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Discussion Starter #1
To one who are playing both pieces or have done it previously, please how was The Tonamax compared to The Robusto?
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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YMMV = Your Milage May Vary = your experience could be different than mine.

I have tried both pieces. I've tried 4 of the Tonamax pieces over time, and I played a Robusto for 5 years as my main piece. I purposefully sought out the Tonamax tenors because they seemed to be popular. I wasn't impressed with any of the Tonamax pieces. The core felt brittle and the sound felt very 1-dimensional to me. I didn't consider it a complex sounding piece, not a lot of character. Response was definitely good, but the core sound just wasn't that good.

The Robusto is a far different piece for me. I do not find it harsh nor overly bright, at all. It is a very full, fat, rich sounding piece and has a ton of versatility. When I played the Tonamax and the Robusto side-by-side, it was a no-brainer the Robusto was a far superior piece. A buddy of mine got to try one of the Tonamax's with my Robusto at one point, and we both agreed the Robusto was the better piece, by far. It just had more going on. More character, better core, more flexibility, a more interesting sound, more responsive to reeds, better dynamic range, etc.

As far as versatility, this is the same player, same sax, same REED on a 10mfan Robusto playing in 3 different styles.

Ballad:


Jazz Blues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbQUobrazCk


Modern/Funk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THp21UtTfzM&t=59s


Should give you a good indication on how ridiculously versatile it is. There are tons of clips on youtube of the Robusto and Tonamax if you want to get an idea on what players sound like on them. Hopefully you can get your hands on one of each and decide for yourself, because ultimately no player's sound is going to tell you how it will work for YOU. Either one could be the holy grail for you. I know for me, the Robusto was far superior. But it could be the opposite for you.

Best of luck in your search!

- Saxaholic
 

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Eeryone’s going to feel something different. One guy will find it brighter than what he uses, and the next guy will find it warm and full, etc.... It just depends on where you are coming from. It’s like that with all mouthpieces.

My new Generation ll models have been adjusted to play warmer and smoother than the originals that Eric was doing. They are beautifully even top to bottom with a nice punch available but without the brashness, because we have changed the facing curve and we are no longer making the side rails and tip rails super thin like Eric had them. It has changed everything so I hope you get an opportunity to try one of the new ones. They have the USA stamped on the side.
I’ve had a bunch of the Tonomax pieces in here through the years and if you are zoning in on a Link vibe, that is definitely a very good choice.
All the best, Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great stuff saxoholic! I've been playing metal and a little wood mouthpieces for some time. I recently bought a Tonamax, I haven't played a Hr on tenor for years. so this is a new path I'm movin into. IMO The tonamax goes very well with my tenor, with a big beautiful tone, dark but not too dark. It has got a lot of colour, And it's not 1-dimensional if you allow it to spread and get transparent and complex. but it is introverted - if you want some bold action! some expression here and now, it is a bit slow. It does helps when it's played with woodstone metal ligature. more projection, edge and reed vibration. But when I listen to the Robusto played by Dave O'higgins. It seems more bold and straight forward piece, but still with a full tone - but maybe not so pure..
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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Quality mouthpieces, for sure, but quite different. The Robusto has a bullitt shaped baffle and the Tonamax doesn't have much of a baffle at all, so the Robusto is the brighter of the two.

Klum has brighter mouthpieces than the Tonamax and 10mfan has darker ones than the Robusto.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Great stuff saxoholic! I've been playing metal and a little wood mouthpieces for some time. I recently bought a Tonamax, I haven't played a Hr on tenor for years. so this is a new path I'm movin into. IMO The tonamax goes very well with my tenor, with a big beautiful tone, dark but not too dark. It has got a lot of colour, And it's not 1-dimensional if you allow it to spread and get transparent and complex. but it is introverted - if you want some bold action! some expression here and now, it is a bit slow. It does helps when it's played with woodstone metal ligature. more projection, edge and reed vibration. But when I listen to the Robusto played by Dave O'higgins. It seems more bold and straight forward piece, but still with a full tone - but maybe not so pure..
I suppose my comparison should be clarified as I was putting it up against my Robusto at the time. Just felt like there was a lot less character, and if I wanted to push the Robusto it felt more comfortable to me.

Ted definitely makes nice pieces but I haven't played one that has really interested me. Granted my sample size is small compared to other pieces I have tried over the years.

If it works for you, go with it! It's awesome to have a crap ton of choices for mouthpieces. One man's "meh" is another man's holy grail.

I am not a big metal fan myself, but I have tried a ton looking for something that changes my mind. Best metal piece I ever had was a modern Link that Brian Powell refaced. Still couldn't get comfortable.

I played a few wood pieces and loved them but the warping and cracking thing has steered me away from them. I play on the 10mfan Showtime now. I like the focus and extra zip it gives over the Robusto.

Not played the Woodstone lig...unless you meant Ishimori, and I agree they are wonderful. I like my pure brass FL silver plated ligs just a little more, although the Ishimori is easier to adjust. At some point I might pick one up.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

- Saxaholic
 

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I haven't tried the next gen 10mfan pieces, but I find the first gen quite different from TK pieces. This may not help, but it depends on what you're use to. I'm fortunate to have some of the best bay area saxophonist playing each piece right in front of me, and mostly it depends on how they feel the piece responds. Two great players sound different on the exact same piece. I attribute this mostly to the finishing philosophy of EF vs TK. Usually folks are about one or the other, and not both. Great players play both and swear one over the other. If I'm trying to sell either the both move quickly.

Looking forward to playing the next gen 10mfan. Quality has never been an issue for these pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Eeryone’s going to feel something different. One guy will find it brighter than what he uses, and the next guy will find it warm and full, etc.... It just depends on where you are coming from. It’s like that with all mouthpieces.

My new Generation ll models have been adjusted to play warmer and smoother than the originals that Eric was doing. They are beautifully even top to bottom with a nice punch available but without the brashness, because we have changed the facing curve and we are no longer making the side rails and tip rails super thin like Eric had them. It has changed everything so I hope you get an opportunity to try one of the new ones. They have the USA stamped on the side.
I’ve had a bunch of the Tonomax pieces in here through the years and if you are zoning in on a Link vibe, that is definitely a very good choice.
All the best, Mark
great that you're replying! I assume that Dave O'Higgins is playing The 1 batch, which BTW IMO sounds great, I like raw yet subtle tone of it - then again All what DO does sound great! On the other hand, I guess he wouldn't play a mpc - make a hole record with a piece, he didn't thought was great!

were do I find an example for how The Robusto sounds today?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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10mfan Generation II markings

My new Generation ll models have been adjusted to play warmer and smoother than the originals that Eric was doing. They are beautifully even top to bottom with a nice punch available but without the brashness, because we have changed the facing curve and we are no longer making the side rails and tip rails super thin like Eric had them. It has changed everything so I hope you get an opportunity to try one of the new ones. They have the USA stamped on the side.
That's good info, Mark, for players to be able to distinguish new vs older mouthpieces in the Marketplace.

I understand that metal and non-metal pieces are now faced and finished by different craftspeople.

Do all your new pieces (incl. metal) have such markings, or is that just the HR/Ultem pieces?
 

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ALL of the Generation ll pieces hr and Ultem pieces are done by my new craftsman and they have the USA stamp on the side. Matt Marantz will be doing my upcoming metals and they have the USA on the side also ).
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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10mfan Generation II markings

ALL of the Generation ll pieces hr and Ultem pieces are done by my new craftsman and they have the USA stamp on the side. Matt Marantz will be doing my upcoming metals and they have the USA on the side also ).
Thanks, Mark.

Do you have that info at your website or your SotW dealer FAQ? Others that trade in mouthpieces might find it useful archival information in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quality mouthpieces, for sure, but quite different. The Robusto has a bullitt shaped baffle and the Tonamax doesn't have much of a baffle at all, so the Robusto is the brighter of the two.

Klum has brighter mouthpieces than the Tonamax and 10mfan has darker ones than the Robusto.

thanks! some details I was looking for
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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The pieces are very different. I found the Tonamax more to my liking, as I was coming from a Reso Chamber. I tend to think of the Tonamax as an evolution of the hard rubber Link-style piece, at least in terms of the type of sound it produces in my hands. Link players may prefer the Tonamax, though this is just a guess on my part. While I am in the process of getting rid of most of my hard rubber pieces, the Tonamax is one of the few HR pieces I am holding on to.

The Robusto has its own thing happening, and is probably the brighter and more powerful of the two.
 

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Ted Klum Florida feels a lot like the Tonamax but is a bit brighter and has a little more core to the sound (more baffle and a smaller chamber). So if you like the Klum feel and want something brighter that could also be an option. The Florida is pretty EB-ish.

I’ve never tried a Robusto but I bet it’s a great piece. I’ve tried a merlot and that was to dark for me but still a great mouthpiece.

Both these makers makes high quality pieces so it’s all about taste.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The pieces are very different. I found the Tonamax more to my liking, as I was coming from a Reso Chamber. I tend to think of the Tonamax as an evolution of the hard rubber Link-style piece, at least in terms of the type of sound it produces in my hands. Link players may prefer the Tonamax, though this is just a guess on my part. While I am in the process of getting rid of most of my hard rubber pieces, the Tonamax is one of the few HR pieces I am holding on to.

The Robusto has its own thing happening, and is probably the brighter and more powerful of the two.
I love the Tonamax too, you can't compete with that pure and full tone. The only thing I hold against it is, It is slow and I'm slow too - a double slow stuation ;/ Maybe I should get a smaller tip 8 is bigger than I usually play.

If you listen to O'Higgins here playing The Tonamax - IMO it sounds beautiful in the harmony part, but I don't think Tonamax suit his style of playing in the solo part - a bit slow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJUC6qKfd70&list=PLSH9PU_veLpNZaqB6ECGdF1HliRAwCcG5&index=27&t=0s

I think the robusto is a better match, even if this is the first generation, which the maker says himself is with some brashness ;) Sounds great to me though! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI-BCxXiad8
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ted Klum Florida feels a lot like the Tonamax but is a bit brighter and has a little more core to the sound (more baffle and a smaller chamber). So if you like the Klum feel and want something brighter that could also be an option. The Florida is pretty EB-ish.

I’ve never tried a Robusto but I bet it’s a great piece. I’ve tried a merlot and that was to dark for me but still a great mouthpiece.

Both these makers makes high quality pieces so it’s all about taste.
Thanks for the imput! I've been listening quite a lot to this, I just love the full tone of The Tonamax, but Florida has got a nice kick and spark, Which I also like - though I prefer a fuller tone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4z6QkPy3-U&list=PLSH9PU_veLpNZaqB6ECGdF1HliRAwCcG5&index=18&t=0s
 
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