9 Great Tenor Saxophone Mouthpieces to Compare

This is from a comparison post I made some years ago of 9 great tenor saxophone mouthpieces.   I thought it was worthy of a repost since it has been awhile since I made it.   On all 9 clips I’m just playing a simple Bb blues (C for tenor) I’m trying to keep it relatively simple so the clips are similar.  Each one was with the same Java 2 1/2 reed and I was standing about 2 feet from the mic. Take a listen and let me know which one you like the best. All 9 pieces play great for me but they all have slightly different characteristics to their sound. I could play any of them and be happy I think.   The mouthpieces heard here are:

  • Lamberson J7 (.110)
  • Jon Van Wie STM Link with baffle (.110)
  • Brian Powell Modern STM (.108)
  • Early Babbit HR Link (.110)
  • Phil Tone HR (.105)
  • Ponzol SS M2 (.110)
  • Modern NY Link Brian Powell refaced to (.108 with my own baffle in it)
  • Metal Florida Link Brian Powell refaced (.105)
  • SP HR Link refaced by Brian Powell (.110)

Update: I added 9 more clips of me playing as loud as i can on the pieces. I’d say around 95% so you can hear how they sound playing all out. Obviously, some are better loud and some are better soft I think. I also added 9 clips that were recorded from across the room about 6-7 feet away so you can hear the difference if any from across the room.
Take a Listen………

Modern NY Link (BP .108 with my own baffle)

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


Lamberson J7

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


SP Link (BP refaced to .110)

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


JVW STM Link .110 (JVW baffle)

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


EB HR Link (BP reface to .110)

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


Ponzol SS M2 .110

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


Florida STM 8 (refaced to .105 by BP)

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


Brian Powell Modern STM (.108)

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room


Phil-Tone HR .105

Laid Back Blues

Loud Blues

Across the Room

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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. First impression is that i liked the JVW STM Link .110. Allround piece, soft to loud, colour. And the high elements in the sound are nice to listen to.
    If you want to sell it (i don’t think you will do:)) than i am interested.

  2. EB HR Link (BP reface to .110) is amazing!!! so fat and colorful..

  3. For me, that Phil-Tone is the winner. I’ve had a couple of PT HR pieces and they have not sounded that open and colorful. Very nice.

  4. The Phil Tone HR 105. Lazy Blues.

  5. JVW link the EB HR & the Lamberson J7 ( I got one myself) are my favorites, anyway you sound great on all of them.

  6. EB HR Link (BP reface to .110) vintage or modern?
    Nice, so fat and colorful..!

  7. Hi Roldan,
    That is a vintage EB link and is actually the model with the large font facing number that were the first EB’s made from the Slant link blanks from what I have been told.

  8. joel frahm says:

    Hey Steve-

    You sound amazingly consistent on all of these, but I liked the tone quality of the EB and the Florida STM the best. Hope you’re well!

  9. Joel, Yes, I like those two also. Those are two pieces I have had for quite a while……..

  10. Grahame Easthope says:

    I’ve come to this a little late, but just reaffirms how much I love Links…

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