10MFAN DESIGNS AND PHILOSOPHY

                                                     

     10MFAN Mouthpieces:

 “An Invitation To A Better Sound” ™

 

 

The question I asked myself over and over again when I decided to form my company and make my own mouthpiece line was, “Is it possible to make original design mouthpieces that play better for me than the best playing vintage pieces that I’ve made a living buying, selling, and using for over 30 years?”.

I can now answer that with a very proud, “Yes“.

This is a very unique website to educate players, set up by an overly passionate professional player, educator, mouthpiece expert, and vintage mouthpiece dealer for 35 years. I understand about sound and design– and what’s really going on out there in the saxophone world. This is not a website set up with just pictures of mouthpieces and price tags next to them. I have always helped to educate players and make a real difference in the saxophone mouthpiece world and this website continues that with a lot of great information for players of all levels.

I would like to preface my website by saying there are many mouthpieces out there, both vintage and modern, and I hope you all enjoy your own personal journeys finding which ones suit you the best. —–>Some like small chambers, while others prefer medium or large. Some like low baffles, while others like more medium or higher baffles. Some like scooped sidewalls while others like flat sidewalls. Some like lower floors, while others want medium or higher floors. Some like lower beaks, while others prefer medium height or higher beaks. These design preferences go on and on. There are different flavors for everyone to enjoy, and that’s how it will always be.

There is no “best” mouthpiece out there for everyone, because we all enjoy different things.

10MFAN saxophone mouthpieces: THAT sound!!
My intention for designing my own saxophone mouthpiece line after 35 years of playing on and selling the finest vintage mouthpieces, was to learn from those designs and make what I consider to be better playing original design mouthpieces for myself and others seeking new and fresh designs. I wanted to offer players today a truly refreshing alternative to the same old mouthpiece designs we have seen over and over again from one mouthpiece maker to the next. My deepest feelings are that saxophonists today deserve new mouthpiece designs….so that’s what I do. Its so sad to see what has happened, and the same thing has happened with saxophone making also. Look at the big 5 saxophone makers over the last 80 or so years. The vintage Conns, Selmers, Bueschers, Martins, and Kings all offered players originality and a real difference in their horns.

Here at 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces, we offer original designs for players today looking for an alternative to whats in the marketplace.  Designed by a 30+ year pro player, for players looking for super flexibility and versatility in fresh, new, original mouthpiece designs. Saxophone mouthpieces that allow players to get their own unique sound without feeling like they sound like everyone else who uses the same model mouthpiece.

In the first 5 years, 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces have become the mouthpiece choice for thousands of players all over the world who have been yearning for originality, superb craftsmanship, world class designs, incredible playability and a better sound. Every single mouthpiece plays as it was designed. There are no duds or mediocre pieces coming out of here. They all play perfect, and I take great pride in that! Eric Falcon hand finishes every single mouthpiece and we both play test them extensively.

Here at 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces we are truly focussed on making a difference in mouthpiece design. No gimmicky designs, no snake oil salesmen, no paid endorsers, and no BS.
I am very proud that 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces are all over the world, and being used and enjoyed by so many players of all different abilities, from heavyweights, all the way to players who play simply for fun. No one is paid to do so!

How the 10MFAN saxophone  mouthpieces are made:
My saxophone mouthpieces are original proprietary designed saxophone mouthpieces, and the designs are saved to the computer, then the pieces are milled on a state of the art 5-axis vertical mill. Each mouthpiece is then hand finished, balanced, and voiced one at a time by Eric Falcon. The hard rubber saxophone mouthpieces are made from the absolute finest pure German bar stock hard rubber. Each saxophone mouthpiece design was prototyped until I finally nailed what I wanted. A huge thanks to Macsax for doing phenomenal work on my mouthpiece line. Our engineer Jeff Gjertsen is one of the top engineers anywhere, and is an absolute pleasure to work with.

My 10MFAN™ saxophone mouthpieces are the first mouthpieces I have ever played that truly allow the player serious customization of sound through simple reed changes. Not just a little change, but alot. Reeds are your friends, and the better friends you become with them, the better you can make your sound all you want it to be for yourself. Dialing in what you want for response, feel, and color—-comes from due diligence with trying many brands of reeds!

My 10MFAN hard rubber tenor saxophone mouthpiece models are original designs and made to give us all more options than what’s been available to us. When I ventured into making my own mouthpieces, my goal was start off with hard rubber tenor mouthpieces that I felt outplayed the absolute best vintage mouthpieces for me, in the 3 categories I set them up in, and to make them affordable for players today. It was an enormous undertaking, but something I felt was really necessary and immensely important for the saxophone world. The consistency from one piece to the next is remarkable. If you lose yours or drop it and break it, you will never have to worry about finding one that played as well as that one, because all of mine play with incredible accuracy. I feel strongly that it is about time we stop comparing every mouthpiece to the old vintage mouthpieces. If you have played an old Link for 40 years and that’s the best mouthpiece you’ve ever played, enjoy it. There’s no need to change if you are content. I will however ask you strongly to come and check out what my 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces are all about. There are many reasons players have made the switch. My mouthpieces can do what the vintage mouthpieces can do, and what they can’t.
New options are now available to players with my 10mfan saxophone mouthpiece line. Having been in the mouthpiece world for 35 years, I can tell you that the bar has definitely been raised.

Countless players who have played on those vintage mouthpieces for decades are now switching from their main piece to my 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces. You can use one for everything you do, or mix it up and use a couple to accommodate those particular playing scenarios you might encounter where you need something specific. I want to help put individuality into sound. My 10mfan saxophone mouthpieces are truly mouthpieces that don’t get in your way, and actually let YOU sound like YOU. Mouthpieces that are so comfortable in the mouth that they allow you to forget about the mouthpiece while you’re playing, so you can just concentrate on the music being made –  without worries about any mouthpiece issues.

My 10MFAN saxophone mouthpieces can sound vintage and modern depending on how you blow them and what you want to do with them. Listen to the Merlot hard rubber audios on my website of Jeff Rupert, then Tom Mitchell, then Ian Tortilla, then Joel Frahm, then David Wells. You’d swear there were 5 different mouthpieces being played—but they’re not! Just 5 great players displaying some of the huge sound spectrum that’s available in one mouthpiece model. They all get their OWN unique sounds from the same mouthpiece model—that says so much about these mouthpieces. All  of my mouthpiece models offer that same huge sound spectrum flexibility within the 3 categories I have set them up in.

The feedback has been spectacular. “A new standard in mouthpiece design” is what I keep hearing, and I am incredibly proud of that. Players of all levels all over the world are enjoying these mouthpieces. Look for the 3 white rings around the shank of my hard rubber mouthpieces when you are out seeing guys playing….these are popping up all over the world. They have been seen on The Voice, The Today Show, Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, The View, Letterman, and on countless tours with heavyweights including Blood, Sweat and Tears, Selena Gomez, Al Jarreau, Smokey Robinson, Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande, etc, etc……. You may have also seen jazz greats like Joel Frahm, Pharoah Sanders, Jan Garbarek, Jerry Bergonzi, Emanuele Cisi, Doug Webb, Jay Thomas, Antoine Roney, Ray Gelato, Dave O’Higgins, Doug Lawrence, David Mann, Max Ionata, Ivan Renta, Roger Manins, Ken Gioffre, Cristiano Giardini, Herve Letor, Marcelo Curumim, David Wells, and many more using their 10mfan mpc’s.

For my 10mfan saxophone mouthpiece designs, there are NO copies, NO marketing BS, NO endorsers, NO overpricing.

Now doesn’t that sound refreshing!

A heartfelt thank you to the big 6 original vintage mouthpiece makers:
I pay homage and will be forever grateful to the BIG 6 vintage mouthpiece makers who started it all and set the mark for mouthpiece making: Meyer Bros, Otto Link, Brilhart, Berg Larsen, Selmer, and Dukoff. These companies made original mouthpieces that sounded unique and offered players a great variety of different designs and sound choices to choose from.

These guys laid down the foundation for what makes a great saxophone mouthpiece, and I am forever grateful for their efforts. These designs are timeless but the demands on todays musicians welcome some new mouthpiece designs. It has been my vision to make original designs that sound and feel unique, embrace the past, and will accommodate todays players needs beyond the vintage mouthpieces.

Materials and hand finishing:
My 10MFAN mouthpieces are made from 100% pure hard rubber bar stock from Germany and made here in the U.S.A.  All of these are hand finished by master craftsman Eric Falcon. His work is incredibly accurate and exceptional. If I felt someone else could do a better job on my mouthpieces, I would be using them. I have spared no expense in making these mouthpieces just right. Eric and I find this German pure hard rubber bar stock to be the most resonant, and that’s what I want from my hard rubber mouthpieces. We hand finish each mouthpiece until they are just right.

When you play my mouthpieces, you’ll understand. My mouthpieces are not produced from anyone else’s pre-made blanks. These mouthpieces are precision made, incredibly accurate, and these are original proprietary designs, not copies of anything past or present. My mouthpieces and model names are trademark protected. They are made here in the U.S.A.

Design limitations:
I know what my personal mouthpiece needs as a player have been for 30 years. My business has been to watch the mouthpiece marketplace carefully, and listen to what players needs are. I’ve been very fortunate to have owned the very best playing vintage pieces. I played on them for 30 years because that’s what was the best option available to me, in my opinion. Unfortunately, there are design limitations.

The problem is that vintage mouthpieces are what they are….they don’t change. Don’t get me wrong—again, many are wonderful mouthpieces. Technological advances allow design adaptations to accommodate the needs of today’s musicians. Let me explain about design limitations: You can’t play an original vintage Dukoff Fluted Chamber tenor with a small chamber,  a shorter table, narrower window, higher floor, higher beak, or a super high baffle.

These are just examples of design limitations. In other words, designs of vintage mouthpieces do not change over time. They are what they are and that’s it. People are still playing the mouthpieces that were designed 50-70 years ago. Many of those are very good mouthpieces, but I certainly don’t want to be limited to their same old designs. Today’s technology allows us to do so much more.
I won’t play any vintage mouthpieces ever again, because I truly enjoy my 10mfan mouthpiece line more. Many of you will enjoy them as much as I do, and that makes me very happy. If you enjoy your vintage mouthpieces the best—thats OK too!

I have made mouthpieces here where the beaks feel incredibly comfortable, yet different than anything  youve tried. All of my tables are extra long so you can line up a reed properly. The insides are masterfully designed, an abundance of ligatures fit these pieces very well, and the sounds are incredibly versatile to allow you to get YOUR sound. The baffles, floors, chambers, throat squeeze, etc, are different on all of my mouthpieces. The pieces were designed one at a time to meet the desired sound concept for each of the 3 sound categories.

With todays computer technology, there are virtually no limitations. Technology allows us to do things that the past mouthpiece makers could’t do, due to the technology available at that time. I was able to make pieces that embrace the past, but meet the needs of today’s players looking to get beyond the limitations of vintage mouthpieces. I have heard over and over again, “I love my piece in my living room, but when I go on the gig, I can barely hear myself. Then I blow harder to get louder, and my mouthpiece won’t take all the air I want to give it.” The world’s best players have said to me for decades that they wished their mouthpieces “opened up” and “released the sound” more when they’re blowing hard and blowing up high on the palm keys of the horn. Many vintage hard rubber pieces stay pretty warm throughout the ranges and many players find they end up hitting a wall when they try and really push them. I have addressed all of this with my 10mfan mouthpieces.

2018 Vintage Replica Mouthpieces—-Is it really finally going to happen???

I’ve been asked to put out vintage copy pieces for years because of my collection and experience with these pieces for over three decades. I’ve stayed away from it because my heart is really into making original design mouthpieces with my 10MFAN saxophone mouthpiece line.

Not long ago, I was approached by Eric Falcon and Doug Webb to be a part of the first Falcon Woodwinds project making the first full line of CT Scanned vintage mouthpieces.  This made a lot of sense to me and the thought of doing it right for the saxophone community, excited me.

In terms of making vintage copy mouthpieces, I don’t mind the idea of vintage copies for players to enjoy, because the originals can be so costly, and frankly many don’t play so well.  As I have always said, “If you’re going to do it, you gotta do it right”.   I’ve tried out tons of the “copies” on the market, and one of the huge problems is that so many makers out there are making these pieces with adjustments and still calling them “copies” of a certain vintage mouthpiece model.  It’s not a “copy” if you are changing the design. If you are using a casting process, there is always shrinkage, so you can’t say that’s a “copy”  if you use that process either. Many of these “copy” pieces also have raised floors or raised and lengthened baffles, adjusted sidewalls, etc, etc…so they are not truly “copies”. I always check to see how things are moving along on that side of the marketplace and much of the time I just feel players are getting clobbered by false advertising.  They are getting clobbered by being told they are getting “copy” pieces of certain models without knowing of the changes that have been made to them from the originals.

I will say in fairness, that many of those mouthpieces can still play well as is with their adjustments, but using the word “copy” or “replica” when you’re not being forthright,  is just not appropriate at all.  I have no issue with someone saying they made a mouthpiece that was ” inspired by” a certain vintage mouthpiece, and say that they made adjustments to it to make it play even better in their opinion, for themselves. That stuff is honest and I have no issues with that at all. So what do I do about it? Keep turning the other cheek while I make great original designs, or help try to set things straight in the marketplace for players who dig the vintage pieces too?

 So after years of being frustrated seeing what’s in the marketplace in terms of vintage “copies”,  I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of a large project to let players see how it’s done right. This way I can help players on both sides looking for killer original design (my 10MFAN mouthpieces), and smokin’ vintage replica mouthpieces! 

Eric and Doug Webb  feel the same way, and after much discussion, I was approached by them to be a part of this very special project. So happy about this!

We are finally going to set things straight by entering that marketplace, and really do it the right way for our fellow sax players!

We will provide the 1st full line of CT scanned replica mouthpieces from the finest hand selected examples of the different vintage mouthpiece models. These will be made without adding to the baffles, chambers, floors, throats, sidewalls, etc. This is very important to us to show players what the finest examples were intended to play like.

This is an incredibly expensive endeavor, but the results are incredibly accurate! I am at peace to finally be able to announce that I will be part of a very large project that will truly introduce something remarkably special and long overdue, in a full line of world-class vintage CT scanned vintage mouthpiece replicas.

Again, if you’re going to do it, do it right!

No raised baffles , no raised floors, no design changes to the sidewalls,  or  the throat squeezes or the beaks, etc… No extra long facing curves to free anything up, or anything like that. Just the real deal to offer players today a chance to step into yesteryear and see what the best vintage pieces were all about. The proper facing curves for the different models, and no added anything to juice things up!  The names on the mouthpieces will be changed. This way, players who want a real taste of what the finest vintage mouthpieces played like, will have the opportunity to play on truly phenomenal CT scanned replica mouthpieces of the finest vintage pieces ever put out. These will be priced at a price thats far less than the vintage pieces go for, and every mouthpiece will play absolutely stellar—unlike loads of the vintage pieces and their “copies” that are in the marketplace now.  Stay tuned for that.  Between the 3 of us,  we have literally over 2, 000 vintage mouthpieces to choose from.  I will be consulting, marketing,  helping with shipping, customer service, etc., and Eric Falcon will do all the hand finishing to ensure everything is done just right. Players can play these as is, or bring them to their favorite refacer and have them adjusted to what they want. Our goal is to make them as they were intended. We are not trying to make a different vintage piece thats brighter or darker than the stellar piece we will copy for each model. We want to offer “stellar”, just the way it is. We will be offering players a real taste of what the finest examples of these were designed to be. The first model will be finished in the next month or so.

This is a wonderful full circle moment for me, because I sold vintage pieces full time at such a high level for over three decades and I put those aside when I came out with my own original design 10MFAN saxophone mouthpiece line.  For me, it was either one way (original designs), or the other (vintage designs). Now I can be part of offering players the best of both worlds!  I wasn’t going to do anything with vintage mouthpieces unless it was done right, and this moment and idea was presented to me at the right time with the right group of friends. We will make tons of players incredibly happy because of the primo model pieces we are using to be CT scanned and because of the process. I call it unadulterated perfection.

 

 Upcoming news for 2018:

  • End of May—A new 2nd and 3rd category hard rubber tenor mouthpiece will be introduced to round off the focussed and spread options inside those 2 categories.
  • My first 3 10MFAN hard rubber alto saxophone mouthpiece models will be released in the late summer of 2018.
  • A $250  new design hard rubber/hand finished mouthpiece for alto and tenor  will be introduced to help players get into my 10MFAN collection, at a lesser cost–late Fall of 2018.
  • Finally—–I, Mark Sepinuck, will be part of a very big project to introduce the 1st full line of the finest true vintage CT scanned vintage mouthpiece replicas in the marketplace, This will be a Falcon Woodwinds project, not a 10MFAN project.

Great players are commenting on the immense flexibility and versatility that my 10MFAN mouthpieces offer.

One of my clients said this: “10mfan mouthpieces—–The greatest Swiss Army Knife of mouthpieces”!

The 4 keys to a perfect 10mfan mouthpiece set-up:
1. Line the tip of the reed to the absolute tip of the mouthpiece without going over. We make our tip rails very thin for quicker response and faster articulation, so it’s imperative that the reed is lined up to the absolute tip of the mouthpiece. You should be doing this anyway with any mouthpiece.

2. Make sure the end of the reed is centered on the table….. I have taken the added care in making all  of my 10mfan original tenor mouthpieces with extra long tables so that you can make sure that the bottom of the reed is lined up perfectly side to side on the table.

3. Try out different ligatures to give you what you want. I made the tapers on my bodies a certain way so that 99% of the ligatures out there will fit my hard rubber mouthpieces well. As far as modern ligatures go, I enjoy the Rico H, Bonade, Selmer 2 screw, Rovner Platinum, Marc Jean, Ishimori, Absolute, Silverstein, etc… Everything works great so far except the Vandoren Optimum ligature, as its a little too tight.

4. My mouthpiece are incredibly reed friendly. You can dramatically change the degree of warmth and brightness of each of my mouthpieces with simple reed choices. Pick the right reed brand, size, and cut to get you the response and color you want from my mouthpieces. Don’t be afraid to try different sizes. Many players are happily finding that they can make all of my mouthpieces warmer or brighter with simple reed changes.

 

The saxophone reed comparison charts on the internet are a wonderful source to help you get zoned in on the correct size from one brand to the other. If you play on a Mark VI and your Robusto mouthpiece is perfect for you with a Rico Royal reed, but it sounds too warm on your Martin tenor with the Rico Royal reeds—just change to Rigotti, Queen, ZZ’s, V16’s, or Marca reeds. You’ll get more pop on your Martin with that set-up.

It’s that simple—it’s all about fine tuning with reeds to get you just what you want from your sound and set-up. Stop running to your refacer for simple warmth and brightness changes. Just learn to use your reeds correctly to your advantage.

*** Information on choosing the right tip opening for yourself ***

If you normally play a 7* in a low or medium height baffle mouthpiece and you like how that is, just get the same size in my 1st two Category hard rubber tenor saxophone mouthpieces.                     You can do the same with my Black Widow, but with my Super Widow, I would recommend going up 1 size

Its very simple, and you just need to adjust your reed size accordingly.