Up for review today, is a new tenor saxophone mouthpiece model by Phil Barone. It’s called the Super New York. Phil Barone has been making mouthpieces for a long long time. I first heard his name back in the 90’s when I saw Dino Govoni play at the Acton Jazz Club. Dino sounded great that night and I asked him what he was playing on and he said a Barone mouthpiece. I had never heard of them before but shortly after that I found a Jazz model on ebay that I loved. Over the years, I have tried numerous Jazz, New York and Hollywood models. When I heard Phil had a new model coming out that he was excited about I was instantly curious. Especially after I read his description of it on the internet.
Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece
This is what Phil Barone had to say about the Super New York on SOTW (Sax on the Web):
I’m extremely happy to announce that after a year and a half of working on the Super New York model tenor mouthpiece that I’ve finally completed the very first one and it is way beyond my expectations. We started with a model then went to a prototype then we scanned the prototype and made a CNC program and finally after tweaking the program we finally made the very first mouthpiece which I then hand-finished it and it is an absolute monster, a MONSTER. I guess the last time I was this excited about a mouthpiece was when I made the Hollywood and that was mouthpiece history.
It’s a dark mouthpiece but loud as hell and very free-blowing and it gets a little brighter as you push into it but not much and physically it has a very large chamber with a nice rollover baffle but while the sound is dark it’s also very bold and vibrant. This is an unusual combination. If you and I have a phone consultation before purchasing one and you end up not liking the mouthpiece I will give you a one hundred percent refund. I have to do it this way because I will have a limited number of pieces so I have to be careful of who I send them to until I have a substantial number of mouthpieces.
You will love one of them if you play an Otto Link, metal or rubber or even if you have a higher baffle mouthpiece and are frustrated with the quality of the sound. This is a VERY free-blowing mouthpiece and I’m very certain you will be happy with it. A waiting list is forming so call 212.686.9410. Phil Barone
Phil’s description really piqued my curiosity. In the past, I had loved the darkness of the Jazz models but had sold the ones I owned because I couldn’t get the highs and volume I needed in today’s modern funk and rock world. I tried the New York and Hollywood models and they had that brightness and volume I needed live but I also found them a bit too bright for what I wanted. I was always looking for something in between the Jazz models and the New York and Hollywood models. In my opinion, this is that mouthpiece. It has that dark core to the sound that is thick and full sounding. It could take all the air I could give it and get mighty loud. You can’t hear it on the clip but I tried to record a clip before this one and when I played full blast I would max out the mic levels. For the sample below I had to keep it at a low to medium volume to not max out the mic. When I really pushed it it did get brighter but not too much in my opinion. I think it is bright enough to hold it’s own in a modern loud band situation when you push it though.
I have to say that the intonation on this mouthpiece was amazing. Usually, my middle E is quite a bit sharp. I am used to that and adjust to fix it. With the Super New York I didn’t have to adjust at all. The octaves were close to perfectly in tune. You can hear it in the clip when I play a little bit of “Pure Imagination”. The melody jumps to an E at one point and I was expecting it to be sharp and it was perfect. That was a nice surprise. The altissimo was easy to play and was easy to keep in tune also.
Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece
I ranked this mouthpiece a 5 in every area except construction (No plating and bite played not glued on) Phil did tell me this before hand as this is the prototype model and wasn’t finished to sell. I didn’t rank that category just because I didn’t think it was fair to Phil as this isn’t a final product. To be honest, I could care less about the plating and the bite plate…….what matters to me is the way it plays. This Super New York plays great. I felt instantly at home and comfortable on it. I’ve played it for a week straight now and loved the sound of it as much today as I did last week.
For tone I gave it a 5 because I loved the lush full thick sound it had all over the range of the horn. There wasn’t a thin note anywhere on the horn. The tone had a lot of character to it also. The thickness of the tone reminded me of a Dexter or Eric Alexander kind of sound. Nice and thick and full.
For response I also gave it a 5. It had some resistance but it was a good resistance. It lets you shape the sound and push against something. It would take all my air and get super loud. Usually response goes hand in hand with how comfortable I feel on a mouthpiece. I felt very comfortable. The more comfortable I am, the more creative I am. I’m not thinking about the mouthpiece and sound but I’m just playing and focused on creating. That’s a 5 for me.
For value I gave it a 5 also. I don’t even know what these will sell for but the mouthpiece plays so well that to me it is worth the price to get this sound and response.
This mouthpiece that Phil Barone sent me is the first one that he has made. It hasn’t been finished and the bite plate isn’t even glued on yet. I have a regular New York in my possession now and that mouthpiece is much brighter than the Super. When I look at them side by side the Super looks to have a slightly higher roll over baffle but looks to have a faster decline to the chamber. The chamber and bore look bigger than the New York model I have. This combination of baffle with large chamber gives the mouthpiece a beautiful balance of power and a thick fat tone. Maybe in the future I can do a comparison clip of the New York and Super New York side by side so you can hear the differences.
Thanks to Phil for letting me try this mouthpiece and review it. If you like this clip and my review contact Phil Barone by phone 212.686.9410 or by his website. I believe he has the first run of these in production even as I type this so hopefully they will be available very soon. If you get one of these feel free to come back and write your own review down below………………
Phil Barone Super New York Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece
mike gallagher says
Can you do some Jr. Walker on it Steve?
I could but believe it or not I have never listened to Junior Walker my entire life. I have nothing by him in my entire collection. Let me know what tunes to get and I’ll check him out.
mike gallagher says
Shake and Fingerpop, Shotgun.
Just type Jr. Walker in on Youtube and you won’t have to buy anything. You sound good on the Barone, as you do on all of your mouthpieces. Five stars all around- I guess you really liked it!
Yeah, I do really like it. I rate a mouthpiece 5 stars when I have to have it or I can’t sleep at night…………………It does play and sound great that is for sure.
simon peat says
WOW…..you sound amazing on that piece!! Fat, lush…….everything!
Has this mouthpiece more ore less resistance than the average Florida Link no usa in the same size?
I am used to play a Florida link 8 (0.110mm). Do you think this mouthpiece get to dark in a 8 size tip? Ofcourse i understand when it’s difficult for you to comment on the last question because you only play this 7*
I can’t say. I have a no USA florida link but it was refaced so I don’t know if it is average. It’s the only no USA florida link I have played. The Barone Super NY mouthpiece I have is a 7** so it’s right next to that 8 tip opening. I doubt there would be much difference. A 7** is like a .107 or .108. Going from that to a .110 is a miniscule amount. I hope this helps. Steve
mike gallagher says
Well, you are a killer player too Steve.
Thank you for providing this wonderful resource for us and all the work that you continue to put in on it.
you sound great as usual.
Just one advise, I think you should stay a little bit far away from the microphone when you record yourself.
Thank’s for your job.
Ciao from Italy!
Thanks Jason. Is the level too hot or distorted? Right now I am about 3 feet away. I notice that when I go further away the recording isn’t as focused and direct sounding. Thanks for the input. Steve
Steve, what reed in what size were you playing in the clip? I have now received my Super New York and I am enjoying it a lot, but I’m still experimenting with reeds. Phil recommends RSJ but while these sound good (when I find a good one, which is rare), Rigotti Gold 2.5 Strong have worked the best for me so far.
I used a Woodstone 2 1/2 reed on that one (I usually say what I’m playing on a mouthpiece at the beginning of the clip) I think the Woodstone is very close if not the same as the Rigotti 2 1/2 strongs. I’ve heard Rigotti makes the Woodstone reeds also.
Is a 7** for this mouthpiece the best tipopening for you?
Yes, I like the 7**. I wouldn’t want it more open or more closed.
I just received my Super NY 7*. 2 questions for you:
– which ligature are you using?
– the inner hole is too large, so that I have a very lose fit on my Selmer reference- it is leaking… The cork, is original and was always working well with my previous MPs. I can get it recorked, but then I fear I will not be able to use my other MPs. Any suggestion? using teflon tape? Did you experience also the same problem of a larger bore than usual on the super NY? thanks
I have tried 3 ligatures so far. A Selmer 404 silver two screw lig works well, a Theo Wanne Enlightened Soprano Ligature, A Saxxas ligature. They all work great with different results. As far as the cork…………try boiling some water in your microwave until it’s boiling (about 3:15) and then stick the neck cork in the boiling water. It expands the cork and then the piece should fit nicely on it. I find mine is a normal size bore but I was playing a florida link with a small bore and had to use the boiling water trick. Hope this helps. Steve
David Smith says
I loved your sound on the barone super new york MPC;there seems to be no place to be able to buy one.Not listed on the Phil Barone web sight.
Just give Phil a call. I’m sure he’d be happy to make you one.
Pascal valcasara says
For david smith. You’d better call phil if you want to purchase one.
You’re right, the super new york is not listed yet, and I believe that he’s not selling any new york anymore.
I just purchased a super new york today for $600, and I can’t wait to play is sweetheart.
Mario Lafresiere says
Hi Steve, in fact since I did not receive an answer from you concerning a new mouthpiece I wanted to buy…..a few days ago I decided to try to find what I was looking for in your blog, and I fell on THE type of sound, I have been searching for since ages….I wrote an email to Phil Barone and ordered the Super New York 7*…I can’t wait to have it home now….I’ll give you feedback in time…..according to my taste it’s the mpc you sound best on in all the trials of your blog….do you have one yourself ?….Thanks for your precious help
Sorry Mario. I think you made a great choice. I usually just tell people to listen through the clips and find the clip they like the sound of the most. It’s important to distinguish between the “sound” and the playing. Sometimes people pick a clip because of what I play. You have to remember I have good days and bad days so one day I might be totally cranking away and another day it might be harder for me. If you can just isolate the sound you love though I think that will get you in the ballpark. The Barone SNY is one of my favorite piece I have reviewed on this site that is for sure…………..
For sure Steve,but I believe on hearing this mpc that you might have been on a good day , the sound being really, really wonderful, you know if I could have a little bit of that feel on the super New York, it will be a blessing for me… anyway by next week I’ll give you feedback about the SNY….
Chris Godber says
Thanks Steve great sounds! I called Phil Saturday before I found this post and he talked me into a SNY as well! I actually called regarding another piece and he told me I’d like this one. I’ve always felt at home on a 7* and subsequently all of my Tenor pieces are a 7* except for my KING which is a little more open, but he told me to go with an 8. He had a 7* which is what I was leaning towards, but he said to go with an 8 haha. I trust his input so I’m gonna give it a shot! Hopefully it’s as easy blowing as a 7*, I doubt there’s too much difference. Though it may make it slightly darker, as Phil explained tip openings have much less effect on the playability as does the chamber! He said it’d be in by Thursday so I look forward to putting it to work! Be Blessed, Not Stressed…Chris
I hope you like it. Come back after you play it for awhile and post a review if you have the time. I have an 8 right now that I am playing on. It does play differently than the 7** I have. I’m trying to figure out which one I like better………
well I’m now using the Barone SNY most of the time, I must say it’s a beautiful sound mpc…I sometimes play on very long gigs in ballroom like 2 times 4 hour gigs for tea time and evening balls and I must say the 7* really makes a difference between the Guardala MBII I was using before, and that I still use when I’m in shorter gigs needing more projection Anyway the review you made really helped in the choice, I’m using the Barone 7* with an Ishimori 2 1/2 reed and a Rovner Platinum ligature and I really like the ease and nice buzz of the mpc, thanks gain, blessings to you and your family
Can you tell more about the differences between the 8 and 7**?
Can you already tell which one you prefer?
I asked this question on the GAIA review, but didn’t know if it was closed down due to age.
What are your thoughts regarding the GAIA metal vs the
Phil Barone Super New York tenor mouthpiece?
The Gaia and SNY have a similar fatness to the tone. I would say the SNY is a bit brighter and the Gaia has a more velvety quality to the sound. Very smooth. I would say that the SNY seems to be louder because of the extra edge when I push it hard. The Gaia gets louder but doesn’t get as bright. The Gaia is fat and velvety with a tad of edge. The SNY is brighter but also very rich sounding which balances the highs so it doesn’t sound overly bright. Hope this helps.
Steve, Thanks for your review(s). Very helpful to me. I have been playing a Barone Hollywood and love it, but that bottom end, while producing a good tone, is a bit hesitant to speak compared with a Theo Wanne Amma I just sold which dropped Bb on the floor with the slightest exhale.
So…am interested in the Barone SNY you review and write to ask your opinion. Was this a SNY or just an old version New York?
Chris Godber says
I’ve had the PB SNY 8 for a little while now and thought I’d come post my thoughts thus far. It’s a great piece no doubt! The tone is dark, yet brightens up the more you push it. I’m playing 2.5 Rico Plasticovers most of the time as that’s my go to reed for playability and no fuss since I play soprano, alto and tenor at my gigs. It’s pretty freeblowing, but has a slight bit more resistance than my KING and JJ DV, however, I like that. The altissimo range took some more getting used to as it was more hesitant than the KING or JJ DV which pop out effortlessly which is the only reason I’m giving it a 4.5 on the response category. Once I played on it about 2 weeks it felt very comfortable, however. The tone is what got me though, I love it! Here’s 2 youtube covers I’ve recorded with it to give you another sound byte. One is my version of “Ain’t No Sunshine”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95lDo01-5YQ
And Kem’s “Find Your Way” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98MYh_dPWU8
For a comparison in sound from the PB SNY to the Jody Jazz DV 7* here is one of my originals recorded with the JJ back in 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDbOMm7zFB4
I’ve since sold the KING as it didn’t hold a candle to this PB, I’ve kept the JJ for when I want a bigger thicker sound, but my PB SNY is my main piece, thanks Phil for all the work you put into this wonderful and versatile piece!
Hope this helps someone eitherway in their quest for the right mouthpiece. Be Blessed, Not Stressed…Chris
Ed Geddes says
Just discovered Otto Links through a good playing STM. Never took to them before but maybe I’m changing as a player. So after searching for high baffled pieces I’m off on a search again
I notice quite a lot of buzz in this clip. Would you put it down to the reed or the mouthpiece?
Yeah, A great link can be amazing. The SNY has a pretty high rollover baffle. It gets some nice brightness when I push it.
This is still my favorite sounding tenor piece you’ve played. Beats the Navarro pieces for lushness of tone.
I recently had the chance to get one of these used and it almost plays itself. I understand why you said you felt at home and comfortable on it immediately. Its the best mouthpiece I have ever played on tenor. Fat, lush sound, easy articulation, great intonation and can project like crazy. I can easily see using it in a straight-ahead jazz setting or in a rock setting. Phil Barone really knows his stuff.
Phil Barone says
Thank you Steve for making this site available, it’s great! The SNY is not designed to be a high-baffle mouthpiece so it’s not quite as loud as one but it is loud. It’s not for the faint of heart, it’s for guys that can handle a Link but want much more volume and a little more brightness when needed than any Link.
I don’t like high-baffle pieces and I feel that they’ve deteriorated the sound of the sax in the last thirty years and that they’re more for kids than mature, professional sax players who really want a quality sound and while I do make some I despise doing it and I feel like a criminal doing it. And while they are loud, they remind me of a kazoo. Listen to early Mike Brecker and late Mike; there’s no comparison if you have the ears to hear the difference. If you listen to your favorite players, and I don’t even know who they are, you know who they are in just a couple of notes but that’s not true of the new, modern players anymore and that’s largely because of high-baffle mouthpieces. They do too much of the work so the player gets lost. It’s shouldn’t be effortless!
I’m working on a few SNY pieces now and I expect to have them finished in four weeks from the date at the top of this page along with three Custom SNY’s but just because you’ve heard some hype doesn’t mean you should run off to my site and buy one. No, ideally you should talk to me first so we can help you choose a mouthpiece that’s right for you so you get the right piece. Switching to a mouthpiece that’s too radically different than what you’re used to won’t be productive. I make a few models that are all based on old Links and one based on an old Dukoff but they’re all similar to my SNY so get the right piece and save yourself the trouble. Buying a mouthpiece won’t give you a sound, not at all. You can have Steve’s exact mouthpiece but that doesn’t mean you’ll sound like him. You may need something entirely different to sound like someone else but that shouldn’t be your goal. The only person you should try and sound like is you. Phil Barone
Thanks for visiting Phil! I agree wholeheartedly with Phil and his comments. The SNY is a very special piece but it isn’t a high baffle mouthpiece. I have played it on loud Top 40 gigs and it held it’s own on those gigs. It has a louder and slightly brighter link vibe to it. Kind of the best of both worlds I think.
Austin Zhang says
Hey Steve, I got a Ishimori 6m on alto and can say you have great taste for mouthpieces!! Now I’m looking for a tenor piece, my favorite clips were this Barone and the Klum Focustone, can you compare the 2?
I assume you are asking about the Barone SNY compared to the Klum? I found the SNY to have a brighter sound that could get a lot louder than the Klum. The Klum could be pushed louder but not nearly as loud as the SNY. The Klum didn’t get as bright when pushed either. Although the SNY is brighter I found it to have a very fat spread sound. The Klum seemed a little more focused than the SNY. I know Ted Klum has other models now that I haven’t tried yet so he might have one that has more volume like the SNY but I can’t say as I haven’t tried them all yet. Hope this helps. Steve
Hi steve, your review the comments have made this piece look very tempting, so would you characterise this as slightly brighter than a link with more projection but still with the core sound? thanks.
Mills, That’s a good description. It’s brighter but also fatter than most link tones I think. It’s an interesting mix. I’ve played links with more of a focused core to the sound but the SNY has the advantage of giving you more volume and brightness while being “fat” sounding if that makes sense……….
thanks for the quick response steve, I’ve enjoyed some links but cant really be bothered to search for the perfect one (id rather be playing) so this sounds great and it sounds versatile enough for rock r&b gigs aswell. also, your site and input is very helpful and is appreciated.
Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing you experience. You blog really helped me a lot to choose a mouthpiece that I expect to suit my taste. I’ve narrowed down my choice to P. Barone SNY and Lebayle LRII and.. Here comes the dilemma, both seems to be great. Which one to choose? Of course that it is quite personal thing, still I was wondering how you would compare those two pieces against each other in terms of sound, effortless and intonation. I currently play on Otto Link metal STM 7* with Conn 10m. I would be grateful for your opinion.
The Lebayle LRII is definitely darker than the SNY. I would say it has a dark focused sound. The SNY is fatter sounding and gets quite a bit brighter when pushed. I remember the Lebayle didn’t get near as bright but kept the dark sound even when pushed. I guess it all depends on how dark of a sound you want……………Hope this helps. Steve
Thanks a lot Steve. I guess I will compare them both and share my feedback. All the best.
Michal, Playing them is best. Both had good intonation and both were easy to play. I think the SNY would win for volume though………….
Hi Steve. I haven’t got a chance to compare them. Yet I did make another interesting comparison. PB SNY 7* vs. TW GAIA metal. I choose PB … The piece is full-sounding, loud, meaty and strong in mid-range. It has a bright/dark sound and not to sexy also more focused than I thought. When pushed can scream yet still sings. I would say – mix B. Marsalis with D. Gordon you get PB SNY 7*. Weak side, PB is harder to play than TW. Why did I not choose TW? The piece is great, easy to play, full distinctive sound. Yet, I did have a feeling that the sound is somehow build-in, to smoky (however beautiful and loud) in low register to sexy in high. I am sure lot of folks will love. Myself I felt it was too much. I like darkish strong mid hard-bop tone so TW wasn’t for me. I also have a suggestion, I would love to hear a comparison between mid-baffle masters such as PBarone SNY; TWanne GAIA; MBrecker; GLawton B, Sakshama ‘Dukoff Stubby’ ; BLarsen (let say 120, 01, SMS) . That would be one interesting battle and It looks like you are the only one who can do it
Kevin King says
Hey Mr.Neff Thanks for your wonderful reviews you have really helped me in my search for a great mouthpiece. I am really liking this super New York but I am not sure if I should get it. all of my mentors tell me that nothing beats a good vintage link but I think this piece might be better than a link and a lot less expensive. what do u think Steve?
The Barone SNY is a great mouthpiece but I’m not sure you would save money from a great vintage link. I believe the SNY is 600 last I checked and you can get a pretty good florida link for that price also. If I were you I would try to find a piece that a player you respect speaks highly of especially when it comes to a florida link……….Good Luck, Steve
kevin king says
Thanks Mr.Neff for the quick reply. I was wondering how would you compare a Baron SNY to a vintage link? which is more versatile?
In my experience vintage Links are all different. I have probably 10 in my possession now. Some are brighter, some darker. You really can’t go wrong with a refaced Vintage Link or the SNY. In general the SNY is different in that it has a higher rollover baffle and bigger chamber than a vintage link. Those two elements give it a unique sound in that it can be bright because of the high baffle but also fat and full sounding because of the big chamber. I have played some vintage links that were “dogs” and played awful but if you have them refaced they can be born again. I just got a No USA Florida Link back from Brian Powell that I though was pretty dead sounding. Now it plays great for me! Good Luck on the search, Steve
Could you compare the barone Hollywood and barone Super New York more indepth
I actually still have a Hollywood and SNY in my possession. Both great mouthpieces. The Hollywood is more focused and brighter. The SNY is a little darker than my Hollywood and has a fatter more spread sound. I like both mouthpieces for what they do. The Hollywood is great for loud Top 40 wailin’ tenor solos. The focus and extra brightness and edge can cut through the mix perfectly. The SNY can cut through that mix also but you might have to try a little harder. I’d go for the SNY if I had to play some jazz on the gigs because the fatter fuller sound is more palatable for that style in my opinion……although with use I’m sure the Hollywood can be tamed to be darker as you get used to it and the SNY can be played brighter if you desire. Maybe I can do a sound clip of both comparing them since I still own these……….Steve