Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing another great alto sax mouthpiece by Johannes Gerber in South Africa. Mr. Gerber has been making mouthpieces for many years and I have reviewed three of his mouthpieces in the past, the Gerber Slant model , the Gerber Solo LC soprano saxophone mouthpiece  and last week the Gerber Vintage alto sax mouthpiece.   Johannes Gerber has a great reputation amongst sax players as well as craftsman for his excellent work and attention to detail.  He is also one of the best photographers I know.  (He doesn’t have any photographs of the NY model I have so for now I am using my photos below………)   The mouthpiece being reviewed today is the  Gerber NY alto saxophone mouthpiece.  Mr. Gerber was kind enough to send me a free sample to review for you today.  It has a 6 tip opening like the Vintage model I reviewed last week.

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Like the other Gerber mouthpieces I have tried over the years,  this NY alto sax mouthpiece looks great out of the box.  Just looking at it by eye, everything looks clean, even and perfect.  The table, rails and tip look even and precise.   The baffle is a rollover that rolls down into the chamber and the sidewalls are scooped out smoothly.  The NY baffle looked slightly higher and longer than the Vintage model alto mouthpiece baffle.   The chamber does look slightly smaller in comparison to the “Vintage” model I reviewed last week when I compare them side by side but I would still classify this as a medium chamber.

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I played the same Woodstone 3 1/2 reed on the NY model as I did on the Vintage model.  The reed worked great on both so it was easy to switch back and forth.   Before I recorded the sound clip below,  I actually went back and forth between the two mouthpieces at least 6 times trying to figure out which mouthpiece I preferred above the other.   By the end, I gave up and decided to record them and see if that would help me make the decision……..

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The sound clip below was recorded in exactly the same way as the Gerber Vintage alto sax mouthpiece sound clip.  I kept the recording levels and mic position the same.  I actually recorded the clip below immediately after recording the Vintage model and tried to play many of the same ideas in both clips so you can get a good comparison between both mouthpieces.  I’ve included a dry recording as well as a clip with added reverb.

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

It was interesting to play the Gerber NY mouthpiece right next to the Vintage model.  The NY model alto mouthpieces seemed brighter and more focused to me.  It had less of that “hollow” sound quality I talked about in the Vintage review and more of a focused centered sound.  Maybe a bit more of a compact concentrated tone if that makes sense.  It seemed to have a little more bite and volume than the Vintage model but the  Vintage model had a fatter slightly warmer sound I think in comparison.

I will say that I think the NY might sound a bit smaller on the dry recording compared to the Vintage model but I think that is because of the characteristics I have talked about above.  The tone is more compact and less fat and spread than the Vintage model.  Dry recordings tend to favor darker fatter sounding mouthpieces,  whereas recordings with reverb and natural room reverb tend to favor the brighter more focused mouthpieces.   I think this is because the fatter warmer pieces get even more diffused in the reverb while the brighter more focused pieces leave a little more room for the reverb to fatten up.

I actually prefer the reverb recording of the NY model much more than the Vintage model reverb recording but I prefer the dry recording of the Vintage more than the dry recording of the NY mouthpiece. That’s my opinion anyways……

All of this makes it a hard call for me to decide which mouthpiece I like better.  If I was playing in a dry practice room I would probably go with the Vintage model because of it’s added fattness.  That being said, most of us play outside of a dry practice room and in the real world there is added room reverb many times. I could imagine the NY model killin’ it in a big auditorium or ballroom for instance although the Vintage would also so it’s a hard call……..

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I would be interested in any opinions you might have between the Vintage sound clip and the NY sound clip.  You can leave your thoughts below in the comments section. I appreciate any input or insight you might have as we all hear different things and have different impressions.

To make your choice even harder if you decide to try a Gerber alto mouthpiece, Johannes emailed me and said he also has a new NY Bro’s model also that he is very excited about………I’ll be sure to add that review if I get one to try also.

If you read this review, listen to the clip and want to try the Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece you can contact Johannes Gerber through his website or through his facebook page.  I also see him on Ebay selling mouthpieces quite often.  If you get one please come back and let us all know what you think in the comments section below!  Thanks again to Johannes Gerber  for creating such great playing mouthpieces!

 

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Dry Recording

Johannes Gerber NY Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Reverb

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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. vincent gaglio says:

    Very nice , love this too.

  2. Sorry Vincent. It seems like you get your heart set on one and then I confuse you with another review………..I hope not………

  3. vincent gaglio says:

    There’s just so much out there, that it’s hard for me . In search of the Holy grail????, (maybe)….. you are not confusing me at all. vinny

  4. You should try the SK New York Custom mouthpiece. It seems interesting and I think there is a clip of David Mann rocking with it on YouTube.

  5. vincent gaglio says:

    I will look at it

  6. vincent gaglio says:

    The SK NEW YORK CUSTOM looks great and David Mann is awesome on this MP

  7. I know right? David Mann is a beast on that mouthpiece. I can’t seem to decide between this, the SK or the Retro Revival New York mouthpiece. Any thoughts?

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