Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Mouthpiece arrived at my place and just got a little time to play with it yesterday ! I'm nowhere near a high player caliber, more like an enthusiasm hobbyist with not enough time to play, but I've got the chance to try some nice, high quality mouthpiece over the year (Theo Wanne, 10MFan... etc) but never got the chance to play Phil's mouthpiece until today.

And first of all, wow the mouthpiece looks amazing, beautifuly handcrafted and unique, I never actually saw a mouthpiece with such a design before, a lot of work seems to be getting into these mouthpieces. Blowing into it was really surprising at first (my setup is a Selmer Reference 36, a BSS reed and Marc Jean ligature), I kinda expected a bright sound but instead I found a powerful but with a strong core and a warmth (especially in the low register) I did not expect. It can be edgier, and it can be push a lot, but retains its characteristics.

Those are only my first impressions and I can't wait to play more with it and try different reeds, but I can see having a lot of success ! Congrats
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
This piece sounds super interesting, I picked up Phil’s Intrepid and the more time I spend with it the more I like it. Sounds like the Rift might be a good complimentary alternative when I want some cut without losing my core sound.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Some noodling with the mouthpiece I recorded this morning, it really is a fun mouthpiece to play, with lots of power and a nice core (8 is a bit too open for me though), I had to tone down the gain on the audio interface, but it's not something that is uncontrolable:

https://soundcloud.com/vanadiel%2Ftherifttenor_playtest-wav
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,185 Posts

· Registered
YTS 62
Joined
·
105 Posts
Ok, here is my review of the Phil-Tone Rift TENOR

First of all, I’d like to thank Phil for the opportunity to try one of his pieces. I find his idea of doing a pass-around to be an excellent one. I just wish some of the others mouthpiece makers would do the same.

Secondly, I’d like to say that I’m just an amateur who plays in a community Big Band. I practice when I can, due to work-related time constrictions. With that I mean to say to all of the more knowledgeable people out here that you should take my appraisal with a pinch of salt.

I received the Rift well protected in a bubble envelope and wrapped inside a nice velvety pouch. The mouthpiece is beautiful and one can see the thoroughness of the craftsmanship, particularly over the obvious baffle, which has a unique shape, unlike anything I have seen in the past. I had to put my reading lenses to be able to find Phil’s signature and the number (8*) which are just lightly carved at the sides, barely visible.

I normally play a Drake Son of Slant’s at 7* with a Rigotty 3 medium, and I have to say that more often than not my teacher and band director, criticizes my air column and embouchure, both of them going their ways with the muscle memory and going back to old bad habits when under the slightest of the performance stress. I wish I could practice more.

The first thing I noticed with the RIFT was that I needed more air. At first, my embouchure was all right but then I noticed that I was tiring quicker than usual...The sound was very powerful yet still round and full with a core on the dark side (to my ears) compared for example with a Jody Jazz Jet.

Trying to control my air column I could go from a piano sound to a fortissimo, but I struggled to make it play at a middle ground. The sound was beautiful but I couldn’t take advantage of the full potential of the piece, I have a way to go yet to control such a Ferrari of the mouthpieces.

I had to leave on a business trip so I couldn’t enjoy the mouthpiece for a whole week, and I sent it forward in a registered padded envelope. I was scared it would get lost. In my country, the “normal” mail can occasionally get lost or delayed sometimes...

I fully enjoyed the experience, I’m sorry I’m not more advanced in my playing so I could give you a more meaningful opinion. The only thing I know for sure is that having seen the piece's quality, I will contact Phil for my new mouthpiece whenever I decide to upgrade my current setup.



P.S. I’m too self-conscious of my playing to upload a recording
 

· Registered
YTS 62
Joined
·
105 Posts
Ok, here is my review of the Phil-Tone Rift TENOR

First of all, I’d like to thank Phil for the opportunity to try one of his pieces. I find his idea of doing a pass-around to be an excellent one. I just wish some of the others mouthpiece makers would do the same.

Secondly, I’d like to say that I’m just an amateur who plays in a community Big Band. I practice when I can, due to work-related time constrictions. With that I mean to say to all of the more knowledgeable people out here that you should take my appraisal with a pinch of salt.

I received the Rift well protected in a bubble envelope and wrapped inside a nice velvety pouch. The mouthpiece is beautiful and one can see the thoroughness of the craftsmanship, particularly over the obvious baffle, which has a unique shape, unlike anything I have seen in the past. I had to put my reading lenses to be able to find Phil’s signature and the number (8*) which are just lightly carved at the sides, barely visible.

I normally play a Drake Son of Slant’s at 7* with a Rigotty 3 medium, and I have to say that more often than not my teacher and band director, criticizes my air column and embouchure, both of them going their ways with the muscle memory and going back to old bad habits when under the slightest of the performance stress. I wish I could practice more.

The first thing I noticed with the RIFT was that I needed more air. At first, my embouchure was all right but then I noticed that I was tiring quicker than usual...The sound was very powerful yet still round and full with a core on the dark side (to my ears) compared for example with a Jody Jazz Jet.

Trying to control my air column I could go from a piano sound to a fortissimo, but I struggled to make it play at a middle ground. The sound was beautiful but I couldn’t take advantage of the full potential of the piece, I have a way to go yet to control such a Ferrari of the mouthpieces.

I had to leave on a business trip so I couldn’t enjoy the mouthpiece for a whole week, and I sent it forward in a registered padded envelope. I was scared it would get lost. In my country, the “normal” mail can occasionally get lost or delayed sometimes...

I fully enjoyed the experience, I’m sorry I’m not more advanced in my playing so I could give you a more meaningful opinion. The only thing I know for sure is that having seen the piece's quality, I will contact Phil for my new mouthpiece whenever I decide to upgrade my current setup.



P.S. I’m too self-conscious of my playing to upload a recording
Oh ! I forgot to say how easily I cold play overtones (harmonics) with the RIFT and how beautifully they sounded.
 

· SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
25,083 Posts
I normally play a Drake Son of Slant’s at 7* with a Rigotty 3 medium, and I have to say that more often than not my teacher and band director, criticizes my air column and embouchure, both of them going their ways with the muscle memory and going back to old bad habits when under the slightest of the performance stress. I wish I could practice more.

At first, my embouchure was all right but then I noticed that I was tiring quicker than usual...
Just an aside but based on the issues you are having with your air stream, embouchure, and stamina, I'd suggest going with a bit softer reed (Rigotti 2.5 strong or 3 light). The 3 med is actually on the hard side, especially on a 7* or 8* mpc. So, a slightly softer reed could certainly help with the issues you describe. Playing a reed that is even a bit too hard can result in biting and playing with too tight an embouchure. I've been playing for 50 years, and I find the Rigotti 3 med to be too hard. I usually play a 9 tip mpc, but even on a 7* Link, I like the 3 light reed.

Thanks for posting the mpc review. I just wanted to give you a suggestion regarding the reed size you are playing. Hope it helps.
 

· Registered
YTS 62
Joined
·
105 Posts
Just an aside but based on the issues you are having with your air stream, embouchure, and stamina, I'd suggest going with a bit softer reed (Rigotti 2.5 strong or 3 light). The 3 med is actually on the hard side, especially on a 7* or 8* mpc. So, a slightly softer reed could certainly help with the issues you describe. Playing a reed that is even a bit too hard can result in biting and playing with too tight an embouchure. I've been playing for 50 years, and I find the Rigotti 3 med to be too hard. I usually play a 9 tip mpc, but even on a 7* Link, I like the 3 light reed.

Thanks for posting the mpc review. I just wanted to give you a suggestion regarding the reed size you are playing. Hope it helps.
Hello there JL !!

I’ve read many of your contributions to the forum !! I appreciate you taking the time to advise me!

I will try what you suggest. I remember having tried softer reeds in the past and having issues with squeaking, probably due to biting...I guess is a question of trial and error and certainly reed makers don’t facilitate the process as they use different numerations. A teacher of mine told me I was doing ok with a Vandoren (the blue box) 2 ½ which is supposed to be the equivalent to a Rigotty 3 medium, that’s why I settled for this and with the Drake I find it comfortable. I suppose that perhaps the 8* opening of the RIFT made a difference in my case while it shouldn’t be the case in a more skilled player.

Anyway, I think it is a privilege to be able to try different proposals and to have Phil living and working in Europe. I hope he does more pass arounds with other models !!

Thanks again, JL !!
 

· SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
25,083 Posts
I suppose that perhaps the 8* opening of the RIFT made a difference in my case while it shouldn’t be the case in a more skilled player.

Thanks again, JL!!
You're more than welcome tamiflu.

But don't mistake using a slightly softer reed with a lower skill level. It has nothing to do with that. Many highly skilled players use med and even softer strength reeds for various reasons, especially on more open tip mpcs. And I would call Rigotti 2.5 strong & 3 light as medium reeds (not soft). The Rigottis come in pretty fine gradations, so you can really dial in the strength you need, keeping in mind the fact that reeds in the same box of 10 at the same # will vary somewhat in strength. Thats just the nature of cane reeds.

And yeah, Phil's mpcs are among the best on the market.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Hello,
I first would like to say a big thank you to Phil for offering us this passaround!

Here is my review:

As it has always been the case with Phil, this RIFT model is a - top quality - hand-made - terrific product.

My first impressions was that It is very free blowing and I could easily move up in reed strength by 1/2 step (Rogotti 3 1/2) in order to get this positive resistance that helps me to shape my sound.
The low register is full, rich and the tone maintains a strong core through the whole range. I liked a lot the sizzle and the cut in the mid-high register and in the palm keys. The sort of response that makes this piece a perfect match for most styles of music. Ballads were a dream to play and the power and response in the high register makes this piece a perfect candidate to perform in loud funk or R&B bands (like I do ...).

Over the years I came accross pieces that performed very well on a jazz ballad, but when I brought them on a loud jazz of funk gig, it was a total disappointment. The gig IS the real test.
Similarly, high baffle pieces which performed well against electric guitars were a total disappointment and did not give me any joy of playing a nice jazz ballad.

The RIFT is, as it was the case with some RPC mouthpieces, the best compromise you can find on the market today.
What makes it even better than the RPC I think is that it retains this super nice "link-type" of sound and never sounds harsh.
Think about a supercharged Early babbit piece.

Well done Phil!
The RIFT tenor will quickly become the new benchmark for those looking for the best compromise!

Here are 2 (very) quick raw recordings I did to share my first impressions with all of you.


https://soundcloud.com/marc-vanden-eynden%2Fsugar-phil-tone-rift
 

· Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
I'll start by thanking Phil for the opportunity to try out one of his mouthpieces. I have been curious about his mouthpieces for quite some time.

I normally play an Otto Link Tone Edge (7 tip-opening) So this mouthpiece was out of my comfort zone so to speak. My experience with mouthpieces is rather limited, so far I have used these mouthpieces (in order of acquisition) Selmer S80, Selmer Soloist D*, Otto Link Tone Edge (had it refaced before last summer) and a PPT 7*.

The Rift was far too bright for my sound concept. It reminded me of the PPT that I played for about a year. I stopped using the PPT because I found it too bright.
The Rift is a bit brighter than the PPT, so certainly not for me.

I can understand that if one would like a brighter sound, this would be a good mouthpiece.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Wonko. If i do a passaround of the Sapphire or Intrepid I will count you in. Sounds like a darker piece would be up your alley.

its been years since I played a PPT…many years. My brain remembers it as brighter but you have one to compare. Interesting.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top