We experimented with beak angles of varying degrees (between 16 and 21 degrees), different widths, and overall shapes. The beaks are super comfortable for me. My upper lip does not get crushed against the back beak curve if I wanted to take in a lot of mouthpiece, but I prefer taking in a moderate amount of mouthpiece, myself. The tenor hr and Ultem beaks are very comfortable for me and are full-sized beaks. More similar to a Link. Great detail has gone into making these beaks just right.
All of the tables on my tenor mouthpieces are longer than the reed on my 10MFANTM tenor mouthpieces. This was done so that you can easily line a reed up and see that it’s perfectly aligned top to bottom and side to side. Also, the entire reed can vibrate on the table and be held down by the ligature. Dexter Gordon used to keep the ligature far back. I bet he would have loved to have tried my mouthpieces with the ligature all the way on the butt end of the reed. The tables on my mouthpieces are the perfect width, flat, and very reed friendly. Great detail has gone into these pieces to make sure that the tables match the reed contour precisely.
Please make sure when you put your reed on, that the tip of the reed matches up with the tip rail of your mouthpiece, and that the bottom of the reed is perfectly centered on the table.
The longer tables show alot of care and thought because it makes perfect sense. The table is where the whole reed lies—- If you’re a 6 foot tall person, would sleeping on a 4 foot long bed be optimal for you??? We do not buff the table, rails, or inside of the mouthpiece because once they are hand-finished, they are perfect, and we leave them that way. You will see the hand-finishing marks on purpose. Our primary concern is that the table is perfectly flat, not that its shiny and glowing after a buffing. Never ever hit the table with a buffing wheel….that’s a good recipe for disaster.
I have heard the numerous complaints about many modern hard rubber tenor mouthpieces having ligature issues. People are complaining that many modern mouthpieces are a little too small to fit regular tenor ligatures properly— so a lot of people have had to resort to buying expensive modern ligatures to accommodate this.
Who signed up for that???
All of my mouthpieces are made from scratch, so I’ve made sure that the bodies and tapers are just right to fit an abundance of ordinary ligatures. My mouthpieces are precision machined for accuracy and designed to be very ligature friendly. I am not including a ligature with my mouthpieces because I feel strongly that players have ligatures they prefer to use, and I don’t want you to judge my mouthpieces with any ligature I could include. For me, ligatures make a big difference, so use what you find works best for your needs- so be sure to try different ligs so you can get the perfect set-up for yourself. Many modern ligs fit my mpc’s wel.
***Ligatures for my 10mfan hard rubber and Ultem tenor mouthpieces: 99.9% of the ligatures out there designed to fit full sized hard rubber mouthpieces will fit mine beautifully. The 2-screw ligs, Rico H, Vandoren M/O, BG, Bonade, Rovner Platinum, Francois Louis, Ishimori ligs that fit Selmer, Silverstein, Absolute lig from Italy, Oleg ligs, Marc Jean, and tons more.
*** The only ligature I have found a little tight on my HR tenor saxophone models, is the Vandoren Optimum ligature. ***
Ligatures that work for the 2020 GEN ll Robusto tenor metals: Otto Link ligs, Selmer 404, Rover platinum P-3ML, Rico H BG L24LJ, Silverstein, etc, etc…
Brian Powell is doing fantastic hand finishing on my Gen ll mouthpiece models, and we are using a set of facing curves that provide more control over the curve rate. This provides great accuracy among all my mouthpieces, while giving the right amount of resistance with each of my designs. These mouthpieces are incredibly efficient!
Brian Powell is making the tip rails right where they should be. They make it easy for everyone to line up the reed, so you wont have to be as precise as before, when the tip rails were super super thin. I have heard your great feedback, and I have listened and made the changes people have asked for. The tip rails are handcrafted for accuracy of articulation and attack. I want the right response from my mouthpieces so players feel they have the right feel with each design.
The height of the front rail has been perfectly calibrated for precise attacks.
The side rails are beautifully done on all of my 10MFAN mouthpieces for harmonic profile and response. Perfect width. Great adjustments have been made to all of my models to make the playing experience exemplary!!
I tried small, medium, medium-large, and large chambers when prototyping my hard rubber tenor mouthpieces. I bought a large supply of hard rubber so I could try everything with my mouthpieces till I got it right. Chambers are of the greatest importance. Each of my 10MFANTM mouthpieces have the right size chamber to help each design do what its designed to do. Some people don’t want a chamber so large that the sound doesn’t center, and others don’t want a chamber too small that they can’t manipulate the timbre. The medium large round chamber has proven itself to be the perfect size for my hard rubber Robusto model, and I use a unique oval type med-large chamber on my model called The Classic and Showtime models. The Black Widow is smaller in comparison to the other models. The chamber and baffle configurations are different on my tenor models to provide you with the desired goal for each of the mouthpiece models. My 1st two alto pieces both have medium chambers.
Brian Powell does my hand work for me, so needless to say, they ALL play perfect. He is the best in the business.
The wonderful thing about these mouthpieces is that they are amazingly consistent from one piece to the next. My craftsman and I both play test extensively every single mouthpiece I sell, so I know for a fact, that they will be perfect when bought. I’ve laid out a table full of 7*’s, and I can’t notice any discernible difference in sound or feel between any of them. Every piece ridiculously consistent from one to the next. This is great news if a friend of yours tries your 7* and wants one for themselves —- they can have the confidence that when they receive their 7*, it will play just like yours. It’s also great news and truly a relief to know that if you drop or lose your mouthpiece and wonder if you’ll ever get another one as good as that one—-the answer is yes you will! These mouthpiece designs are saved on the computer, cut by CNC precision machined for complete accuracy, and hand finished one at a time.
My different models have different height, shape, and length baffles which provide a high degree of control and accuracy. The length and angle of the baffle provides different sonic character that will suit an individual players’ style or preference. *** Leaving texture on the baffle is more desirable than polishing it for me, because of the way the air interacts with the textured surface. You can see the hand finishing marks there for a reason. The textures of the baffles have been optimized to enhance the intended performance of the mouthpieces. *** We will also not buff or polish the tables of the mouthpieces, because after they are each hand-finished, and don’t want to mess anything up after the hand finishing. No reason to mess with perfection.
All the important details have been addressed thoroughly. Nothing has been left out in terms of making these mouthpieces play fantastic
TIP OPENING SIZES:
My mouthpieces are available in the following tip openings.
HR TENOR TIP OPENINGS: My different HR tenor models are preferred in different tip openings based on the designs. We offer 6-9 tip openings in the HR tenor models, except for the Black Widow, in which we offer 7-9 tips
EXAMPLE OF TENOR TIP OPENING SIZES:
6 = .090
6* = .095
7 = .100
7* = .105
7** = .108
8* = .115
9 = .120
EXAMPLE OF ALTO TIP OPENING SIZES:
5 = .072 6 = .078 7 = .084 8 = .090
I take a humble and honest approach to selling my 10MFAN mouthpieces.
I don’t want you to buy mouthpieces because your favorite player has his/her name associated with a certain mouthpiece.
The players who play my mouthpieces are playing the exact stock mouthpieces that everyone else is buying, and loving them as-is without visit after visit for special adjustments. It’s all there in the designs, and everyone gets the exact same treatment here.
For me, whats most important is the sound!
Pro players use my 10MFANTM mouthpieces because they want to, because it gives them the best sound for themselves……just like you. That’s the most honest endorsement a mouthpiece maker can have. My website has audios and videos of players playing my 10MFANTM mouthpieces so you can hear for yourselves how these many players sound and hear how flexible they are from one player to another. Players don’t sound the same on my mouthpieces because of the fantastic designs, and I am incredibly proud of this! These videos and audios are solely to educate you and help you with your mouthpiece choice. I want you to buy my mouthpieces because they will play as great for you as they do for the guys in my audios/videos. These are great players who will show you the flexibility in sound within each of my mouthpiece models. You will hear the rich, complex core sound and flexibility in each piece in the videos/audios. The players sounds in the audios and videos will tell you what you need to know.
Many heavyweight pros have already thanked me for my approach to having endorsers, and have expressed to me that this is an extremely refreshing approach for them. Watch the videos and listen to the audios, and then decide what piece/pieces you want for yourself. I’m taking an “old school” approach here by letting my mouthpieces do all the talking. Check out the video and audios section—new ones will be added all the time. If you need to contact me because you have questions, I am always here, and more than happy to help. Your questions will be answered within 24 hours.
THE FUN FACTOR:
I personally haven’t been able put down my 10MFANTM mouthpieces because they are just so much fun for me to play. All are voiced just right, and they have met all my goals in each of the 3 categories. They just get better and better for me as a player, as time goes on. They are incredibly reed friendly, and just a joy for me to play. The altissimo are as easy as can be and they sound like a true extension of the saxophone…not thin and edgy!. When mouthpieces are designed this well, the “fun factor” is alive and vibrant. These simply make me happy when I play them. I am practicing much more these days, since I made these mouthpieces. I can’t help you play Cherokee at 300 BPM in all 12 keys, but I can make sure that any frustration you will endure, will not come from your mouthpiece.
DELIVERY TIME, AND SHIPPING:
The inventory changes all the time, so contact me and I’ll let you know if your mouthpiece choice happens to be in stock.
As of January 2020, the hard rubber and Ultem orders are typically completed in a 3-4 week time period from when you place your order. Dealer orders are typically longer to complete because of the size of the orders. The new Robusto metals take about 5 weeks. We are very busy all the time filling all the orders, and I appreciate your understanding. As my mother always said, “Good things come to those who wait”. 🙂 Once completed, I will ship out the pieces to the buyers and I will update you with the tracking number. I use USPS Priority mail. All buyers outside the United States are responsible for any taxes or fees they get charged by their country. I shipped everything US priority mail. If you want USPS Express mail, I can get you a total for that and you just have to request that, if that’s what you prefer. I try to save my clients money by going priority mail.
HOW DO MY MOUTHPIECES MATCH UP WITH DIFFERENT SAXOPHONES:
Very favorably. I have tried my mouthpieces on various modern saxophones, as well as vintage Selmer, King, Buescher, Conn, SML, Couf, and Martin saxophones. They don’t have any issues matching up well with any of these horns. I have a client who bought a Merlot and it was too dark on his vintage The Martin tenor, so he bought a Robusto and loves it on that! He now uses the Merlot on his modern horn and loves that combo—it’s all about fine tuning what you want as a player.
As of February 2020: Due to the incredible global health issues and uncertainty affecting ALL OF US right now, I will not be offering ANY trials, refunds, or returns on any of my mouthpieces. There is so much to worry about healthwise these days, that I will not be taking ANY risks for my family and myself. Everything is sold as is and all sales are final, until COVID goes away. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your understanding, and hope everyone stays safe!!!! We will get through this together.
FOLLOW YOUR JOURNEY, YOUR WAY:
For me, my mouthpieces are the absolute best playing pieces available in each of the 3 categories I have set up……I say this with the utmost pride. I wouldn’t be releasing them if I felt any different. The beauty about all of our journeys is that they are truly our own. There are other mouthpieces available in the marketplace that play well, and if you personally enjoy someone else’s pieces, then you should be playing those. We are all different and we like different sounds and feels. You need to find what works “best” for you. That’s all that matters. If you want to try original designs that truly nail my 3 categories, I encourage you to give mine a try.
THE JOURNEY IS YOUR OWN AND ONLY YOU MAKE YOUR CHOICES.
For me, my personal journey for finding the best hard rubber tenor mouthpieces for myself became very frustrating.I had sold the best vintage mouthpieces available for 3 decades and always felt like I was “almost” there, but never 100% satisfied. Nothing in the marketplace was truly 100% satisfying for me, and no perfectly refaced or original vintage mouthpiece accommodated ALL my needs because of the same old design limitations. So I designed and made what I consider to be the perfect playing hard rubber mouthpieces to finally end my personal search. A incredible amount of time has gone into designs and prototyping.
CLEANING YOUR MOUTHPIECE:
When you clean your hard rubber or Ultem 10MFAN mouthpiece, make sure you keep soap and water away from the paint, or else you might run into trouble where the paint will start to come off. A little cool water with a non abrasive soap on a piece of paper towel will be fine on the beak, table, and on the inside of the mouthpiece. What I do, is just pull a wet paper towel though the inside of the piece, and then I wipe clean the beak and table, while staying away from all painted areas.
ORANGE ULTEM MATERIAL:
*** As a disclaimer***
You MAY see a machine tool path mark or marks on the inside of the Ultem pieces because they are semi transparent. It’s from a tool path change and it does not affect anything. It’s part of the process when making the orange pieces because of the material. We cannot hide that because it’s see through. It just depends on how difficult the particular model design is to cut with the tooling paths. Some models like the Classic and Robusto rarely ever show a mark because they are more open designs. If you see a mark (s), don’t fret, just play and have fun with the mouthpiece.
I play test EVERY PIECE myself, so I know for a fact that NO mark you see will affect the playability of any the mouthpieces. That is for sure. I am all about the playability and sound of my pieces.