This is a Warburton LA tenor saxophone mouthpiece that I am reviewing today. This tenor saxophone mouthpiece has a .110 tip opening and is silver plated. These are made by the great mouthpiece refacer Eric Falcon down in Florida. I have done a number of reviews in the past on other mouthpieces that Eric Falcon has made. Eric was kind enough to send me this LA tenor mouthpiece to try.
Warburton LA Tenor Sax Mouthpiece
The Warburton LA tenor mouthpiece looks great. The metal is smooth and polished and the silver plating appears to be nice and thick. This mouthpiece is quite a bit fatter than the “A Series” mouthpieces I reviewed last week. When you hold it in your hand you can feel how substantial and heavy it is. It comes with a Rovner light ligature but the mouthpiece itself is about the size of an Otto Link. I put my Selmer 404 two screw ligature on it at one point and it fit perfectly.
As you can see from these pictures, this mouthpiece has a straight baffle that ends about a quarter of an inch higher than the bottom of the chamber. The chamber looks pretty large to me. The aspect that is the most noticeable is how large the window of the mouthpiece is. The window is the part of the mouthpiece that the reed sits on. This window looks to be about 40% longer than most tenor mouthpieces I have seen. It is also quite a bit wider. The rails are nice and thin all the way back to the end of the window. This design seems to allow more of the reed to vibrate than a typical window would allow………at least that is my opinion on it.
Here is what the Warburton website has to say about the LA tenor mouthpiece:
“The Warburton L.A. Tenor sax mouthpiece was inspired by the timeless sounds of the great musicians of Los Angeles’ studios. Most of these great players are called upon to play in diverse musical settings and expected to adapt instantly to perform at the highest artistic levels.
For many years the classic Otto Link models from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s have been the overwhelming choice of the Los Angeles area tenor players. The versatility of these pieces is legendary. Now, the Warburton L.A. Tenor model takes that versatility and adds more depth, color, and richness to that classic sound.
Based on our experience in modifying current production Links to closely resemble their vintage counterparts we set out to design a new tenor mouthpiece that would set a new standard. We started with a clean sheet of paper and a strong concept of what the finished product should be. After countless hours of play testing and many subtle design changes we finally achieved our goal of noticeably improving on the classic Otto Link sound! The Warburton L.A. Tenor mouthpiece provides everything a player needs to achieve their full artistic potential and easily answer any demand the music may require.
- CNC machined for the ultimate in consistency
- Hand finished facing, baffle and rails
- Enlarged window
This mouthpiece was great to play. It had a very unique sound in my opinion. You can decide for yourself as you listen to the sound clip below. I wouldn’t say it was on the dark or bright side of the spectrum but rather more in the middle. The thing that was so unique for me was how fat the sound was. It just sounded really big and round sounding. When I was editing the sound clip I see a graph of the sound on my computer. The graph for the LA mouthpiece was a solid mass of sound across the recording. When I played full force there was no thin edges to the sound. Just one thick mass of sound. The low notes were big and lush sounding and the high notes had a nice edge to them.
The other thing that struck me was how smooth it sounded. When I was playing fast lines and runs the sound was very smooth and even across the whole range of the horn. Also, the altissimo was incredibly easy. It played with the ease that you usually get in a high baffled mouthpiece. To me this mouthpiece did sound similar to a great NY link type mouthpiece but it didn’t have any of the weaknesses associated with that kind of mouthpiece. Usually NY links are harder to play the altissimo and the sound is really spread and diffuse sounding. On the LA mouthpiece you get the fat sound but the sound is also focused and direct.
Warburton LA Tenor Sax Mouthpiece
I commend Eric for coming up with a new design and concept that gives the players out there another alternative for playability and sound concept. If you like the sound of this clip do yourself a favor and try one of these out yourself. If you want to find out more about these great mouthpieces visit the Warburton Website for more info. Let me know what you think below. Thanks, Steve