SAXZ David Sanborn Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is a SaxZ “David Sanborn” metal alto saxophone mouthpiece.  SaxZ is a company in Japan which is run by Mitsu Watanabe.

SaxZ David Sanborn Model Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Man, I wish I had this mouthpiece when I was a kid.  When I was in junior high school, one of the first alto players I listened to was David Sanborn.  I remember going to the library and getting the album “Voyeur”.  That was the first time I listened to Dave Sanborn.  It blew my mind because his sound was so different than the alto players I had listened to until then.   I remember trying to play along with him and copy his sound.  I spent many hours each day trying to get down his licks and sound.   I did get many of his licks down but his sound was always very elusive for me.  I knew nothing about mouthpieces back then and had no idea that there were different kinds.  I didn’t know that you could sound different by choosing another mouthpiece.  I actually remember going through a stage where I was playing a Caravan mouthpiece for classical auditions and I was still trying to get that Sanborn sound out of it.  That was rough! (this Caravan had one of the darkest tones) The reason I would have loved this mouthpiece is that it propels you into the neighborhood of  that raw Sanborn sound without too much effort.

I feel like the “Sanborn” sound is more of an extreme sound tone wise.  It is very raw,bright,edgy and tough sounding.  It’s right in your face.  What Michael Brecker did for the tenor sound,  Sanborn did for the alto sound.  It’s not a middle of the road type of sound.  If you are going for  that type of sound you have to be bold and unapologetic about it.  You have to play with confidence!

Here are some words about the mouthpiece from SaxZ:

“From SAXZ and Mitsui Watanabe in Japan are the *NEW* David Sanborn alto sax mouthpieces. These are replicas of the mouthpiece David has been playing for years and is available in metal, sterling silver, and hard rubber/resin!

This superb metal mouthpiece incorporates the most up-to-date technology while maintaining the traditional high-baffle style. Performance versatility is built into every aspect of this excellent mouthpiece.” 

The mouthpiece does indeed look to be a replica of a metal Dukoff mouthpiece.  As you can see in the pictures, there is a slight blemish on the baffle.  I’m not sure if it came from the factory this way.  The baffle is high and even and angles down into a medium small chamber.  The high baffle and smallish chamber are what speed up the air and give a brighter more powerful sound to the tone.

SaxZ David Sanborn Model Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Personally, I don’t play with this type of alto sound.  I haven’t played too much of this style since high school when I started getting into Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley.   Recording the clip below did take me back though.  You can check out the clip and if you like that sound and style then you should give this mouthpiece a try.  I have to warn you that this clip is a bit louder and brighter than others I have done.

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

SaxZ David Sanborn Model Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

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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


  1. Avatar Charlie Duran says

    Thanks Steve. I got a Rico H ligature y’all were talking about and it made a huge difference. The SAXZ mouthpiece really sings and has a nice buzz to it. Awesome website by the way. I’ll be purchasing your books. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Charlie. I’m glad you dig the SaxZ mouthpiece and thanks for the support. Steve

  3. tiene mucha personalidad esta boquilla. sounds great!

  4. Dear Steve
    I am looking for an H ligature for my Bobby Dukoff, I would appreciate if you could help in finding one for my alto.
    Thanking you in advance.

  5. I don’t have one sorry. Good luck in your search. Steve

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