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Thread: Need a Jazz Tenor Sax mouthpiece recommendation

  1. #1

    Default Need a Jazz Tenor Sax mouthpiece recommendation

    Hi all, this is my first visit to this forum. I discovered this forum via a google search.

    The reason for me being here is that I would like to get some recommendations for a mouthpiece for my daughter. She is a 13 year-old third year clarinet player (2nd chair all region as a 7th grader, I might add) that recently starting playing tenor sax so she could be in her middle school jazz band.

    She has also started sax lessons (with an area college student) and she asked for his mouthpiece recommendation in last night's lesson. Here is what he recommended:

    Lakey or Lakie
    Otto Link
    Ponzol

    All rubber or ebonite
    No metal

    He didn't provide any mouthpiece models, just the three brand names. I'll ask him myself for a clarification at next week's lesson, but until then I would like to get a few ideas myself. I checked out Otto Link and Ponzol at Music123 (they did not have Lakey/Lakie) and there were several models of each, some as much as $400 or more. I really don't want to spend more than $100 if I don't have to, since this is not her main instrument. I just spent $2100 for a new Buffet clarinet a couple of months ago.

    Any recommendations? Remember she plays Tenor Sax strictly in the school jazz band.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Forum Contributor
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    The Link would be in your price range, but the quality of manufacture is said to be variable. A good one is an excellent piece, but they have large chambers and low baffles that require well developed air support. It would be best to try several of the same model. Hite Artist is an excellent, high quality mouthpiece, and sells online for well under $100. I think they're the best buy available. At even lower price points, the Morgan Protone and Hite Premier are well-made student mouthpieces and sell in the $30 to $40 range, I think. The Hite Artist is hard rubber, with a .095 tip opening. The student Hite and Morgan are primarily plastic and have narrower openings. Any of these mouthpieces would be suitable for jazz band.

    Hites and Morgans both have well deserved reputations for uniform, high quality manufacture. They are not as variable as most others.

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member Carl H.'s Avatar
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    Try a Kessler Custom Standard Plastic OL7 - Student. It is modeled after a classic link, and has a hand finished facing. I personally haven't played this piece, but if it is close to their alto offering, it is a bargain for anylevel of player. For the price, an excellent choice for a student who may not respect their equipment as much as they should.

  4. #4
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    another vote for the hite artist- great mpc. should be good right out of the box

  5. #5

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    yea, hite artist is great. I have a friend who plays the bari version, and she sounds really really good. She's like in this reallly good highschool jazz band that's all seniors, and she's an eighth grader. it sounds really good.

    I switched to tenor for jazz band from clarinet also. Beware, after a few months, that clarinet may be gone. Sax playing is so addictive! Within two months of playing, I switched to tenor for everything, started getting lessons, and here I am. Tenor sax is better sounding, easier embouchoure, and more free playing then the clarinet, and that's why I gave up clarinet. Make sure she practices the clarinet often too, she sounds like she's really good.

    And me, I'm stuck with the Yamaha 4C..........at least until christmas

  6. #6

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    Mark,
    As a dad of four young musicians, a teacher, and a saxophonist, I think I have a pretty good idea of what constitutes a good value and high qualtiy tenor sax mouthpiece for you daughter: the Kessler student or Standard OL7. I play-tested one of these a month or two ago and found it to be excellent.

    Dave Kessler is a great person with whom to deal. You can simply click on his banner on this page to learn more.

    Let us know how it works out for your daughter. I hope she has a great experience playing tenor in the jazz band.

    Warm regards,
    Tim Wolfe

  7. #7
    Musician and Composer saxchado's Avatar
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    I'll second Tim's recommendation. I just finished testing the piece. I sent it on only last weekend. A wonderful value, worth much more than the price charged, and an excellent medium mouthpiece. It will not be overly bright or out of control, yet can have plenty of edge and power when needed. I have recommended the piece to many of my students, and have no reserves about recommending it to you. Go for It! If your daughter's teacher gives you any serious grief about it not saying "Link, Lakey, or Ponzol" on it, I'd say it's time to find a new teacher.
    Beware of sticky keys. --Chad

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