AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)
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  1. #1
    Hadamard's Avatar
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    Default AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Some days ago I bought a new mouthpiece made by the Italian saxophonist Carlo Atti and, since I didn't found anything about this mouthpieces on SOTW, I thought I could be interesting to share some details on this manufacturer.

    Some background: I was playing a Superaction II soprano with a gorgeous Aaron Drake Son of Slant but I wanted a little more definition in my sound due to a modern repertoire in my band (the SOS, by the way, is a gorgeous piece!!!).
    I then went to this nearby music shop and, giving a look to the mouthpieces they had, my eye stops on some strange mouthpieces: the Attisound mouthpieces I knew nothing about and didn't even know they existed.

    I will talk about the soprano piece that I bought, but Carlo Atti produces also the tenor and the alto versions of the mouthpiece.

    The mouthpiece is very "industrial" looking, with big flat surfaces on top and on the side of the mouthpiece. I personally don't find them very eye-appealing and this is the first time I don't mind using a big ligature on a mouthpiece, but it has some character. The mouthpiece, called Viper, ha some embossed writings on the sides and it was offered both in bare brass and in black anodized aluminium with the same chamber design. The brass version is more expensive and I didn't find enough differences in sound to justify the difference in price between the two versions so I went for the aluminium one.

    The chamber is quite complex in itself: it has an oval throat, with a bullet chamber and what I would say it's a medium high baffle. The baffle and the bullet chamber are not directly connected, as in a Berg Larsen, but there's a small, almost flat, "roof" between them (you can clearly see it in the pictures). Expecially in black it seems like Batman's mouthpiece...

    How it plays? It's obviously very personal and it depends a lot on personal tastes, but I found it to be very easy to play (disclaimer: I was never happy in trying high baffle pieces with which I have great difficulties making the lower octave to speak and generally disliking their sound) and with a complex sound. I know it's difficult to put a name on sounds, so I will try to compare it with some mouthpieces I have.
    It's brighter that the Drake SOS, but not as much as the higher baffle and smaller chamber would let you think. I'm not that good at altissimo, but the baffle helps a lot in getting as high as altissimo B without any effort (and then I don't know any fingering to get higher than that ear-pincing, high-pitched sound). A part from some added brightness, increased volume and some more definition in the low register it didn't change my sound a lot. Again, it's a matter of taste, but it produces a sound that's comparable in quality to the one I get from a highly regarded boutique mouthpiece. Very different, for example, from the sound of a cheap Yamaha C4 or of a Bari Esprit (great value!!!) or a Rico Graftonite that generally lack some complexity.

    My musician friends prefer the sound of the Attisound mouthpiece to the one of the Drake, for what it matters (again: a lot of modern tunes. I doubt there's a lot of better mouthpieces than the Drake if you really want some warm soprano sound).

    I can now hear you wonder: "how much is this mouthpiece that's as good as a boutique mouthpiece?"
    150€ for the aluminium version, 200€ fot the brass one. Not joking! The same price for the alto and the tenor versions.

    So, what's the catch? Apparently mr Atti is more a saxophone magician than a marketing guru, so he makes no mistery that his mouthpieces ARE NOT handfinished. The pieces are produced with a complex CNC machine and they came out of if ready to play. I discovered, from Italian forums, that he's able to make a mouthpiece starting from a metal rod in around 13 minutes and then he charges accordingly. I suppose it also gives a lot of consistency to the facing... Sure it doesn't have the "mojo" of the hand finished pieces I own, but it plays just as good at half the price.

    I think such a work deserved a review and some international visibility, so here I am. They didn't have the tenor version at the shop but I'm quite curious to try it if I'll be able, as the mouthpieces are quite difficult to find, right now.
    You can learn some more about them at the producer site: http://www.attisoundmouthpiece.com/ where you can hear mr Atti playing them.

    IMG_1297.JPG
    IMG_1296.JPG

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Yes, mouthpiece makers sprout everywhere like mushrooms and will be doing so even more in time to come.

    Once I bought a great King Super 20 Eastlake, which was Carlo Atti’s back up horn, from Fabio Menaglio, another saxophone mouthpiece maker ( maybe better known for his ocarinas), he has made also clay mouthpieces !

    Does Carlo Atti produce these himself? He doesn’t strike me as the typical programmer of CNC machines. Could it be that he only gives his imprimatur to a product that comes out someone else’s CNC machine?


    According to his own site and video-channel, the mouthpieces are made by using a Mori Seiki CNC machine NH 4000





    this is Carlo Atti, playing one of the mouthpieces with his name.




    Others playing

    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  3. #3
    Hadamard's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Actually he produces them himself in his father workshop... So it's not just an imprimatur.

    According to his website and some answers he personally gave in Italian forums he did more than 500 prototypes for the tenor version only, so even the project should be completely original.

    Carlo Atti worked a lot with Menaglio in the past (this time according to Menaglio website: being an historian in the Internet time is pretty easy and not so easily verifiable). I suppose he had a passion for crafting since a long ago.

    The current production has been developed with the aid of Franco Fiorani, another well known Italian mouthpiece maker, who uses more traditional methods.

    Frankly, after playing for around 20 years on Links and Links copies, but having tried a lot of mouthpieces, I'm of the idea that a mouthpiece, if the facing is right, is worth another: at the end you will always sound like yourself to others. A different mouthpiece can help you getting faster to your goal, but I'm among the people who's not able to tell if Rollins is playing an OttoLink or a Berg Larsen...

    I'm currently buying new equipment because I'm on holiday and my wife is not with me, currently.

    Anyway I'm impressed with Atti's work: it may not be a Holy Grail mouthpiece, but it plays very fine (actually better than in the Michael Blake video), it's not reed picky or ligature picky (meaning that the facing is excellent) and it was cheaper in a local shop than every metal mouthpiece from a reputable maker I could buy on Internet.

    I will try to get my hands on a tenor piece before Atti will realize that he could sell them at a much higher price tag, with a proper marketing strategy.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Carlo visited NYC a couple of years ago to play in some jam sessions and visit mouthpiece technicians in the area. He visited me and I refaced some of his rough machined mouthpieces for him. He was impressed by what hand finishing can do and left me a couple more to work on and send to him in Italy. It does not surprise me that he sought out local Italian refacers to help further develop his CNC facing work. I have not seen any of his finished mouthpieces. Just his prototype blanks.

    He makes the blanks I use for my Vortex mouthpieces. This blank is his design but the hand finishing is all me.

    He reached out to me to see if I had use for his large supply of prototype blanks. I purchased a few hundred of them and flipped them all to my refacing contacts who were interested in some low cost brass blanks. Some were sold on Facebook too. Some non-refacers are playing them as-is.

  5. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    I am now confused.

    Hadamard talks of non had finished cnc made mouthpieces sold as they come out from the machine “ , so he makes no mistery that his mouthpieces ARE NOT handfinished” .

    Mojo Bari says that Caro Atti “ sought out local Italian refacers to help further develop his CNC facing work”.

    Anyway, Carlo continues the family tradition set by his father Umberto and is pursuing this alternative career, good luck!

    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  6. #6
    Hadamard's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    I am now confused.

    Hadamard talks of non had finished cnc made mouthpieces sold as they come out from the machine “ , so he makes no mistery that his mouthpieces ARE NOT handfinished” .

    Mojo Bari says that Caro Atti “ sought out local Italian refacers to help further develop his CNC facing work”.
    Cease your confusion, my friend. Here what Carlo Atti himself wrote in an Italian saxophone forum on January, 4th, 2016:

    "...tutto ciò mi è stato facilitato possedendo di famiglia un'officina con un centro di lavoro c.n.c mori seiki nh4000 di ultima generazione, che mi permette di fare uscire dalla macchina il bocchino perfettamente funzionante senza alcun intervento manuale sullo stesso, grazie anche ad una utensileria speciale e con l'aiuto paziente di mio padre grande esperto di lavorazioni meccaniche,"

    Or, roughly translated:

    "... this has been made possible since my family's workshop has a last generation Mori Seiki NH4000 CNC station, that allows me to get the mouthpiece out of the machine perfectly working without any manual intervention on it, thanks to special tools and my father's help"

    Probably only ealrier prototypes required hand finishing. Or Carlo decided that the extra cost of having them hand finished was not worth it.

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    thanks, I thought so.

    The fact that these mouthpieces have a distinct industrial look about them agrees with me and the sounds seems to be very flexible.

    I am happy with my Brancher but, who knows, should I ever need something else... .
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member Sebastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Carlo is a brilliant saxophonist who I've worked with a number of times thanks to my time with Ted Klum. He started bringing these pieces around years ago until we realized he was selling them ... his design concept is interesting because it's coming from a very non-technical place and really from his creative, musician's imagination. Very, very small chambers etc for a piece that's very easy to play. I think Carlo was using extremely soft reeds too, like #2 or 2 1/2.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Very impressive presentation and proof once again you can get a quality mouthpiece without the high cost. Would this be hi- tech or low- tech?? One more thing is this Carlo also Carlo Artist Dato who plays sax with the famous Instabile orchestra??
    Jazz don't sleep...Mingus never slept.

  10. #10
    Hadamard's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Carlo Actis Dato is a completely different artist...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    I just picked up an AttiSound Cobra for alto and I have to admit it's a beautiful piece. But... I don't have any ligs that will come close to working with it. Anyone have any suggestions?

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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Carlo makes a ligature that fits the pieces perfectly. I have one here but I'm using it to try some of his pieces.........

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    A Rovner L-11 works on my tenor mouthpieces made from Atti blanks. His altos might take the same size. If not, drop down to the L-10. These are inexpensive enough to try.

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadamard View Post
    Some days ago I bought a new mouthpiece made by the Italian saxophonist Carlo Atti and, since I didn't found anything about this mouthpieces on SOTW, I thought I could be interesting to share some details on this manufacturer.


    Hadamard, Carlo Atti says hello, he’s been trying to get in touch with you through the forum but apparently you didn’t receive his message while I did.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  15. #15
    Hadamard's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Thanks to Carlo... you have PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Carlo makes a ligature that fits the pieces perfectly. I have one here but I'm using it to try some of his pieces.........
    I saw the ligs on his website. But, I couldn't figure out if there was a way to buy one from him.

  17. #17
    sdpeters's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Quote Originally Posted by MojoBari View Post
    A Rovner L-11 works on my tenor mouthpieces made from Atti blanks. His altos might take the same size. If not, drop down to the L-10. These are inexpensive enough to try.
    Thanks for the suggestion, Mojo. I'll give it a try and err on the size of the smaller size. This mouthpiece really is that narrow.

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Quote Originally Posted by sdpeters View Post
    I saw the ligs on his website. But, I couldn't figure out if there was a way to buy one from him.
    I suppose all you have to do is sending them an email

    info@attisoundmouthpiece.com
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Mouthpiece Guru MojoBari's Avatar
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Quote Originally Posted by sdpeters View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, Mojo. I'll give it a try and err on the size of the smaller size. This mouthpiece really is that narrow.
    I think the L-10 is the next smaller size. Do some research. At some point the smaller Rovner numbers jump up in size. Like the L-4 is a clarinet size.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: AttiSound mouthpieces (another moutphiece maker in the ballpark)

    Are you guys saying the mouthpiece is too small for standard ligatures? and does AttiSound make hard rubber pieces? thanks
    Life is too short for long tones

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