JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing the JX Custom JXRO 8 alto saxophone mouthpiece.    This is made by Jianxing Li in Guangzhou, China.  A number of months ago, I was contacted and asked if I would consider reviewing the sax mouthpieces in the photo below for Mr. Li.  They look to be quite the arsenal of saxophone mouthpieces and I couldn’t resist at least trying them out.

  • On the bottom you have the JXFL tenor mouthpiece which is made as a replica of a Francois Louis tenor saxophone mouthpiece similar to what Bob Berg might have played on.
  • The second piece from the bottom is similar to a Guardala Studio tenor saxophone mouthpiece and is called the JXDG.
  • The third mouthpiece from the bottom is fashioned after a double ring Otto Link tenor saxophone mouthpiece.
  • The fourth mouthpiece from the bottom is the JXRO alto sax mouthpiece that is similar in concept to the Miami Dukoff mouthpiece Dave Sanborn used to play that I am reviewing today.
  • At the top of the photo is a JXKM soprano saxophone mouthpiece that is designed to be similar in style to the Miami Dukoff 8 soprano sax mouthpiece that Kenny G plays.

JX Custom Line of Mouthpieces (from top to bottom: JXKM similar yo Kenny G’s Dukoff Soprano Mouthpiece, JXRO-similar to Dave Sanborn’s Dukoff Alto Mouthpiece, JXDR-similar to a Double Ring Florida Link, JXDG-Similar to a Guardala Studio Model, JXFL-Similar to Bob Berg’s Francois Louis Mouthpiece

The descriptions of the designs of these saxophone mouthpieces were given to me by Zhu Haiming who sent them to me to try out.  I want to make that clear in case any of you disagree with how they are described or portrayed in this review.  I am told that Mr. Li bought quite a few original examples of each saxophone mouthpiece to study before he made his own line of sax mouthpieces.  The only exception to this was the Francois Louis mouthpiece which he could only find one of, as they are quite rare.

I am told that all of these mouthpieces are made of stainless steel.  I feel sorry for Mr. Li if he works on these by himself as I have heard that working with stainless steel can be incredibly brutal on the hands.

The JX Custom JXRO 8 alto saxophone mouthpiece looks nice to the eye. The facing of 8 is stamped into the rear of the table.  The table looks to have a concavity to it in the middle when I hold my Reedgeek up to the table.  This is quite normal and a lot of saxophone mouthpiece makers use concave tables from what I understand. The rear of the table is flat according to the Reedgeek. All the sax reeds I used on it sealed perfectly so I think the mouthpiece table is well crafted.

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The JX Custom JXRO 8 alto saxophone mouthpiece rails and tip look thin, even and precise.  The width of the mouthpiece tip and rails look to be exactly the width of the reed up near the tip.  The table is narrower at the rear of the table and the reed overhangs the sides a little bit on each side at the back.  This doesn’t seem to be an issue though since the reeds seem to seal fine for me.  The mouthpiece tip rail is the exact shape of the Rigotti Gold alto reeds I am using.

The mouthpiece I am reviewing today is an 8 tip opening.  I’m not sure what that measures to, but I am comfortable at .078-.083 tip openings on the alto sax and this feels like it is somewhere in the .080-.085 range to me. (*I found out after the review that the tip opening is .085)

The side walls are straight and I would call the chamber a “small” chamber.  The baffle looks to be high in height and gently curves down to the chamber opening.

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The inside of the bore and of the mouthpiece looks a little bit rough and I can feel some divots and texture when I twirled my pinky around in the bore. I would be concerned that this roughness might deteriorate a cork over time.  None of the other JX Custom mouthpiece seem to have this roughness that I can see.

The mouthpiece came with a nice silver ligature that fits the mouthpiece well.  My only criticism of the ligature is that the screws are so close together that they can be hard to grab on to and turn because the other screw is in the way.  It still works well, so not that big of a deal really.

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The JX Custom JXRO alto sax mouthpiece has a pretty high rollover baffle as you can see in the photos.  You can see some scratches and what look like brush marks on the baffle where it was worked on I assume.

The tone of the JXRO alto mouthpiece is definitely on the brighter side of alto saxophone tone.  I found it to have a thick focused core to the sound that could be pushed to the max as far as volume goes.  The brightness did lead me towards more of my old trusted Dave Sanborn licks of my youth.

The Rigotti 2 1/2 strong reed was a good match for this mouthpiece.  The response was quick and articulation was clean and fast.  It did have a healthy resistance to it but I find that resistance necessary when trying get that Sanborn type of sound out of a mouthpiece.

The intonation was as expected on my Selmer Reference 54 alto saxophone.  I say “as expected” because whenever I play a  mouthpiece with a baffle and small chamber my middle E tends to be a bit sharper.  Sometimes between 20-30 cents sharp.  It takes some getting used to and I have to “voice” that note down a bit lower than I usually do on a larger chambered mouthpiece.  It is something that you can adjust for and get used to in my opinion.

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I’ve provided two samples of the same clip below.  One is a sound 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 and fatten the tone a bit.

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The JX Custom JXRO 8 alto saxophone mouthpiece is a great example of a well crafted high baffle, small chambered alto mouthpiece.  If you have been on the search for an alto sax mouthpiece that will give you a bright edgy sound with power this is another great one to consider.

I wouldn’t choose this mouthpiece to play a cocktail hour of straight ahead jazz but this is a great alto sax mouthpiece for a more modern edgy Sanborn type alto gig where you have to cut through the mix.

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Thanks to Jianxing Li and Zhu Haiming for working together to get me these saxophone mouthpieces to review.  If you are interested in the JX Custom JXRO 8 alto saxophone mouthpiece you can email Mr. Li at jxmouthpieces@163.com (I tested the email to make sure it works).  At the writing of this review, JX Mouthpieces do not have a website but I am told they are working on one.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you get a JX Custom JXRO 8 alto saxophone mouthpiece be sure to come back and let us know what you think below………Thanks!!

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Added Reverb

JX Custom JXRO 8 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Dry

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
Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on LinkedinShare on Pinterest
Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 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. Avatar Franklin Schieman says

    Hi Steve, thanks for the review!
    This mouthpiece seems to be very flexible, keeping a nice warmth and core in all registers.
    What is your own preferred mouthpiece, and do you own similar mouthpieces that you can compare to the JX Custom JXRO 8?
    Best regards, Franklin Schieman

  2. This looks like a great piece —typically stainless steel does not vibrate as well as brass or pewter but this actually has a nice buzz to it – my only concern is the lead content of this mouthpiece,being from China – does it smell like lead? Does it have that taste of blood? That metal taste? Ya Know?

  3. Mike, It doesn’t have any smell or taste that I can detect and I am pretty sensitive to that stuff. Steve

  4. Hi Franklin, I’m not really picky on alto believe it or not. I just use the alto for teaching so I like something more middle of the road tone wise. Lately, I have been playing a 10mFan Showboat on alto mainly but I also have a Philtone Rift and a JVW Meyer right now. This is my only high baffle mouthpiece I have for alto right now. Playing with that Sanborn sound is fun but I like a more middle of the road alto sound. I usually sell the high baffle alto mouthpieces I review soon after I review them as there are players out there that do the Sanborn thing all the time and would get a lot more use out of piece like this. Steve

  5. Where can this be purchased ?

  6. Hi Joel, There is an email address at the bottom of the review where you can email Mr. Li to order one. If you are interested in mine let me know through the contact form here on the site. I usually don’t hang on to high baffle alto pieces very long as I go for a darker sound on alto usually so I might sell it. Thanks, Steve

  7. Looking forward to JXFL review!

Speak Your Mind

*

Visit us on FacebookVisit us on TwitterVisit us on YouTubeVisit us on GooglePlusVisit us on Linkedin