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Discussion Starter #1
I'm using Jazz House's suggested review format because it seems complete. But I also wanted to post in its own thread since I would rather have comments.

PHIL-TONE ALTO .080

First Impressions: I mentioned in my review of the tenor piece how great it is to work with Phil but it bears repeating. Also, another early impression is that I've only been playing alto for a couple years but I have played tenor and bari for MUCH longer. At first I found my experience with my alto to be less than fulfilling and really not even fun because every mouthpiece I tried made me sound like the dreaded "tenor player on alto". Then about a year ago I ended up getting the Tone Edge that Phil had worked on and donated to support SOTW (my friend bought it from the forum but then didn't want to keep it so he sold it to me). Long story short, I put that mouthpiece on and all of a sudden I was an alto player! That made me want to see what else Phil had and after talking to him via email I decided to get one of his custom pieces rather than one of his Meyer's.

As I mentioned in the tenor review, the mouthpiece is just clean and elegant. Nothing fancy - just impeccable execution.

Reed friendliness: No complaints whatsoever. I had been playing Java 3's and they worked just fine with this mouthpiece. Every one that was in my rotation continued to play fine with the exception of one that sounded like it might have been dying.

Response: Just what I wanted. It responds quickly and easily like the Tone Edge but it's much more even and full.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: I'm super happy with this mouthpiece. It's even from the bottom of the horn to the top. It doesn't get quacky in the low register like some other mouthpieces I have tried and it definitely doesn't thin out or get shrill in the upper register. Phil told me this mouthpiece was something he designed to fix everything he hated about other alto mouthpieces and I think he succeeded.

Other: I'm using the FL Pure Brass XL ligature and I think it works great. Intonation is also very comfortable for me on this mouthpiece. Once I had it in I was able to essentially forget it. I still don't think my alto voice is as present as my tenor and bari voices but I feel like I have the tool to make it happen now.

Conclusion: (Same result as the tenor review) KEEPER! I've played it in my house, I've played it in rehearsals, and I've played it on gigs and I like it better all the time. This mouthpiece will not be leaving my horn for a very long time to come. Give Phil a try and you will not be disappointed in my opinion.

Sorry I don't have a sound clip for this one at this time. I'll try to post something in the future.
 

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I have the same mpc too. It really is something special! The facing on it is absolutely perfect. I have never squeaked on a Phil-tone piece. Never! This piece really sings with great projection. It has a space-filling type of projection not an in your face type of loudness. His custom meyer (I have one at .080) is a more in your face piece with more cut to the tone but the sound does not encompass you like the Phil-tone custom does.
What I like about the PT-custom is that it can take all the air you can give it and the tone just swells with no break up. It has a sophisticated tone. Just the right mix of everything good in it. This may sound a bit childish but it just has that automatic 'pro' sound to its tone. It is also hands down the most in-tune piece at that opening that I have ever played. Experienced alto players will have noticed that on selmer type horns using meyer type pieces that going into the upper range one may have a tendency to go sharp unless you make a conscious effort to 'lip down'. Not on the PT custom! Just play with a relaxed and firm embouchure and the intonation is just there. Actually it feels like you're playing on a tenor mouthpiece. Not size-wise but more like how you would treat the intonation on the tenor and how you blow the air through it.

The articulation on it is really smooth and silky. It is effortless. Just full of expression. On his pieces you just close your eyes, think it, and its there. No fighting the piece whatsoever. Its like it's an extension of your creative mind on to the saxophone. On other pieces that Phil has refaced for me the result was the same. He has a real knack for that. No harsh spots at all. The highs are thick, the lows are full and boomy and the middle is just rich and sweet.

Its a real power piece for getting that traditional rich singing alto sound. Don't try for Sanborn on this piece. Its not that kinda party! An artist that would give a fair idea of the characteristics of this piece would be the late Grover Washington Jr. on alto. One of my favorite 'modern' saxophonists. He had a lot of sweet funk to his playing without a lot of that overdone piercing and edgy sound. Really full sounding!

This Phil-tone custom piece has really ended my search for that elusive meyer-type sounding mouthpiece. And I have tried too many!:(:banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tenorblack...I think you said it better than I did so um ditto. :)
 

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Thanks BarrySax6, just preachin the truth man!!

For my next upcoming major gig I will be using Phil's meyer. I gotta play some reggae stuff and calypso numbers so I need that quick response the meyer gives over the custom piece. The sound is a bit thinner and not as big down low but boy does she have some power and cut! Perfect piece for those genres!
 
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