Macsax Bob Sheppard Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Today, I am reviewing a new MacSax tenor 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, FJIII tenor mouthpiece and Bob Sheppard alto mouthpiece which were all great. This mouthpiece is the Bob Sheppard Signature tenor saxophone model. The one I’m play testing today has a 7* tip opening which is .105.

Macsax Bob Sheppard Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

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

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

Drawing inspiration from the classic Slant Links, this mouthpiece adds many custom features to meet Bob’s artistic demands. Made from pure hard rubber, the mouthpiece features a large round chamber, open throat, and an extremely gentle roll over baffle. The facing curve was designed to allow the player to have great control even at the extreme ranges of dynamics.

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

“This new Sheppard model by MACSAX improves on the tradition of vintage Otto Link “Slant Signature” pieces by providing more flexibility and dynamic range. I can push this mouthpiece to the limits or whisper in a ballad. We not only achieved my expectations, we developed a mouthpiece that will enhance the sound for any player”  said Bob Sheppard.
Bob also says this about his signature tenor mouthpiece on his website:
“I’m very excited about the new “MACSAX® Bob Sheppard Signature Tenor Mouthpiece.” After working for over a year with expert mouthpiece technician Eric Falcon, I believe that we created something special. I’ve always been interested in the complexities of sound production from both the human element and equipment side. Anyone who has visited my home studio could tell you about my mouthpiece, ligature and horn collection. With passion for tone and a lifetime of experimentation, I have learned to understand the various ingredients that go into the sound production chain.Over the years, I have experienced considerable success in helping players of all ages  diagnose their habitual embouchure and equipment related sound issues.  I often notice players developing terrible habits using setups that actually interfere and hamper the player.  However, the search for a compatible mouthpiece setup is like finding a needle in a haystack and sorting through the wide array of mouthpiece choices can be confusing, frustrating and costly.Initially I was searching to create a mouthpiece that sounded thicker than my vintage Dukoff, but during the development stage, Mike Crouch of MACSAX® felt confident that the signature model could prove to be a consistent and dependable option for players in search of the mouthpiece holy grail. With warm complexity, large dynamic range and fast articulation, I’m confident jazz players are going to enjoy playing this mouthpiece.  I invite you to drop me a line if you try it; let me know what you think.”

Macsax Bob Sheppard Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Macsax Bob Sheppard model looks great. The facing , tip and rails look excellent. The baffle has a slight roll over to 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. The tip rail matched the shape of my reeds exactly.

Macsax Bob Sheppard Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Now to the playing of the piece………… I will say first off that this mouthpiece is said to be inspired from Slant Links.  I can hear and feel that when I play this mouthpiece.  It had a warm, thick, hearty sound that can be huge when you really blow.  I have felt this way about the great HR links I have played in the past also.  The sound can be gigantic and fill the room but you really have to have a lot of air and support to drive it.

As with Slant Links, the Sheppard Mouthpiece has more of a spread full sound than a focused  sound.  I relate a focused sound to the idea of the sound coming out of my bell and shooting straight across the room to the far wall.  A spread sound is more like the sound comes out of the bell and spreads in every direction from the bell of the horn.   You get this big wash of tone and sound.  (I know that imagery might not be perfect but that is how I think about it)

I would consider this a great “jazz” mouthpiece.  I felt it was leaning more to the darker side of the spectrum with it’s thick, warm and rich sound.  Like my HR link………I wouldn’t choose this mouthpiece to bring on a loud R@B gig but on a jazz gig it would perform nicely.

Macsax Bob Sheppard Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

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 tenor mouthpiece. Congratulation to Eric Falcon, Macsax and Bob Sheppard for coming up with a great tenor mouthpiece.

Macsax Bob Sheppard 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 Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Joel Frahm says:

    Steve,

    This piece sounds fantastic!

  2. Thanks Joel. Let me know if you give it a try as I would love to hear what you think of it. I love your sound on “The Navigator” album you did. I’m curious what you are playing on there. It sounds like a HR link. Someone years ago told me they thought it was a Selmer Soloist……………

  3. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the compliment! I was using a soloist that had been refaced by Phil Barone on that record, I think with an old Francois Louis lig and Vandoren Blue Box 3 reeds. It was originally a “D” but I’m not sure what the exact tip opening was. I actually ended up selling it a couple years ago, as it seemed to mysteriously stop playing as well as it had– I don’t know if the table got warped, or what. The horn I play on that record is a Mark VI 64,xxx I bought from Randy Jones that I still have, although it currently needs an overhaul. Still, it’s a great tenor.

    As always, really enjoy hearing you play on these clips. Hope to meet you in person someday!

    Joel

  4. frank battaglia says:

    Sheppard and Eric have created two great hard rubber mouthpieces. The alto mouthpiece is the best IMHO. According to emails from both, they are working on a metal tenor mouthpiece and a hard rubber soprano mouthpiece. I am anxious to try both. Hope we will be able to play them in 2013.

  5. Hi Steve, I wonder if you can give me some advice? I’m 59 and began playing tenor sax at age 56 after I retired. I’ve often heard that vintage saxophones sound best with a mouthpiece that gives a big fat spread-out sound. I have a nice Martin lion and crown tenor which according to the serial # was produced in 1936. It has a beautiful and lush tone in the middle and lower registers. Can you give me a suggestion for a mouthpiece to compliment my horn? The macsax bob sheppard tenor mpc you reviewed is the sound I’m looking for. Can you name some others that would give me that same kind of sound. My otto link tone edge 7* hard rubber gives me that big fat sound but I find it hard to blow through, sometimes stuffy, and doesn’t work well with all reeds. Sometimes I need to try 4 or 5 different types and strengths of reed till I hit the right combination. Thanks for your advice Steve.

  6. Hi Harold,
    I could give you a long list of mouthpieces to try but I don’t think that would help you out. You really have to try them for your self and see what clicks for you and the horn. I’ve never played a Martin so I’m not sure what mouthpiece would be the perfect fit for that horn. A mouthpiece that I tried with a killer sound and a big chamber was the Morgan MLL. It’s on my site somewhere. Big fat warm sound but with power when you pushed it. The Sheppard mouthpiece is a great mouthpiece also. A bit brighter than the MLL as I remember it I think. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. I’d say listen to my clips and then try to find some to try. If you can find them used to can usually sell them again and get your money back if you don’t like them.

  7. Great sound. I currently play a runyon
    Quantum 14.it has a great creamy tone.
    But I’m considering working on my mbii
    Guardala so I can get a little more focus and
    Projection. I have been playing 20 years
    But never worked on modifying mp. Any
    Suggestion would be appreciated. Ty

  8. james hamlet says:

    I’m looking for a hard rubber tenor sax mouthpiece that will give me better control and allow me to play softly. Any advice?

  9. Hi James, What brand mouthpiece,tip opening and reeds are you playing now?

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