not selling mine - but it's displaced all my previous mouthpieces from Lamberson, Barone, Lawton, Link, Selmer, Freddie Gregory, etc., ad nauseum. Yep, thousands of dollars of mouthpieces replaced by one that cost less than $100.

Find a good reed (that's the hard part) and you're set!
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,948 Posts
I am definitely NOT willing to pay this MPC maffia my money, so I have decided I will support clones instead.
You mean you want a counterfeit?

What is the mouthpiece maffia?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've heard some samples of vandoren mouthpieces and they sounded very good indeed!

Which makes me believe I should indeed switch to a hard rubber design, instead of plastic.

MPC maffia are those who charge too much for their piece of plastic. Too little competition can often be a reason why they keep increasing the prices, while not really improving anything on design or expanding factories.

I am willing to buy items from companies that offer a relative good price for their mpc's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
While I'll admit, some of the larger companies generally over charge on their pieces and often they still need to be refaced after purchase (Babbitt). I find that with the smaller mouthpieces companies (Mouthpiece Cafe, JodyJazz, Theo Wanne, Barone, and any of refacers like GW and Phil Englemen), who's pieces cost more then factory made ones, you get a much higher quality.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
I wouldn't buy a clone/copy of a $400 or $500 mouthpiece, I would get a good, cheaper mouthpiece, and there are plenty of them.

I also like the Vandoren V16 HR for tenor (about $125 new). Or a Vandoren Java if you want brighter. The Jody Jazz HR* is good, and in between the two (but more expensive at about $170).

If you want less expensive than those, warp x has listed the ones that seem to be most frequently recommended.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,948 Posts
Vandorens are good, but what you need to know is that hard rubber can contain a lot of plastic. The difference in sound would be negligible.

There is no mouthpiece maffia (sic), mafia is organised crime and AFAIK they are more interested in drugs, prostitution, counterfeit goods, arms smuggling and people trafficking. Not mouthpieces.

There is an enormous amount of competition in this area, which means market forces usually sort out the good from the bad and the ugly.

Let me tell you something:

I am a mouthpiece designer and manufacturer. My mouthpieces are moulded from a resin material developed by Ed Pillinger. It is a secret formula, not just any old plastic. A lot of work went into finding the exact material that is:

  • Mouldable (without distortion)
  • Safe to put in your mouth

After being molded the mouthpieces need hand finishing which is done by Ed Pillinger, one of the best in the world.

For these I charge £175 which is more than Vandorens, I think, way more than Yamaha, but once you are a reasonably experienced saxophone player then you are in a position to judge whether the extra is worth it. Many people obviously think so because I have had to stop sales while I catch up on an enormous backlog of orders and reservations.

You mentioned you want "clones".

This implies you would be quite happy to buy a cheap copy. It wouldn't be hand finished and (more importantly) it would be at best a pale imitation and at worst an illegal counterfeit. So you would be supporting the very criminals which you criticise (ie mafia, isn't that a bit hypocritical?) and you would end up with an inferior product.

What would be worse, if you did by a fake PPT, is that all the profit made from these mouthpieces goes to charity. By supporting "clones" you are not only depriving an honest business person of a fair income, you could be (re: my mouthpieces) depriving disabled children of a much needed source of funding.

Like stealing a charity box. The lowest of the low.

If everyone thought like you, there would never be any quality products, made by people who invest in R & D and care about hand finishing and quality control, because all the ignorant public do is buy the fakes because they are cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
Well said Pete!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
For a $2 molded piece of plastic, sold at $80 some companies are gathering some serious bucks I suppose.
Nope.

I don't think you know anything about manufacturing. OK, the raw material cost of a mouthpiece might only be $2, but that doesn't mean that the majority of the remaing $78 from the sale price is profit. What about machinery cost, factory power, heat and light, salaries of manufaturing staff, support staff, packaging materials, employer's insurance, transport costs, taxes, retailer mark-up, advertising, R & D costs, etc. In almost all manufactured products the raw materilas cost is a small proposrtion of the overall cost.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Like stealing a charity box. The lowest of the low.

If everyone thought like you, there would never be any quality products, made by people who invest in R & D and care about hand finishing and quality control, because all the ignorant public do is buy the fakes because they are cheaper.
If all business CEO's would earn a honest wage perhaps then I would buy or support these products; they would be much cheaper then, but it seems that the majority of business men are giving themselves too fat bonuses and raises; some earning as much as 300x what their lowest employees earn.
It is such behavior that is destroying the fabric of our society, not the poor man who hardly can buy an expensive product because the boss is going away with 90% of the company profit, has 3 villa's on the costa rica, while I struggle to pay my rent every week!

There's always a way to justify a honest wage, but it is not the poor man that is ruining the economy!

There's a saying "you reap what you sow", and unfortunately it only takes a handful of greedy bastards (not meant personally against you, but in general) to destroy the balance (look at wallstreet).

Every day I have to work under bad management decisions taken, and the one who suffers? are the newbies. The new people in the company are the last in, first out when a deal goes sour. Parttimers get cut down to 8 hours per week of work, while the big boss buys a new mustang, and does overtime..
Makes any sense?

I think it is important that business men see and read this!

The unfortunate part about our economy is that the ones who are really doing a honest buck (I know of a guy starting a company, and he would refuse to earn more than his collegues) are usually the ones who come in a disadvantageous position towards those who abuse the system.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
On the other hand if everyone buys the cheapest thing coming out of China, then all the manufacturing jobs will eventually end up there, so it works both ways.

Then there is the whole thing of "intelectual property", and lets not get into human rights and health and safety comparisons.. Ys, there are some greedy crooks out there, but most business people are honest folk who got fed up of working for someone else and came up with an idea to make themselves a living.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
Wow, mouthpiece mafia. That sounds cool. Who's the Don, then?
Barone's a good italian sounding name aint it. Guardallas the one with the criminal record though;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
From what i understand about the smaller mouthpiece companies/refacers. They don't do it for the money, they all earn honest or less then honest wages. I think you are mistaken about the mouthpiece industry.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,948 Posts
From what i understand about the smaller mouthpiece companies/refacers. They don't do it for the money, they all earn honest or less then honest wages. I think you are mistaken about the mouthpiece industry.
I think everyone knows that. Some just like to troll.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
There is no mouthpiece maffia (sic), mafia is organised crime and AFAIK they are more interested in drugs, prostitution, counterfeit goods, arms smuggling and people trafficking. Not mouthpieces.
So, my Gambino 7* is not authentic??!! :bluewink:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
The unfortunate part about our economy is that the ones who are really doing a honest buck are usually the ones who come in a disadvantageous position towards those who abuse the system.
So you need to not support the folks doing "clones/copies/counterfeits," as they are the ones abusing the system. Don't buy from them. Buy a mouthpiece from a legitimate manufacturer to suit your budget and playing needs - there are quite a few out there. But buying a cut-rate fake encourages exactly what you decry.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top