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Drake Ceramic "Double Ring" Jazz Alto Mouthpiece Reviews 2009

12627 Views 20 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Saxaholic
Hi Everyone,
Here you can post your passaround reviews for the new "Double Ring" Jazz Alto mouthpiece. This mpc features a rollover baffle design with a medium chamber. Here is a link: Drake Ceramic "Double Ring" Jazz Alto

These mouthpieces currently retail for $159.99

New "Vintage" Finish now available on all models. This new finish gives the look of vintage hard rubber. Please have a look at the photos attached (or our SOTW photo album)

Listen to Tenor Mouthpiece Samples (Alto Samples Coming Soon!)
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I saw earlier these Drake Ceramic mpc 's .
$159.99 is a very fine price , but i need more open to 0,90 - 1.00 :salute:.
So, Aaron's been kind enough to let me play around with his ceramic "double-ring" alto piece for the last week or so. This is a bit of a novel experience for me, since my search for an alto piece ended several years ago when I bought a Ted Klum Meyer replica at .072" that I love. Aaron's piece proved to be a bit more open, but it was still very responsive and played great with a slightly softer reed.

I found the Drake piece to play like a somewhat bright Meyer. It's not as bombastically strident as a Dukoff or Lakey, but it's certainly not in the running for laid-back mouthpiece of the year. It does nicely for soft playing, but I think it's at its best letting it all hang out, either as a lead alto piece, or for rock/pop/fusion/smooth-jazz type playing. I'd say it may lack the versatility of my regular piece, except that I'd also assume that has more to do with my 7 years' experience on my regular piece, versus a couple of days on this Drake piece.

It's a fine looking and sounding piece, and I've recorded a couple tracks for this review: one on my regular piece, one on the Drake. Forgive the sloppiness of letting the click track bleed into the mic: I didn't have a lot of time, so I just let it play through the speakers.

This is the Aaron Drake mouthpiece.
This is the Ted Klum.
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You sound great on both, but I'll say personally I prefer your sound on the Drake, at least on those two short clips. I can tell you're not totally comfortable with it, but there's a depth there that's cool. Could easily be slight differences in recording, playback, my ear, etc., but I dug the sound. Nice playing, too, by the way, thanks for the recordings.

I generally prefer darker sounds on alto so my preference goes to the Ted Klum. You also sounded more relaxed with it but it might be the choice of tune. Like MMT said, you sound great on both. If I heard you live, I'm pretty sure I could pick a favorite more easily.

Very nice improv man!!!! :)

The Drake was easier to play, though I'm more comfortable on the TK. The reason is that I've been using Marca 2.5 reeds for the last couple of months since I've been unable to get my hands on my usual Marca 3 reeds. I just got 7 boxes of 3s, and I was playing them for 2 days when I recorded that track. man, those things feel like wooden planks when you're used to the 2.5s! 2.5s don't have the same thickness, though... Anyway, even today, I sound better than I did there. I can't even get the Drake to play really at all on a 3, so I used the 2.5 for that one, which, BTW I recorded minutes before posting it.

The TK has more thickness now than it did. You can check my myspace page for other recordings when I had my setup working properly. I wanted to make sure I put the Drake in the best light that I could because it's the only time anyone will hear me play it!

Edit: Now that I've checked again, by the middle of the Klum clip (say that 5 times fast), I've settled in a bit, and I think it sounds subtly different from, but every bit as bright as the Drake. Weird. Try cuing up the Ted Klum clip to 2:45 and letting it play for 10 or 15 seconds, then switching between the tracks. See what I mean?
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Marca reeds are fantastic Dan !
I use the Marca 3 for my Brilhart Persoline o,75 and for my Brilhart Special refaced to 0,77 .
They are so beautiful dark sounding .
Review: Drake "Double Ring" Jazz Alto Mouthpiece

I play Meyers these days. I have played/owned NY Cafe 6, Stock Meyers, RPC 90R, Limited Edition Meyer, Tenney Meyer 6 to name a few. I currently play a Phil-Tone Meyer 7 (.080) and haven't found anything that beats it for about 2 years. I reviewed the Drake with La Voz M and Java 2.5 with a selmer 2 screw lig on my 1956 The Martin Alto.

Aaron Drake sent a 5 and 6. The 5 was too small for me so I will be talking about the 6 here. The piece sounds like a Meyer without as much cut in the low end. (That may be my Martin though) I really like it. Intonation, eveness of timbre throughout the range, resistance are all exceptional. At $160 this piece is almost impossible to beat. (Although my Phil-Tone Meyer is similarly priced) It also has that feel that if I "lived" with it, it could be something special. Some pieces have that organic quality that I can't quantify....they sound more "vocal"/flexible in quality where you can add/subtract bright/dark timbre(s) as the performer sees fit. The Drake has this quality. A "blank slate" type of piece (with Meyer tendencies) if you will....I think that with the right reeds this is a very versatile piece.

The work itself, attention to detail, response, and playability are outstanding. I will be ordering one soon. Maybe a 7, but I need to speak with Aaron first. I was skeptical about the ceramic idea, but this thing plays. I think that once people play it they will be surprised....I was.

Love The Drake ;) ....Seinfeld, couldn't help it!
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Steve, you sound AWESOME on those clips! What reed were you using?
That clip is the best alto sound to my ear... of all your alto clips I've listened to.

As the guy who thinks that the mouthpiece cafe pieces are pretty much the end all be all for me, I have to say that the Drake alto piece sounds INCREDIBLE.

Don't tempt me more. And at that price...?!?!

Can anyone compare the Production ($159) and Custom ($399) Contemporary alto sax mouthpieces. Can someone post sound clips of these. Can you compare them with the RPC 80B alto sax mouthpiece? Thank you!
I got the 5 (.075) and the 6 (.080) "double ring" alto mouthpieces. All I can say is --- HOLY %*$&$#!!! WOW THESE ARE GOOD!

Played both on my 1935 Martin Comm-I alto. The 5, in particular, was SMOKING with a 2.5 java reed. I'd describe it as medium-bright for a traditional piece -- its medium-dark if you include high baffle, modern pieces in comparison, about as bright as a typical meyer. It would easily work for lead alto or combo work, but I wouldn't take it to either a funk rock gig or a classical quartet.

Great, clear sound. Comfortable mouth feel. Took a very reasonable amount of air. The response is EXCELLENT, quick, and consistent. Sound is even top to bottom. Basically, this is a really really fine mouthpiece.

For $160? Ridiculous. Just ridiculously low price for this quality. I'll be purchasing one of these as quickly as I can get the funds together. Everyone needs to try one of these -- Aaron is making a very cool product here.

Update: I just bought a "5". I played on it some more, and continued to love it. Only downside is a tiny bit of thinness in some of the high notes, but I was able to compensate for that with some practice on it. Otherwise, brilliant -- rich, clear, and full.

I'm ready to send 'em on -- Aaron, tell me where to aim 'em next!!
Edit: Now that I've checked again, by the middle of the Klum clip (say that 5 times fast), I've settled in a bit, and I think it sounds subtly different from, but every bit as bright as the Drake. Weird. Try cuing up the Ted Klum clip to 2:45 and letting it play for 10 or 15 seconds, then switching between the tracks. See what I mean?
I'm sorry, but no. You sound great on both. And I really like your style of play as well. But if all things are equal (instrument, microphone, room recorded in, and all the other potential variables), you sound better on the Drake. I'd listen to you either way though. :salute:
Hey Everyone,
I had been thinking about getting a new mouthpiece to replace the standard piece which came with my sax. Was leaning towards JodyJazz HR until hearing the clips and reading the reviews posted here. Many thanks.

Ordered a #5 and #6 to test over the weekend. Like everyone has said, WOW. Intonation is spot on. Between the two one played instantly for me with no learning curve where as the other required a lot more work. I kept the easy playing piece as moving from a Yamaha 4c was enough of a jump in tip opening for years to come.

I am using a Rovner Star Series lig and Vandoren Traditional 2 1/2 reed. Now the low notes E1 and below are very easy to hit and playing up to E3 is not a problem. Both were difficult with the 4c.

I noticed after playing the mouthpiece gets warm which got me to thinking how thermal dynamics of a mouthpiece effect intonation. My standard piece was all over the place which I now think may have to do with minuet temperature changes causing the ebonite to expand/contract. I'm guessing metal would also have this effect. Ceramic has a definite advantage here.

Thanks Aaron for a truly amazing mouthpiece!
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Hi Everyone,

I just got an MP3 from Mike Mullan. Mike plays on the Drake Contemporary Alto Model, he is a wonderful player! He lives right here in the NY area and stops by my workshop from time to time. Thought you would enjoy this, there is also a link to his facebook page below the mp3.

Mike Mullan MP3 Playing "Cherokee"

He is also using a Drake Custom Contemporary II model on tenor and the new Drake Custom Bari Small Chamber, I will get some samples up soon.

All the best and Happy Holidays!!

I happened to make a quick clip of me on my Drake 5, which I recorded for comparison against another mpc I just got. Nothing exciting at all, but figured I'd share as a supplement to my review:

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