Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Today, I m reviewing a Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model.  It has a .108 tip opening.  I am lucky that I could borrow this from a friend on SOTW (Sax on the Web).  This is one of his favorite mouthpieces but he let me have it for a few weeks so I could do a review of it.

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Ted Klum’s mouthpieces always look amazing.  On first glance, this Focustone looks a lot like an Otto Link.  It’s got the rings around the shank and although it doesn’t have a ridge on top, it has an outline of the Otto Link ridge that looks a lot like it on first glance.  The table, rail, tip and baffle look beautiful.  This one has a little bit of wear because it is being lovingly played but still looks great. It has a high rollover baffle that slopes down into a large chamber.  The height of the baffle is similar to a baffle you would see in a Florida Link or Early Babbitt metal Link.  The baffle has a scooped shape that you can see clearly in the fourth picture I’ve posted below.  The craftsmanship is perfect.  No ridges or unevenness can be seen anywhere inside the mouthpiece.

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Ted Klum Focustone came with a Brancher metal ligature which I used for these sound clips.  I tried two different reeds on it and am curious about what you the reader thinks of them.  The first is a Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 medium reed.  The second is a Rico Jazz Select 2 hard.  These reeds felt very similar to me when I blew on them but the tone was different for each.  The Rigotti sounded brighter and more buzzy to me.  The palm keys were a bit edgier than the Rico Jazz Select.  The Rico was warmer sounding to my ear.

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I think I preferred The Rico Jazz Select on this mouthpiece.  It seemed to have a fuller, fatter sound to me.  Just listen to the beginning of each clip and I think you will agree with me that the Rico reed has a fuller fatter sound than the Rigotti…….

The intonation was very good and the tone was very even throughout the range of the horn.  I could get some nice power and energy out of it on the Rico reeds.  The Rigotti reeds seemed to get edgier and thinner to me when I pushed the volume.

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I just did a review of a Navarro Bebop Special tenor mouthpiece on which I played a Rigotti Gold 3 Strong reed. That mouthpiece was also a 7** but the 3 Strong reed felt way too hard and stuffy on this Klum mouthpiece. This proves to me how much difference the facing curve can make.  It’s not all about the tip opening………the rate of the facing curve can also make a huge difference in how a reed responds and plays!  One facing curve isn’t necessarily better than another but they require different size reeds to play…….

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model was fun to play. If you like the sound of the clip below and the mouthpiece catches your interest then give it a try. You can contact Ted on his website at http://www.tedklummouthpieces.com/. Tell him Steve sent you………….

Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Also, let me know if you can hear any difference in the reeds…………Thanks, Steve

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece with Rigotti Gold Reed

Ted Klum Focustone Standard Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece with Rico Jazz Select Reed

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. Steve, Thank you for the review. I also liked the sound of the Rico Jazz Select. Did you ever try a Charles Bay or a Marc Jean ligature? Would appreciate any comments on my question. What was your impression on the Brancher lig?

  2. Larry Weintraub says:

    Steve: I like the sound better w/the Rico Jazz Select. Fuller, more focused and it sounds like you can control it better.

  3. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for demonstrating this and the tip about the reed strength. I’m wondering if the resistance for bending the reed is created by the surface area of the side rails touching the reed, based on the physics the pressure is equal to force decided by the surface area, so basically a thinner side rails would need less embouchure force to keep the reed in proper clearance to the tip to create sound. So if that’s the case, both the facing curve and the side rail thickness would play a role in picking the right reed strength.
    What do you think?

  4. …the pressure is equal to force “decided” by the surface area…
    Sorry I meant “divided”. I don’t like auto-correct feature in either computer or mobile device :)

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