Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today’s review is of a very used Ted Klum London model tenor saxophone mouthpiece that a friend of mine was nice enough to let me try.   Ted Klum is a great sax mouthpiece maker and refacer who has a great reputation among saxophone players.   His site is www.tedklummouthpieces.com.   It has been quite a while since I have reviewed one of Ted Klum’s saxophone mouthpieces and he has come out with a variety of models since I first reviewed one of his mouthpieces way back in 2009.

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The day I received this mouthpiece in the mail, I also received an email from the sender warning me that it might be wise to wear ear protection as I test this mouthpiece out!  I already had a pretty good idea that this mouthpiece would pack a serious punch from looking at the height and shape of the baffle coupled with the small chamber.

The first thing I noticed when taking this mouthpiece out of the package was that this is one of the heaviest sax mouthpieces I have tried.  This is a solid piece of brass!  Much heavier than the other metal mouthpieces I have that is for sure……..

As you can see from the picture below, the table on this mouthpiece is pretty worn out from lots of playing I assume.  It is not uncommon for saliva to eat away at the plating on different mouthpieces over time.  The rate at which this happens is also connected to the body chemistry of the player I would imagine.   The mouthpiece still played well and got a seal with reeds so if the wear has any affect on the facing of this mouthpiece I could not tell.

Addition:  I heard from a friend that what causes the corrosion on the table is leaving wet reeds on the mouthpiece.  Here’s what he wrote:  “P.S. Regarding the cause of the corrosion on the table: It’s not saliva, per se, it’s the fact that it is wet. It sets up a local galvanic cell that corrodes the plating.”  This makes sense as I had the same thing happen to an old Sugal SGI mouthpiece and I left a reed on that almost always………

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I refer to the type of baffle in the Ted Klum London model as a scooped out baffle or bullet baffle.  You see this kind of baffle a lot in Berg Larsen mouthpieces typically.  The baffle is a high smooth rollover type that has a scoop out of it at the bottom in the shape of a bullet.  The sidewalls are straight and don’t open up until they reach the chamber.  I would consider the chamber to be small in my opinion.

The affect of this high baffle and small chamber is that you get an extremely powerful and focused sound to the tone.   The high baffle and small chamber give the air and sound less of a space to travel through and when they reach the horn I feel like it is similar to when you put your finger over the end of the hose as water is coming out.  It speeds up the water and you get a more focused and powerful stream.

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I first tried the London model mouthpiece with a 2 1/2 strong Rigotti Gold reed but found that to be too soft.   I then tried a 3 Light which seemed perfect to me.  My first thought as I played a few notes was “Yep, this is really loud!”   The danger with high baffle and small chamber mouthpieces is sometimes the sound can be thin in the upper register.  I didn’t feel that with the London model though.  The tone was brighter and could be edgy but it still sounded fat and big to me.

Because of the high baffle and small chamber,  the London model needed to be further out on my neck cork than a typical Otto Link style mouthpiece.  I would say that this mouthpiece sat at about a 1/4 to 1/3 of a ways on my cork to be in tune.

I would put this saxophone mouthpiece in the same category of sound as some of the great Berg’s I have reviewed on this site or the Drake Pete Christlieb mouthpiece.  The baffle and chamber shape are very similar in all those pieces…………

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

I made one clip of this mouthpiece but decided to offer one version dry and one with a little bit of reverb.   Nothing fancy, just the general reverb that garageband has.  You could hear in the clips below that the altissimo was pretty easy to get.  There is a quality in the altissimo notes that I really liked.  As I write this and listen to the clip it’s hard for me to find the right words to describe it.  It sounds bright, edgy at times and a bit aggressive. The tone has almost a ringing metallic sound to me. That really doesn’t make any sense but that is what comes to my mind as I listen back to the clip.

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Ted Klum London Model is a great sax mouthpiece for those looking for volume to cut through the mix on the gig.   I would consider it a great mouthpiece for R&B sax playing or soloing where you have to cut through a loud band playing modern music.   You can hear in the clip where I lay back a bit and it is workable for some jazz playing.  It’s important to mention that I was in know way playing at 100% volume during any portion of this clip.  I think I took it to maybe 80% at times.  This is the kind of mouthpieces that you can really push to get that extra volume when needed that is for sure………..

If you enjoy the clip, don’t be dissuaded by the worn table picture above.  Contact Ted Klum and get a London Model saxophone mouthpiece for yourself.  I know Ted Klum puts out the very best sax mouthpieces and your London model will be sparkling new and perfect!

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Dry

Ted Klum London Model Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Reverb

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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 sounds great ….. The best high baffle piece I’ve heard! Loads of body to the sound as well as crispness and focus! I’ve never liked Berg type pieces but may have to try one of these! Thanks for reviewing this Steve.

  2. Sounds good Steve! Very nice and full sound!

  3. Avatar hagay melamed says

    wow!amazing stakto steve.i buy jody jazz dv 8* now.can you give us your playing on jody’s like it

  4. Hagay,
    I’ve never played a JJ DV. Sorry. Steve

  5. Thanks for the review Steve. I ordered a London piece in solid silver from Ted after reading your review. It is now my main mouthpiece. I ordered in size 102, it is so easy to play high and low. Altissimo is so easy. My higher notes in general are more powerful and makes me feel comfortable to hang around the upper register more. The low notes have the complexity and crunch that the link does not offer. Now my JVW STM link becomes my spare.

  6. The chamber looks almost exactly like my Barone Traditional/Contemporary. Though it’s always hard to tell from recordings, it seems to sound very similar as well. What do you think?

  7. Nemo, I wouldn’t know as I haven’t played a Barone Traditional/Contemporary that I can remember. Steve

  8. Recordings are tough to evaluate. You don’t know what the piece feels like to play. Even so, I played your recordings of this piece through my stereo so I could listen to it in the same room I practice in. I turned up the volume to match the volume of my live playing. Your recording and my sax with the Barone Traditional/Contemporary with Rigotti Gold 2.5 hard reed had a very similar timbre I thought. Very similar. I’d be interested on your take of that Barone T/C.

  9. I like the London in solid silver so much that I order another piece in Rhodium plating brass size 7** for spare. Having both pieces side by side, I do notice that the whole solid silver thing is not a hype. It does give a response more silky smooth not sure if the audience can tell a difference, but It does feel different enough on this side of the horn. It took out some of the hashness of brass in term of response and sound, very hard to put it into words, but I wholeheartedly believe it is worth the premium, at least for me.

  10. Avatar Robert Jones says

    What is the tip opening on this one?

  11. solid silver was 103 which is perfect for me. Ted recommended 107 which is 7** for my brass spare , a little too open for me. I am generally half a size below average pro tip size so i would say his recommendation is ideal.

  12. Robert, It looks like I forgot to put the tip opening in the review. One of the photos looks like it has a 109 engraved on it so I think that might be the tip opening. I emailed the person I borrowed it from to see what he says the tip opening was. Sorry for forgetting to post that…….. Steve

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