SAXZ “Vintage 1950” Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

This is a SaxZ “Vintage 1950” hard rubber tenor saxophone mouthpiece.  SaxZ is a company in Japan which is run by Mitsu Watanabe.  I reviewed a SAXZ Dave Sanborn model which was a very modern sounding mouthpiece.  This tenor mouthpiece is SAXZ’s version of a vintage 1950 type mouthpiece.

SAXZ  “Vintage 1950” Model Tenor Mouthpiece

This mouthpiece has an 8 tip opening (.110).  The table, rails and tip look good.  The baffle is a medium rollover baffle that ramps down smoothly into a medium large chamber.

This mouthpiece played very well.  When played at a low or medium volume is produced a nice dark sound that was robust and thick.   The sub-tones were really nice on this mouthpiece as you can hear on the recording.  The  response was fast and even throughout the whole range of the horn.  When you listen to the clip below you can judge for yourself.  I know I felt very comfortable on it and didn’t have to fight the mouthpiece at all to play the way I wanted.

Here are some words about the mouthpiece from which sells the mouthpiece:

“The Saxz Vintage 1950 tenor sax mouthpiece has husky and dark sound with a lot of buzz like 1950’s sound. This mouthpiece has very quick response and all the playability and very good pitch that you find in today’s mouthpieces. This is a mouthpiece that offers outstanding performance. It features a low baffle with medium large chamber. It has a hand-finished body, tip, and side rails.”

SAXZ “Vintage 1950” Model Tenor Mouthpiece

Like the alto mouthpiece, this is a great mouthpiece to play on.  It gives you that lush ’50’s tenor sound if you want it but it has plenty of power when you push it.  When I think of 1950 tenor players you have quite the list.  John Coltrane, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, George Coleman…………

This mouthpiece won’t make you automatically sound like any of these guys.  That’s up to you. I do think this mouthpiece can get you in the ballpark sound wise though.

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

SAXZ  “Vintage 1950” Model Tenor 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. After reading and listening to this review i ended up buying both the alto and the tenor version of the saxz 1950.
    They are absolutely amazing. the tenor one is a number 8. It goes easily from smokey quiet to huge and proud.
    It never gets smooth jazzy on you,because it always retain character and complexity, it has its own special vibe.
    Yet, despite being vintage sounding for sure, it never feels constricted or limited. It really can morph into several different sounds depending on your emission and intention.
    I also have to mention that the ligature that Steve uses in the review is instrumental in getting this result. The mouthpiece is terrific, but the optimum vandoren ligature really lets it fly. I use the number 3 pressure plate, and it’s a true joy to play.

  2. Steve – Great review, many thanks. Can you tell me how this compares to the Vandoren V16 T7 mouthpiece?

    Giulio – When you say “It never gets smooth jazzy on you,because it always retain character and complexity, it has its own special vibe.”, can you describe any words that define “smooth jazzy” further, ie what negative sounds this mouthpiece doesn’t have? You sound great on the Youtube clip.

    • Hi Andy, I sent you an email but I’ll say it here for others benefit………..The SaxZ piece had more guts and power than the V16 T7 I played. It was also a bit brighter but not too much. I can’t speak for Giulio but for me, when I think “smooth Jazzy”, I think of a mundane generic type tone. Not much to it. It sounds great with all the effects and reverb on it but on it’s own it’s kind of lacking. That’s how I think of it. The SaxZ has more richness and character to the sound than you normally find in smooth jazz. Another guy I like that has more character in his sound is Kirk Whalum. There’s is some thickness and character to the sound.

  3. Hi Steve, many thanks for taking the time to reply, really is appreciated.

    I’m going to try the SaxZ 1950 and will let you know how it compares with the Vandoren V16 T7 I’m currently using. Your comments on the “smooth jazz sound” question was more or less along the lines of what I was thinking it meant, but you’ve really helped clarify it.

    Kirk Whalum is an artist I very much admire for his sound, very emotive. It’s the sound I’m aiming for and although I like Smooth Jazz I definitely don’t want to sound generic.

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