Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing a Morgan Excalibur 7M alto saxophone mouthpiece made by the Morgan Mouthpiece Company.  Dave and Teresa Hoskins run MorganMouthpieces.com as well as Junkdude.com and they were kind enough to send me a sample of the Morgan Excalibur 7M alto sax mouthpiece to review on my site.

When I first started really getting into sax mouthpieces back in the early 2000’s, one of the main names I heard at that time was Ralph Morgan.  Ralph Morgan started working at the age of 9 as an apprentice for the Babbitt Company (one of the biggest mouthpiece makers in the last century) and was involved with making mouthpieces and musical instrument for his entire life.  In 1980 he started the Morgan Mouthpiece Company after leaving his job as chief woodwind designer for the Selmer Company.  Mr. Morgan had an incredible reputation and his mouthpieces were highly regarded by many players.   Mr. Morgan reached out to me shortly after I started this site and I had the privilege of talking to him about mouthpieces for over an hour one day which was really amazing.  Unfortunately, Mr. Morgan passed away in 2007 but Morgan Mouthpieces has continued and Ralph’s mouthpiece legacy goes on thanks to the ongoing work of Erik Greiffenhagen, John MacQueen and Brian Powell.

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Morgan Excalibur 7M alto saxophone mouthpiece is made of hard rubber and has a metal band around the shank.  The Morgan mouthpiece site has this to say about the hard rubber used:

The Morgan Mouthpiece Company uses a proprietary rubber formula which is essentially a pure rubber formula used by mouthpiece manufacturers from the 1920s – 1950s. 

The table, tip and rails of the Morgan Excalibur sax mouthpiece look to be perfect as I examined the mouthpiece after receiving it.  The M stands for medium chamber which is the brighter of the models they offer.

The body of the mouthpiece is much smaller than a typical alto sax mouthpiece.  Most of my alto ligatures that fit a typical sized alto mouthpiece were too big for the Morgan Excalibur.  Luckily, I have quite a few Rovner ligatures of all sizes and was able to find one that fit the Excalibur nicely.

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here’s a quote from the  Morgan Mouthpieces website about the Morgan Excalibur 7M alto saxophone mouthpiece:

Morgan Excalibur Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

These are among the best Jazz Saxophone Mouthpieces ever made.   Designed by Ralph Morgan, these are completely handcrafted pure hard rubber saxophone mouthpieces.   The Excalibur Model is unique in that it has a streamline body. It will feel a bit smaller in the mouth, so if you are used to playing on a metal mouthpiece, your embouchure will not have to change much. Also, the thinner walls and beak gives this mouthpiece more edge, brilliance and quicker response.

The Morgan Excalibur Mouthpieces are handcrafted the “old fashioned” way. Made with the Morgan Mouthpiece Company’s 100% pure rubber formula, which is the same as was used by manufacturers in the 1920s-1950s. The facing curve, interior chamber and baffle are all shaped by hand. This is a true handcrafted pure hard rubber Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece.

These are available in three chambers: Medium(M), Medium-Large(ML), and Large(L) chamber sizes.  The Medium Chamber produces a bright, brilliant and centered tone.  The Medium-Large Chamber produces a darker core tone with more edge than the L Chamber. The Large Chamber produces a warmer, deeper and rich tone.

Tip Openings: 5 (.070), 6 (.075), 7 (.080), 8 (.085)

Ligature and cap are not included. This is a streamline body mouthpiece, so it needs a smaller ligature. Standard clarinet size ligatures will fit.

Hand made in the USA since 1984.

Free Worldwide shipping! Ten day trial period…shipping time is not counted in the trial period. If you don’t like for any reason, return for a refund minus restocking fee of $10 for US and $20 for overseas customers.

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Morgan Excalibur 7M played perfectly with the first reed I chose to put on it which was a Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 strong reed.  As I warmed up on it,  I noticed that the intonation was excellent as I checked it with my tuner.  The mouthpiece played much brighter and had loads of power compared to a typical off the shelf Meyer mouthpiece.  I believe this is because of the high rollover baffle and the medium chamber.  When blowing at a medium level the Excalibur 7M has a nice light, crisp brightness to the tone.  It doesn’t have a heavy sound if that makes sense.  It sounds light and bright to my ears.  The tone was easy to manipulate and control which made it quite expressive in my opinion.

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

At the 1:32-2:06 mark of the audio clip I put a little more air through the horn  to get a little more edge. You can hear how the tone gets fuller as the volume increases.  I could definitely see getting a Sanborn vibe going on this mouthpiece although to my ears, the tone of the Morgan Excalibur 7M is fatter and rounder than a Dukoff mouthpiece type sound that Dave Sanborn plays.  In my opinion,  the Morgan Excalibur 7M could put you in the territory of a Mark Russo (early Yellow Jackets)  type alto sound or perhaps a Gerald Albright type of sound.

I added an extra audio clip with a little bit of reverb as many times these brighter mouthpieces can sound even better with a little reverb added.  Morgan mouthpieces also makes the Excalibur with a ML and L chamber also.  It would be interesting to do a comparison recording of those three chamber sizes side by side to hear what differences there may be.  Maybe in the future………..

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Morgan Excalibur 7M alto saxophone mouthpiece is a great mouthpiece that I really enjoyed playing and recording with.  In my opinion, this would be a great choice of mouthpiece if you are looking for a bright powerful sound that cuts through the mix.  It would also be a good choice for a brighter lead alto sound in a big band or maybe a contemporary smooth jazz alto sound.  As you can hear from the audio clip, this mouthpiece sounds great when you lay back also and can give a nice crispness to bebop lines.  If you read this review, listen to the clips and decide the Morgan Excalibur 7M mouthpiece is worth a try, you can purchase one at MorganMouthpieces.com.  Great job to everyone over at Morgan mouthpieces for the great work!!

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

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Slight Reverb Recording

Morgan Excalibur 7M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Dry Recording

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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. Angelo Yodice says:

    Hi Steve, thank you for the review great job! This unit you reviewed is a keeper, especially if one is considering using it for first Alto in a big band setting. I enjoyed the clip with the reverb effect. But than again you sound great with or without reverb.To quote you in your August of 2009 review of a Morgan Excalibur tenor piece you said ” They are very consistent work and you won’t get a dud “. Teresa & Dave of the Morgan mouthpiece company are very friendly and easy to work with. They showcase a total of eighteen Morgan mouthpieces between their saxophone and clarinet model line. They have four different types of Alto mouthpieces to choose from. The Morgan Excalibur, Morgan Jazz, Morgan Vintage, Morgan classical.That also have a very liberal trial period of ten days for you to make a decision on purchase. One of the reasons the Excalibur line plays bright is because the entire body thickness of the rubber composition is very thin coming out of the mold in two pieces, that’s the reason for the metal band around the end shank of the mouthpiece.
    Regards, Angelo, L.I., N.Y.- Tenor/Soprano

  2. Thanks Angelo. I agree about the trial policy. It is very generous. In this day where a lot of makers have no return policy it is refreshing to see……… Steve

  3. Kevin Ledbetter says:

    Steve, I own several Excalibur pieces for alto and use a #5 or #6 often. They are great pieces!
    I didn’t have as much luck with the tenor or soprano pieces, but still love the alto in either a M or ML chamber.
    Before Ralph died he called me on the phone… it was 8:30 my time and 11:30 p.m Ralph’s time, seems he put a lot of hours into his passion.
    He had read a quick review I did on one of his mouthpieces and wanted to chat. We talked for about 45 minutes and he educated me on all manner of mouthpiece knowledge and practice. He was a great guy and is much missed. Its good to know that his talented co-workers are carrying on his legacy. Ralph told me his team was the best.

  4. Great review, Steve. I think Morgan Excalibur mouthpieces are free blowing, ridiculously responsive, and have an ultra-centered tonal response I haven’t found elsewhere. I’ve played a 6M on Alto since 1993 but only recently swapped out my tenor sax Otto Link for a Morgan Excalibur 6M and love it. Not sure why it took me so long to make that switch. Thanks for your thoughts and spreading the word about these amazing yet underrated mouthpieces!

  5. Thanks Rulon. I’m just glad they are continuing Ralph’s legacy by continuing to make his mouthpieces. I always tell my students…….you can’t go wrong with a Morgan………..

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