Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Have not tried the Slant, but the Espresso to me is the perfect "Jazz" mouthpiece. Dark, just the right amount of edge to play in a small group setting. Really beautiful sound. I believe Matt Otto is currently using one, and he sounds great on it!

Though if you need a versatile piece for everything from R n'B gigs to the quiet restaurant gigs I would suggest the Bergonzi since it probably has more power than the Espresso. well that's just my guess from trying out my TMEB and the Espresso
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I've gone back and forth on these two mouthpieces quite a bit. My experience with them is as follows:

The Soloist Espresso plays with a remarkably warm and dark tone; i.e. it has soft articulation, tonnes of fundamental, and somewhat muted higher partials. It is a bit on the quieter and mellower side of things, but it does have some growl if you really push it. The sound is fat and thick, but still with some focus and punch. This is all to say that the Espresso plays just as you would expect from a great Soloist. My first impression of this piece was that I couldn't believe how easy it was it get an almost impossibly warm and dark sound out of it, especially considering that I tend to play a bit bright on everything. I did find it to be just a bit tricky and unstable in the lower end, such that I had to be a bit cautious playing wider intervals into the bottom of the horn, but this wasn't too much of a problem. However, I never did get comfortable with the very high and curved beak. Maybe it is just because I take lots of mouthpiece and have longer front teeth, but I never felt settled on it. I sold it, and then I missed that dark chocolatey tone so I bought another one, but still wasn't comfortable on it and sold that one as well.

In direct comparison with the Espresso, the sound of the Slant Supreme is a somewhat brighter, lighter and leaner, a bit buzzier and a lot more colorful. It is also much more responsive than the Espresso and plays with more projection, as you might expect from the design model. I've never played a real vintage Slant, but I've played most of the modern copies or imitations thereof, and in that company I found the Cafe Supreme to sit right in the middle in terms of bright vs dark, responsive vs resistant and warm vs edgy; it also has a more consistent tone and response across the full range when compared to its competitors, in my experience. Furthermore, this mouthpiece has the easiest and most reliable altissimo response of any mouthpiece I've tried: not that it's the highest shrieker out there, but rather that the tone and response is the same in the altissimo range as in the rest of the horn, such that altissimo plays like a naturally extending upper range (as if on a clarinet). I also found that the beak height and all other exterior dimensions were a perfect fit for me. In short, this is my favourite tenor mouthpiece, and I've tried some good ones in my time.

I hope that these descriptions are helpful.

I will also add my voice to the chorus proclaiming the virtues of Erik and Brian at Mouthpiece Cafe. The quality of workmanship on these pieces is spectacular, especially considering their affordability. Seriously, compared to their competition, these mouthpieces would be a bargain at twice the price.

(FWIW, I was playing these pieces on a Yamaha Z tenor, most often with Java 3.5 reeds and a Rovner Light ligature, among other combinations. Both pieces are very reed friendly.)
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top