James Bunte 42 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

This is embarrassing to admit, but here is a review that I worked on many years ago and just found on my site as a draft!  I had been working on it, got side tracked and then never posted it!  That’s embarrassing!  I actually still have this alto mouthpiece in a drawer here in my office.  I apologize to James Bunte for letting myself get sidetracked from this review. I also have to apologize for the dark pictures as I apparently went through a stage years ago where I didn’t realize you need good lighting for the best photos……….

Today, I am reviewing another mouthpiece made by James Bunte. I have owned a few of James Bunte’s mouthpieces over the years and have always been impressed with his work.  I’ve reviewed a 42 tenor mouthpiece in the past on the site.  I also own another 42 hard rubber tenor mouthpiece that is darker than the first 42 I reviewed and a killer metal Florida Link that James refaced. I also used to own a great Vintage Selmer Soloist that Mr. Bunte refaced that had an awesome Kenny Garrett vibe to it that I reviewed.  James Bunte does great refacing work and is on my list of great refacers and mouthpiece craftsman that is for sure.

James Bunte 42 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The James Bunte 42 alto mouthpiece is similar looking to his 42 tenor saxophone mouthpiece. It is a non-descript black hard rubber alto mouthpiece with no markings on the body except the number 42 marked on the shank four times.

The mouthpiece looks well made and the rails and tip look even and smooth. The window of the mouthpiece which is the opening on the table is a bit narrower at the bottom than other alto mouthpieces I have reviewed which makes the rails a little thicker at the bottom.

James Bunte 42 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Bunte 42 alto saxophone mouthpiece has a rollover baffle that then slopes down into the chamber of the mouthpiece.  The sloped descent does not stop at the beginning of the chamber but instead angles down until it reaches the back of the chamber and beginning of the bore.  This baffle construction makes the chamber smaller than on mouthpieces where the baffle ends before the chamber.  I would say the 42 alto mouthpiece has a medium small chamber because of this fact.

James Bunte 42 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Bunte 42 alto mouthpiece played great with a Rigotti Gold 3 Light reed on it. The rollover baffle and chamber gave it a bright crisp sound that had nice volume and power when pushed. The articulation on it was smooth and precise and the intonation was good.  I felt like the tone had a “dry” almost “Paul Desmond” quality to it.  It has a “pretty” singing quality in the top register that I really liked also.

James Bunte 42 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you like the sound of the clip below and the mouthpiece catches your interest then you can contact Tenor Madness and give it a try.  You can also try reaching out to James Bunte who is great to communicate with. Tell him Steve sent you………….Great work Mr. Bunte!!

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

James Bunte 42 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. Avatar Cornelius Campbell says

    My TM42 is my number one tenor piece followed by my Okutsu traditional. My love for the TM42 makes me curious about the alto version. Is it easy to produce the lower register and subtone with the 42 alto? Also would you say it has a “big” sound? I ask this because of the med-small chamber you described.

  2. I have a TM42 tenor mouthpiece also. James Bunte sent me one to try when I bought a Florida Link off of him years ago. I ended up buying it also. It is one of the darker pieces I have kept. There is something really cool with it that I experience when I play it for a little bit in that I find that I start to play more creatively than I usually do. I have no idea why but it is really cool!

    The TM 42 alto mouthpiece doesn’t have what I would say is a big sound. Kind of a pretty “Phil Woods” kinda of bright bebop sound. When I think of “big sound” on alto I think of more of a Cannonball type of sound which for me requires a larger chamber. Steve

  3. Steve where do you contact Mr.Bunte for mpc refacing? Thank Peter

  4. Pete, I emailed you his email address. Steve

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