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Distinguished SOTW Member
3,589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok people!! THis is the thread for everyone to review their tenor mouthpieces.

Link to the alto thread
Link to the sop thread
LInk to the baritone thread

The rules:
No comments allowed, only reviews;
One mouthpiece per post;
Follow the outlined format.

The purpose of this thread is for everyone to see what people think of different mouthpieces. It is important not to make any comments other than reviews. Thanks.

Here is the format:

MOUTHPIECE TITLE (in capitals)

(then include a bit underneath the following headings)

First Impressions:

Reed friendliness:


Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility:

Other: (specify)


Distinguished SOTW Member
3,589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I will start:

FRANCOIS LOUIS SPECTRUOSO SP T285 (composite plastic)

First Impressions: A very nice mouthpiece that is very neatly crafted. The window is longer than my Guardala, but it is finished even nicer.

Reed Friendliness: I find the the FL is very nice to reeds. Excellent, in fact. It works with all of the reeds I have tried with. Alexander NY reeds are the best, in my opinion, though.

Response: Subtones almost as well as a link, altissimo is easier than on a Guardala and the mid range is wonderful. Very fast, easy response.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Excellent tonal flexibility. I can be bright or dark. Changing is easy. Really really easy. It doesn't really dictate a sound. I sound different to others on the same mouthpiece. With dynamics it's quite good but could be better. It has a very obvious ceiling when it comes to volume. Better reeds help with that problem.

Material: My complaint is the material. It is very soft and my teeth go through it quite quickly. Because of the large beak, I don't like patches. This means I just live with the little groove.

Conclusion: I love this mouthpiece. The hype about it is true.

Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
5,528 Posts
Me next:


First Impressions: Smooth, super responsive, like playing while sitting in an easy chair. Full rich lows, responsive highs.

Reed friendliness: Will work with any reed including those warn out and chipped. After EZ did his magic, reeds are a non-issue. I use Vandoren Classic #3 because they sound best to me.

Response: Super responsive. Much less resistance that a stock STM. Takes less air to play then my soprano.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Initially medium dark with lot of timbre, but with practice and a faster air stream it will rev up very bright. This makes it very flexible.

Other: Just a really great mouthpiece and possibly the best piece of equipment I own. It was originally a tip size 6 but opened up by EZ to around a .105.

Conclusion: I don't know if other Florida STM's play this well. My piece was fairly rough when I got it so it went straight to Ed. With the flexibility and ease of play, I have been able to use this piece in just about all situations with very good results. I own a EZ perfected Dukoff, but rarely use it any more since I learned to push my STM to the bright side and make it sound like the Dukoff. It's truly the holly grail for me. ;)

Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
7,356 Posts
Ok, me Next.

I'll Do my Stock Metal NY Link 6*

First Impressions (Without blowing): It looks like a link. I hope it sounds like a link. The facing is just ever so off. I hope it doesn't effect the playability.

First Impressions (after blowing): Good full sound. Bright-ish. Easy Articulation. Thins out a wee bit up top. Needs strong breath support or starts to warble a wee bit. (after getting used to it).... the Warble is gone.

Reed Friendliness: Technically I'd say bad. Different cuts of reeds and different strengths produce very different sounds. Found a cut and strength that seems to go really well and will stick with it.

Response: No complaints. Altissimo was a tad hard at first using a soft reed. Now it's no problem. Just have to blow differently.

Tone/Dynamic flexibility: This is where this piece shines. Has a good strong medium bright tone that can really shimmer (brittle?? (which I like)) when pushed but stays nice and fat through the range of the horn (again except for up top... which for me is good. For others could get thin).

Material: Brass.... a little more comfortable because of the profile for me than other metal mouthpieces I've played.

Conclusion: Not loud enough. Max volume tops out much before I'd like it to. It will be send out to be "floridated" by Morgan Fry. Needs more core sound. More buzz....

Very good example of a stock link though. First Impressions and Rhythm on my soundclick were done with this Link.

283 Posts

First Impressions: I am borrowing it, so this might be all, but i plays better than i expected. There isn't a tinny pitch to it I have feared (usually play HR). Very dark and easy articulation.

Reed friendliness: Great. Every reed so far works out

Response:Great. Can use any amount of air and sound good, but the articulation seems to come out nicely.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Altissimo is brighter than my other piece, but i can make it sound like Lester Young all the way to Coltrane. Haven't pushed for bright yet. EDIT: Has an edge i like, use with 3m RJS it gets a powerful sound.

Other: Taste bugged me at first, but now I am used to it. I don't like patches on it (it sounds muffled).

Conclusion: Its one of the best i have tried. I will miss it when i give it back...i get a Phil Barone jazz as a replacement so i might review that.

EDIT: I am loving this piece! greater openess and depth to my tone than i have ever had in a mouthpiece. It took some work, but a great piece.

Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
3,292 Posts
I'll do my stock Berg 120/2 hard rubber SMS

First Impressions: LOUD! Nice bright/dark mix. Can this really be a .120 tip? (Answer: Probably not. Bergs are notorious for being smaller than marked, and this really feels like approx. .110 - .115.)

Reed friendliness: Fine. Surprisingly decent for a stock Berg. Several brands play differently, but all fine. I tend to prefer V16s strength 3 -- same I use on my .105 link.

Response: Very good. Altissimo response, in particular, is excellent. No problems top to bottom.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Dynamic flexibility is excellent -- pp to fffffff. Tonal options are limited. If played as darkly as possible, its still "bright" by traditional jazz standards. But, I can play it just barely within a range of darkness that I'd take to a big band or maybe jazz combo. But, it lacks the complexity of tone for serious jazz. However, it does the contemporary bright thing and the overdriven rock thing, so that's fun.

Other: intonation is fine on my The Martin. Not perfect, but fine.

Conclusion: Perfect for what it is -- rocking. Someday I'll get it refaced to see if I can get the altissimio up to an even better level. 'Til then, this thing is fun.

334 Posts

First Impressions: True to what it is very often said, the finish is not very good. Traces of the joining seem are evident above the bite plate. I bought it on-line from 1stopclarinet, so it was a gamble.

Reed friendliness: Out of a box full of reeds, the only one that worked, was a battered old Vandoren Java 3. A green Java 2 1/2 and a red Java 2 1/2 worked also, but were a little soft.

Response:Was all right with the right reed.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: The tone is the best part of this mouthpiece. I really like it.

Other:Other than the very nice tone of this mouthpiece, I was not very happy with the way it played. I thought of having it refaced, but I found the
price, shipping costs and wait not worth it.

So I took another gamble. I initially run the table, facing curve and tip over very fine sand paper that was on a piece of glass. I then did the same with a sheet of rough paper and that was the trick. All my reeds (of the correct hardness) now play very well.

I now have a reed friendly mouthpiece with a wonderful sound with good dynamic range, that can be pushed effortlessly when needed, without problem.

Conclusion: Buying a metal link on line is a gamble.

Distinguished SOTW Member
1,604 Posts
VITO (plastic)

This mouthpiece came with my Vito tenor in the 1980's

First Impressions: Piece of crap

Reed friendliness: They all play equally bad on it

Response: I blow air in, a sound comes out

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: I blow more air in, it plays louder, less air, softer

Other: (specify) It was free, and worth every bit of that price.

Conclusion: A piece of crap that worked ok for high school until I could get a better mouthpiece :D

Forum Contributor 2017
8,185 Posts

First impressions: Its a deep red so it is stunning and unsual to look at. The chamber is completely round and open with no baffle. Hand crafted so the rails, and tip looks perfectly balanced to the naked eye. Upon inspection with measuring tools and glass I find them to be flat and even.

Reed friendliness: Not sure how to answer this part without trying several different brands but I can say it plays well with my reeds of choice, Rico Plasticover 2 1/2 strength.

Response. Immediately sounded warmer and darker than the Selmer D "Jazz" Metal I had been using.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility. Response to tongueing, glissandos, growling, vibrato, volume is excellent. Can be pushed for a variant of tonality. Extremely versatile. Best used for jazz.

Other. When I first bought it about a month ago I found it was not the "complete" mouthpiece I needed as it was slightly sharp i at D3-F#3 without some embouchure adjustment, that is on my unlacquered (brand not disclosed) Tenor. However recently purchased a Silver lacquered (brand not disclosed) Tenor and it is the perfect companion for this silver tenor as it plays perfectly in tune throughout the range of this horn. Go figure.

Conclusion: Buying custom made mouthpieces from small establishments was an eye opener for me. Out of the box stock pieces are not as consistent as the several GW's I have purchased since this aforementioned "Red".


The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
27,647 Posts
Well, I've reviewed most of the mpcs I play, so here's one I was curious about that I just got and haven't commented on.


First Impressions: Unimpressive and disappointing.

Reed friendliness: Don't really know. I don't seem too sympathetic to a mpc's "reed pickiness" as much as to the quality of the reeds themselves.

Response: a little delayed on articulations.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: OK but could get louder.

intonation: good.
tone quality: a bit stuffy.
physical quality: I noticed that the slight roll-over baffle near the tip was not parallel with the tip but at a diagonal to it. That might produce negative results. Otherwise, it's an attractive mpc, with a frosted finish.

Conclusion: I'm probably sending this mpc to a refacer to modify. Of course, when it's done, it may no longer be a stock mpc, but if modifications are very slight, it could mean that the original mpc's design is sound. Don't really like the term, but I'll get it "blueprinted" with the intention of it playing darker and freer, as well. Maybe the "blueprinting" alone will do it, maybe not. I'll post a follow up after I decide what to do with it.

Distinguished SOTW Member
4,023 Posts

First Impressions: Straight out of the box I was a bit surprised at how little the mouthpiece weighs. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, maybe the weight of a Link, but it's pretty much the same weight as hard rubber. Visually it's a very pretty piece. I chose the basic black, and I can see right at the hard edges where the glaze didn't really "take", but it's nothing to be concerned with. The copper shank insert is rather pretty, though I don't think I'll spend much time looking at it. It provides a firm yet smooth grip, and I imagine this is why it's there. It also gives it a little extra weight. I get the odd feeling this mouthpiece would float in water if it weren't for the copper insert. Unfortunately it is not coated and turned one of my neck corks green after being left on a few days (from copper, not microbes).

Reed friendliness: It likes Fibracell 2.5s and the single 2 I have. It likes Vandoren Blue Box 2.5s. That's all I have laying around. I would EXPECT it to like them, as my Link 8* likes them and the tips and facings are very similar.

Response: Spot on. Not so fast I feel like it's running ahead of me, but crisp. Altissimo response is the best of any stock (not refaced) piece I've ever had.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: It has a lively but not aggressive sound at moderate volume levels, subtones nicely down to about mp, and really sizzles when I lean on it. Like many mouthpieces, the dynamic range in altissimo is pretty much limited to between mp and a strong mf or f (depending on note), but this is better than I get from some pieces where they play altissimo at one and exactly one volume level and close up otherwise.

It can get "ducky" if I try to play really soft, but if I'm in a position where I need to play really soft, this is probably the wrong mouthpiece to start with.

Other: (specify) I got the immediate sensation that the facing curve is exactly right. Not almost right, or "I'll get used to it" right, but spot on. I've played some refaced pieces (no I don't know who did them) that didn't feel this right. I have absolutely no urge to tinker with this mouthpiece, not even with clay baffles.

It is ceramic, so I do worry about potentially chipping or nicking it and treat it very carefully. The critical areas (tip, rails, table, baffle) are all unglazed and slightly more vulnerable to damage as a result, but that is necessary to get the dimensions to the necessary precision. They are also white (as is the entire chamber) but none of that is visible with a reed attached. It's actually helpful for getting the reed lined up straight -- when I can't see any white material, it's pretty close.

Conclusion: Well worth the price at $160, as this is what I would pay for a new Link that doesn't have such perfect rails and tip. It is not insanely bright but it certainly has an edge to it. If you've ever stuck a clay baffle in a Link STM, it's a lot like that. It has replaced the Link STM as my "daily driver", to the point that I took the wedge out of the STM. They were very similar in terms of sound (the Drake is superior in response) so I figured I'd get my dark piece back.

If you want something like a wedged, refaced Link, and want to spend less than a car payment for it, the Drake Contemporary should be on your short list. If you just want a refaced Link without the wedge, consider the Double Ring.

Distinguished SOTW Member
2,874 Posts
What does "no comments" mean to you, Jazz House? All I see is comments. How do you write a review and let people see what you think of a mouthpiece without making a comment?

Distinguished SOTW Member
3,589 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here are the rules again (for clarification):

The rules:

-No comments allowed, only reviews;

This means that no comments other than reviews must be made. This thread is to soon go as a link in my "Answer to everything thread" and as such is a help tool rather than a discussion.

-One mouthpiece per post;

This is obvious.

-Follow the outlined format.

It would be best, but if you have something to add, sure.

And I would like to thank Bebopalot. His question is crucial to common understanding and the of this thread.

Have a nice day everyone. Keep reviewing.

Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
5,316 Posts

First Impressions: It "out-slants" the slants for me.

Reed friendliness: Very reed friendly.

Response: Articulates very easily. Low notes are a breeze, even pianissimo. Palm keys are sweet - not thin. Offers some resistance, which gives it a solid and very controllable feel to me. Also focuses easily.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Unusually flexible IMO. It can be buttery smooth or generate some edge, depending on how you play it, but the Jazzmaster itself stays out of the way. OTOH, I personally would not choose it where high volume or an extremely cutting sound are major goals. Other players might still go with it, but it's not the easiest tool for that application IMHO.

Other: Rubber; no baffle that I can see, round chamber which is larger than the bore; $350 new.

Conclusion: So far as I can tell, this is an extremely well thought out design, and it is carefully executed by the Doc. I might choose a different piece for a particular gig (e.g. a rock gig), but the Jazzmaster immediately moved to the front of the class for me.

Premium Member
4,849 Posts
Great idea JH. I'll chime in with one or two of my own at some point. This is now a sticky.

8,336 Posts

First Impression
Slim piece that takes a large alto lig, Well made but very handmade visually with file marks left.. Fred unusually makes his own blanks from pure rod rubber with no plastic content..
My main DD is an older longer shank..the later ones are shorter.

Reed Friendly
Fred's great facings ensure reed friendliness in my case Plasticovers

Instant but still with controlled resistance

Tonal / Dynamic Flexibility
Likes to be played full bore but can be subtoned easily. Tone on the bright side but fat in all registers

Great choice for rock players who grew up on bright Bergs

If you play in a volume situation or in a loud section with brass this piece lets you blend but be heard with loads in reserve to solo or cut through. A Classic that combines raw power with refinement.

Distinguished SOTW Member
2,833 Posts
LAW ALTO BUZZER,90 [made by lawrie waldron of england]

A very finely crafted, piece which has got a medium/large chamber, and high step baffle.
The rails on these are fairly thin, similar to a LT Guardala,the finish is very nice, and they are signed by the maker.

It speaks very easily in the lower register, and i found it easy to control, throughout the whole range,altissimo is easy also, this type of piece would be excellent for smooth jazz/funk.

Up to now one of the best pieces i have played, tonal wise its projection is good! very good,in fact,the tone is thick, but with nice edge,if your looking for a cutting sound"..its there. subtone is no problem , and it can also play softly if needs be.
Flexibility is good, and you could play various styles with this piece, reed wise up to now ,ive mainly tried rico royals and plasticovers, the latter, in particular are very good.

These pieces by lawrie waldron created a stir back along, and although they may not ever be mass produced,are a serious contender for any aspiring saxophonist.
Yes they may not be everyones, ideal.,but as long as you know what you require in your sound they are handmade to suit.
Some may move on but for me, it will take some beating!!.

VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
16,312 Posts

First Impressions: Most all-around classic alto sounding mpc I have found for alto. Super flexible in tonal quality and volume.

Reed friendliness: Extremely reed friendly, and this is an all original C*. (In other words, it hasnt been refaced, and blows GREAT!) The table is flat and reeds play very easily on this mpc. I prefer the Hahn synthetic reeds myself.

Response: Very responsive throughout the whole range of the horn, and great articulation.

Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Couldnt be better! I can get everything out of this piece from Desmond-Woods as far as tonality goes, and its the most flexible mpc I have ever played. I can be very delicate to very ballsy with this piece.

Conclusion: I have had a few mpc's through here :) , and I can say without any reservation, that this is the best alto mpc I have ever played on! I cant believe I can get this much out of a small tip alto mpc with a medium reed. These are very inexpensive and in my opinion, the best rubber ever made. I love the horseshoe chamber too. I find NO faults with this mpc, and I have been using it for a few months now. I practice a few hours a day because I love the sound of this piece so much! It draws me to the horn. I play a straight ahead, bop style and love this piece!

This is an EXCELLENT should be very informative, and helpful in sending people in the right direction for their next mpc.

Thank you for posting this!

VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
16,312 Posts
I'm sorry, I didnt read the title right, and I put up my alto mpc review. Sorry about that. Hopefully anyone looking for a good alto mpc will get something good from my review.
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