Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing the Westcoast Sax “MoFo” tenor saxophone mouthpiece.  Now, not being hip to the newest slang and terminology, I had to ask my teenagers what MoFo meant.  My daughters told me “Mofo” stood for mother-f*****, someone who is bad-a** or hard core.  My first thought was “Why would someone name a saxophone mouthpiece MoFo?  That is just strange unless………..perhaps this mouthpiece is hard core and bad-a**!”    When I think of someone with those qualities,  I think of people who are not shy.  They are in your face and bold about it.  They don’t care what you think or ask anyone for permission.  Messing around with them is no joke and you might seriously get hurt or lose your life. They can have an edge or toughness about them…….

I had to wonder “Could all of these qualities be contained within a mouthpiece?”

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

As I ponder these questions, I sit looking at the MoFo sax mouthpiece sitting on my desk.    The mouthpiece is designed and sold by Matt Wickam at Westcoast sax and Theo Wanne. If you don’t know Theo’s work, it is amazing.   I have reviewed a ton of mouthpieces by Theo Wanne over the years and they were all great.  Not a defect, scratch, bad finish, uneven rail or tip in all of them. His attention to detail is striking.   Even when it comes down to the leather mouthpiece case and packing material,  he is attentive to every detail.

The MoFo tenor saxophone mouthpiece is no different.  The 24K gold finish is perfect in every way.  The engraving is bold and beautiful.  The table, rails, tip and baffle look precise and perfect also.

The baffle is unique in that I haven’t seen a baffle configuration like this before in all the mouthpieces I have reviewed.  It has a very high straight baffle that angles slightly as it travels away from the tip.  Then it hits a straight edge where it then descends at a greater angle down into the chamber.  The bottom of the baffle has a “scooped” baffle shape to it that is also referred to as a “bullet” baffle.  I would consider the chamber to be large in my opinion.  The sidewalls are scooped out starting after the straight line edge of the baffle.

An interesting aspect of the MoFo tenor sax mouthpiece is that the window travels quite a bit further than most other mouthpieces. When I compare the MoFo to a typical Otto Link window it is longer and has a square shape to it as you can see in the picture below.   My theory is that this has the added affect of opening up the chamber even more as this open window is right over the chamber area.

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Before I even played the MoFo,  I already had a preconceived idea of how this mouthpiece would play.  It would be in your face loud. I would play it and bird’s around the neighborhood would just drop out of the sky dead.  Dog’s would howl, bark and perhaps cower in fear at the sheer force and power of the MoFo. My children, wife and I would all go deaf within minutes of playing such a beast of a mouthpiece……….you get where I’m going with this.  This mouthpiece was not a toy to be played with carelessly………

The first time I played the MoFo I was afraid of the worst but I was quickly surprised.  Although it could be bright and edgy, it was nowhere as bright and edgy as I thought it would be.  Actually, at low to normal blowing levels it was actually quite pleasant to listen to and play.  I thought it had a fat thick quality to the sound that I hope I demonstrated in the clips below.

Here’s a description of the MoFo mouthpiece from the Westcoast Sax website:

“After years of frustration and trying to find the right mouthpiece for myself… I finally gave up and collaborated my ideas with Theo Wanne. The MoFo is a Powerful, Pure, and Edgy Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece and plays like a Real MoFo…If you know what I mean… Hahaha! I am able to play Loud and Edgy…or I can play Soft and Smooth not sacrificing Warmth and Color. I have found that you usually sacrifice one for the other…not here my friends! Our mouthpieces are Proudly Made In The USA

The MoFo Mouthpiece allows me to Express my True Voice… No Tubbyness… No Hollowness… and No Thinness! Really Easy To Play,Effortless Upper and Lower Register, and a Focused Core! — Matt. W”

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Where the MoFo mouthpiece earns it’s MoFo name is when you put more air through it.  This mouthpiece has some serious no joke power to it.  Honestly, I think it is one of the most powerful mouthpieces I have played.

The first clip that I recorded earlier in the week was at a slightly higher mic level than I usually record with due a mistake on my part and the recording was clipping and distorted.  I had to then record it again at my normal levels but it was still clipping at points in the recording.  In the end, I turned down the mic as far as I could and still get a sound out of it and that is what you hear.

The MoFo sax mouthpiece can also get some serious edge and brightness out of it.  The altissimo is effortless and I found that I could get more split tones up there than I usually get. I demonstrate these on the clip at different times.  These can be a great affect on a loud funk, R&B or rock gig.  Throw a couple of these into your solos and the crowd will be chanting your name……….

The intonation in excellent also.  Sometimes on my old Selmer SBA tenor sax the intonation can get a bit out of whack with extreme baffles but Matt Wickam at Westcoast Sax and Theo Wanne did a great job producing a crankin’ mouthpiece that is also very much in tune.

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Right now, the MoFo is only made in two tip openings (.110 and .115).  I opted for the .115 after seeing the picture of what the baffle looked like as the bigger tip openings are usually easier to play with higher baffle.  I had a feeling this would be the case here also and I was right. The MoFo was super easy to play and felt as comfortable as my normal .105 tip openings that I usually play on.

I tried a number of Rigotti Gold reeds on the MoFo but was most comfortable with the 2 1/2 Light size.  I used a generic metal ligature that I had in a drawer that fit perfectly.  I have also used the same ligature on Guardala sized mouthpieces to give you an idea of how big it is.

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I’ve provided two samples of the same clip below.  One is a clip with added reverb and the other is a dry clip in a moderate sized room.  I think it’s important to add the reverb clip just so people can get a sense of what the sound is like with a little bit of that added affect since the added reverb tend to soften the edge a bit.  Here’s a clip of Jason Webber playing the MoFo with affects on a gig so you can hear how it sounds with affects. He sounds fabulous on the MoFo.

The MoFo tenor  saxophone mouthpiece by Westcoast Sax is a great example of a well crafted high baffle mouthpiece.  If you have been on the search for a mouthpiece that will finally end your war with the guitar player this might be the right choice for you.  Yes, when you push it it gets loud, bright and sometimes edgy but those are the weapons we sax players need sometimes.

Ideally, we all want a mouthpiece that can perform in many genres.  You can judge the MoFo from the clip as you listen to it.  I thought it performed well in all the styles and various examples I played.

Congratulations to Matt Wickam and Westcoast Sax  for creating a MoFo of a mouthpiece! If you are interested in the MoFo you can call Matt at: 951-805-5611 or Email: WestCoastSax@Yahoo.Com.  You can also order directly from the Westcost Sax Facebook page or the WestCoast Sax Website.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you get a MoFo saxophone mouthpiece be sure to come back and let us know what you think below……..Thanks!!

 

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Added Reverb

 

Westcoast Sax MoFo Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Dry

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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. Mark Gomez says:

    Congratulations “West Coast Sax” on your new “MoFo” Tenor mouthpiece. Loving it with just a short time playing with it. Nice knowing that “Theo Wanne” dialed this piece in for you with all of your goals being met! The quality, sound, versatility and beauty makes the MoFo stand out. The new MoFo allows great flexibility from top to bottom giving the Tenor a distinguished sound in my opinion. I choose the 110 MoFo and have not looked back. My goal was to eventually find a metal mouthpiece that wouldn’t make the Tenor sound not to bright and not to dark while achieving ease of play and control………….Nice job!

  2. Tom Schneider says:

    I too am gigging on a MoFo in my R&B/Funk band. I originally started off with a .115 but after a 4 set casino gig I ended up swapping Matt for a .110 that is a better fit. The .110 just arrived but this mpc is a monster! The great feature is while it is bright and huge sounding it does have the ability to lay back to play darker with still a fat sound. Being a Theo Wanne fan on tenor and alto Matt’s MoFo is just so amazingly easy to play. I can’t recall a mpc that is so well balanced across the complete range of the horn. On top of an amazing tenor mpc Matt is a great guy to work with! Matt and Theo hit this one out of the park!!

  3. Tom DePalma says:

    Hi Steve,
    You sound great as usual. How would you compare the MoFo to a Law Buzzer? I am currently using a Law Buzzer after years playing a handmade Guardala MBII. I like that the Law is fatter than the MBII but is a little reed picky. The only reeds that work well with it is either Robertos RW reeds or RJS (now D’Addario) but the JS don’t last long. I love Rigotti Golds but they don’t play well on the Law. Any input would be appreciated.

  4. How do you think it compares to my original handmade Guardala studio model mouthpiece from the 80’s ? I always seem to go back to my old Guardala because of the well rounded sound and plays well in all genres from, rock, pop R&B and straight ahead jazz and funk. I am always leery to buy new Mpcs. because they never measure up to my Guardala. Thanks!

  5. Hi Barry,
    I would say it is the same ballpark as a Guardala Studio. Maybe a bit more edge on it perhaps. It’s hard to say without being able to play them side by side………..

  6. Hi Tom,
    The LAW Buzzer I had was fatter and darker than this MoFo piece from what I remember. When I had the Buzzer I also had a Guardala MBII also. I remember liking the Buzzer more at home but I felt like on gigs I needed more brightness in the tone to cut through the mix of the band. The MoFo has a lot more of the brightness and edge for me. Very powerful……but you might miss the fattness of the Buzzer perhaps?

  7. Isaac Armstrong says:

    Just bought a .110 MoFo myself! Super killer piece, and aptly named 🙂 . I also have a metal Datta .110 and Vigilante Detroit Rock .116 (Vigilante now for sale!). Comparing and playing the MoFo next to the Datta, my conclusion is the Datta is my backup mouthpiece now, making the MoFo top player! It is similar to the Datta in many respects, but, with more power, more control, easier altissimo, sweeter subtones. Just more and better of everything! I’m using the Theo Wanne ligature on the MoFo that came with my Datta. I play a 1996 Yanagisawa T900µ and using Fibracell Premiere #3 reeds.

  8. MoFo is, SPEECHLES.!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Steve. Your sound and all your music beyond words. Thanks again. Anthony.

  9. William Bua says:

    I too have been looking for a long time for a mouthpiece that plays fat down in the bell keys and can be versatile enough to play ballads while being bright enough to cut. Normally you have to give something up to get something and a true “Jack of all trades” is not possible. I think the Mofo ended that search for me. This is the best high baffle mouthpiece I’ve tried, and I’ve tried many. Vigilante, Guardala, law, RPC, and many others. This piece whispers and subtones beautifully and fires up when you need to step up to the front. I am using a Silverstein Cryo and a Legere 2.5. My horn is a TM custom and the intonation is spot on too. It does play differently with other reeds. I would experiment with different reed brands and strengths to dial in your sound, but you will find that sound you are looking for. The Silverstein is a great help, especially if you play synthetic reeds. Thanks Matt!! Thanks Theo!!

  10. larry rauson says:

    Got my Mofo a little over a month ago. It has changed my entire approach to tenor. I play a Steuer Jazz 2.5 with the Rovner Light Log on a 1964 Conn 16m. I like the dark softness and sweetness at low volume, but the power is immense. When I really put air through the MoFo, I feel the notes in my hands. I’m new to playing tenor. If there is a better tenor sax mouthpiece, it’s got to be one helluva mouthpiece. Well Done West Coast Sax and Theo Wanne.

  11. Culiador Sinley says:

    Too mids and mid highs for my taste. Overpriced in my opinion.

  12. This looks exactly like my Theo Datta. Thanks for the great pics and clips. I know Matt will claim different. I am convinced they are essentially the same piece.

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