D&S Brecker II Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

I receive emails all the time asking me to review saxophone mouthpieces.   Many of these emails are from individuals and companies all around the globe that I have never heard of before.  In the early years of the site, I would say yes to every request but after twelve years,  I’m a bit more picky about the sax mouthpieces I try.  Usually, I have a few questions they have to answer first. Ex. How long have you been making saxophone mouthpieces? Do you play the saxophone? What models do you have and what are they based off of? Can you send me some pictures? etc……

A few months ago I received an email from Donghee Cho of D&S Saxophone Mouthpieces in South Korea asking if I would be willing to try some of his sax mouthpieces.  I was a bit skeptical but when I asked for pics of his mouthpieces I received an email back with some pics that looked surprisingly similar to Guardala mouthpieces.  I was curious……….

D&S Brecker II Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Donghee answered my second question about how long he had been making mouthpieces with this response:

“I was always interested in the mechanics of the saxophone rather than playing the instrument. I did my major in Saxophone performance, but was always more intrigued on the fixing side of things.  I have been repairing saxophones for 12 years and thanks to the many customers, have built quite a reputation for myself in Korea as a repairman. I’ve always been handy, and loved fixing things. The same applied for saxophones. 
As for mouthpieces, I’ve been refacing and making mouthpieces for almost 10 years now. The thing that got me started was when I found out that there were many unplayable mouthpieces out there (and a lot of discrepancy between the same make and model) and wanted to contribute to the saxophone society by making the best effort to craft a better mouthpiece to play. Since then I’ve researched the facings, rails, bores, etc of many difference mouthpieces around the world and tried to apply my philosophy into handcrafting my own mouthpieces; that a good mouthpiece is a one that plays freely.”-Donghee
Donghee passed my tests as far as pics and having some experience making mouthpieces for many years so I thought I’d give his sax mouthpieces a try………….

D&S Brecker II Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I have to admit,  I have had these mouthpieces sitting on my shelf since June.  The reason I haven’t done a review sooner is that after doing some research, I realized that I couldn’t find D&S Saxophone Mouthpieces on the internet, they don’t have a website and they didn’t have a Facebook page.  All I had was an email address and phone number.   Since that time, Donghee now has a Facebook page although it is very minimal with just a bad picture of a list of his mouthpiece models on it.  I don’t see any prices so I don’t even know how much these go for either.

Even though I don’t think D&S is optimally setup for modern internet consumers I thought it best to go ahead with the reviews.  If they get more of a web presence in the future at least you would have heard of them and have some knowledge of Donghee Cho and his products.

D&S Brecker II Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Donghee sent me five mouthpieces in a couple of different shipments.  I have three metal tenor mouthpieces and two metal alto sax mouthpieces.  The mouthpieces have high baffles in general.  The mouthpiece I am reviewing today is the Brecker II and has a .110 tip opening.

The rails, tip and baffle all look great to the eye.  The tip matches my Rigotti reeds nicely.  It has a high baffle to it.

These saxophone mouthpieces all come in a plastic tube with a silver mouthpiece cap and ligature.  The shape and size of the D&S Brecker II is very similar to the size of a typical Guardala sax mouthpiece.  It even has a pink bite plate like the old original Guardala’s used to have.  I used a silver Selmer 402 metal alto ligature on it which is what I would use on a Guardala mouthpiece and it fit perfectly.

I emailed Donghee and asked him if these were exact replicas of guardala mouthpieces and he responded:

“The mouthpieces are influenced by the Guardala models but I wouldn’t classify it as a “copy” per se. 
The length of the facing is 27mm (1.06inch) on the Brecker II.” 

The one negative that I have with the similarity to the Guardala size is that the mouthpiece is a tiny bit narrower than a reed.  I have experienced this in the past with some Guardala’s I have owned. A very small part of each side of the reed hangs over each side of the mouthpiece table.  I’m not sure exactly why I don’t like this but in my mind it seems like the table should be equally as wide as the reed.  I guess it is just a personal thing as the mouthpiece played well and got good suction on the suction test.  It just felt a bit strange to me.

D&S Brecker II Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I used a Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Medium reed on the sample recording below which worked well with this .110 tip opening.  The mouthpiece has a powerful core sound to it with brightness and edge when played at full throttle.  It does tend to remind me of a Michael Brecker type tone in it’s brightness and solid core to the sound.

I did experience moments where I would get a squeek or chirp while playing the Brecker II at the beginning.  I was puzzled by those and emailed Donghee to ask him what the facing curve length was.  He said it was a 27 mm length facing curve. This is quite a bit longer than I am accustomed to playing as usually I don’t go longer than 25 mm.

I tried taking a little bit more mouthpiece and didn’t get anymore of those squeaks or chirps.  I think it was a matter of me setting my embouchure as if I was playing a mouthpiece with a 24-25 mm facing curve.  Once I adjusted slightly to the longer facing and played it for a little bit the problem seemed to resolve itself.

The intonation was good and I thought it was pretty even up and down the horn.  Although, the Brecker II has a brighter tone to it I didn’t feel like it was over the top bright and obnoxious.  It has tons of power to give but it felt like I could control it easily.  At medium volumes it actually seems pretty balanced between dark and bright to me.

D&S Brecker II 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 tends to soften the brightness and edge a little bit.

D&S Brecker II Tenor Sax Mouthpiece

If you liked the D&S Brecker II tenor saxophone mouthpiece reviewed above you can contact Donghee to order one by email at cdh9841@naver.com.  By phone at +82-2-522-9841 or by his Facebook page.  The next tenor saxophone mouthpieces I am reviewing is the Brecker III model which has a longer baffle similar to a Guaradala Super King mouthpiece.  Stay tuned……….

 

D&S Brecker II Tenor Sax Mouthpiece-Reverb Added

 

D&S Brecker II Tenor Sax Mouthpiece-Dry Recording

Disclosure: I received the sample mouthpiece mentioned above for free in the hope that I would try it and perhaps review it on my blog. Regardless, I only review mouthpieces that I enjoy playing and believe will be good for other saxophone players to try also. Steve
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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. paul fessenden says:

    Really like the sound of the D&S brecker11 steve.

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