Macsax Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Today, I am reviewing a new MacSax alto saxophone mouthpiece that is made by Eric Falcon.  I have reviewed a number of other mouthpieces in the past that were made or refaced by Eric Falcon including the LA and FJIII tenor mouthpieces which were both great.  This mouthpiece is the Bob Sheppard alto saxophone model.  The one I’m play testing today has a 6 tip opening which is .078.

Macsax Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here is what is said about the Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone mouthpiece on the Macsax website:

The Bob Sheppard Signature alto mouthpiece is the result of a collaboration between Bob Sheppard and Eric Falcon of MACSAX ®.

Drawing inspiration from the classic New York Meyer Bros., this mouthpiece adds many custom features to meet Bob’s artistic demands. Made from pure hard rubber, the mouthpiece features a classic medium round chamber and an very gentle roll over baffle. The facing curve was designed to allow the player to have great control and flexibility even at the extreme ranges of dynamics.

The result is a mouthpiece with a thick, rich, and vibrant sound at any dynamic.

Available in these facings:

  • 5 (.072”)
  • 6 (.078”)
  • 7 (.083”)
  • 8 (.090”)
Includes a Rico H Ligature and cap.


Macsax Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Macsax Bob Sheppard model (I typed BS model at first but that just didn’t sound right………)  looks great.  The facing , tip and rails look perfect.  The baffle has a long and gentle slope  through the chamber to the bore of the mouthpiece.  The mouthpiece has that smell that genuine hard rubber has which is a good sign as I love how “real” hard rubber mouthpiece play usually.

Macsax Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Now to the playing of the piece…………   I will say first off that all of Eric’s mouthpieces that I have played have been pretty freeblowing.  This mouthpiece is the same.   It is advertized as having a .078 tip opening.  Usually on that tip I will use a 2 1/2 or 3 reed.  Which one I use depends on the curve that is being used.  On this mouthpiece,  I tried a 2 1/2 and it was way too soft.  I then tried a 3 and that still felt too soft.   I then tried a 3 1/2 which are usually too hard on .078 tips for me and that felt just a little soft.  Needless to say, I could tell it is a very efficient facing curve.   If I had a 4 reed I would have tried one of those.  I ended up using the 3 light Rigotti Gold because I liked how that one responded for me.

Macsax Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece played great for me.  After doing so many mouthpiece reviews, I feel like I’m repeating myself with all the praise but the truth is that there are a ton of great mouthpieces out there today.

The Bob Sheppard mouthpiece leaned towards the brighter side of things for me.  When I first started playing it the first thing that popped into my head was the tone of David Binney.   I have most of Dave Binney’s  recordings and when I was playing this mouthpiece the tone and character of the sound reminded me of his tone and sound.  The high register and a bright singing quality to it.  The low register was fat and thick sounding.  It has beautiful character to the sound.  Lots of projection and power with this mouthpiece.   The intonation was very good also.   I felt like I could be very expressive on the mouthpiece also.

If you like the sound clip and would like to give one of these a try, you can order one on the Macsax website.    There is also a Youtube clip there of Bob Sheppard himself sounding great playing this alto mouthpiece.   Congratulation to Eric Falcon, Macsax and Bob Sheppard for coming up with another great alto 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 Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Hey Steve,
    Just wondering how high is the beak on the Bob Sheppard mpcs?
    Jack Li

  2. Jack, The beak is a little higher than my Meyer and Woodstone mouthpiece. I didn’t find it awkward or uncomfortable at all though. The only reason I noticed is that after I played the Sheppard piece I put on the Woodstone and it felt like the beak was lower. I played the Sheppard piece for a few days so I think I got used to it’s beak.

  3. Hey Steve,
    How would you compare the beak of the Bob Sheppard to the Ted Klum Acoustimax? and how would you compare how they play?
    Thanks,
    Jack

  4. Hi Jack, I don’t have them side by side so I can’t test them next to each other. I can’t remember too much about the beak or playing characteristics of the Acoustimax. Sorry. I’d have to go listen to the sound clip and read my review again which is probably what you have already done. All I remember is I really liked the Acoustimax (but later sold it) and now I really like the Sheppard alto piece. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

  5. Hey Steve,
    It’s cool, I always get a lot out of your site.
    How would you compare the Bob Sheppard to your Ishimori mouthpiece though?

  6. Hi Jack, The Sheppard alto mouthpiece is a little brighter than my Ishimori. The Ishimori has a fat dense core to the sound. More of a rounder sound I think. Both play great for me.

  7. Brian Friedman says:

    Have you tried the macsax D alto sax mouthpiece. If so what do you think of it. I noticed it cost quite a bit less than the Sheppard model. My other question is why a mouthpiece with a .78 tip opening would need a stiff reed? Thanks, Brian F

  8. Hi Brian,
    I have reviewed the Macsax D alto mouthpiece on this site. If you do a search for Macsax in the top right search box it should come up. It’s been a long time since I tried it so I can’t really compare it to the Sheppard mouthpiece (my memory isn’t what it used to be……….) I think the Sheppard alto piece needed a harder reed because of the facing……..that is my guess. Something about the facing curve makes it easier to play a harder reed. Steve

  9. Nice! More players just need to find that kind of meat and soul in the sound of an alto.

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