Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I have another Ishimori Woodstone  alto saxophone mouthpiece to review and play today.  This alto mouthpiece is the hard rubber  “Super Custom” traditional jazz medium small chamber model in a 6 tip opening.  About a year and a half ago,  I did a review of the medium chamber Wood Stone alto mouthpiece which I loved!   I was excited to try this one also when I first heard there was a smaller chambered version coming out.   I received this mouthpiece last year and ended up buying it because I liked it so much.

Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Like the medium chambered piece I reviewed in the past, this Ishimori mouthpiece is also a work of art.  The table, rails, tip, baffle and chamber look perfect. I’ve only played two of the Ishimori hard rubber alto mouthpieces but both seemed to resonate so much.  I don’t know if it is the hard rubber they use,   how they are made or a combination of both but I really loved both of them!

The chamber on this “medium small” chambered mouthpiece is just slightly smaller than the “medium” chambered mouthpiece.  The difference is  very hard for me to see by looking at both mouthpieces side by side.  I was actually surprised because I thought the chamber would be be noticeably smaller.  At times, I think I can see the difference but other times I look and I can’t………

Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

What I couldn’t see in the chamber difference, I could definately hear by playing the mouthpiece.  This mouthpiece is a little brighter and punchier than the “medium” chambered Ishimori.  It’s a very subtle difference but I can really hear it when I play the mouthpieces side by side.  You can hear the brightness and pop it has in the upper register on the recording below.  It was smooth to play and very even to play around the horn.

Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The extra brightness makes this mouthpiece a bit more versatile when playing pop and funk music on the alto.   It still has a respectable straight ahead tone though which would make it a great choice for alto players who have to play in different genres all night long.

Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The one thing that I noticed that was different than other 6 tip openings I have played is that this mouthpiece needs a much harder reed for me than other 6 tip opening mouthpieces I have played.   The medium chamber Ishimori 6 that I reviewed before played great with a Wood Stone #3 reed but on this 6 the #3 reeds I had felt too soft.  The Wood Stone 3 1/2 reeds work great and I would even be curious to try the Wood Stone 4 reeds perhaps.  The intonation was good and  I loved how flexible this mouthpiece is.  If you want to bend a note or subtone it is so easy.  The smaller chamber makes it easier to pop on notes you want to accent and it’s got the perfect amount of resistance for me on the 3 1/2 reed.

Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

There is an Ishimori website  but it is in Japanese.  It has an English translation for the site but it is one of those translations that is rough to read and decipher…….

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

Ishimori Woodstone Super Custom Medium Small Chambered 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 Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. This won`t play for me;Iget nothing.

  2. It should work. It plays on my Macs, iphone and wife’s laptop. Maybe try updating your adobe flash and see if that fixes it.

  3. Too centered , less versatile that the “M” size from the zxsame model . Sorry, no doubt for me : Il love so much the “M” SIZE CHAMBER COMPARED TO THIS ONE (“MS”)

  4. Hi, hope you will also test soon (I hope so ;-)) the Studio Deluxe Woodstone alto model wich feature an high baffle but exactly same hard rubber and the chamber is smaller than my woodstone traditional “M” so I guess it is a MS chamber of even a little bit smaller than the MS because visualy it really noticeable. It is way punchy that my traditional (in 6 tip)

    Just an important point to know : a traditional 6 = 0.076 and a Studio 6 is 0.081″. I play the traditional 6 with a woodstone strengh 3 and it is really great. I think the ideal for me should be a woodstone traditional 5 with a woodstone reed #3.
    In an other way I cannot play a wood stone 3 on my Studio 6 (0.081″) (too hard fro me) but when I play a wood stone reed 2.5 it is a bit too light but the sound is here. Then I should have test certainly a studio “7” with a 2.5 woodstone reeds… one day maybe…

  5. Avatar Arno Frey says

    Hello Steve,
    I’ m looking for a alto mouthpiece for lead alto in a big band. Which mouthpiece would you recommend me?
    The Ishimori with the medium small chamber or that with medium chamber.
    Which mouthpiece is easier to control and had the better intonation?
    Thank you very much for your answer and help.

  6. Arno, the Ishimori medium small has a brighter sound but I prefer the medium chamber. It’s got a fuller thicker sound which I really like. The medium was easier for me to control. both had great intonation. Both are about equally loud but the MS chamber is just a bit brighter. I haven’t played either in a big band so it’s hard to confirm how either will cut through in that situation. Let me know how you make out…..

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