Absolute Resin Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Today,  I am reviewing a mouthpiece made by the Absolute company. These are made in Italy.  This model is called the “AltoR”model.  There is also an Alto AL,  Alto ST and an Alto + model on their website.  You can also find all these models for Baritone, Tenor and Soprano saxophones as well. The AL model stands for black anodized aluminum. The ST for stainless steel and I assume the R at the end of Alto stands for Resin.

Absolute Resin Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

All of these models are priced pretty reasonably. This model is only about 133 US dollars. (the exchange rate is always changing so this price will fluctuate somewhat)

The mouthpiece looks good. The side rails are a little uneven as well as the tip rail BUT……..I didn’t notice this effecting playability at all.  The mouthpiece got a good seal on the “Pop” test and was very reed friendly.  It has a straight baffle that angles down into a small chamber.   It looks to be slightly smaller than a Selmer Soloist to my eye.  If you look in from the shank end of the mouthpiece the chamber has more of a “oval” shape rather than your typical “round” shape chamber.  The transition from the baffle into the chamber has a Berg Larsen type scoop to it.  The sidewalls are straight and angled slightly inwards as they move towards the smaller chamber.  The effect of a smaller chamber like this can make the sound more powerful and brighter than a bigger chamber as the air flow is “squeezed” through the chamber.  My experience with Soloists and other mouthpieces with these smaller chambers is that they can play nice and dark with less airflow but when you push more air through the mouthpiece they can get much brighter and louder. They usual don’t have a big spread sound but more of a focused sound with a tight core to it.

Absolute Resin Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The tip opening on this mouthpiece is a 6*.  A Rigotti Gold 3 reed played perfectly on it and  a Vandoren Optimum alto ligature fit nicely.

The length of the mouthpiece is longer than a Meyer or Otto Link alto mouthpiece which I like because the smaller chamber would typically make the mouthpiece sit further out on the cork to play in tune. With the added length of the mouthpiece you can push it in really far on the cork which is nice.

Absolute Resin Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The tone of the Absolute “AltoR” was focused and sweet to me. I was actually very surprised by this mouthpiece.  The squeezed throat and chamber seemed to limit the amount of air I could put through it. I could only get so loud with it but the thing that surprised me was how nice this mouthpiece sounded in the recording.  When played at a lower volume I really got a nice Desmondish tone out of this mouthpiece.  At 2:17 in the recording I play a Parker lick at about 80% volume.  At 2:21 I repeat the same lick with about 40% air  and the tone is transformed into something very Desmondish to my ear.  Immediately afterwards,  I travel into “Take 5”.  It might have been subliminal but I don’t believe in coincidences…………..This mouthpiece has a killer tone for those of you into the laid back Desmond sound.  It’s a very light and dry sound that I loved! I wouldn’t suggest this mouthpiece for those looking for volume or that killer lead alto mouthpiece but if you are a fan of that West Coast cool jazz sound on alto I think this mouthpiece would sound great in that context……………

Absolute “Tenorer” Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you are interested in the Absolute “AltoR” alto saxophone mouthpiece contact Marco at Absolutesax.com. At 133 this is a steal of a price for a great playing alto mouthpiece.  I would have no problems recommending this mouthpiece for players who need a mouthpiece that they can use for a Desmondish type sound.

Let me know what you think in the comments below………….Thanks, Steve

Absolute Resin Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Absolute Resin Alto 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. Hi Steve, what is the last tune you played? Sounds great!!!

  2. Thanks Jerry. That was Take 5 by Dave Brubeck. (Alan pointed out that Take 5 was actually written by Paul Desmond. The first time I heard it when I was a kid was on a Dave Brubeck album. I meant that it was recorded by Dave Brubeck……….)

  3. Alan Turner says:

    Hi Steve, was not Take 5 a Paul Desmond composition?

  4. Hi Alan, Yes, Take 5 was written by Paul Desmond.

  5. This mouthpiece sounds great and seems like a great price! I just emailed the company, I hope they respond.

  6. I just recently discovered the existence of these Absolute mouthpieces and have been traipsing around the internet tubes finding out more about them. When I discovered that you reviewed some of them I bolted over here like lightning. Steve Neff reviews are always A+. I especially appreciate the unprocessed and consistent sound quality and levels of your audio clips, which makes it a lot easier to compare one piece to another

    I like the sound of this Absolute resin model better than the ST’s you reviewed later. Less “edgy” to my ear. Unfortunately , on one of the saxofono.it forums I was reading (via google translate), the Absolute guy said he was making only the stainless (and maybe the aluminum) models as the resin models were too time consuming. I may have read this wrong or misunderstood the google translator version, since I don’t speak or read Italian. But it’s great that they are making high quality affordable pieces in Italy! I would consider am Absolute-R resin piece of they are still available.

  7. Hello Steve, thanks so much for your reviews.
    I rise to confirm that the mouthpieces of resin are all available in the openings on my site, always updated. Very shortly we will also present the C melody and clarinet mouthpieces.
    We are going to patent a new type of synthetic reeds, very efficient.

    Thanks for everything,

    Marco

  8. Darrell Hamilton says:

    I love your audio samples but they don’t have any key click or pad slap.. how do you accomplish this?

  9. Darrell,
    I have no idea. I don’t do anything special. It’s just an average mic that plugs into my mac and i record about 3 feet in front of the mic. That’s it………..Steve

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