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169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have benefited greatly from the experiences posted by the excellent players on this site. Thank you folks for all of the wonderful advice over the years.

Although I have played off and on for 30 years I consider myself an advanced beginner or newbie intermediate player. I yield to no one in my love of playing.

I understand and have taken to heart the advice that the best kit in the world will not make you a good player. Practice, long tones etc are table stakes.

When I began playing I used a Selmer D* moutpiece on a Buescher True Tone tenor. It worked well enough for me, but intonation was always a bugaboo.

When I became serious about playing again in 2012, I bought a Taishan tenor from saxcop (great transaction BTW) and started with lessons. Greg Fishman advised me to try an Otto Link Tone Edge 7* which was much more comfortable for the straight-ahead jazz I was attempting to play.

After a few years of playing the Taishan and Tone Edge I got a Yamaha soprano and a 5C mouthpiece. I played the sop much less than the tenor.

In the intervening years, I picked up a few more horns and sold a few as well.

In the past year I decided to upgrade mouthpieces to see if I could evolve my sound a bit more. For soprano I chose a missing link from sopranoplanet. Joe was amazing to deal with and the transaction when very smoothly. His return policy was particularly attractive for me as a soprano newbie, but I of course didn't need it.

The missing link improved my tone immediately and made the soprano so much more fun to play, that I almost stopped playing tenor. What a great piece! I would absolutely buy it again if I had the need for a second sop piece.

On the tenor side I decided on 10mfan pieces. I started a long discussion with Mark over email and had a few phone calls. Mark was very patient and helpful. I eventually chose a Robusto 7* which matched wonderfully with my current primary tenor (Martin Committee 3). I also picked up a couple of used pieces (7* Merlot from PM woodwinds and 8* Black Widow from sambeaux (who is an awesome seller).)

Each of the 10mfan pieces is different and each one opens my sound far more than the tone edge. In fact the tone edge feels like I am playing a wet tennis shoe as compared the 10mfan pieces. I don't see ever going back.

The Robusto gives me an edge when I decide to use it and can still play velvety, the Merlot is smooth and clear with less "bark" and the Black Widow allows me to project like no one's business. The BW does need more air on the lower notes, but I don't think I will have any trouble playing in loud environments with it.

IMHO excellent mouthpieces are not just for the really good players. Anything (within reason) that increases my joy in playing is worth trying.

I cant recommend Mark or Joe and their products enough.

Distinguished SOTW Member
8,277 Posts
Hey, that's a nice review. I've been on the same mouthpiece for 20 years and I'm starting to get the itch too. Your comments are helpful!

VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
16,621 Posts
That was really nice of you to put that up and I鈥檓 really glad you鈥檙e having such fun with my mouthpieces and also with Joe鈥檚.
It鈥檚 funny, I feel very linked to Joe because a lot of people write me and say that they鈥檝e had their best experiences with modern mouthpieces with the two of us, and I hear this over and over again. Glad to be in such good company.
I鈥檓 thrilled you have three of my mouthpieces now and that you hear and feel the differences with those. They are all different, and are so incredibly flexible with reed brand changes that they can feel like a whole bunch of different mouthpieces depending on the set ups.

Most important, I鈥檓 glad you鈥檙e having fun with your mouthpieces now and that you can focus on the music. That鈥檚 really what it鈥檚 all about. As far as your comments about the tone edge, I couldn鈥檛 agree more. I don鈥檛 know why anyone would play any of that stuff over my

That was really nice of you to put up that review and keep having fun. I鈥檓 glad you have found a couple of mouthpiece brands that work very well for you.

All the best, Mark

169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all of the nice words.

Milandro, I hope to see you again the next time I am in Amsterdam or you are in Chicago.

At some point I hope to have more to say about e flat mouthpieces, but I am concentrating on b flat for now.

It is very encouraging that those of us earlier on the learning curve are encouraged to contribute as well.

294 Posts
Couldn't agree more : kudos to Joe and Mark for their exceptional work (and I should precise that their communication is a very important and nice part of it) !
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