10MFAN DESIGNS AND PHILOSOPHY

                                                     

     10MFAN Mouthpieces:

 “An Invitation To A Better Sound” ™

I had been a major dealer of vintage mouthpieces for three decades before I decided to form my company and make my own mouthpiece line.  My goal was entirely focused on making original proprietary design mouthpieces that played better for me than the best playing vintage pieces that I had made a living buying, selling, and using for over 30 years. Absolutely no copies or tweaked up versions of vintage mouthpieces here. There are enough of those in the marketplace. I wanted to set myself apart, and focus on designing new designs that I felt played better than those, for players today.

10MFAN Mouthpieces: “ Innovation over imitation”.

This is a very unique website to help educate players, set up by an overly passionate professional saxophone player, educator, mouthpiece expert, and vintage mouthpiece dealer for almost 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  have been passionate about  making a real difference in the saxophone mouthpiece world. This website continues that tradition 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 players 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. So I wish you a fun journey finding what works best for you. On a personal note, I am thrilled that ny journey has ended right here with my 10MFAN saxophone mouthpieces.

10MFAN saxophone mouthpieces: THAT BIG 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 and options. 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 original mouthpiece designs….so that’s what I do. Its so sad to see what has happened in the mouthpiece world, 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 originators, 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. The focus on my tenor models is to get that big tenor sound in all of my models. Whether its the warm category, the middle category, or the powerful category—all of my mouthpieces play with that big, full-bodied sound. 

In the first 6 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 simply put, a better sound. Every single mouthpiece plays as it was designed. There are no duds or mediocre pieces coming out of here. They are all perfect players, and I take great pride in that. Beautiful hand finishing on every single mouthpiece and we play test all of 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 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 design 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. 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 alto and 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 to make 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, because you may very well be blown away.  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 proudly tell you that the bar has 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 Tordella, 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 and humbled by that. Passion always wins. The fact that players of all levels all over the world are enjoying these mouthpieces, confirms that. Look for the 3 rings around the shank of my hard rubber mouthpieces when you are out seeing guys playing. 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 the guys who play with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Smokey Robinson, Selena Gomez, Al Jarreau, , 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 who have enjoyed 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 my master craftsman.  The hand 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.  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., and I am very proud of that. I will not cut corners with overseas production, just to save money. Its all about the quality and playability, and those 2 things are at their absolute peak.

Design limitations:
I know what my personal mouthpiece needs as a player have been for 35 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 tenor mouthpieces here where the beaks feel incredibly comfortable, yet different than anything  you’ve tried. All of my tenor mouthpiece 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.

REEDS:

Pay attention please——This is very important. The reed is the most important factor to getting a great sound. That means finding the right cut, brand, and size reed to give you the right response, feel, and desired color palette you desire. Don’t be against trying certain brands and cuts of reeds on my mouthpieces even if you have hated them on other mouthpieces. That would be a huge mistake.
I seem to be the only mouthpiece guy talking about the importance of reeds, and how they can color your sound and effect the response of the mouthpiece dramatically. Color your sound warmer or brighter with the correct reed choices for yourself. My saxophone mouthpiece designs are so unique, that reed selection allows you the opportunity to truly customize the sound color you desire from my mouthpieces. It’s crucial for you to understand reeds better in order to get the most out of your mouthpiece. Reed choice makes all the difference with my saxophone mouthpieces, so picking out a reed is much more than just getting the correct size for yourself. Put a Vandoren blue box reed on my Robusto mouthpiece and it will warm it up greatly. Put a Select Jazz on, and it will give it more life and power. Put a Rigotti reed on and it  will make it just about the brightest with most punch that  it can get.
Pick the right reed brands that give you the response and color you want from your mouthpiece. You can totally customize your sound to your particular needs with the proper reed choices.  If you always use a certain size and brand reed with your mouthpiece, and then you get a 10MFAN mouthpiece, you may find that reed too soft, too hard, too warm, or too bright with my mouthpiece. Its very important to treat each mouthpiece on an individual basis, and find the proper reed set-up that gives you what you desire, even if its not what you have gotten used to using on your current mouthpiece. My mouthpiece facings are so incredibly efficient and you will see what I mean when you try them.

We don’t need 20 mouthpieces by one mouthpiece maker to cover 20 different shades of darker and brighter. I also feel strongly that people need to stop running to their mouthpiece refacer when they want their sound slightly darker/brighter. What would be most effective, is for players to learn how to use reeds to their advantage. In my tenor mouthpiece categories, I offer a focussed and spread option for each of my 3 categories. This makes things so much more simple and effective, than the way anyone else has their mouthpieces set up.

There is nothing more important for a great sound, than the right reed. It all starts with a great reed. Reeds are more important to your sound than a great saxophone or mouthpiece! If you have an $8000 saxophone, and a $500 mouthpiece along with a bad reed…you won’t sound good. 🙂

Be open minded please. Countless players are finding that certain brands they never liked before, sound great on my mouthpieces. My mouthpieces are incredibly reed friendly.

Vintage mouthpieces and many other modern mouthpieces I’ve played don’t offer as much of a variety in tonal colors even with reed changes, so I wanted to make sure that mine did. You need to be aware of this and have fun “fine-tuning” what you want to get from my mouthpieces. This may be a new concept for you, as I have discovered many people don’t know about this stuff.
Reed choice and ligature choice can really take care of brighter/darker variances on my mouthpieces to a far greater extent than many people realize. Try different strengths of reeds, different brands and cuts, and try different ligatures. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to alter your sound brighter/darker by a very large degree, based on reeds and ligatures alone. My facings are so efficient, that even if you play a 2 1/2 reed on your 8 tip rubber mouthpiece, you may find that a 3 reed works fantastic on mine. (You may enjoy a 2 1/2 still—but you need to be open to all the sizes, cuts, and brands out there). With all the reed companies out there, it’s like a great big buffet—so go have some fun with reeds again!

The saxophone reed comparison charts on the internet are a fantastic resource for getting you zoned in on your correct size.  iI you find your mouthpiece a little warmer than you wanted, than go to brighter cut reeds and visa versa. theres alot of tweaking and customizing you can do with reeds to help you achieve your goals.  if you play a Selmer Mark VI and your Robusto mouthpiece is perfect for you with a Rico Royal reed, but its too dark sounding on your martin with that same reed set-up—–just change to Rigotti, Gonzales, or V16 reeds and you’ll get more pop on your Martin.

It’s all about fine tuning to get what you want and deserve from your sound.

What I recommend is:

1. Find the perfect size reed for yourself on a certain brand.

2. Go to the reed comparison charts on the internet and see which other brands are perfectly matched for your size preference.

3. Try out different reed brands to give you the brightness or warmth, and response that you want.

So many reed choices to help you get the color and response you desire from your mouthpieces.
Don’t look at reeds as being a nuisance—look at it the opposite way, and realize that reeds are there to help you color your sound your way. Lots of choices so you need to find what works best for you and your individual needs. You need to experiment with different cuts to see what best fits your mouthpiece and sound concept for you.                                                                                                            You just need to experiment and find what works best for you. Many experienced players can change a lot of the brightness/darkness thing by altering the way they blow their airstream, and simply getting to know reeds will make a huge difference for you and offer you far more opportunities with sound colors.  Don’t forget to full around with the read placement also. This will change things dramatically and it’s worth trying out to see where you like it the best.  Most players will be happy just lining it up in the traditional manner so that the tip of the reed is at the tip of the mouthpiece without going over, but be sure to have fun trying out different positions to see what works best for you.

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 saxophone mouthpieces”!

Just a little something about reeds:
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 if you are a metal player getting into a full sized hard rubber mouthpiece: ***

If you are used to a metal size mouthpiece and you are getting a hard rubber one now, take the time to play the hard rubber piece more towards the tip for a while until the size in the mouth becomes more comfortable for you. As that gets more comfortable and becomes natural, you can move away from the tip.