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  1. #1

    Default Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Like many of you I often browse ebay and SOTW for vintage Otto Link tenor sax mouthpieces and invariably a high percentage of the ones you see have been refaced by x, y or z refacer. But it seems like in the last year or so I've seen more and more pieces refaced by one Brian Powell up for resale. And from the descriptions you can tell that most of the sellers are players--many of which even say they were the ones who requested and paid for the refacing services.

    So my question is--after going to the time and expense of sending a piece to Powell and waiting for it to come back for who knows how long, why would they turn around and resell it?

    The only conclusion I can reach is the Powell-refaced piece didn't do it for them for whatever reason (i.e. did not meet their expectations).

    In contrast, it seems like there are some refacers whose work you rarely see--names like Jon Van Wie come to mind here. And when you do see one the description usually says something like the piece only had one owner--the guy who had it refaced--and that he used it as his main piece for 15 years, etc. I recently saw an ad for one of Van Wie's pieces with similar verbiage, and the seller added that the only reason he was selling it for the original owner was because the guy had retired from playing and needed money for his retirement home or something.

    There are other people whose pieces you also see up for resale a lot too, but Powell's refaces seem to be flooding the market lately.

    As a result, I have decided that I wouldn't take a chance on his pieces since so many other players have obviously unloaded them.

    So who has played Powell-refaced pieces and if so, did you order them or someone else? And do you still own it or did you resell? And if you resold it, why?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Thats too bad that you've come to that conclusion for yourself.

    I have had mpc's refaced by almost every known refacer from Florida to Italy----and Brians work is my favorite.




    He makes every single piece play way better than how it was when i sent it to him.....and I mean 100% of the pieces.

    I am extremely happy with my personal playing mpcs for alto and tenor, and I deal mpcs---so every one I get in here is for sale.

    My tenor piece is a slant sig refaced by Brian, and it absolutely kills.



    As the biggest vintage mpc dealer out there, I try to sell the best playing mpc's---Many vintage mpcs that come through here, dont play well when I get them. I have tried nearly everyones work and Brians work from a playing perspective, is 2nd to none. His work is also very clean, which makes them easier for me to sell.



    Why others sell their pieces that Brian has redone...I dont know?

    Not everyone is going to love Brians work, or everyones work for that matter. Its all subjective. You certainly should try out his work before deciding its not worth the chance for you.


    I love his work and think he is the best of the best!

    When I need mpc's refaced, i send them to Brian, because I find his work to be outstanding.



    Others whom I've gotten pieces from that have played well: erik greiffenhagen, mojo, freddie gregory, theo, eric falcon, bob carpenter, adam niewood, norbert stachel, ted klum, rafael navarro, ed z, doc tenney, andreas riss, john reilly, john yoakum, marin spivak, william garcia, and many more. These are all very good refacers, and if you dont dig what brian does to a piece---try one of these guys.

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2011 tenor71363's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Perhaps Brian does more work than Van Wie?

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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    JVW is no longer with us, so whats out there is all we have left of his great work.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    tenor man...at the end of the day ,us saxophonists are diseased individuals who are convinced we need another mouthpiece.....and as you look at your shelf you figure,hey i dont need this old one anymore........so you sell anything......just to feed the monkey
    .....uhhh you got any for me??
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  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member RandyJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    First off Jon sadly was not with us all that long so his overall numbers of refaces were not that many, I had some work done by him, he was outstanding.

    Brian's work is outstanding, he recently tuned up a favorite mouthpiece of mine that I wanted darker.

    But I feel the answer, no matter who has refaced a mouthpiece, is that a large majority of (student, casual and semi-pro) players really don't now what they want in a mouthpiece or how to achieve what they want. They always want to sound "like somebody" and they think they can achieve that by subscribing to the mouthpiece of the month club.

    My concept came from a good friend, Dexter Gordon, who told me back in the early 70's "you can't even begin to get all the sound you can from a mouthpiece until you've played on it for at least a year" and truer words have not been spoken!

    JR

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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    I think maybe you might be drawing a false conclusion form your observations. BP has refaced thousands of pieces and in my experience he is so good that many players send him multiple pieces to reface. If they are like me, when they get the pieces back they choose their favorite and sell the rest. I've probably had Brian do at least 20-30 pieces for me. All of them were great except for two I didn't like very much. I sent them back to Brian after telling him what I didn't like about the pieces and he worked on them again. Both pieces played perfect when I got them back. Now here's the thing, of those 20-30 pieces, I have 3 left. The rest I sold. They were great pieces but I kept my favorite.

    The tenor pieces I have are a florida link that was a Theo Wanne 7 that I bought from 10Mfan. It was killer but the 7 was too small for me so I had Brian open it to 8. Now it felt to big. I had him close it to 7*........perfect. I've been playing that for about a year.

    The other tenor piece is a EB link that I had JVW work on. To be honest I never liked it too much after JVW worked on it. It played OK but I felt like he took some of the sizzle out of it. I sent it to BP to reface. I could have kept it and sold it for a ton but I wanted to play it. Brian did the job.......it plays great now.

    The reason you see so many BP pieces is because he has done so many. I wouldn't know the number but JVW isn't with us anymore and his pieces are much more rare. Those that have them probably don't want to sell them because they will be worth more in the future and you can't get another one.

    All this being said, I have never played a bad BP piece. If I see that in the sale ad it attracts me even more to it because I know it will play.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyJ View Post

    But I feel the answer, no matter who has refaced a mouthpiece, is that a large majority of players really don't now what they want in a mouthpiece or how to achieve what they want.

    JR
    Yes, this is 1000% true no matter who is doing the work. Managing expectations can be the toughest part of the craft.

    I think it would be a mistake to draw a conclusion like this from a forum such as this...

    Brian's work is awesome.

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Some folks are always going to be looking for the next thing; whatever that may be. Some folks are always going to promote that next thing; whatever that may be. The power in obtaining that thing (whatever it may be) often seems to transcend reality when basic truths are twisted and denied by not only the promoter, but the seeker as well who has bought in. In such cases the seeker can then become a promoter, but without remuneration; held captive by the lie in serving their master.

    But in this case... I'm sure it's just fickle mouthpiece hunters moving from one to the other.

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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    I'm not giving up my BP refaced link anytime soon. I bought it from another member that had had Brian reface three links, and he kept the one he liked. I think he gave up the wrong one.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Just about everybody sells everything eventually. Brian does a lot of work...Im guessing a whole lot. To see turnover does not mean a person found the piece problematic. While I dont know that sax players are "Diseased", we all joke about the turn over of gear by our use of the term GAS. If you saw Brian's work selling for 35 dollars on a refaced piece maybe then you could start to wonder. His pieces hold their value quite well. The majority of players who have refacing work done already know that they are unlikely, in most cases, to fully recover the cost of the piece and the full cost of refacing (unless of course it's the hottest new mouthpiece trend or the big 4...Meyer, Link, Selmer, Berg).

    BTW: I am not friends or affiliated with Brian. He is (according to some views) "competition" but the way I view it is that he is a man who has earned great respect in the music world and there are more than enough mouthpieces in the world to reface. He cant do them all and neither can I. Give the guy his dues
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Colorful Mouthpiece Designer Stan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by 10mfan View Post
    Thats too bad that you've come to that conclusion for yourself.

    I have had mpc's refaced by almost every known refacer from Florida to Italy----and Brians work is my favorite.

    ...
    Who was the refacer in Italy? I am just curious.

    Stan
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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Surely there can be a lot more behind such statistics than an implication that this refacer is somehow inferior. The exact opposite could be (and from all accounts) is the case

    Perhaps there is some hidden agenda behind this post?

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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I have never played a bad BP piece. If I see that in the sale ad it attracts me even more to it because I know it will play.
    Same here. Since I'm not a "collector," I often wonder why mouthpieces in "original" condition tend to sell for more than refaced pieces (and in this case, BP refaced pieces). Assuming it's a quality refacing job, you know the piece will play much closer to its full potential. A good refacing job is what we all wish they had taken the time (with the requisite skill) to do to the piece in the first place.

    I know there are more than just a few great refacers out there. In my experience, none are better than Brian Powell.

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyJ View Post
    you can't even begin to get all the sound you can from a mouthpiece until you've played on it for at least a year
    It seems that's about the time it takes for me to get a mouthpiece out of the equation if you know what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyJ View Post
    a large majority of (student, casual and semi-pro) players really don't now what they want in a mouthpiece or how to achieve what they want.
    I find extremely hard to choose mouthpieces, especially considering the fact it takes me so much time to get used to a new design. Also, there are a lot of players with really different approaches I love listening to so I can't really base my preference for a design or a tone on them. It has to come from me, what I want, how I play and it makes it even harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Perhaps there is some agenda behind this post?
    From a member with 6 posts, it's definitely possible.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    JVW was great also but I've sold 5-6 of his mouthpieces over the years also. I still have one that I really dig. Just because I sold the JVW's doesn't mean they were bad or he does bad work it just meant I had one I dug more and decided to sell the rest.

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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Who was the refacer in Italy? I am just curious.

    Stan


    Hi Stan,
    I have gotten pieces from Max. He does very good work.

  18. #18
    Distinguished Colorful Mouthpiece Designer Stan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Quote Originally Posted by 10mfan View Post
    Hi Stan,
    I have gotten pieces from Max. He does very good work.
    Thank you, unfortunately I don't know him.

    Stan
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    For a moment there I was afraid DaVinci had returned with a file, paper and glass.

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    Default Re: Brian Powell Refaced Mouthpieces: Why do so many players resell them?

    Brian's work is fantastic--and the same goes for Adam Niewood and Doc Tenney, as well as my friend James Bunte. If someone sells something that doesn't work for them, it's not necessarily a reflection on the work--and that is particularly true in the case of experienced and highly reputable craftsmen like Brian. Far more likely is that the seller was expecting some characteristics that were simply outside the design intent of the piece, and are selling it to raise funds for the next stab in the dark. If there are many examples of Brian's work on the market, it's because his work is sought after--and for good reason. Market observations are an exceedingly poor way to judge someone's work. If you're curious, try his work.
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