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Well I finally have the time to sit down and review this piece as I promised I would.

Seeing that Phil was closing down his metal mouthpiece line, I decided to get one fast because this guy has some deep level knowledge on acoustics and mouthpiece design.
A Barone mouthpiece is always something special so I ordered a Hollywood.

Communication with Phil was polite and easy as ever The response time to emails was amazingly fast.

After he had posted the piece he wrote me an email telling me that this was something really special and probably one of the best mouthpieces he has ever made.
Now I was excited but had to be patient, as there was going to be a time delay before I would finally get the mouthpiece.
I had it sent to a US address and then a relative would carry it over to Europe, this being the safer option, so I only got it into my hands on the evening of the 25th October, unfortunately to late in the evening to try.

As far as looks go.
The geometry of the piece is a work of art, and its bare brass which I love and is not engraved.
This utilitarian way of looking suits me nicely as I’m not one for bling.
Its also heavy and feels solid, another plus for me.
It has Phil’s special tip, quite a high rollover baffle starting just behind the tip descending into a fairly large chamber.
The sidewalls are very nicely and deeply undercut.

The following day I had a theatre show, which involved about 3 - 5 minutes of sax improvisation with a dancer.
Quickly finding a suitable reed and using a Selmer 404 lig’ (as advised by Phil) I had a 15 minute blow before packing up and heading out. The piece felt good and sounded great on first blow. So along with my trusty Ben Allen 20TD - the piece I have been using as my main piece for a few years now I took the Barone so I could feel how it sounded during a rehearsal.
I figured that if I liked it I could use it on the show later in the day - if not I have my regular piece anyhow.

I tried it in the rehearsal space and it sounded superb, I felt free and easy on it so decided to use it later in the day on the show.
Bearing in mind I have been playing mostly HR pieces for years now obviously the dimensions of the piece are different and Barone’s demand a certain way of blowing “Barone Chops” if you like, you may question how easy the transition was.
So at this point I will say that having played Barone’s many times in the past (Both Jazz and SNY) it was nothing new to me and my muscle memory soon kicked in.

This wasn’t a particularly hard gig, or long or demanding and I didn’t really put much in the way of pushing the piece in different directions, so I felt that I needed to put it into few more situations before writing anything about it and to see if my initial instincts were correct.

A few days later I had some practice time and started to experiment with reeds and Lig’s, which I continued to do for a while, but soon found that, as I had discovered with my previous Barone pieces that the Selmer 404 Lig’ and Select Jazz reeds work and sound the best for me. I also have a Rico H Lig’ that fits nicely and holds the reed snug but I prefer the 404.
Reed wise - Vandoren Greens / Rigotti’s / :La Voz and Hemke all work well, and as expected change the feel and sound from a players direction incrementally.

As a caveat I will say that Phil’s pieces all exist in the same ballpark sound wise and seem to be variations on a theme. They all have a grit to them around the edges and a certain boxiness of sound with a solid core - this is the only way I can describe it.

Onto the Hollywood and the present day.
Having rehearsed several times and played a few gigs in a variety of situations I can honestly say this piece covers everything and does all I demand from it.

The sound is neither dark or bright, but is on the mid / dark side in the full spectrum of all available mouthpieces on the market. So for me the balance of highs and lows are perfect.
The sound is thick and full from top to bottom of the horn and exceptionally even from the bell notes right up into palm keys and beyond.
The dynamic range is outstanding.
It can get as loud and powerful as needed yet still retain that important central core.

Played as part of a section it is solid and true when holding strong notes over many measures, which is all I could hope for.
Playing quietly as a soloist it has a beauty which is hard to define, an almost crying singing quality to the tone.

The articulation available continually amazes me - it can turn on a sixpence with ease and very little effort from me.
All the time the central core “Barone Sound” stays and basically as a player you use, and play around with this, you either love it or hate it, its as simple as that.

As a player there is a certain demand with Phil’s pieces, they are not “chops in a box”. They have a resistance to push against and only after time will you develop and grow accustomed to this, or not, as the case may be. You may even go down a reed strength, which I did to select jazz 2M/2H, no bad thing IMO.

All in all this is a superbly crafted tool to do a job, and let the music live and breathe. For this is succeeds perfectly.
To sum up, and coin a phrase from an old Lager advert from the UK I will say “Barone Hollywood, probably the best mouthpiece in the world”
( - your mileage may vary.)

Horn - Yanagisawa T992 / Borgani UL.
 

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Good review thanks, I now play on HR pieces but I still have my Hollywood "Made with pride February 1, 2001" mouthpiece, this is handmade and I think the newer ones are CNC. Anyway, you've made me think I should try the Hollywood again.
 

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To sum up, and coin a phrase from an old Lager advert from the UK I will say “Barone Hollywood, probably the best mouthpiece in the world
I loved those adverts. Probably the best ever.

If only carlsberg made mouthpieces.

In fact, they may well do.
Right at the very end of this advert they show of their latest mouthpiece which makes an alto sound like a tenor. Uncanny.
I’m sure there is a demand for this, if they were to go into production..... probably !

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u0WjvlrcUVo
 

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So, you liked the piece then?
 

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Best mouthpiece in the world? Not hardly.

The best mouthpiece is the one that works best for you. There are too many variables concerning the physical makeup of the player, the reed and the style of music you want it for. I have no doubt that you have found your holy grail and congratulations! There are few better feelings when you can just go, "Ahhh". You should get a great deal of satisfaction out of it.

Personally, I have tried several Hollywoods and a couple of other Barone mouthpieces. For me they left me neural. I eventually picked Ponzols for tenor (brass) and alto (rubber). I had them both touched up by Ed Zentera. Great pieces. I will add that Ed refined a Berg, which is perfect for more aggressive musics, like some raucous R&B.

Barones can be the Holy Grail for some . . no doubt. But universally? I don't think so.
 

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Best mouthpiece in the world? Not hardly.

The best mouthpiece is the one that works best for you. There are too many variables concerning the physical makeup of the player, the reed and the style of music you want it for. I have no doubt that you have found your holy grail and congratulations! There are few better feelings when you can just go, "Ahhh". You should get a great deal of satisfaction out of it.

Personally, I have tried several Hollywoods and a couple of other Barone mouthpieces. For me they left me neural. I eventually picked Ponzols for tenor (brass) and alto (rubber). I had them both touched up by Ed Zentera. Great pieces. I will add that Ed refined a Berg, which is perfect for more aggressive musics, like some raucous R&B.

Barones can be the Holy Grail for some . . no doubt. But universally? I don't think so.
I thought that the "best in the world" line was (probably) meant to be a joke.

On a slightly more serious note, how do you all like to clean these bare brass pieces? I got a Super New York a couple of months ago, and I'm loving it. It is (probably) the best mouthpiece I've ever owned. I even like the way the brass is already aging a bit, giving it a nice, vintage-looking patina. I suppose I should probably be doing more to keep it clean (all I really ever do is wipe it down when I get done playing), but before I do anything dramatic, I'm curious: how you guys clean your bare brass mps?
 

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I thought that the "best in the world" line was (probably) meant to be a joke.

On a slightly more serious note, how do you all like to clean these bare brass pieces? I got a Super New York a couple of months ago, and I'm loving it. It is (probably) the best mouthpiece I've ever owned. I even like the way the brass is already aging a bit, giving it a nice, vintage-looking patina. I suppose I should probably be doing more to keep it clean (all I really ever do is wipe it down when I get done playing), but before I do anything dramatic, I'm curious: how you guys clean your bare brass mps?
I had two of my favorite Barone pieces replated by Matt Marantz. http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2017/...acelift-contact-matt-marantz-for-a-replating/ . He did a great job and they play exactly the same as far as I can tell. That link is to some Links I had him do but the Barones turned out just as nice.
 

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I thought that the "best in the world" line was (probably) meant to be a joke.
+1. Although I didn't take it exactly as a 'joke,' more just a tongue-in-cheek sort of thing. Maybe a statement that it's the best piece in the world for HIM (as gary pointed out). All that aside, the OP's description of the Hollywood piece comports pretty well with the SNY I have. I've had a number of mpcs that I felt were the 'holy grail' but it's more accurate to say they are great for me, maybe not everyone.

Hey MLucky, I love the look of the bare brass also. I clean it just as you say; wipe it down after use. I think it looks good with the patina, but I also like the polished look. You can polish it up quickly and effectively with a metal polishing cloth (Sunshine polishing cloth works great, both for brass and silver). I touch it up a bit with the cloth, but I don't polish the rails or table (just in case it might change something, which I doubt, but who knows?).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, you liked the piece then?
I guess I do ...........:faroah:
No really this piece allows me to do what I need to do without getting in the way.
But when I am aware of it I think "What a great sound, a true Tenor sound..a sound I love"
And its not often one can say that !
Up until now, although I have been happy on certain pieces for quite some time, I have always felt some sort of compromise in some (maybe only) small way, but with this piece NO COMPROMISE.. the sound, and way it behaves, suits me very, very well, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Best mouthpiece in the world? Not hardly.

The best mouthpiece is the one that works best for you. There are too many variables concerning the physical makeup of the player, the reed and the style of music you want it for. I have no doubt that you have found your holy grail and congratulations! There are few better feelings when you can just go, "Ahhh". You should get a great deal of satisfaction out of it.

Personally, I have tried several Hollywoods and a couple of other Barone mouthpieces. For me they left me neural. I eventually picked Ponzols for tenor (brass) and alto (rubber). I had them both touched up by Ed Zentera. Great pieces. I will add that Ed refined a Berg, which is perfect for more aggressive musics, like some raucous R&B.

Barones can be the Holy Grail for some . . no doubt. But universally? I don't think so.
I agree - My statement was tongue in cheek, and quoting from an old UK TV Lager advert, hence the "Probably" as a disclaimer.
But this is the BEST MOUTHPIECE FOR ME, that I have come across, and, having been playing for quite some time, I have played many.

Generally I tend to stick with a piece for a while (if I like it) and I mean years on the same piece with the odd diversion to try something else out - normally within the same ballpark sound wise - to see if its an improvement or not.
AND I have always had a fondness for Barones, I like the vibe of them, and other than the one that was "Lost in the post" ** a few years ago, I haven't found one to match up to that until now.
Physical makeup / teeth / jaw / reeds / Horn / ligatures all add up so there is no "one size fits all" but that quote was as a humorous introduction to my review of the piece which I felt important to do.
Glad you like the Ponzols, they are fine pieces.

**(It was an old Barone Jazz that looked like sh*t but played like a dream. Got a nick in the tip that I sent to have cleaned up and it disappeared in transit)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
At MLucky - I have had quite a few Bare Brass pieces and I have no problem with them.
I generally clean after use with some mild liquid detergent and a small toothbrush, followed by a rinse under running water and then dried.
(the same routine whatever the mouthpiece material may be - For Me)

I also like the Patina that appears with aging as it matches my horns..
 

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I guess I do....:faroah:
No really this piece allows me to do what I need to do without getting in the way. But when I am aware of it I think "What a great sound, a true Tenor sound..a sound I love" And its not often one can say that!…
Even though I was (probably) teasing you, I totally get it. Had a Barone hand-made piece years ago and loved it too. You have found the ideal mouthpiece for you and now you can focus on playing and not worrying about finding the holy grail mpc.
 

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Well I finally have the time to sit down and review this piece as I promised I would.

Seeing that Phil was closing down his metal mouthpiece line, I decided to get one fast because this guy has some deep level knowledge on acoustics and mouthpiece design.
A Barone mouthpiece is always something special so I ordered a Hollywood.

Communication with Phil was polite and easy as ever The response time to emails was amazingly fast.

After he had posted the piece he wrote me an email telling me that this was something really special and probably one of the best mouthpieces he has ever made.
Now I was excited but had to be patient, as there was going to be a time delay before I would finally get the mouthpiece.
I had it sent to a US address and then a relative would carry it over to Europe, this being the safer option, so I only got it into my hands on the evening of the 25th October, unfortunately to late in the evening to try.

As far as looks go.
The geometry of the piece is a work of art, and its bare brass which I love and is not engraved.
This utilitarian way of looking suits me nicely as I’m not one for bling.
Its also heavy and feels solid, another plus for me.
It has Phil’s special tip, quite a high rollover baffle starting just behind the tip descending into a fairly large chamber.
The sidewalls are very nicely and deeply undercut.

The following day I had a theatre show, which involved about 3 - 5 minutes of sax improvisation with a dancer.
Quickly finding a suitable reed and using a Selmer 404 lig’ (as advised by Phil) I had a 15 minute blow before packing up and heading out. The piece felt good and sounded great on first blow. So along with my trusty Ben Allen 20TD - the piece I have been using as my main piece for a few years now I took the Barone so I could feel how it sounded during a rehearsal.
I figured that if I liked it I could use it on the show later in the day - if not I have my regular piece anyhow.

I tried it in the rehearsal space and it sounded superb, I felt free and easy on it so decided to use it later in the day on the show.
Bearing in mind I have been playing mostly HR pieces for years now obviously the dimensions of the piece are different and Barone’s demand a certain way of blowing “Barone Chops” if you like, you may question how easy the transition was.
So at this point I will say that having played Barone’s many times in the past (Both Jazz and SNY) it was nothing new to me and my muscle memory soon kicked in.

This wasn’t a particularly hard gig, or long or demanding and I didn’t really put much in the way of pushing the piece in different directions, so I felt that I needed to put it into few more situations before writing anything about it and to see if my initial instincts were correct.

A few days later I had some practice time and started to experiment with reeds and Lig’s, which I continued to do for a while, but soon found that, as I had discovered with my previous Barone pieces that the Selmer 404 Lig’ and Select Jazz reeds work and sound the best for me. I also have a Rico H Lig’ that fits nicely and holds the reed snug but I prefer the 404.
Reed wise - Vandoren Greens / Rigotti’s / :La Voz and Hemke all work well, and as expected change the feel and sound from a players direction incrementally.

As a caveat I will say that Phil’s pieces all exist in the same ballpark sound wise and seem to be variations on a theme. They all have a grit to them around the edges and a certain boxiness of sound with a solid core - this is the only way I can describe it.

Onto the Hollywood and the present day.
Having rehearsed several times and played a few gigs in a variety of situations I can honestly say this piece covers everything and does all I demand from it.

The sound is neither dark or bright, but is on the mid / dark side in the full spectrum of all available mouthpieces on the market. So for me the balance of highs and lows are perfect.
The sound is thick and full from top to bottom of the horn and exceptionally even from the bell notes right up into palm keys and beyond.
The dynamic range is outstanding.
It can get as loud and powerful as needed yet still retain that important central core.

Played as part of a section it is solid and true when holding strong notes over many measures, which is all I could hope for.
Playing quietly as a soloist it has a beauty which is hard to define, an almost crying singing quality to the tone.

The articulation available continually amazes me - it can turn on a sixpence with ease and very little effort from me.
All the time the central core “Barone Sound” stays and basically as a player you use, and play around with this, you either love it or hate it, its as simple as that.

As a player there is a certain demand with Phil’s pieces, they are not “chops in a box”. They have a resistance to push against and only after time will you develop and grow accustomed to this, or not, as the case may be. You may even go down a reed strength, which I did to select jazz 2M/2H, no bad thing IMO.

All in all this is a superbly crafted tool to do a job, and let the music live and breathe. For this is succeeds perfectly.
To sum up, and coin a phrase from an old Lager advert from the UK I will say “Barone Hollywood, probably the best mouthpiece in the world”
( - your mileage may vary.)

Horn - Yanagisawa T992 / Borgani UL.
Thank you for your nice and informative post, I’m glad you’re enjoying the mouthpiece. It is one of the hand-made ones that I’ve had a long time. Not all players know how to use a mouthpiece with a large chamber. They’ll try the same reeds as they were using on their smaller chamber mouthpiece then wonder why it didn’t work or just disregard it. Playing a piece with a large chamber is exactly like going up in tip opening.

But the fact of the matter is that the greatest tenor sounds of all time were made on pieces with large round chambers. Trane, Sonny, Dexter, Getz, they all played large chamber pieces and they all sounded totally unique. To play one you also have to a good concept by playing with a relaxed embouchure and by filling the horn up with air.

Mike Brecker arguably had his best sound on a Link. Mike also had a few Hollywood’s like yours and he sounded devastating on them. He did a recording on a Kevin Mahogany CD called “My Romance” so look it up on YouTube. Stanley Turrentine was also alternating between a Hollywood and a Jazz model before he died and Bob Sheppard played one for years. “Blue Lou” Marini has been playing one for almost twenty years too so you’re in good company.

Good luck with your new mouthpiece. Phil Barone
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for your nice and informative post, I’m glad you’re enjoying the mouthpiece. It is one of the hand-made ones that I’ve had a long time. Not all players know how to use a mouthpiece with a large chamber. They’ll try the same reeds as they were using on their smaller chamber mouthpiece then wonder why it didn’t work or just disregard it. Playing a piece with a large chamber is exactly like going up in tip opening.

But the fact of the matter is that the greatest tenor sounds of all time were made on pieces with large round chambers. Trane, Sonny, Dexter, Getz, they all played large chamber pieces and they all sounded totally unique. To play one you also have to a good concept by playing with a relaxed embouchure and by filling the horn up with air.

Mike Brecker arguably had his best sound on a Link. Mike also had a few Hollywood’s like yours and he sounded devastating on them. He did a recording on a Kevin Mahogany CD called “My Romance” so look it up on YouTube. Stanley Turrentine was also alternating between a Hollywood and a Jazz model before he died and Bob Sheppard played one for years. “Blue Lou” Marini has been playing one for almost twenty years too so you’re in good company.

Good luck with your new mouthpiece. Phil Barone
Thanks Phill.

I'm glad you mentioned the lineage of these pieces and obviously the stellar players - I'll check out that particular Mike Brecker recording you posted about.

Yes a more relaxed embouchure and this mouthpiece sings !
 

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Thank you for your nice and informative post, I’m glad you’re enjoying the mouthpiece. It is one of the hand-made ones that I’ve had a long time. Not all players know how to use a mouthpiece with a large chamber. They’ll try the same reeds as they were using on their smaller chamber mouthpiece then wonder why it didn’t work or just disregard it. Playing a piece with a large chamber is exactly like going up in tip opening.

But the fact of the matter is that the greatest tenor sounds of all time were made on pieces with large round chambers. Trane, Sonny, Dexter, Getz, they all played large chamber pieces and they all sounded totally unique. To play one you also have to a good concept by playing with a relaxed embouchure and by filling the horn up with air.

Mike Brecker arguably had his best sound on a Link. Mike also had a few Hollywood’s like yours and he sounded devastating on them. He did a recording on a Kevin Mahogany CD called “My Romance” so look it up on YouTube. Stanley Turrentine was also alternating between a Hollywood and a Jazz model before he died and Bob Sheppard played one for years. “Blue Lou” Marini has been playing one for almost twenty years too so you’re in good company.

Good luck with your new mouthpiece. Phil Barone
So uh, any of these left?
 
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