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The Morgan Mouthpiece Company acquired a bunch of antique molds used to make M.C. Gregory / Gale saxophone mouthpieces back in the 1930s - 1960s. We have the baritone mold, alto molds (16 and 18 cores), and tenor molds (18 and 20 cores).

We recently put the baritone mold back into service and started producing the baritone models again. This was an easy decision for us since we had been exploring a rubber Gerry Mulligan style mouthpiece before we acquired the mold. We are currently making these great baritone saxophone mouthpieces again using the original mold. These are now available at www.morganmouthpieces.com

Now, we are wondering what the appetite is out there for the altos and tenors. We have the ability to bring back the Gregory / Gale line of alto and tenor saxophone mouthpieces from the original molds. We still use a pure rubber formula similar to what was used in the 1940s and our craftsmen are among the best. We should be able to offer these mouthpieces in a wider range of tip openings than were originally available…original tip openings are all pretty small.

What do you think? Are these mouthpieces worth bringing back into production? It is not an easy process and they are completely handmade which means they will be in the $350 - $400 range. I know many would have interest in the alto 18 core model (Paul Desmond), but what about the others? While the price is in the range of many of the boutique and CNC pieces, would you still be interested at $350 - $400?

Let us know what you think.
 

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I had a 4A 18M alto piece in the 60's, and loved it. I dropped it at some point and it broke. Love to have a similar piece now. $350-$400 is a little steep, but only a little. $300 would be a no-brainer if you can get them into that range.

Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you don't make a few from the molds and then do a CNC machining model of them? I've watched and read a lot of the material on Morgan pieces, but my experience with CNC manufacturing and hand-finishing has been quite good (I play a Phil-Tone Tribute on tenor). I know it's not the "old way", but what about the "new way" makes it less desirable?

In any case, count me interested.
 

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Dave, I wish you much luck with your new line of mpcs. I’ve always had a first class experience dealing with Dave, Brian, and Erik.
 

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I would be really excited for the pieces (especially the alto ones) to come out, but I dont know how many people would want to drop $350-400 on one. I know it’s a lot to ask but if it were possible to lower the manufacturing costs, even just a little, I think you could definitely have a lot more interest.

That being said, knowing the types of pieces you already produce the cost seems justifiable as is.
 

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I had a 4A 18M alto piece in the 60's, and loved it. I dropped it at some point and it broke. Love to have a similar piece now. $350-$400 is a little steep, but only a little. $300 would be a no-brainer if you can get them into that range.

Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you don't make a few from the molds and then do a CNC machining model of them? I've watched and read a lot of the material on Morgan pieces, but my experience with CNC manufacturing and hand-finishing has been quite good (I play a Phil-Tone Tribute on tenor). I know it's not the "old way", but what about the "new way" makes it less desirable?

In any case, count me interested.
Thank you for your input and interest.

If you walked into a Los Angeles music store in the 1950s to purchase a Gregory Baritone mouthpiece, you would have found the same exact mouthpiece we are making today…same rubber, same production methods using castings from the same mold. The only differences are cosmetic...name and the shank ring. This is the real deal…not a replica, not an interpretation. It is not just the closest thing on the market to Gerry Mulligan’s mouthpiece, it is the same model of mouthpiece. A CNC copy would not be the same.

“Only the hands of a skilled craftsman using hand tools can create the interior curves of a mouthpiece to properly shape the column of air entering into an instrument.” “Air must be channelled gradually into a rounded form as it begins to move through the horn. If not, the turbulence that’s created causes stuffy notes and a variety of other non-musical sounds.” — Ralph Morgan

There are many reasons why Ralph believed this and I will try to put a blog article together in the next few weeks.

Ralph also believed the quality of the mouthpiece material is important.

We use our own rubber…basically the same as was used by most companies in the 1940s / 1950s. We control the quality and content of our rubber. We cure our castings to a specified hardness. We can discover cure problems early in the process and correct them long before finish work. Most CNC mouthpieces are made using imported rod rubber. Using CNC, we would give up control of the material. Our craftsmen have finished CNC pieces for other manufacturers and they have discovered the rubber is not as consistent from batch to batch.

There are some nice CNC mouthpieces on the market, but few manufacturers, if any, can do what we do, so we continue to do it the old-fashioned way.
 

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In principle, and about the baritone and alto mouthpieces, I would be interested too.
But that would be highly tempered by the price: a $300+ mouthpiece makes me always wonder if the end result - aka what I can do (better) with the mouthpiece - is really worth the investment.
And I must admit that I was completely puzzled when I saw last year (or the year before, I don't remember exactly) the actual Gerry Mulligan's baritone mouthpiece go for auction - starting at $1500 - on eBay !

Of course, there is always the additional value of having ''the same mouthpiece as X and/or Y'', which is at least a nice label, a clue about what can be done tone wise with these mouthpieces, and a good indication of the quality of these models. Hopefully, most players know that having these mouthpieces will not make them magically play as X nor as Y... but that may still have an impact.

All in all, I'd say you can probably go for it, especially if you manage to keep the cost of the final product at the most reasonable level.
 

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Please keep doing what you guys are doing! My 3C alto mouthpiece is the best classical piece I’ve ever played, and it’s not even close!
 

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Congrats Dave! The sax community is a richer place because people like you genuinely love what you do, and your deep sense of history.

As for buying the new piece... sorry.... however, it's Totally YOUR FAULT...because you sold me nearly everything I am now playing & I'm am very happy with it all!
 

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Just got a used Gregory 5 20M for my Conn Shooting Star Tenor a few months back. It is the best sounding mouthpiece I have played on my Conn. (I’ve probably tried about 30). Unfortunately, I have one already.

I think there are a lot of people looking to find the right modern mouthpiece for their Vintage horns. My experience on my SBA (charity horn) and Conn are that the new stuff doesn’t get the most out of the horn.....so I like the vintage designs.

At the same time, I haven’t tried the other Morgan Mouthpieces, which are designed for vintage horns, so I can’t assess whether the old molds are a good idea.
 

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If you're going for the West Coast sound, these would be great choices.

Would you be limiting these to the "historic" facings/openings or would they be modernized.
 

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I think "West Coast sound" is really a function more of phrasing and intention, rather than the mouthpiece. A good mouthpiece is a good mouthpiece... I remember as a 15-year-old watching John Handy play on a Gregory at a small club in Berkeley that allowed minors in, and I would hardly call his sound "West Coast". Although he did/does live in S.F.....
 

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Regarding CNC, I want to pursue that thought a moment. Not to 'dis' Ralph Morgan, but it seems to me that it would be fairly easy to make hard rubber bars in your formulation, and CNC with a model made from one of the good hand-finished mouthpieces. Then do some cleanup and final finishing by hand, to keep the flow right and the facing curve smooth.

We all today have learned to avoid buying a Meyer or Link online, unless you know you are going to have it refaced, because it's a crap shoot. Quality control is not very good at Babbitt's joint. But I remember buying my Gregory, and even at the young age of 14 or 15, trying out several and choosing the one that worked best for me. I played that piece on my Holton alto through high school, and on the Mark VI my dad bought me when I graduated. I only stopped playing it because I dropped it and it broke, and I couldn't find another. I was able to get a "Valentino" piece in the 80's (Pete Valentino was in Tahoe in the 80's, and he sold it to me). It was obviously made the same as my Gregory. I played lead alto at various showrooms on that piece. It too got broken, though not by me.

Bottom line, I'd love another Gregory or Gregory clone. $350 or $400 is doable for me (luckily) but I'm sure you'd sell more at $300. I suggested the CNC route as a cost-saving approach, maybe it wouldn't save anything :)

I look forward to the availability of these new pieces!
 

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What models are we talking about? There are differences between the models. Obviously, if you have the Model A blanks for alto and made the 4A-18M you'd sell a ton of them.

- Saxaholic
 

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If I had to choose between super consistency and each hand finished mouthpiece having its own "personality", or would that be "mouthpieceality" :). I would choose consistency every time. D'Addario seems to be leading the way with this technology which is making great mouthpieces at affordable prices.
 

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Hey Dave! Keep on keepin' on with the old school way. $350-$400 is nothing for a hand crafted and finished mouthpiece! Especially for the quality that you guys have.

Some companies are selling CNC'd pieces for $700 and up with little to no hand finishing!

BTW ... I love Gregories and would love to buy one from you guys one day.

I have always had a thing for the Tenor Diamond Model that they produced in the 50's and 60's. The one that had straight side walls and an "A" throat and was made of Resonite (resin and wood flour). I LOVE the way they play and feel. The problem is, they sound brittle to me and I can't get them to have the same color as hard rubber!

A pipe dream, but still think it would be awesome:)

I'm in a little bit of mouthpiece change right now and honestly the only thing I can play is your Excalibur Indiana model!!! It's really really nice.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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If I had to choose between super consistency and each hand finished mouthpiece having its own "personality", or would that be "mouthpieceality" :). I would choose consistency every time. D'Addario seems to be leading the way with this technology which is making great mouthpieces at affordable prices.
Not sure how many D'Addario pieces you have played over the last year, but I've played well over a 100 and they are anything but consistent when it comes to playing them. You can take five alto pieces in a 5 tip and they all have slightly different characteristics. Some are brighter and some darker. Some freer blowing and some slightly more resistant.

In fact, it's the same with Selmer, Vandoren and every other company CNCing pieces. None of them play the same. People come to the shop all the time and play 10 of one piece in one tip opening just to find the right one.

They are surly beautiful mouthpieces that play GREAT and I highly recommend them to many people, but the Morgan pieces I've played coming from Morgan now a days are equally as consistent as the D'Addario pieces.

Ultimately, I have found that Hand finished pieces are much more consistent than purely CNCd pieces in pretty much all cases.



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Simon, that’s why I use both with my mouthpieces. CNC is phenomenal and Eric‘s hand finishing is spectacular. I know a lot of people that do pieces right off the machine and I find that hand finished pieces always play better. Brian and Erik do a phenomenal job on the Morgan pieces and on their Mouthpiece café pieces. Eric Falcon does a phenomenal job with mine and I certainly recommend to everyone to get hand finished pieces done by people who know how to do it right, whenever you can.

Brian and Erik have done tons of pieces for me, and they have my utmost respect.
 

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Simon, that’s why I use both with my mouthpieces. CNC is phenomenal and Eric‘s hand finishing is spectacular. I know a lot of people that do pieces right off the machine and I find that hand finished pieces always play better. Brian and Erik do a phenomenal job on the Morgan pieces and on their Mouthpiece café pieces. Eric Falcon does a phenomenal job with mine and I certainly recommend to everyone to get hand finished pieces done by people who know how to do it right, whenever you can.

Brian and Erik have done tons of pieces for me, and they have my utmost respect.
Yes ... Best of both worlds :).

I'm excited to try the new Classic I ordered.

Any insight on the shipping date for the newest batch???

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