This is a new Meyer medium chamber alto saxophone mouthpiece that is made by JJ Babbitt. If you have been an alto saxophone player for any length of time you will know the mouthpiece name “Meyer”. It is one of the most popular alto saxophone mouthpieces ever sold. When I was a kid, i remember going to the music store to get a Meyer because that was what all the best alto players were using. I had heard that Phil Woods played on one and then I went to a Jazz Festival and a group called the YellowJackets played. They had one of the best alto sax players I had ever heard. His name was Marc Russo and his altissimo playing was amazing. I remember wondering what mouthpiece he played and someone told me…………..a Meyer. That same year I went to a summer band camp and the sax teacher was this college kid from Eastman that sounded amazing. What did he play? A Meyer. That did it for me, I had to get a Meyer. Anyways, back to the music store. I remember trying probably 10 different Meyer mouthpieces at that store and I hated everyone of them. Some were stuffy, some I squeaked on, some were too bright sounding, some I couldn’t get a any volume out of. I remember leaving that store totally bummed out ( I ended up getting a Beechler soon after that and played that all through college)……………..
Phil Engleman Refaced Meyer 6
I never did run across a great Meyer alto mouthpiece but I’ve known tons of players through the years who have played them and sounded killer on them. Recently, Phil Engleman a mouthpiece refacer advertised that he was selling some stock Meyer that he would work on to make sure they played great. I took him up on his offer and bought a 6 & 7 from him.
The day I received the mouthpieces in the mail I was heading off to teach so I just put them in my bag. One of my first students plays a Meyer 5 that he has been having issues with so I had him try the Meyer 6 that I had just received from Phil. I have to say that the difference in sound was immediate. I was thinking “Wow” in my head when the student stopped playing and looked at the piece and said “Wow” also. His sound was fuller and rounder sounding. Nice and smooth sounding. His old Meyer was always sounding raspy and spitty sounding and this new piece sounded 100% better. He wanted to buy it right there but you have to remember that I hadn’t even played the mouthpiece yet so I said “No” and gave him Phil’s email address to get his mouthpiece worked on during the summer.
This clip is of the Meyer 6 from this story. It’s an easy mouthpiece to play with a brand new Vandoren Java 3 reed. I find the tone to be on the brighter side of the spectrum. The high end is a bright but still round sounding. The tone is incredibly easy to manipulate and shape. It reminds me a bit of my Aizen mouthpiece in the resistance it has. It feels easy to blow but it feels like you are blowing against something solid that makes the tone have a nice character to it. Also of note, is that I find the altissimo very easy to play on this mouthpiece. Much easier than some others I have played. The altissimo notes have a sweet sound to them that is beautiful sounding. I’m really diggin’ this piece for the time being and think I will hang on to it for awhile to see where it takes me.
Phil Engleman Refaced Meyer 6
The tip and rails of this mouthpiece are perfect. The chamber is nice, smooth and looks to be very symmetrical and balanced. When looking into the chamber from the table you can see a slight ridge where the chamber meets the bore but that doesn’t make any difference to the playablity of a mouthpiece.
Beautiful balanced tone. A little bit on the brighter side with a Phil Woods kind of vibe to it. Easy to sub-tone down low. The notes have a nice focus to them but still have a nice round sound to them. The high notes have a pleasant singing type quality to them that I loved.
As perfect as it gets. I played it with a tuner and couldn’t ask for better.
To be honest, this was one of the highlights of this mouthpiece. It was amazingly easy to play. It had an even and smooth tone throughout the range that made it easy to play fast patterns and large intervals. Altissimo and the overtone series were very easy on this mouthpiece. Much easier than most of the mouthpieces I have played. Maybe it’s because of the smaller tip.
Although I could get pretty loud, it wasn’t as loud as many other mouthpieces I have tried. I found that if I pushed the ligature back and took more mouthpiece to let the reed vibrate more it really improved the volume. I think it will get better as I get more comfortable on the smaller tip opening. (I mostly play .080 tip openings on alto.