Pete Thomas PPT Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece 7* Review

This is a great mouthpiece from Pete Thomas over in the UK.  I emailed him a few months ago because I was interested in trying one of his tenor mouthpieces.   He was kind enough to send me this one.  I’m not sure what it is made of  but it looks pretty cool.  It’s looks remind me of some of those white rocks you find on the beach sometimes.

I will say up front that this is a mouthpiece that really surprised me.  As soon as I opened the package and looked at it I thought “I’m really not going to like this mouthpiece”.  It has a pretty high and long baffle in it. Usually when I play a tenor mouthpiece with that high a baffle it is incredibly loud, bright and obnoxious.  Sometimes,  I also find them hard to keep in tune.  I kept this mouthpiece sitting on my desk for about a week and just kept looking at it.  I felt a bit scared to try it……………..

PPT Handmade Mouthpiece

This morning I drank a few cups of Java and thought “OK, it’s time to try it out.”  I was very surprised.  The first thing I noticed was that the tone wasn’t near as bright  as I thought it would be.  It was thick and powerful.  Down low the notes seemed centered and round like I like them.  I actually found it well balanced and quite beautiful sounding.  It sounded great just laying back and playing some bebop lines on it.  If I put some more air through it I could quickly get a funk/rock sound out of it.

The second thing that I noticed, was that I felt totally at ease with this mouthpiece.  Many times,  I have to play a mouthpiece for a few hours or sometimes a few days just to get use to it.  This PPT mouthpiece, I only played for about 15 minutes and I felt very comfortable on it.  The clips I posted below were after 15 minutes of playing and they came out pretty good I thought.

The first one is with my typical recording setup so you can hear how it sounds compared to my other mouthpiece trials.  The second clip was recorded in my garage.  I love playing brighter more powerful tenor mouthpieces in my garage because it gives the sound a natural reverb that I like.  That’s my favorite place to practice.

Thanks to Pete Thomas for letting me try this mouthpiece. It was a real joy to play.  If you want to find out more about them or even order one you can visit  www.petethomas.co.uk

Normal Recording

Recorded in Garage with Natural 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 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. Love the sound you’re getting from this Steve… this might just swing it for me to get one of these… a quick question though.. how reed-friendly is this piece?

  2. Well, I opened a Java 2 1/2 and put it on and it played perfect. I didn’t try another one though. It seemed pretty reed friendly to me.

  3. This sounds like a real keeper. I might just have to buy one. All proceeds go to charity as well!

  4. I already emailed Pete and he said I could buy this from him so I’m happy. I don’t really have a go to piece but I’m glad to have this in my options. I’d like to see how it plays after playing it for a few weeks and getting used to it.

  5. Hi Steve
    1. I have few questions . Does it realy change the sound if the sax is unlacquerd?
    2. What Neck do you recommand for Tenor sax? What brand?
    3.What reed do you recommand for Jazz ?
    Thanks for your help Marius

  6. Whether a sax is laquered or not makes no difference to me. The test is how it plays. I will never ever buy a sax without playing it first. I don’t have any feeling about necks. I play the one that came with my SBA and the one that is with my Virtuoso. You can play any reed for jazz there isn’t one that’s better than the others. It has to do with your preference. I like the Vandoren Java reeds personally.

  7. What is realy important to look when i buy a used sax.?

  8. The only thing I look for is how it sounds and feels when I play it.

  9. Thanks o lot Marius

  10. Steve,

    It’s been a few weeks now, Do you still feel the same way about the PPT mthpc?

    thanks,
    Pete

  11. Well, I played the other day in a lesson and it seemed to bright for my tastes. That always happens to me. It sounds great in a big room or recorded but in a dry practice room it sounds too bright to me. I guess that’s just life.

  12. Steve,

    I had a real hard time with this mouthpiece. Squealing incessantly. Admittedly, I’m just starting to play, but there was nothing insurmountable about working up from a Meyer G5 to a Ponzol ML. But this thing was a challenge. And then I happened onto an old Rico 2, and everything just fell under control. Weird. Beautiful sound when played gently.

  13. That’s strange. Obviously, I can’t speak for every mouthpiece. If you have a hard time with a piece you should contact the maker and have it checked over and refaced if necessary. Most craftsman will do this if you approach them about it.

  14. I loved mine at first but like you Steve after awhile it just seemed too bright/shrill/loud -in the highs especially. It seems like a piece that needs to be held back on or she’ll get unruly. Since I bought that ESP 7* from you little else gets played -she can do it all and that includes nice full sounding highs.

  15. Yes, it’s funny……with bright pieces I love them in a big hall or room that echoes but then when I play them in a dead room I find them to bright for my tastes.

  16. Hi Steve
    You sound great as always on this piece! I have been looking into getting a brighter tenor mouthpiece to play Funk/ R&B and my first choice of material would be metal. Does this piece have a similar feel as a metal piece or is it closer to hard rubber?
    Thanks a lot
    Peyton

  17. I would say it feels more like hard rubber to me. The width and feel in the mouth is like hard rubber.

  18. Man,

    Love the sound. My only concern is if the tip opening of the 7* is too much for me since I am not really a power one. I am using Otto link 6* now.
    Can some one please advise.

    Thank you

  19. I don’t think it would be that big of a difference. Your 6* has a lower baffle than the PPT do I think it will feel closer than you think.

Trackbacks

  1. […] mouthpiece by Pete Thomas.  The  PPT metal mouthpieces have similar internal dimensions to the Onyxite PPT that I reviewed a few years ago.  The facings are based on Ed Pillinger’s original facings, […]

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