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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Discussion Starter #1
I just received two pieces from popular mouthpiece guys on here: Mojobari and Gwindplayer. They both used a vintage blank and hand-finished them, both have a medium chamber with a roll-over baffle, so I figured I'd pit them up against each other. One is a Mojo Bundy blank and the other is a Gwindplayer Custom blank, each around a 6 tip opening

Initial Reactions:

Mojo Bundy: I knew this piece would play well...Mojo has become rather well known for consistent, quality work. I knew the blank was of good quality, nice rubber smell, no noticeable issues. Excited to play it.

Gwindplayer New York Meyer Copy 6 I had my reservations on this one...I've had several NYMC here by Gwindplayer and none of them played very well. However, Greg reassured me this piece "Would satisfy even the most discriminating player." So I pushed aside all past experiences, and prepared to give this one as good a trial as any mouthpiece.

Winner: Mojo Bundy 6

Appearance:

Mojo Bundy 6 No surprise here...top quality hand craftsmanship. Mojo is the real deal. Tip and rails are phenomenal, the piece could almost pass for original. No uneven-ness, no deep scratches or anything. The piece was smooth and the blank even looked cool.

Gwindplayer NYMC 6 Definitely not what I was hoping for. This looked even worse than the NYMC 5 I reviewed here not too long ago. Rails were wavy, and uneven. The tip rail was horrendous...not symmetrical at all. It was also thicker on one side than the other. You know when you get a mouthpiece refaced it can have that thin tip rail for decent response...well this was slightly thin on the left side..then got thicker as you moved to the right, then slightly thinner again. Definitely not even nor good looking. The baffle work was alright, but still nothing to write home about. Overall, I was very disappointed.

Winner: Mojo Bundy 6

Response: I consider "response" to mean how quickly a mouthpiece responds to your air stream; how easily the extreme ranges of the horn speak; and how fast the articulation can be on that particular mouthpiece.

Mojo Bundy 6: This mouthpiece speaks easy, quite free blowing but with a teeny bit of something to push up against. I really enjoyed it, it blew free throughout all the registers. Lower register was just a TEENY bit more resistant...but almost not noticeable when you're just blowing through the horn. The one reservation I had was the altissimo register...not very easy for you up there. My normal breath control and throat positions didn't seem to work...I tried altering them slightly but I still couldn't really get the range to speak.

Gwindplayer NYMC 6 : Thank god...the piece plays. I wasn't sure with how it looked, but the response wasn't terrible at all. In the middle registers it felt really good, the piece blew fairly open with not alot of resistance. The trouble came when you moved throughout the horn. The lower register was alright but didn't speak as well as the mid-range...and the upper register suffered terribly. The palm keys were quiet and stuffy sounding, and altissimo was non-existent. Middle register, good. Lower register, ok. Upper register, bad.

Winner: Mojo Bundy 6

Tone: I consider "tone" to be descriptive of the sound the mouthpiece gives to the player. Terms such as: bright, dark, full, thin, big, small, etc etc can be used to describe tone. Since it is such a controversial and individual topic, I will focus on things that other players will most likely encounter when comparing these pieces.

Mojo Bundy 6: You ever just love when you can put on a piece, and just immediately start jamming without having to worry about anything? When the mouthpiece will just give you a good sound and the tone will vary with whatever you put into it? That's what this mouthpiece did. I couldn't really find a single way to describe the tone...because it was giving me whatever I wanted. If I wanted a brighter, funkier sound...it was there. A darker, traditional jazz approach...done. A floating west coast voice...no problem. VERY impressed with the range of voices I could get on this piece. With just my regular sound going on, the piece had a big, full sound. There was some warmth in there and plenty of edge if I needed it. I vary with the "edge" I use...I pick my battles, so to speak. And this piece was right with me. An absolute joy to play.

Gwindplayer NYMC 6: Surprisingly very good! When it was responding well (i.e. middle register) the piece had a pretty good sound. It had a presence to it, not necessarily a big sound...but broad. It had depth too, there was color and warmth. Unfortunately, the response problems limited the mouthpieces capabilities. I couldn't REALLY put air into this mouthpiece...even at the middle register, but thats ok, some people don't want to do that. It was a shame it didn't have a solid response...

Winner: Mojo Bundy 6

Dynamics/Projection: Not the same thing, I know, but included in the same review. Projection, in my mind, is the ability to fill up a room with your sound; the ability to make your sound carry to the far corners of the room, no matter what volume. To me, volume is simply how loud you can play...a higher amount of decibels.

Mojo Bundy 6 Again, "a la carte" was the phrase that came to mind. If I wanted to scream and sizzle, this piece kept right up. Not as super edgy as needed for unmic'd rock music perhaps, but very nice. Projection wasn't a major issue. Definitely not the loudest piece I've played, or the biggest sounding, but no issues. Playing quietly required a little more air control than I'm used to...but a few quick adjustments in the throat were all that was required.

Gwindplayer NYMC 6 Not this pieces strong suit...if I had to put mouthpiece volume on a scale of 1-10, this piece would probably be stuck at a 4 or 5 throughout the ranges. The upper registers were more quiet because of their poor response and stuffy sound...the lower register could get a nice big sound if you blasted the air through it. The middle register could project a little bit, not suitable for an outdoor gig, but general playing the middle register was fine. Unfortunately, us saxophone players typically have to use the entire range of the horn...

Winner: Mojo Bundy 6

Intangibles:

Mojo Bundy 6 Just having a piece done by Mojo gives you confidence the mouthpiece will play correctly. His work is reasonably priced, as is his turn-around time and communication. That, with the quality rubber blank, make for an excellent combination. I'm surprised more people don't go this route...getting vintage blanks refaced by the greats out there today.

Gwindplayer NYMC 6 Well...conflicting reports abound. Some guys praise the pieces as incredible players...while others seem to report what I've said in this and past reviews. I think its quite admirable that Greg is working towards better quality and good customer service. He had mentioned that quality control is improving and he's making less mouthpieces...meaning he's spending more time per piece. I think this will be the key. I can say with confidence if he spent a good deal more time on this mouthpiece in this review, it'd be a much better player. Maybe he'll take me up on that deal...

Winner: Mojo Bundy 6


Overall winner: Mojo Bundy 6


Please note: this is a purely informative review, performed by myself and a small handful of other professional players. It was done using a variety of reeds and horns. My reviews are not aimed at any particular individual(s), nor are they done with any other objective other than informing the saxophone playing community. If you have any negative comments, flames, personal attacks, etc. please send them to my Private Messages and I will promptly write you back. Thanks and I hope you enjoyed the review! :)

Saxaholic
 

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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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Saxaholic, thanks for doing this review. I hope you don't mind an editorial comment.

I'm the lucky owner of the Mojo-Bundy mouthpiece. As I discuss in an aside in this thread, I think - say, 95% certain - that the blank I provided to Mojo is actually a current production Geo. M. Bundy signature mouthpiece available from several sources for around $40. I bought this particular blank on the second hand market, but have since purchased a new one and cannot distinguish the two. If I'm right, for $40 for the blank and around $100 refacing costs, shipping included, anyone can have one of these mouthpieces with the tip opening of their choice. So if Mojo has any time to sleep now, I don't think he should in the future... ;)
 

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This thread quite deservedly received an underwelming response. An apple will never equal and orange. The Bundy is a different style large chamber mouthpiece.

The exact mouthpiece reviewed here was sold on 6/30/07 within a half day of listing on ebay. Eaustin3's feedback: "an excellent product"

Additionally, I had 3 pro saxophonist play the mouthpiece upon it's return, one also refaces mouthpieces. None agreed with Saxoholic's "opinions" posted here.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Discussion Starter #5
Greg,

Your snide comments such as "this thread quite deservedly received an underwhelming response" are not appreciated. If you want to give me more snide comments, feel free to send them to my PM box.

Additionally, I have stressed to you MANY times that I am NOT the only person who plays these mouthpieces. I have about half a dozen professional players, each with 25-35 years experience playing their horns for a living, play-test these mouthpieces. Their opinions mirrored my own, with very minor variances.

With only one opinion, I could see the arguing. But when half a dozen pro's say the same thing whilst playing the mouthpiece...that's what would convince me. I call it like I see it, hear it, and feel it. You are most welcome to disagree, but leave the snide remarks for private conversation. Thanks.

Saxaholic
 

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I don't think Saxaholic is being too harsh, its just how he found the Gwindplayer mouthpiece. Personally I enjoy saxaholics reviews and opinions, especially with regard to mouthpieces I've not tried. But, I can also accept that they are what they are- opinions.
I think that if anyone is going to try and market and sell a product they should also be prepared for the slings and arrows that may come with them. If the product is good it will always speak for itself.
I bought one of Greg's mouthpieces (a NYMC 5) and gave a brief review here http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=50899&page=4&highlight=gwindplayer.
Whilst I like the mouthpiece and the work on it does look good, as I eluded to in my post, I would not call it a copy of a NY Meyer, which is what it is advertised as. In that respect I was not happy. The side walls are not nearly as scooped and whilst the baffle is of a similar roll-over quality, there isn't as much of it. It does not have any of the common qualities of all the other NY Meyers I've played, which is a few. It is closer to a Sumner Acousticut, which is where the blank is from. I also bought got a Morgan Jazz 5 and a Barone Jazz 5 and they outplay the Gwind by a mile.
My personality is probably very different from saxaholics in terms of how I write things, but I can see where he's coming from.
I think if Greg is truly comfortable with the gear he is selling he should just let it go. Its like playing, you'll never please everybody so just move on.
 

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I find it really hard to believe that Saxaholic lined up six professional sax players to do this hatchet job (and I'm assuming he's counting himself as one of the six.)
 

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sound

Saxaholic,

Why don't you post up clips of each mouthpiece so we can have our own opinions on the sound? I have a feeling that if we we're to hear them back to back there wouldn't be as much as a difference as you're making it. Post it.
 

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Art_Salt said:
I find it really hard to believe that Saxaholic lined up six professional sax players to do this hatchet job (and I'm assuming he's counting himself as one of the six.)
Saxaholic lays out exactly how he and his cohort compared things and describes in detail the differences observed. Obviously not everyone will agree with his observations, since there's necessarily a lot of subjectivity involved. But Art, instead of flaming it would be a lot more constructive to provide your own evaluation of Greg's mouthpieces if you disagree with Saxaholic's review, in my humble opinion.
 

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There is nothing wrong with questioning Saxaholic's methodology. Saxaholic is welcome to his opinion and I've enjoyed his other matches. It's this supposed handfull of unnamed professionals that he uses to bolster his argument that I'm skeptical about. Plus, he has already Skewered Gwindplayer before...this was just piling it on.
 

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gwindplayer said:
This thread quite deservedly received an underwelming response. An apple will never equal and orange. The Bundy is a different style large chamber mouthpiece.
What kind of response do you want? "Gee, Sax', I'm sorry you had to play that thing. That sounds like something between a waste of time and a painful experience."?

As comparing apples to pigs: What is your point? If the Bundy is a large chambered mouthpiece, shouldn't that give your mouthpiece the edge with regard to response? What does the chamber size have to do with the appearance of the finish?

gwindplayer said:
The exact mouthpiece reviewed here was sold on 6/30/07 within a half day of listing on ebay. Eaustin3's feedback: "an excellent product"
I see a lot of similar feedback from people buying a blue Taiwanese soprano for their first saxophone.

Sorry if I seem rankled or irritated by your response but I am.
 

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I'd sure appreciate knowing how to get an accurate reproduction of any genuine MeYeR alto mpc chamber out of an unfinished Sumner blank to the point it could be honestly represented as any sort of "Meyer Bros Reproduction". Quality level of the work done aside, the facing curve used means nothing in this context.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Discussion Starter #13
Art,

I don't "line up" six professional players in a room and get them to play these mouthpieces. These people are friends of mine, professional players, and I hand them the mouthpiece and say "hey man, can you give this a try, and tell me what you think?" I've done it alot with them and they're used to it. I purposely don't put names out there out of respect for their privacy. If someone were so determined to meet them, were in my immediate vicinity, and I had the time and arrangements to do so...I'd be happy to have a meeting. These guys are serious players who know what to look for in a mouthpiece. I've tried stuff for them in a similar fashion for feedback.

As far as 'skewering' gwindplayer, I have actually never said anything in any kind of rude context. I merely pass on my, and others, opinion of how the mouthpiece looks and performs. I have evaluated Greg's mouthpieces before.

Greg had sent me an email, specifically asking me to evaluate this mouthpiece...he sent it to me, I received it, and told him I'd match it up against a Mojo Bundy that another member had sent me. I did exactly that. I don't sugar coat things. I simply give genuine opinions.

I appreciate you coming right out and asking questions. Having disagreements with my findings is perfectly fine, as is being skeptical. If you have any questions, I invite you to PM me and I'd love to chat.


Intheshed,

Although I play these mouthpieces and review them, taking even more time to get the equipment and properly record all of my reviews is far too time consuming. I've been asked to do it before, and I have the same response. If I win the lottery and don't need to 'work' for the rest of my life, I'd be more than happy to make sound clips for each and every one of my reviews. I'm sorry that I can't provide a more 'sound-based' approach, but I write the reviews and that takes a great amount of time as it is. Thanks for the interest, though.

Doc,

Your post is congruent to my thought process. I'd be most interested if you learn anything else.

Chitownjazz,

Thanks for the kind words. :)

Saxaholic
 

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Great review and thread. I'll vouch for that Mojo piece—Chitown sent it to me to check out too. If you had to be "stuck" with one mouthpiece that would be an ideal candidate. Does it all, and does it all well. Not at all surprised at the outcome of the shootout.
 

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gwindplayer said:
The exact mouthpiece reviewed here was sold on 6/30/07 within a half day of listing on ebay. Eaustin3's feedback: "an excellent product"
Dr G said:
I see a lot of similar feedback from people buying a blue Taiwanese soprano for their first saxophone.
As the buyer of this mouthpiece, I feel I should respond:

First of all, I LOVE my blue Taiwanese soprano. And the purple alto, too :D

So I receive Greg's NY Meyer copy on 6/30. I try to have an open mind about new gear, knowing that sometimes a different approach is required to get a good sound. But this piece pretty much played well for me with little adjustment. I was surprised by how loud it was, mainly because I didn't expect it. It definitely doesn't have the depth of tone and flexibility that my slank Link copy has (originally a V16, but heaviliy modified by Brian Powell to match my teacher's excellent slant Link). The chamber on the slant copy is huge, and I've spent nearly a year playing it, so admittedly the comparison is probably unfair. Honestly, if I were to write a "vs." style review pitting the slant copy against the Meyer copy, it would probably read a lot like Saxaholic's, with perhaps slightly different impressions of high end and altissimo response.

Anyway, I do think the Meyer copy is a good piece and (as also stated in my eBay feedback) a great value. This is based on my initial impression playing on it for an hour or so. I'm going to print out Saxaholic's review and really give the piece a good workout today, just to compare my experience to his.

For what it's worth, I am not a pro. I've played alto for 10 years, clarinet for 25. I gig on alto about twice a month. If I may quote another forum member, mostly, I suck. But sometimes, it seems, I may suck less...
 

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Why dont you compare two mouthpieces you actually like, if I was Gwindplayer this review would hurt,It seems you have already expressed your feeling about his work earlier. How about a review of something you regurlaly play compared to mojo's piece?Something constructive as well as a little less personal?
 

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Hold the bus.

Saxaholic reviewed the mouthpieces and gave his findings. I didn't read anything in the review that sounded remotely like a "hatchet job." In fact, my perception of the review was that Saxaholic was trying to be supportive of Gwindplayer's efforts to improve quality control.

With regard to these mouthpieces already being reviewd in an earlier thread, all the more reason to have a second go at things and see if Gwindplayer has managed to address the quality control issues that Saxaholic and others have pointed out on previous occasions.

The practice of passing around mouthpieces for evaluation amongst ones colleagues would seem to be quite common (we do the same thing here) and I don't feel any need to know exactly who play tested the pieces. I'm willing to take Saxaholics word that they are all experienced players.

I wish more players would review mouthpieces in a similar "call it as it is" manner, and I feel such reviews can only benefit any refacer serious about improving his work.

Going on Saxaholics track record, I feel sure he'd be the first to post a positive review of the Gwindplayer mouthpieces if and when they rise to the same standards as the work of other prominent refacers. As a teacher of young students, I'm always on the lookout for a quality mouthpiece at a decent price. Show me something reasonably priced that I can recommend to kids stepping up from a Yamaha 4C and I'll buy a dozen. Far from wanting to put Gwindplayer and his work down, I'm hoping that in the near future, his pieces fit the bill. I'm confident Saxaholic is of the same mind.
I wish Gwindplayer every sucess and I'm hoping he takes the above as the constructive criticism I'm sure it was intended to be.
 

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dzve said:
Whats a hatchet job?
Rent "The Shining" from your video store.

 
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