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Distinguished SOTW Member
8,275 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a Dukoff M9 tenor piece from 1988. Although it has been worked-on and has some staining in the pewter (no pitting), the facing and table have not been modified and neither has anything else inside the mouthpiece. There is not a single marking remaining on this piece.
So, how do I know so much about it? Well, I was the one who bought it new late in 1988 when I was trying to transition from a 9* Level Air that I had played since 1966. I bought two pieces from WWBW - the M9 and a D9 for comparison. The M9 was the one I liked and I remember it as immensely powerful but with a nice full core. Because I had been playing the Level Air so long, other mouthpieces just didn't feel 'right' to me so on this one I sanded down the beak to get a more 'duckbill' shape.

I don't remember what happened to the bite plate but it's obvious I filled the plate area with some kind of epoxy and sanded it to be smooth.
The real problem was the shank was too small for the cork, being fitted to the Brilhart. I still was not committed to the Dukoff so I did something I would never do now - I expanded the shank so it would fit the cork while I decided.
In the meantime I had bought another Dukoff for alto but the two pieces did not work well together when I played dual saxes which I was doing a lot then. Long story a little shorter, I discovered Guardalas which did work well together so I abandoned the Dukoff project.
At some point later I shrunk the shank bore back to size using a copper pipe cutter with the blade removed which rolled it right back down over a wood dowel of the appropriate size. This is what obliterated the markings. I did this so I could give it to my son who was also transitioning from the same Level Air I used to play. He played the Dukoff for a few months but used several mouthpieces after that.
Years went by and I saw the thing at his house once and it kind of haunted me. Recently I bought a new semi-curved soprano and gave him my old one. We were both going to be at his brother's house recently for a family event so he brought the mouthpiece for me.
I think I'm going to see if I can use it on my alternate tenor, a Selmer USA, but I couldn't play it because I didn't have a ligature to fit it, the Dukoff being bigger around the middle than my Guardala. So I ordered a Rovner that should work and I'll try it next week.

I thought the thin rails and very nice tip baffle work were very nice, better than the new ones you see now. Really can't wait to play it to see if it still has that special 'thing'.

So, how many mouthpieces walk back in the front door after nearly 30 years?

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