Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing a Saxscape Florida Slim Profile 7** (.108 tip opening) tenor saxophone mouthpiece that Ken Barry at Saxscape mouthpieces recently sent me to try out and perhaps review.  Earlier this year, I reviewed a Saxscape Live model tenor sax mouthpiece as well as a Saxscape Fat Cat Classic and Downtown MB1 tenor saxophone mouthpiece that I thought were superb and when Ken asked if I would like to review some of his other tenor sax mouthpiece models I immediately jumped at the chance.

The Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor saxophone mouthpiece is so new at the time of this review that it is not yet on the Saxscape website.  Ken told me that it is his first attempt at a Florida Otto Link type tone concept but with a new baffle concept, straight sidewalls and different chamber.  Basically, he was targeting that Florida Otto Link type sound and tone but coming at it from a different design angle.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor saxophone mouthpiece is made of Delrin which is a polyoxymethylene thermoplastic.  From what I can gather from google, Delrin is a plastic that has been cleared as food safe by the FDA.  I have also read that it is a very tough and stable material.

The Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece is a .1o8 tip opening which is an 7** tip opening.  It has a slim profile tenor sax mouthpiece diameter and shape to it.  Ken produces some tenor sax mouthpieces that have what is called a “slim profile” and other mouthpiece models with a more “traditional profile”. The diameter of the the Florida slim profile mouthpiece is very close to the diameter of an average metal Otto Link tenor sax mouthpiece and I used a  Selmer 404 silver metal ligature on it that I also use on metal tenor saxophone mouthpieces like Otto Links.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor sax mouthpiece looks great to the eye.  Much of the mouthpiece seems to have some kind of machined pattern in the Delrin which gives it a modern look.

The tip, rails and table look relatively even and well crafted.  The shape of the tip is close to matching the shape of the saxophone reeds although on this mouthpiece, the top of the tip curve has a flat spot that the reeds do not have.  This slight difference in tip shape doesn’t affect the playability of the mouthpiece or the seal of the reed that I can tell.

The baffle of the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor sax mouthpiece looks to be a rollover baffle that rolls over gradually for about a quarter of an inch where it meets this slightly scooped out “lake” area in the baffle that you can see in the photos. The baffle then declines to the chamber opening in almost a straight line descent although that straight line still seems to have a slight curve to it as I look at it with my eye in the light.  At the bottom of the baffle,  there is another slight scooped out “lake” in the baffle right before the chamber entrance.

The baffle ends at the chamber where it has a short drop off to the bottom of the chamber floor. The opening to the chamber looks to be a medium-large size opening to me.  The raised baffle floor at the entrance to the chamber and the straight sidewalls make it seem a bit smaller than a typical Otto Link chamber entrance.

The sidewalls are straight until they get to the chamber where they are carved out to round out the chamber a bit.  Typically, scooped out side walls tend to help produce a fatter more spread tone and straight side walls seem to add more focus to the tone in my experience.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Delrin has a smooth feel to the touch and the mouthpiece is very light in weight.  I didn’t want to take the chance that my teeth might mark up the beak so I put a Forestone mouthpiece patch on it and it has been on the mouthpiece ever since without moving. The beak profile is also similar to a typical metal Otto Link tenor sax mouthpiece beak profile and feels comfortable to me even with the patch on it.

I know that some people have contacted me worrying that the machine marks would stop the mouthpiece from getting a good seal with reeds but this is not the case with any of the four Saxscape Delrin saxophone mouthpieces I have played and reviewed so far.  Each mouthpiece has been very reed friendly and all the reeds have sealed well when performing the suction test.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The part I dread about trying saxophone mouthpieces and reviewing them is always finding the best reeds for each mouthpiece.  For this mouthpiece, as with the other Saxscape mouthpieces I have reviewed, this job was pretty easy.  I tried Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 medium reeds, 2 1/2 strong reeds and 3 light reeds that all played excellently on the Saxscape Florida tenor mouthpiece.  I did end up recording sound clips with a Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 strong reed just because it felt like a comfortable strength for me and I dug the tone the most with that reed.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece had a balanced tenor sax tone that seemed right in the middle of the bright to dark tenor saxophone tone spectrum to me.  The tone is thick and full with just a bit of sparkle and edge to the tone to make it more interesting and add character to the tone without getting overly bright in my opinion.

The low notes were full and thick with a tone that reminded me of a Florida Otto Link type tone down low but with a bit more focus to the notes in my opinion.

The intonation was really great!  My Selmer SBA tenor saxophone (from the 50’s) can tend to be a bit sharp on certain notes with higher baffled and smaller chamber mouthpieces but the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece was very easy to play those notes in tune.

The evenness of notes throughout the range of the horn was nice and smooth when playing fast lines also.  The character and thickness of tone seemed to blend well as I played faster lines throughout the range of the horn.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The altissimo register was easy to produce on the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor saxophone mouthpiece and the notes were easy to control and manipulate. Many times, that higher range of the saxophone, can become a little “wild” and uncontrollable on certain notes but the Saxscape Florida tenor sax mouthpiece was easy to control up in that higher range.

The rollover baffle and straight sidewalls provide a bit more added focus and power than a typical Otto Link mouthpiece type design so that you can get a lot of volume and power out of the Saxscape Florida tenor mouthpiece when you push it.

Although the tone does get brighter when pushed, it still stays in the middle of the road category of tenor tone to my ears.  Although it leans to the brighter side at full volume, it doesn’t get as bright as most high baffle mouthpieces do like the Saxscape Downtown MB1 tenor mouthpiece I just reviewed last week.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

On the sound clips below, I try to give a good range and variety of sounds and textures so that you can hear the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor saxophone mouthpiece perform in different styles. I tended to slow down my playing a bit more than my usual sound clips just because I was really enjoying listening to the tone of this mouthpiece while I was playing.

As has been my habit lately, I have added some slight reverb to the clip for those of you who like to check out the recordings with reverb added also.  I try not to put a lot of reverb on the clip but just enough to thicken the sound a little bit.  The reason I think reverb is good to add to the clips is that you can get an idea of how the mouthpiece might sound in a room with natural reverb like a garage or in a recording studio with some effects added.

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

In my opinion, the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece is a great tenor saxophone mouthpiece for those of you looking for a sax mouthpiece with a tone in the middle of the tenor sax tone spectrum between dark and bright. It can be easily tilted to either side of that middle line by manipulating your embouchure while laying back on the air stream or increasing air speed.  It has a nice focused and thick sound that would sound great over jazz standards or in a more pop setting where you don’t have to be overly bright to cut through the mix.   I think Ken Barry at  Saxscape mouthpieces has done a great job with the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece.

Ken has recently revamped his website at Saxscape so make sure you check it out if you are interested in the Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece. Like I stated above, the Florida model tenor mouthpiece is not listed on the site as of this review so if you are interested in one you will have to contact Ken to have him make you one.  Besides his website, you can also contact Ken Barry by phone or text: 570-350-5843, by emailsaxscape@gmail.com  or on Facebook.

If you try a Saxscape Florida Slim Profile tenor mouthpiece or have any thought or comments on this review,  I would love to hear what you think in the comments below. Thanks,   Steve

Saxscape Florida Slim Profile Tenor Mouthpiece-Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Strong Reed-Dry Recording With No Effects Added

Same Clip as above with some Reverb and a little EQ added

Disclosure: I received the sample mouthpiece mentioned above for free in the hope that I would try it and perhaps review it on my blog. Regardless, I only review mouthpieces that I enjoy playing and believe will be good for other saxophone players to try also. Steve
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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. Steve, you sound amazing on this piece.

  2. Avatar Scott D. Peters says

    Steve, great review as usual. I spent a few hours this week at Saxscape HQ with Ken trying some AMAZING pieces. I may have even played a Florida prototype without realizing it! Ken has lots of great ideas that he’s working to put out there, and I got to try plenty of them, all in various stages of development, but every one a solid player.

    Among the goodies I got to sample: a new concept of the Fat Cat with an amazing new baffle design that really enhances the Fat Cat’s already sweet full, dark tone; a new Red River that promises to kick some serious butt now that Ken has the magic missing piece of the that puzzle; a modified Live with a larger chamber that offers everything great about the Live with a nice darker sound, and a brand new Hudson in the very rough concept stage based on a Berg 130 M. I also played an interesting Red River concept in a .110″ tip and based in part on a Ken’s admiration of Frank Wells’ work – a very high, flat version of the Red River’s Zimberoff-like baffle into a very small chamber. It looks like it shouldn’t work, and Ken admitted to me that he hadn’t even tried it before I played it. But it played well, surprisingly well in fact. For now, it’s just an interesting one-off. But you never know.

    For Saxscape fans who have been wondering about pieces for the bari. Ken told me he got backed up with other work but is looking forward to starting some serious development work on pieces for the big horn. We’d been talking about a Red River for the bari for over a year. If it comes to pass, it should be one of THE best bari pieces out there.

  3. Avatar Ian Nevins says

    Thanks Steve, you sound great on this. I’ve played Saxscape mouthpieces for years now and I like them a lot. I’m going to have to try this Florida model, and the Live model as well. I have a FatCat but it’s older and I wonder if Ken has changed it recently? Anyway thanks again for the reviews and sound clips. -Ian

  4. Scott, Wow, those mouthpieces you tried sound amazing! I would love to try that Live with the bigger chamber that is darker. That sounds awesome……… Steve

  5. Thanks Raghav! I really enjoyed playing this mouthpiece. I think Ken did a great job with it. Steve

  6. Hi Ian, the newest Fat Cats in production (which Steve kindly reviewed recently) are the same design as the originals, which you have. The new Fat Cat which Scott played hasn’t been sold yet, it’s a promising design but needs a bit more R&D before production. Appreciate your kind words, glad you dig the pieces! Thanks and Happy New Year! -Ken

  7. Avatar Scott Peters says

    Ken’s the man, and if he says the new Fat Cat with the “transitional” baffle isn’t ready for prime time, than it isn’t. I know how fastidious he is with making sure a piece plays just the way he wants it before he will release it into the wild. The two I got from Ken have slightly different variations on the the new baffle concept and the interface into the chamber. I can’t describe the new baffle concept any way other than it’s sort of a hourglass shaped trough that squeezes the air then opens up before entering the chamber. The end result is, to my ear at least, the same satisfying dark sound of the original Fat Cat, but with a much rounder sound and greater projection. I think when Ken gets it just where he wants it, the new Fat Cat will take a lot of people by surprise. It’s already giving my Red River a run for the money and I think the RR is one of the most dynamic and versatile mouthpieces out there, bar none.

  8. Hi Scott Thanks, yeah I’m trying a few different things with the FCII, waiting for the design to settle down. Trying to make a darker piece that has a different projection thing going on. Appreciate you bringing your Red River, that’s definitely a piece to bring back into production.

  9. Avatar Scott Peters says

    Steve, I think I bought that larger chamber Live from Ken (along with 5 variations on his Fat Cat 2 concept, from rough modification of the original to a very well fleshed out version of the new baffle concept.) If you want to try the FC2 concept piece and that Live LC I’ll be happy to send them to you for your edification. With Ken’s permission, of course. Just keep in mind that they are strictly concept pieces and not by any stretch production ready models. But boy are they fun to play!

  10. Sure Scott no problem, they are pretty fun if I may say so myself!

  11. Avatar Bob Rockwell says

    That is a mouthpiece for a film score. Beautiful playing Steve. Very special sound-wow!

  12. Avatar James Adams says

    I have an older ‘Xtra Dark’. It’s a killer killer piece. I have an SL piece too.

  13. That is a mouthpiece for a film score. Beautiful playing Steve. Very special sound-wow!

    Thanks Bob! I really dug this one and loved how it sounded on the recording also! Steve

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