Aizen SO 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is a new Aizen SO mouthpiece that I received in the mail last week. It is a 7 tip opening.  If you follow my blog regularly, then you might remember that I reviewed the very first limited edition Aizen alto sax mouthpiece when it first came out a few years ago. Since then, they have been a busy company and come out with a few more models.  They now have the NY Jazz, the Jazz Master and the SO mouthpiece.  I was curious as how these play compared to my first Aizen I had years ago so I asked to review these.

Aizen SO 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is the description from the Aizen website about the Aizen SO mouthpiece:
With its smooth flow and outstanding responsiveness, this is a high quality mouthpiece, suitable for both classical and jazz alike.
The special chamber and short shank give a warm yet punchy tone.  AIZEN has designed it to avoid the airflow problems that plague vintage mouthpieces hitting low notes.

Players using the AIZEN SO can experience that unique vintage mouthpiece sound, while also enjoying a stress-free, well-balanced sound over the whole range from top to bottom.

Like all Aizen mouthpieces, the SO mouthpiece looks great. The rails and tip look terrific and the chamber and baffle are nice and smooth. The tip is perfectly matched to the Java and Ishimori Woodstone reeds I tried with it. The engraving looks pretty cool on it also. The chamber had straight side walls and looks as perfect as can be.

As far as sound you can judge for yourself from the recording.  My first thought, when I played it with the same 2 1/2 reed that I used on the NY Jazz and Jazz Master, was that it was extremely easy blowing and responsive.  The 2 1/2 felt so easy to blow on it even though it has the same tip opening as the NY Jazz and Jazz Master.  In the other Aizen reviews,  I talk about the resistance I like so much in these mouthpieces.  This SO mouthpiece had hardly any resistance what so ever.  I would just blow and it would play effortlessly.  I found that I had to move up to a 3 size reed and even that was pretty easy to blow.

The sound was very pure and focused, almost classical sounding to me.  When I played it seemed like the tone was tight and centered.  The baffle seemed like it was close to the NY Jazz baffle.  It had a pretty high roll over baffle at the tip that rolls into the chamber.  The chamber is small and looks like a Selmer Soloist type horse-shoe chamber.  I think it is this smaller horse-shoe chamber that focuses and centers the sound.

The first clip below is of the Aizen SO with a 2 1/2 reed.  It is super free blowing and has hardly any resistance that I can feel.  What’s weird is that the reed doesn’t feel too soft.  It feels great.  The only thing I noticed was how fast it responded and how loud and bright I could get it by blowing a little harder.  It was a great all round sound and could get really loud because of the lack of resistance with the 2 1/2 reed. I think this was the loudest of the Aizen mouthpieces that I tried this week.  When I played this downstairs around my family a few of my family members liked the sound of this mouthpiece the most of the Aizens I was trying that day.

The second clip is of the Aizen SO with a 3 Woodstone reed.  I almost put up the clip of the 2 1/2 and walked away but last night I was thinking about how easy it was to blow and decided I would try it again today with a 3 reed.  I put up both clips just so you could hear how it plays with both reeds.

In my opinion, the 2 1/2 reed was quite a bit brighter than the 3.  The 3 reed had a little more character and depth to the tone.  A bit darker and more controlled I think.  My preference was the 3 reed.  It gave me some of that resistance that I like to feel when I play a mouthpiece.  This mouthpiece actually would be an excellent choice for those looking for a mouthpiece for both classical and jazz playing.    One interesting aspect for me was that the overtones and altissimo on this mouthpiece were much easier to play than most other alto mouthpieces I have played.  Also, usually my low C tends to gurgle with small chambered pieces but with this Aizen SO it didn’t at all.  The low C was perfect……….I found that interesting.

Aizen SO 7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Give a listen to the sound clip below to hear for yourself what these mouthpieces sound like.   If you are interested in trying one of these visit Aizen’s website at for more information. Thanks again to Aizen for letting me try another great mouthpiece.   Please let me know what you think below in the comments…………….

Here’s the SO with a 2 1/2 Ishimori Woodstone reed.

Here’s the SO with a 3 Ishimori Woodstone reed.

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


  1. I prefer with no doubt your sound with the 2,5 reeds (much more harmonics in the sound, more complex sound, more CONTEMPORARY SOUND), just my opinion

  2. Hi Steve, Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Aizen has been making an SO model for some time, however, I have noticed that recently they’ve changed the design of the shank from the rounded Selmer short shank Soloist-style to a tapered Meyer-style. I don’t know if there have been any other changes and I’ve never tried any of their SO models. Sounds good though.

    • I’m not sure about that. On the website they do have a picture of a SO with a round Selmer type short shank mouthpiece but you are right. this one is a long tapered shank.

  3. As I said your sound with the woodstone #2,5 is fantastic, what is for you the closest brand to Woodstone according your great experience ?

    If I ask that : it is because (unfornutalely) Woodstone are very expensive reeds


    • I have some woodstone and Rigotti reeds coming to me so I can compare them. I haven’t tried the tenor reeds yet. I’ll post an article on them after I get them. Steve

  4. Very nice from you Nef, Thank You !

    • I got a few more boxes of Woodstone reeds in as well as some Rigotti Gold. I have heard a rumor that these are the same exact reeds. I tried the Rigotti 2 1/2 medium and they were softer than the 2 1/2 Woodstone. The 3 light Rigotti were a little harder but still played easily. Very close. I’m thinking the Rigotti 2 1/2 hard would be the closest although the store where I ordered them were out of the 2 1/2 hard so I can’t compare right now. I have to play more to properly compare them. Right now I have played 9 Woodstone reeds and all of them played fabulously. Not one dud out of all 9. Matter of fact all 9 played exactly the same for me. Perfect.

  5. Hi Steve,

    I’m thinking in getting an SO for me sometime soon. I wonder what ligature have you used for the test? (as far as I know they do not sell it with lig). Any special recomendation regarding ligature to get the most of this mpc?
    Best and thanks in advance.


    • I can’t really remember. I usually say in the beginning of the sound clip. If I didn’t, then I’m not sure. It was probably either a Vandoren Optimum or the Theo Wanne Enlightened ligature I think.

  6. have you tried the Aizen ASGR (or just GR) alto sax mouthpiece? I didn’t see it anywhere at this site. Supposed to have a Desmond type sound. This is how the Aizen site describes it; With its slightly curved side wall, low baffle and medium chamber, this piece puts out a rich, dark, warm sound. It’s also designed for outstanding ease of play, with no feeling of stress.
    The ASGR Alto Sax Mouthpiece works with all kinds of playing styles. Especially in the middle and higher range, this mouthpiece gets you producing that beautiful dry-Martini Paul Desmond sound. It would be interesting to hear this mouthpiece. I may have to do a search and see if I can find a video or sound clip somewhere.

    • Hi Sheryl,
      No, I haven’t tried the ASGR mouthpiece yet. It sounds very interesting though. I love Paul Desmond’s sound also……….

  7. Just wanted to add to my previous message. I was also curious about the Aizen Kurogane titanium mouthpieces. Don’t know if you ever tried those either.

    • Hi Sheryl, No, I haven’t tried one of those yet. I haven’t even heard of them until you just mentioned them. I’ll have to see if I can review one………Thanks, Steve

  8. I have one and all I’ll add to the review is DO NOT EVEN DREAM OF DROPPING IT ! . I never dropped mine , but it somehow got chipped on the tip .Had to get Mojo Mouthpiece Works to fix it . If it is made of rubber , it sure is brittle . Sound is very good and free blowing . . .

  9. Avatar Andy Bald says

    Hi Steve, and everyone else!

    I just wanted to comment on the Aizen ASGR – I have one, facing size 6.
    I normally play a 7 facing, but this 6 is right for me with the GR.
    It’s awesome, plays with a bit of resistance, but open too – it has a lot more going on than just the Desmond thing. I can get all sorts of great contemporary phrasing, split note effects and articulation too. It’s kinda like a Vandoren AS chamber, but a bit more medium, with a very slight roll over. Gives a very beautiful high end and better down the bottom than you’d expect.
    I reckon you should definitely try one out, if it plays for you like it does me, then you will be impressed.

    All the best

    • Thanks Andy. I haven’t heard of the GR model. Sounds great! Hopefully I will get a chance to review it. I appreciate the heads up. Steve

  10. Avatar Matthew Link says

    Hi Steve, awesome website – thank you for creating such a gold-mine of information. I wonder whether you would be kind enough to take a moment out of your busy schedule and impart some wisdom across the pond…?

    I currently have the Aizen NY and the Jazzmaster mouthpieces for Alto in a ‘7’ tip opening. I have had a toot on a Selmer Soloist and quite liked the vibe but the persons I played didn’t know the tip opening.

    I’m torn between getting a Selmer Soloist in an E opening or an Aizen SO in a 7. Which would you suggest/recommend and which has the warmer core to it? Also, would you say the Selmer is more resistant to play?

    Many thanks in advance,


    • Matthew, It’s hard for me to give advice on a Selmer Soloist because every one I have played has been refaced. How they play and respond really had to do with who refaced them and what they did to them. I have played Soloists that were really dark and some that were really bright. I haven’t played a modern Soloist. The Aizen SO is a really great mouthpiece and is very similar to that Selmer Soloist vibe. Sorry I couldn’t be more definitive. Steve

  11. Avatar Matthew Link says

    Hi Steve,

    Many thanks for taking time to respond, very much appreciated.

    I had been leaning towards the Aizen (mainly because it is consistently finished and I have a few other mouthpieces made by them) and your comments have solidified my thoughts. If you’d stated that a modern Soloist absolutely stomped all over the Aizen I would have changed tack.

    Thank you once again.

    All the best,


Speak Your Mind