Aizen LS Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is the new Aizen LS 7*  tenor  saxophone mouthpiece.  I have one of these for my alto saxophone that I love and  am lucky enough to be able to try this tenor sax model. I ‘ve had it for 2 weeks and played it almost everyday. These are advertised as being copies of a vintage “Slant Signature” hard rubber Link.  This mouthpiece played great for me!  It had great volume when I pushed it but could get nice and lush sounding when I laid back.  There is a certain graininess and character to the tone that I really loved.  I compared the baffle to my other link pieces and pics I’ve seen of slants and I think it’s a pretty close match from what I’ve seen.  It has a  baffle that slants gradually into the back of the chamber. There are no dips or pockets in the baffle like many modern Otto Link mouthpieces have. The upper register and altissimo were a breeze with this mouthpiece and the notes were full and round.  Actually, this piece reminded me a little of the  Selmer Soloist mouthpiece I use to have because it had that same dark core to the sound but this piece has a bigger sound in my opinion.  I have decided to send it back but only because the tip opening wasn’t quite right for me.  I think I would like to try one of these in an 8 in the future.  Go to Minoru Kubota’s Aizen website in case you want to check one of these out at  http://www.sax.co.jp/aizene/.

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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 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. Neff,
    If you had up to $350 to spend on a hr mouthpiece that best approximates your main piece (a EB Link?) what would you get: Tenney Slant, Aizen, New Vintage Link, JJ hr or something else?
    Thanks!
    P.S. you sound great on everything, btw

  2. That’s a tough one. They are all great mouthpieces and all different. I really like my EB but I play the others just as much when I go for my tenor. They all have subtle differences. Of the ones you listed i think i would go for the Aizen first as that was close to my EB although my EB was a little fatter and richer sounding i think. i would be happy with the Aizen if i had one in the right tip opening for me. Good Luck.

  3. Avatar Richard Pisani says

    I have a question. I play a LInk hard rubber (tenor mouthpiece but you referred to an EB Link. Which mouthpiece is that?

    Thanks,
    Richard

  4. EB stands for Early Babbit. These were the HR mouthpiece made right after they stopped making the Slant signature links. I’m not sure of the years they were made or how many were made but they have a higher baffle in them than most of the modern links so they can be a bit brighter and more powerful.

  5. Avatar Richard Pisani says

    Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.

    Richard

  6. Hello Does the Aizen in bright like the new slant?
    Thank you very much for that great Blog!

  7. I think the Aizen was similar in brightness to the new slant but I felt like the Aizen played a whole lot better for me out of the box.

  8. Steve thanks for these clips. I really like the dark core that this mouthpiece seems to have. How would you compare this mouthpiece to the Mouthpiece Cafe Bergonzi Slant? I’ve been listening to clips of both and I like both, but I’m trying to decide which I’m more interest in. Thanks!

  9. I think the sound concepts are very similar. It’s hard for me to compare as the Mouthpiece Cafe was so long ago and I only had it for a day or two. I really can’t remember specifics. Your best bet is to try one or both of them.

  10. This Aizen thing reminds me kind of JJ HR 7*.I have one and it sounds exactly like Aizen.Even the design looks the same.Same blanks?On different price?What’s the point!?Waiting for comments!:)))

  11. Actually Atanas the designs are different by terms of facing curve, Baffle, and chamber, the blanks look similar but are different the rubber used to make an Aizen can take a drop tip first on concrete from a few foot and survive(claimed by Aizen) and a Jody would mostly be a piece of rubber with not much use after a tip first drop. and the finish work on Aizen’s are said to be superior to JJ’s. I certainly don’t believe the Jody’s sound like the Aizen’s much, my friend recently bought one and my teacher had a JJ HR* lying around and I have to say the Aizen for me is far superior a piece to the JJ the sound is much more natural to me i.e. it is darker more of a link quality similar to my teachers EB fixed up by Eric Drake, and the Jody had a Meyer feel to it, the tone was brighter and articulation was sluggish but that is my opinion only. and control in the extremes on the horn is much better

  12. I bought a Tenor Aizen LS 8 last week. I tried JJ HR and the new Slant Link and couldn’t get on with them. This mouthpiece is the real deal for me though. Strangely enough, I had to change my reeds from Javas to V16’s to get the most out of it. If you play 7* try the 8 or 8* as well if you get the chance.
    Good luck! Phil

  13. Avatar Pieter de Rooij says

    Is this mouthpiece similar to the Stan getz legends mouthpiece?

  14. No, they play very different from each other. I wouldn’t say they are similar. They might sound similar but I don’t remember thinking they were similar when I played the Stan Getz mouthpiece.

  15. Hi steve. Have you played the aizen so tenor? If so, what’s the difference between the so and ls?

  16. Hi Chris, I don’t believe I have tried the Aizen SO for tenor. I remember playing the SO for alto which was a terrific mouthpiece.

  17. Avatar Chuck Miller says

    Hey Steve, what material would you say this piece is made out of … resin? Also, any reed recommendations? How would you say this piece compares to the real thing (Vintage Soloist) and the Mouthpiece Cafe Expresso? Thanks so much!!

  18. Hi Chuck, I believe this is a resin. It’s been years since I reviewed it so I can’t remember what reeds worked best on it. This is more along the lines of a Slant type baffle and chamber so it is different than a soloist or Expresso. The Soloist type pieces have a very different type of sound in my opinion. Steve

  19. Avatar John Smith says

    hi steve. I am thinking about getting this piece in a 6*. however I would like to play a relatively stiff reed on it (maybe a V16 3.5). do you think this is do-able considering that you played a java 2.5? do you remember it being free blowing enough to use a reed that stiff?

  20. John, Unfortunately, I can’t remember the exact details of that review and how the reed felt on the Aizen LS. Sorry I can’t be more help. Steve

  21. Avatar Doron Sieradzki says

    I have been playing my Selmer Ref. 54 with many differetn mpcs. At the time I went for the punchy Peter Ponzol M1, but in the last two years I have been looking for a darker sound, which, at the same time, is not muffled, and has its own projection. For me Aizen LS 7* is just perfect. Second to that is Theo Wanne’s Gaia 8 I own, but I prefer the Aizen for its slightly darker sound.
    Thank you Steve for your wonderful website, which is my first stop before considering any new hardware. Take care!

  22. Thanks Doron! I’m glad you like the site and have found it helpful. I have a new Theo Wanne Slant tenor piece coming to me so am curious how that compares to the Aizen LS and Gaia……… Steve

  23. Avatar panagiotis says

    dear Steve, I am between aizen LS and drake son of slant. Which one would you prefer? I am looking for a more centered,dark vintage like sound

  24. Steve, do you know if Aizen LS MPCs are short, medium or long facing?
    I like medium facing, maybe for my double lips embouchure?
    Am I wrong or, especially at the beginning (of the second string), you were thinking of Stan Getz? There, it seems to me that your sound has a nice Stan Getz vibe!
    You’re really good!

  25. Avatar Giuseppe says

    Hello Steve, what HR (or resin) MPC for tenor do you prefere between Aizen LS, Ishimori Woodstone and Ambika?
    Thanks for a reply!

  26. Giuseppe, I don’t remember preferring any of those more than the others. All three played great for me. I didn’t keep any of them because I tend to like a bit of a brighter tone and all three were darker in tone from what I remember. Steve

  27. Avatar Arya Boustani says

    Steve, in last couple of days, I was listening to some of your tenor sax mouthpiece review sound clips for those hard rubber ones that are made for kind of straight ahead jazz stuff and I was trying to really pay attention to the thick core vs. spread qualities and finding similarities. I noticed I have to dissociate myself from the recording differences. It sounded like some had room reverberation and some not, and for some the sound has more presence not from the reed but from mic placement (8k frequency and above). I found interesting similarities between Warburton J series and Aizen LS. I like that thick core… although I imagine Warburton J has a smaller chamber (perhaps slightly more focused).

  28. Arya, I always try to record the same with the same distance from the mic and same position. I have changed mics twice since I started in 2006. I have had my current mic since 2012 I think? The harder issue to resolve is the rooms I recorded in. Since 2006 I have moved 4 times and probably changed my office room 8 times. All those rooms sound different to record in. The biggest change was 2015 when I had this huge open room that was like playing in a auditorium. It had crazy natural reverb. Here is an example http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2015/11/liu-shizhao-mb-prototype-tenor-saxophone-mouthpiece-review/ This room was crazy. The rest of the rooms were slightly different with varying degrees of dryness to natural reverb. I wish I could of avoided all that moving and change but that’s life I guess. Hopefully, listeners can still make out the differences between the different mouthpieces. I appreciate you listening and how descriptive you are. You have a very good ear and attention to detail……… Steve

  29. Dropped on one of these before christmas and, after listening to your clips and reading the review, decided to pull the trigger and buy it. Normally play alto and baritone in each of the 2 bands i’m in so don’t get much call on my tenor and had been playing a Morgan 6MLL on it. Got this is an 8* and after dropping a couple of reed sizes slid it on the cork and couldn’t put it down for the whole of christmas, what an awesome piece.

    Many thanks for your reviews, they certainly steer me, or at least assist, in making decisions.

    All the best for the new year,

    Matt

  30. Matt, That’s great to hear. Reading this brought a smile to my face as I know that feeling when you put a new mouthpiece on and it plays so well that you can’t put it down. Have a great year! Steve

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