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.