Ishimori Woodstone 8 Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I have an Ishimori Woodstone hard rubber tenor sax mouthpiece to review and play for you today.  This is a 8 tip opening (.110) hard rubber mouthpiece.   I have been eagerly wanting to play one of these Ishimori mouthpieces for quite a while.

Ishimori Woodstone Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Over the past few months, I have heard of Ishimori Woodstone mouthpieces from a number of players on the web. They were all raving about how good these mouthpieces were which really peaked my curiosity. I had a problem though, when I searched around for these mouthpieces I couldn’t find them anywhere except for the Ishimori site in Japan and the whole site was in Japanese. (I am not fluent in Japanese) I gave up after that but then a month later I heard another player raving about them again. This time I decided to try contacting Ishimori directly through their website. I sent them an email asking about their mouthpieces and a few days later received a courteous response from Norikiyo Yaguchi who handles Overseas transactions for Mr. Ishimori. He was nice enough to send me 5 mouthpieces to review- 2 alto, 2 tenor and one soprano mouthpiece.

This tenor sax mouthpiece is beautiful.  It has a perfect looking facing curve and tip.  The baffle is medium low and slopes down to a medium to large  sized chamber.  The shape of the baffle is similar to the classic Otto Link Slant Signature mouthpieces that play so great. The baffle slides smoothly and evenly down into the chamber and there’s not an edge or blemish anywhere.  Absolutely perfect looking.

I love to try hard rubber tenor mouthpieces that play great.  This is a great example of one.  The sound is dark and rich sounding to my ears.  Even though it is on the darker side of the tone spectrum, it has a crispness and focus to the sound that is great. The subtone was beautiful sounding and almost brought tears to my eyes. I love the first note on the recording.  To me it has that dark rich sound that is a classic tenor sound. (Think Hank Mobley)  The .110 tip was a bit bigger than I liked but I have a 7* on the way even as I write this.  I’m very excited to try that one as I’ve been preferring .105 tips over .110 for the past 6 months or so.

Ishimori Woodstone Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece came with a Woodstone #2 1/2 reed on it which was perfect for this mouthpiece. As you listen to the clip below, I think you can hear the rich thick sound this piece has.  This would be a perfect mouthpiece for those of you who like that “slant” link type sound and want to sound great on a jazz set.  It’s on the darker side of things but the high notes really ring through and are not dull or dead sounding at all.  They are nice and crisp and pop right out.

The intonation was also great on this mouthpiece as it has been on every Ishimori mouthpiece I have tried so far.

I hope to have some more clips and reviews up in the next few days of the rest of the Ishimori mouthpieces I have so stay tuned for those. Every mouthpiece and reed that I have received from the Ishimori company has been perfect. They pay attention to the smallest details and it is obvious when you see and play their products. Believe it or not, I have played about 40 of their Woodstone reeds and haven’t found a bad one yet. They all played great right out of the box!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks, Steve

Ishimori Woodstone Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

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. Hello.
    my first comment on your site. I love all the reviews that you do on these mouthpieces.

    This one in particular. I love the sound you get out of this piece, and is basically what I look for from my horn.

    Can I ask, how was the volume from this piece when pushed?

    • Paul, This piece got a nice volume when pushed. I don’t remember it bringing down the walls but it had a nice loud full sound when pushed. Steve

  2. Avatar Giuseppe says

    Hello Steve, what resin or HR mpc for tenor do you prefer between Aizen LS, Ishimori Woodstone and Ambika?
    Thank for a reply.

    • 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

  3. Avatar Giuseppe says

    Thanks. Excuse me, I posted the comment on both the reviews of MPCs and I forced you to two answers! the Aizen seems me slightly brighter between the three.

  4. Avatar Giuseppe says

    Steve, a question: write that you got some excellent Woodstone reeds. Can you tell me where the cane of these reeds is grown? In Japan or in a other country?

  5. Avatar Giuseppe says

    Perfect! Then I must find a way to buy them.
    Thanks for the information.
    P.S. do you find them like Rigotti Gold Jazz, unfiled, or better? The 2 and 1/2 you have tried to which gradation Rigotti you look similar like number and hardness? 2 and 1/2 medium?
    Thank you.

    • Giuseppe,
      I usually don’t use the 2 1/2 Woodstone reeds because they are too soft for me usually. I have used the 3 and 3 1/2 on alto and tenor at times. It’s hard to tell where they fit in strength compared to Rigotti. I think the 2 1/2 Woodstone is sort of like a 2 1/2 medium Rigotti maybe. The 3 is like a 3 Light or 3 Medium Rigotti. The Woodstone are great if the size matches what you like but there is only one size per number. Since I try so many mouthpieces, I like to use Rigotti as I can dial in the best strength for each mouthpiece I try more specifically. I don’t use Rigotti reeds on mouthpieces with short facing curves. They tend to be hard to play and edgy on those short curves on both tenor and alto. For those curves I usually use Vandoren Javas which I like also. Steve

  6. Avatar Giuseppe says

    Thanks for the detailed answer, you’re really kind; I think, therefore, since now I usually only use Rigotti gold 2 1/2 Medium I should be fine with the Woodstone 2 1/2 (before I used the Vandoren ZZ 2 1/2 and the red Java Vandoren 2 1/2 that I found both a bit more hard of the Rigotti and with a slight impression of plastic in the sound, but I liked the buzz that sometimes emitted the red Java). My MPCs are all medium facing.
    Here in Rome they sell only the Rigotti Medium, in the various numbers; except for errors, the Soft or Hard can not be found.
    Surely in Italy they do not have the Woodstone, so I should find someone here in Rome to make me kind to order them either in Japan or America at my expense, and then I will pay him a dinner at the restaurant to thank him, since I do not buy online (too complicated).
    Thanks again for the advice, Giuseppe.

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