Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Up for review today, is a new tenor saxophone mouthpiece model by Phil Barone.  It’s called the Super New York.  Phil Barone has been making mouthpieces for a long long time.  I first heard his name back in the 90’s when I saw Dino Govoni play at the Acton Jazz Club.  Dino sounded great that night and I asked him what he was playing on and he said a Barone mouthpiece.  I had never heard of them before but shortly after that I found a Jazz model on ebay that I loved.  Over the years,  I have tried numerous Jazz, New York and Hollywood models.  When I heard Phil had a new model coming out that he was excited about I was instantly curious.  Especially after I read his description of it on the internet.

Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is what Phil Barone had to say about the Super New York on SOTW (Sax on the Web):

I’m extremely happy to announce that after a year and a half of working on the Super New York model tenor mouthpiece that I’ve finally completed the very first one and it is way beyond my expectations. We started with a model then went to a prototype then we scanned the prototype and made a CNC program and finally after tweaking the program we finally made the very first mouthpiece which I then hand-finished it and it is an absolute monster, a MONSTER. I guess the last time I was this excited about a mouthpiece was when I made the Hollywood and that was mouthpiece history.

It’s a dark mouthpiece but loud as hell and very free-blowing and it gets a little brighter as you push into it but not much and physically it has a very large chamber with a nice rollover baffle but while the sound is dark it’s also very bold and vibrant. This is an unusual combination. If you and I have a phone consultation before purchasing one and you end up not liking the mouthpiece I will give you a one hundred percent refund. I have to do it this way because I will have a limited number of pieces so I have to be careful of who I send them to until I have a substantial number of mouthpieces.

You will love one of them if you play an Otto Link, metal or rubber or even if you have a higher baffle mouthpiece and are frustrated with the quality of the sound. This is a VERY free-blowing mouthpiece and I’m very certain you will be happy with it. A waiting list is forming so call 212.686.9410. Phil Barone

Phil’s description really piqued my curiosity.  In the past, I had loved the darkness of the Jazz models but had sold the ones I owned because I couldn’t get the highs and volume I needed in today’s modern funk and rock world.   I tried the New York and Hollywood models and they  had that brightness and volume I needed live but I also found them a bit too bright for what I wanted.  I was always looking for something in between the Jazz models and the New York and Hollywood models.  In my opinion, this is that mouthpiece.  It has that dark core to the sound that is thick and full sounding.  It could take all the air I could give it and get mighty loud.  You can’t hear it on the clip but I tried to record a clip before this one and when I played full blast I would max out the mic levels.  For the sample below I had to keep it at a low to medium volume to not max out the mic.  When I really pushed it it did get brighter but not too much in my opinion.  I think it is bright enough to hold it’s own in a modern loud band situation when you push it though.

I have to say that the intonation on this mouthpiece was amazing.  Usually, my middle E is quite a bit sharp.  I am used to that and adjust to fix it.  With the Super New York I didn’t have to adjust at all.  The octaves were close to perfectly in tune.  You can hear it in the clip when I play a little bit of “Pure Imagination”.  The melody jumps to an E at one point and I was expecting it to be sharp and it was perfect.  That was a nice surprise.  The altissimo was easy to play and was easy to keep in tune also.


Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I ranked this mouthpiece a 5 in every area except construction (No plating and bite played not glued on)  Phil did tell me this before hand as this is the prototype model and wasn’t finished to sell.  I didn’t rank that category just because I didn’t think it was fair to Phil as this isn’t a final product.  To be honest,  I could care less about the plating and the bite plate…….what matters to me is the way it plays.  This Super New York plays great.  I felt instantly at home and comfortable on it.  I’ve played it for a week straight now and loved the sound of it as much today as I did last week.

For tone I gave it a 5 because I loved the lush full thick sound it had all over the range of the horn.  There wasn’t a thin note anywhere on the horn.  The tone had a lot of character to it alsoThe thickness of the tone reminded me of a Dexter or Eric Alexander kind of sound.  Nice and thick and full.

For response I also gave it a 5It had some resistance but it was a good resistance. It lets you shape the sound and push against something.  It would take all my air and get super loud.  Usually response goes hand in hand with how comfortable I feel on a mouthpiece.  I felt very comfortable.  The more comfortable I am, the more creative I am.  I’m not thinking about the mouthpiece and sound but I’m just playing and focused on creating.  That’s a 5 for me.

For value I gave it a 5 also.  I don’t even know what these will sell for but the mouthpiece plays so well that to me it is worth the price to get this sound and response.

This mouthpiece that Phil Barone sent me is the first one that he has made.  It hasn’t been finished and the bite plate isn’t even glued on yet.  I have a regular New York in my possession now and that mouthpiece is much brighter than the Super.  When I look at them side by side the Super looks to have a slightly higher roll over baffle but looks to have a faster decline to the chamber.  The chamber and bore look bigger than the New York model I have.  This combination of baffle with large chamber gives the mouthpiece a beautiful balance of power and a thick fat tone.  Maybe in the future I can do a comparison clip of the New York and Super New York side by side so you can hear the differences.

Thanks to Phil for letting me try this mouthpiece and review it.  If you like this clip and my review contact Phil Barone by phone  212.686.9410 or by his website.  I believe he has the first run of these in production even as I type this so hopefully they will be available very soon.  If you get one of these feel free to come back and write your own review down below………………

Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site


  1. Could you compare the barone Hollywood and barone Super New York more indepth

  2. Lamar,
    I actually still have a Hollywood and SNY in my possession. Both great mouthpieces. The Hollywood is more focused and brighter. The SNY is a little darker than my Hollywood and has a fatter more spread sound. I like both mouthpieces for what they do. The Hollywood is great for loud Top 40 wailin’ tenor solos. The focus and extra brightness and edge can cut through the mix perfectly. The SNY can cut through that mix also but you might have to try a little harder. I’d go for the SNY if I had to play some jazz on the gigs because the fatter fuller sound is more palatable for that style in my opinion……although with use I’m sure the Hollywood can be tamed to be darker as you get used to it and the SNY can be played brighter if you desire. Maybe I can do a sound clip of both comparing them since I still own these……….Steve

  3. Kevin,
    In my experience vintage Links are all different. I have probably 10 in my possession now. Some are brighter, some darker. You really can’t go wrong with a refaced Vintage Link or the SNY. In general the SNY is different in that it has a higher rollover baffle and bigger chamber than a vintage link. Those two elements give it a unique sound in that it can be bright because of the high baffle but also fat and full sounding because of the big chamber. I have played some vintage links that were “dogs” and played awful but if you have them refaced they can be born again. I just got a No USA Florida Link back from Brian Powell that I though was pretty dead sounding. Now it plays great for me! Good Luck on the search, Steve

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