10mFan Celebration Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing a new tenor saxophone mouthpiece from 10mFan sax mouthpieces.  This is the Celebration 7* hard rubber tenor saxophone mouthpiece.   I have already reviewed a number of great 10mFan tenor saxophone mouthpieces and alto saxophone mouthpieces in the past that you can find here.

Whenever Mark Sepinuck, at 10mFan mouthpieces, comes out with a new saxophone mouthpiece model, I am always really excited to try it out because all of his saxophone mouthpieces are so darn good!  Mark is always thinking about how he can meet the needs of the sax playing community with new uniquely designed saxophone mouthpieces.

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here’s a description of the Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece that Mark posted on Sax on the Web:

The “CELEBRATION”:  Celebrating the finest vintage hard rubber Otto Link mouthpieces ever made, with my 10MFAN originality and twist on things!     

I was the biggest high-end vintage mouthpiece dealer on the internet for over 30 years and then I started my 10MFAN Company. This mouthpiece is long overdue for you Otto Link lovers. This is an ORIGINAL design that has some Reso Chamber, Slant Sig, and Early Babbitt built into it, along with my 10MFAN contributions.

For me, it outplays any Otto Link type piece in the marketplace! Big, open, full, rich, powerful Link sound and will stand up to ANY original vintage hard rubber tenor Link that goes for $1500!!!!!!  

Are you tired of playing mediocre Link-type pieces out there??? I don’t blame you. So many stuffy and dull Link type copies out there but don’t worry—– this originally designed Celebration mouthpiece is not a copy of any one model, and it will take care of that for all of you. Full, warm, round, even, fat sound with power.“-Mark Sepinuck

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here is some more details from Mark Sepinuck’s description of the 10mFan Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece from the 10mFan website:

“The most unique hard rubber tenor mouthpiece that celebrates the absolute best vintage Otto Links of yesteryear.

An all original design which incorporates some of the Reso Chambers, Slant Signatures, and Early Babbitt models, along with my 10MFAN contributions, to make this the most unique piece for the Link players.

My goal was to make a piece that Mr. Otto Link would greatly approve of, if he were alive today.

This piece takes the old hard rubber tenor Otto Links into the new millennium.

I’ve been known as the biggest high-end vintage mouthpiece dealer on the internet for over three decades, and this mouthpiece outplays the best Otto Links in my private collection. I am very proud of that because it is not a copy of any one model. It is a combination of the best Otto Link models with my own interpretation of how to take them to the next place.

The sound is rich and full and warm with lots of power available. This piece can be played at a whisper and the sound is so full.

If you are a vintage link hard rubber tenor lover, you can’t pass on this, because there is nothing in the marketplace that compares. I say this with great pride!” -Mark Sepinuck

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The 10mFan Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece came in a well packaged box.  Inside, amidst the packaging was a clear tube. Inside the tube, was a velvet looking bag with gold trim that protected the Celebration saxophone mouthpiece while shipping.

The new 10mFan Celebration tenor sax mouthpiece has the traditional three rings on the shank that all of the 10mFan saxophone mouthpieces have.  It also has “10mFan” and “Celebration” engraved on the top of the mouthpiece.  On the bottom corners of the mouthpiece next to the table is engraved “U.S.A.” and “7*”.

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

As you can see in the photos, the table, rails and tip rail look flat, even and perfectly crafted as they do on all 10mFan saxophone mouthpieces.   The baffle is a slightly curved side to side baffle that travels  3/16ths of an inch before it terminates at a curved line.  From that line, the baffle starts a more radical descent until it reaches the rear of the mouthpiece chamber.

The side walls of the mouthpiece are scooped out on each side as they head towards the large sized chamber. The scooped out side walls encroach in on the floor of the baffle gradually as it heads down into the chamber area making the floor of the baffle wider near the tip and thinner as it enters the chamber area.

The side rails look even and precise as they head towards the tip rail.  The tip rail is thin, precise and even.  The shape of the tip rail matches the shape of the tenor saxophone reeds I used on the Celebration mouthpiece perfectly.

The roof of the chamber area, under the table of the mouthpiece is of medium thickness as you can see in the photos below.

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

So, how does the new Celebration 7* tenor saxophone mouthpiece in hard rubber play and sound?  The 7* I played for this review played perfectly with a Lupifaro 3 tenor saxophone reed.  I tried a variety of different tenor saxophone reeds on it such as Rigotti Gold, BSS (Boston Sax Shop) and RW reeds (Roberto’s Winds).  They all played great on the Celebration mouthpiece but on the day of the recording, I happened to put on this Lupifaro 3 reed and it was so perfect that I decided to record with that reed.

The Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece has a tone that is incredibly warm, rich and round sounding.  It leans to the darker side of the tenor saxophone tone spectrum in my opinion but the tone is so rich and full of overtones that it creates this “energy” and “life” in the tone that just makes it so enjoyable to play as well as listen to.

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The first thing I noticed about the 10mFan Celebration tenor sax mouthpiece was the low end.  From low Bb to middle Bb, the tone is just really rich and complex sounding.  You might notice, in the sound clips below, that I have played quite a few ballads and play in the low end of the saxophone more than usual.  I didn’t do this on purpose, but I think I was so in love with the tone in that first register of the saxophone, that I kept going back and playing down there.

The middle range of the saxophone is amazing also.  At the 3:57 mark of the first sound clip, I by chance,  go into my usual rendition of “The Summer Knows” that I usually play on the alto saxophone sound clips I record.  When I listened back to the recording, I really thought that the tone sounded incredibly beautiful to me.  I’m playing at a soft volume but the tone is still full, round and rich.  I must have listened back to that one section about 20x so far.  There is something about that section of the clip that I can’t put my finger on that makes me really love it!

The high end of the horn had a bit more brightness to the tone but the tone was still what I consider warm and round.  At a couple of places in the sound clips I go up into the palm keys and the altissimo and the Celebration played really nicely up in that top range of the saxophone. You can ,of course, also add some brightness and edge to the tone by manipulating your embouchure and air stream if you choose like I have done in the sound clips below.  The 10mFan Celebration mouthpiece offers you a variety of tone palettes to choose from as you play around with it and discover what it can do.

At one point in the first sound clip (2:22-2:37) I play a simple scale up to altissimo G on the tenor saxophone and I was surprised at how easy and effortless the altissimo G popped out for me.  I actually repeated the line again on the sound clip to see if it was a fluke and it wasn’t!  We all know that that note can be a pain on the saxophone so that is a big bonus when that note plays so effortlessly.

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The 10mFan Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece played very evenly throughout the range of the tenor saxophone. The rich bottom end transitions smoothly to the second and third registers of the saxophone as smooth as butter.

One aspect of the second register that struck me as I played was that a number of times I jumped up to a middle E, high A, B or C# and those notes didn’t jump out in brightness to me.  They were still just as warm and thick as the lower register which I loved.  This caught my attention because on many mouthpieces, those upper notes are quite a bit brighter when I jump to them from below.  This uniform warmth in the upper register really helps to keep the melodies and lines really even and smooth sounding in my opinion.

The Celebration tenor sax mouthpiece had great intonation that was inline with the usual intonation I encounter on hard rubber Otto Link tenor sax mouthpieces. The articulation was clean and fast.  I always run my G major scale in thirds tonguing really fast (1:33 of first clip) on the sound clip to see how the articulation is and the Celebration tenor mouthpiece passed the test with flying colors.

Although the 10mFan Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece has a warmer and darker tone it still has a hefty amount of volume when you push it.  In my mind, the 10mFan Celebration is a perfect tenor sax mouthpiece for a jazz gig that is for sure!  I am not sure there are enough highs and brightness in the tone to cut through on some of the crazy loud pop gigs out there but in those cases you could throw a  higher baffled 10mFan Robusto, Showtime or Chameleon tenor sax mouthpiece in your case for back up.

For your information, Mark Sepinuck at 10mFan mouthpieces has a three category system for his tenor saxophone mouthpieces.

  • Category #1 are the warm category mouthpieces which are the Classic model and this Celebration model I am reviewing today.
  • Category #2 are the all-around, middle category mouthpieces that offers warmth, fatness, and punch with some sizzle. More sizzle than the category 1 pieces.  These include the Robusto and Showtime models
  • Category #3 are the very powerful category mouthpiece which is the Chameleon.

I have provided four sound clips below.  They are all different.  To be honest, I pushed record, started playing and when I was done, I looked at the recording and was shocked that it was 30 minutes long!  I was having so much fun playing the Celebration that I didn’t even realize it was 30 minutes!

I posted the parts of the clips that I thought sounded the best and reflected different aspects of what the Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece sounded like and could do.

10mFan Celebration Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you like the sound and look of the 10mfan Celebration hard rubber tenor saxophone mouthpiece, you can order one of them from Mark Sepinuck at 10mFan.com. The Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece comes in tip openings of 6*,7,7*,7**,8 and 8*.

If you have any questions about the Celebration model or any of the other 10mFan mouthpieces, you can also contact Mark Sepinuck through his website. Mark Sepinuck is a treasure trove of information about saxophone mouthpieces so if you end up on the phone with him, don’t be surprised if you end up talking about sax mouthpieces for a couple of hours.

*If you have played or end up playing a 10mFan Celebration tenor saxophone mouthpiece or have any other thoughts or comments about this review, I would love to hear what you think in the comment section below this review.  Thanks,  Steve

*To hear the most detail from these clips it is best to listen to them from a computer with nice audio speakers or headphones rather than from an iPhone or laptop speakers.  It makes a world of difference!

10mFan Celebration Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Neff’s Normal Variety of Random Ideas-Lupifaro 3 Reed-No Effects

10mFan Celebration Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-A Little Bit of a Blues in Bb-Lupifaro 3 Reed-No Effects

10mFan Celebration Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-A Little Bit of Everything Happens To Me Melody-Lupifaro 3 Reed-No Effects

10mFan Celebration Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-A Little Bit of Darn that Dream Melody-Lupifaro 3 Reed-No Effects

10mFan Celebration Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-Same Blues Track as Above with some Added Reverb-Lupifaro 3 Reed-Added Reverb

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

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.


  1. Steve,
    Your review was absolutely wonderful, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for the saxophone community. I always tell you this, and I mean it!

    I am so glad you really love this mouthpiece. The feedback so far has been off the charts, and several heavyweight players have already told me this is their favorite hard rubber tenor mouthpiece. That is the stuff that drives me. I don’t use endorsers because I don’t believe in that stuff whatsoever. REAL feedback from players playing on these mouthpieces all over the world, IS the real endorsement.

    I am so glad this has been a huge hit right away, and its because of the feedback players had given me while I was designing it, that helped shaped this design into what it is. I am so appreciative and humbled for all of the input I was given. We really nailed it here.

    For me, its got a warm, full, even, round sound, with plenty of volume throughout, and a fat low end with full fat palm keys.

    My goal is always to put out pieces that players will enjoy, that players have asked me for. No copies, just original designs—-that is VERY important to me.

    I want to extend a huge thank you to Jeff, our incredible engineer at the shop for everything he does for me, and a huge thank you to Brian Powell for his AMAZING talent in making these mouthpieces sing. This is a real team effort here, and I am beyond appreciative of this! Thanks to all my saxophone friends worldwide.

    Big hugs to you Steve, for all your support from day 1!!!!!

  2. Avatar William Sadler says

    I have one of these and it is a very special mouthpiece. Every time I pick up the horn it is just FUN to play. Perfectly even up and down the ranges, round and warm and RESONANT. Finally a piece that is warm and round and NOT STUFFY. Amazing to play, and dare I say it, the best mouthpiece 10mfan has ever made.

  3. Hi Steve,
    Very nice review again. You sound so good with this mpc. Since this is a fairly dark sounding mpc can you compare it to Lamberson J that is also a dark mpc? I have been very interested to order this Celebration but I am afraid that it can be too dark for me because my basic tone is fairly darkish. Just now my two favourite tenor pieces are Phil-Tone Intrepid and Lamberson J but this Celebration is also a very tempting option. However, it is possible that I should choose the Robusto route since I consider Lamberson J often times slightly too dark for my purposes. Just another note. It would be awesome if you could make a review of Klum Florida someday.

    • Thanks Petteri, I actually have my Lamberson J7 lined up for a re-review as the first review I did many years ago was kind of lame. (I think it was like one paragraph and one photo) The only thing about my J7 though is that it is quite a bit brighter than other J7s I have tried so I don’t know how useful it will be to you. I actually used my J7 for a really loud band I was in for a few years and it could cut through that mix because of it’s brightness. I did try another J7 1920 that I reviewed here on the site that was beautifully dark sounding but I ended up sending that back because it was too dark for me.

      As far as the Klum Florida, you are like the 20th person who has asked me to review one. I have reached out and asked three times over what seems like a couple years to review one and they always seem really excited to have me do it but they have never sent me one. I pretty much gave up on it. I don’t think they are interested in having me review one for some reason.

      I don’t know your J7 but if it is as dark as your post makes it sound (maybe it is like the J7 1920?) I think the Celebration would have a bit more brightness to it. You can also ask Mark and see what he thinks.

      The Robusto is another great choices but it is a totally different mouthpiece to me. Just more focused and clear sounding with more brightness and highs in the sound. I still have the one I reviewed so many years ago and it still is one of my favorites. Steve

  4. One thing I was going to mention in the review but forgot to is that I noticed a huge difference to me with the ligature I used on the Celebration. I was using a generic metal ligature on the Celebration and decided for kicks to try a Francois Louis Ultimate Ligature I had sitting on my desk. It was a night and day difference that was immediate. The FL ligature just sounded so much better. More alive, more focused, more resonant. etc…….. It was a huge difference that really surprised me. Same reed and everything. The reed didn’t even move at all as I switched ligatures. Just wanted to add that……….

    • Avatar Arya Boustani says

      Thanks for the review Steve and pointing out about the ligature and the reed perfectly sealed to the mouthpiece. That’s a craftsmanship for a perfect mouthpiece table with a perfect reed. 👍🏽
      I’m wondering how it would sound with a Marc Jean ligature.

  5. Avatar Petteri Kauhanen says

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, my Lamberson J6 is a 1920 model. I played first about 15 years using Lamberson L6 and wanted something darker. I found J6 very easy to play in all registers with the just right resistance, response was great, too. However, it was perhaps too dark and I changed to Intrepid. Now, this Celebration could be just the right one:)
    Regards. Petteri

  6. Hey Steve!
    Thanks as always for the reviews.
    I did end up ordering a celebration, an Ultem Robusto and an Alto Madness thanks to your reviews! Very interested to see how they’ll play/feel. Kinda curious also about the metal robusto. I didn’t see them on the website otherwise I might have snuck one in as well haha.
    It seems like the robusto is slightly more diffused and buzzy and less deep and focused than the celebration. But I’m sure reeds and playing will push them one way or another as always. Cheers! Giulio

    • Giulio, Wow! You went to town on 10mFan mouthpieces. That’s great! I hope you love every one of them. Let me know your impressions when you get them and have played them for a little bit. I haven’t tried the 10mFan Alto Madness as of yet unfortunately. I am very curious about that alto sax mouthpiece as well and hope to review it someday. Steve

  7. Avatar Arya Boustani says

    I listened to all clips a couple of times then went back to your other mouthpiece review recordings and listened to a few (primarily the latest reviews). Something about this tone that connects to me deeply and emotionally. I think it is that combination of Otto Link singing quality in the mid-range frequencies coated with a velvety warm overall tone character. Some other mouthpieces sound seem having more dry or less colourful in comparison. Steve, did you use the exact mic placement as your previous few mouthpiece reviews? Something about that velvety tone that sounds as if it was pulled out of an old recording … classic. 👍🏽

    • Arya, Yes, I used the exact mic placement as far as where the mic was sitting and where I was standing. Of course there is probably minute changes as I play but I don’t tend to move that much when I am recording so I don’t think that is even that much of a factor.

      I hear you about the mid-range. That section of the first clip where I play “The Summer Knows” is all primarily mid-range and so is the recording of the melody to “Everything Happens to Me”. I agree that there is something really cool and attractive about that “velvety tone” as you describe it. I feel the same way.

      Thanks for taking the time to listen to this clip and compare it to the others and post your opinion! I always value your insights. Steve

    • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

      Hi Arya and hi Steve,
      don’t you find that Coltrane, in these pieces with Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Drew, recorded in March 1956, also has a sound that, precisely, I visualize as “velvety black”?
      Do you agree?

      • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

        From what I perceive through my modest equipment it seems to me that the “Celebration” closely resembles the sound Coltrane has on these recordings on my previous comment.
        Beautiful full-bodied sound.
        There is a “problem” with Mr. Sepinuck’s mouthpieces: they are all so good that it is difficult to choose between them … if one were rich one would have to buy them all and then try to decide which ones to use …
        Another small problem: couldn’t they also be built for minorities who use minor tip openings?
        Now, for the “tip openings”, I will be advised to address myself directly to Mr. Sepinuck; quite right.

    • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

      Hi Arya and Steve,
      Synesthesia is a mental procedure that consists in associating two words or two discursive segments referring to different sensory spheres in a single image. This mental association is considered a rhetorical process, mostly with a metaphorical effect.

      The word derives from the Greek sýn «with, together» and aisthánomai «I perceive, I understand»; therefore “I perceive together”.
      Some individuals perceive this phenomenon.
      The painter Kandisky among them. Also other artists and scientists from different disciplines.

      I refer to my perceiving the sound of the songs of “that” Coltrane record as “velvety” and “(color) black”.

      It would be interesting to verify if these, if any, associations are the same or different from person to person.

      • I can hear what you are describing in some of the more laid back melodies. I’ve always considered Coltrane to have a brighter, edgier more aggressive sound that really isn’t dark or warm to me. I do agree that it has that “velvety”, spread quality to the tone. I’m not sure I hear the “black” part of it. I have never associated colors with a saxophone tone so that is hard for me to conceptualize. That might be more about his playing style than a mouthpiece choice though.

        Here is a video of Doug Webb playing on a Celebration and I think he gets closer to a Coltrane sound.


        • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

          Thanks Steve for the reply.
          I deduce that, therefore, about the velvety tone on “some” recordings – perhaps before the free period – we perceive the same thing (and this makes me happy).
          Of course Coltrane would always be recognizable with any mouthpiece.
          For the association of colors, specifically of this recording for me “black” (in others, always by Coltrane, I perceive other colors), I read that the Synesthesia (perhaps considered an “affection”, “disorder” by some psychologists), it is a phenomenon that does not seem to affect all people …
          Instead of the Doug Webb video, which I had seen on Mr. Sepinuck’s website anyway, and he is a saxophonist I like very much, you gave me the Coltrane link out of distraction: so, in fact, it really comes very close to the sound of him (just kidding …).
          Best regards,

        • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

          I like a lot also Doug Lawrence! The guy that say, before present a mouthpiece:
          “… baby!”.
          For example: “Celebration, baby!”.

          I want to warn you that instead of Doug Webb’s link you put Coltrane’s one!

          Let me: Lol!

          • Thanks for letting me know! I fixed the Doug Webb link. Steve

            • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

              Hi Steve,
              Thanks for the link of the video!
              I listened to Doug Webb’s video; very good; I like it a lot and it sounds a lot like Trane (the previous one was even more like him … ha ha ha, sorry).

              This mouthpiece truly has a Trane vibe … It is a really nice mouthpiece, regardless of the skill of the musicians. Now my favorite mouthpieces, to choose from, are: the 10mFan Classic, Showtime and Celebration … plus Phil Engleman’s Eclipse …

              If only there was a shop where I could try them …
              Covid, and tip openings available, allowing …
              (But this is a different problem).

              • Avatar Arya Boustani says

                Hi Giuseppe,
                I have The Classic. It is a particular design with objective as Mark put in his website (focused dark-ish tone). The Otto Link concept is more spread sounding and that’s why you see a relatively short rollover baffle and evident dive in the floor right after that. Ones with wall build-up to create a bit tighter entry in the chamber create more mid-range density in tone but still not a typical focus of the Classic model. Someone that has both mouthpieces can perhaps comment on the differences but I think part of the focus is a: not an accentuated rollover and b: raised floor which makes the sound more pointy especially with air push so you cut through in a mix with a thick high mid-range tone (Theo Wanne loves that). I doubt Celebration is designed for cutting through the mix. The tone is definitely more lush and warm and cozy than the Classic and I think that was the objective in making this design. Of course someone that has both mouthpieces can correct my impression. Thanks.

                • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

                  Thanks Arya, for your precious, always precise, reasoned, detailed and competent descriptions.

                  I like mouthpieces that are focused and offer some resistance; optimal would be if, in addition to that, there was also a bit of lush and warm and cozy aura around; but I don’t know if it’s possible to have the two things together. The Celebration, too, I like.

                  I’m not very interested in volume and cutting through the mix … In fact, listening to, in addition to Steve, also Jim Cheek on youtube comparing the 10mFan Classic, the Robusto and the Showtime mouthpieces, I found that what you write is true; that’s why I like the “focused” but slender and flowing sound that the 10mFan Classic mouthpiece has. Although, played by him (and this is the problem, that we should try the mouthpieces ourselves, since played by different musicians they seem different, while maintaining their basic characteristics) the three mouthpieces, at least to my ear, seem very similar, influenced by his style; played by another musician, they look like different mouthpieces, while each maintaining its basic characteristics …

                  Too bad that at the time of the Jim Cheek video there was still not yet the Celebration and, therefore, it is not possible to hear the difference from close to each other.

                  I think the Celebration is very beautiful and rich in sound; I like a kind of feeling that I feel, if Steve plays it, like “rubbery”, like “rubber vibrating”, I can’t explain … Something buttery that reminds me a little, maybe, I didn’t make the comparison and I go by heart and then I could be wrong, Ken Okutsu’s beautiful tenor mouthpieces.

                  • Avatar Arya Boustani says

                    Hi Giuseppe,
                    I listened back and forth to the 10mFan Celebration mouthpiece and Ken Okutsu’s Traditional model mouthpiece. It’s hard to compare since I don’t know the behavior of Rigotti Gold 3 light reeds(to me it could have a buzz contribution) versus Lupifaro 3 reeds.

                    Assuming the reeds behave the same, Okutsu’s Traditional mouthpiece has a wider frequency range to my ears. Also the projection peak falls into higher frequencies compared to the Celebration, and a bit detached from the low-mid frequencies rather than with Celebration high-mid and low-mid frequencies are more glued together.

                    To me, Steve’s demo tone profile on Okutsu’s traditional has a more clean cut and sort of set tone character and Celebration’s character is a bit more fluid with some elements that are not quite ironed out which perhaps make it more subject to further discovery.

                    Steve, now that you have 4 of your favourite reeds (Rigotti Gold, Boston Sax Shop, Roberto’s, and Lupifaro), do you think at some point in the future you are going to pick a few of your favorite mouthpieces (may be one spread, one a bit more focused, and one a bit on the dark side and one on the bright side) and play them with all those four reeds (may be the same solo lines) to highlight what they offer with each mouthpiece? Sounds like a big project but it will be a great learning for your fans. I have all those reeds other than Lupifaro. Cheers.

                    • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

                      Hi Arya,
                      if I’m not mistaken I remember reading on the Internet that the Lupifaro reeds are derived from a rework of the Rigotti.

                      I too went to hear Steve’s reviews of Ken Okutsu’s Traditional and Traditional II tenor saxophone mouthpieces, perhaps this latter is my favorite: I should never give opinions by heart, and after a long time. I state, do not be scandalized, that the speakers of my computer have broken and, to hear, I hastily bought two small speakers for 6.90 euros (six euros and ninety cents).

                      In fact, you are right, in a way: The Okutsu seems brighter than the Celebration, in general.
                      But I had confirmation, in another sense, that, perhaps, I was also right in another characteristic of the sound, that is, in that vibration that I cannot explain, of hard rubber, rubberiness, buttery, squeezed swollen balloon? , in a positive sense just to make something like the idea, “as if someone is biting into a lemon while you play …”. (no, I’m not completely crazy), I don’t really know how to define it, which I perceive almost “physically”, as if my own teeth? were vibrating, and I myself was playing: a characteristic which I find quite similar between Okutsu and Celebration and which, however, I perceive in the same way “as quality”, not “as grade”, unlike when I listen to other mouthpieces … characteristic that I really like it, I can’t say why, it’s physically pleasing, for my taste, about the sound.
                      I know that maybe I slide almost into the esoteric, but I don’t know how to explain myself better than that.
                      It may be a strange perception of mine … I don’t know.
                      Thanks for interacting,

  8. Sounds wonderful as always! Can you compare this to how the Bunte ARC plays?


    • Hi Nick, I would suggest opening the ARC review in a browser window and then opening the Celebration review in another window so you can place them side by side on your computer screen. I just did that myself and I could hear a distinct difference between the two. Of course, to complicate matters more, I used a variety of reeds on the ARC review so you might notice different differences between different clips depending on the reed I am using on the ARC mouthpiece clips.

      As far as a general comparison, both tenor mouthpieces played very well for me. I can’t recall any differences in playability offhand. As far as tone, I think you can hear that the Celebration has a darker and warmer tone than the ARC. Arya commented that the tone was “velvety” and I really like that descriptive word for the Celebration’s tone. The Bunte ARC has more high’s in the tone in my opinion. I feel like both mouthpieces have an equally rich tone but it is a difference in the warmth and brightness of the tone for each mouthpiece.

      It is really up to you what you choose. Listen to the clips and see if one calls out to you more than the other does. Everyone is different so it really is a personal choice. The purpose of the lengthy reviews and sound clips is really so you have more information and can make an informed decision yourself. Good Luck!

  9. Hi guys,
    I just came here to take a look at the comments. This mouthpiece is on fire right now and the shop is making 50 of them for me this week.

    Simon Harding who works with Randy Jones at Tenor Madness, got the piece and is blown away by it. He said he can rock the walls down with the piece and it can do absolutely everything for him. So much so, that he already put away the vintage Otto Link metal mouthpiece he was using and is getting a new cork today for this neck for the Celebration mouthpiece.

    As I always say, what people get out of a mouthpiece, depends so much on what they bring to the table. I try to put up videos showing ALL sides of my mouthpieces.

    Simon said he will have some videos for me in the next five or so days. If you are wondering if you can get some punch and power from this piece, you certainly can. Wait till you hear his clips. I don’t comment on other peoples pieces here, but I can tell you there’s nothing like this out there. Randy Jones heard Simon playing today, and went over to him and said. “What mouthpiece is that….. it sounds incredible”.

    Randy will start carrying these at his shop soon. The word is getting out and check my website in the next five days and I should have some great new audios from him showing the lush side, the medium tone side, and the more powerful brighter side. He said the altissimo range is absolutely incredible.

    I appreciate all the comments here and I hope you guys come and see for yourself what all the talk is about with this mouthpiece.

    If you have any direct questions for me, just get in touch with me through my website.
    Stay safe and stay healthy!

    All the best, Mark

  10. Hey Steve! Howdy everyone!
    I just posted on Youtube a quick first demo/impression of the Robusto II vs the Celebration vs the 1950 SaxZ mouthpiece I’ve been playing for the last 10 years or so. Which I also found in this wondrous website! 🙂

    I really dig the Robusto II with the Boston Sax #3. It really is also super easy to play, and very easy to tune, compared to the SaxZ. Although I must say the good old 1950 SaxZ model does hold its own in the low mids, but it dies in the upper range comparatively. I’m still going to investigate more into different reed pairings, but I think the Robusto II is staying on for a good while, while I do so! 🙂 Thanks again for the recommendation! I’m curious to try/hear the brass version of the Robusto as well. Potentially even a slightly bigger size.

    • Giulio, Wow, that’s a tough call. You sounds great on all three of those. I definitely prefer the BSS 3 reed over the Lavoz reed without a doubt. There is something special about the first clip with the Robusto II and the BSS 3 reed. I really like the dialed in focus of the tone especially in the mid and high part of the horn. That is exactly why I still love my Robusto as well. The Celebration is slightly darker and warmer and sounds killer also. I also dug the SaxZ piece also though. I didn’t dig the Lavoz clips as much for some reason I can’t put into words though. Very well done. Thanks!

      • Thanks for listening Steve! 🙂

        Yeah I’ve been really happy with the Boston Sax Shop 3 reeds. The 2 1/2 strength reed wasn’t quite solid enough, and the 3 1/2 strength was like playing a tuba or running a marathon a bit haha. (3 1/2 did sound lush tho!)

        I did like the Robusto+3 the best as well. It’s really great how it can play soft and creamy, but then open up and be more soaring and direct. But never harsh. And so solid, grounded.

        The LaVoz just seemed to fall apart and didn’t have the same body. It was harder to play as well. I tried a hard-med as well, but didn’t like the tone. And I’ve used LaVoz medium for ages so it’s not like I’m not used to them.

        The Celebration is super fun and rewarding to play, but when listening back, it resonated less with my brain. All of the three I feel can deliver the low register in spades, but only the Robusto could ALSO be killer on the higher octave (killer and balanced I guess. Whereas the SaxZ got a bit nasal and the Celebration stayed a bit muffled/closed, comparatively, of course it isn’t designed to really open up the same way).

        Super glad I got to try them. If it was up to me I’d try them all! Also now I wanna try HR vs Ultem vs Brass Robusto haha! Cheers! G

    • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

      Hi Giulio,
      I could also write in Italian but then many would not understand; I listened on Youtube in link posted with your tests between Robusto, Celebration and Sax Z and I congratulate, for what it matters, with you for your beautiful sound.

      You know that, for a moment, the theme you were playing, as a timbre of the sound, reminded me of the saxophonist Dick Morrissey, English, who, among other things, played the sax in the theme of the soundtrack of the movie “Blade Runner”.

  11. Avatar Arya Boustani says

    Hi Guilio,
    This is an important finding.
    Although I think while you are at it, wouldn’t you mind trying Celebration also with other reeds that are brighter than Boston like Rigotti Gold?
    Also the ligature that makes it pop a bit more on the highs like Vandoren Optimum or Francois Louise Ultimate? Thank you.

    • Hi Arya!
      Yes I’ll definitely try with the Optimum ligature as well. Although I’ve definitely been looking for that solid deep feeling I get from the pure gold+boston reeds! Cheers!

  12. One more little celebration clip with a Boston #3 and pure gold ligature!


    I have done another with the robusto as well on YouTube.
    I definitely feel more at home with the Robusto, but the celebration obviously has its charm! 🙂

  13. Avatar Giuseppe C. says

    Hi Steve,
    a question:
    I was listening and re-reading your reviews related to the 10 M Fan Classic and Showtime, in which you explain that, in both cases and especially in the case of Showtime, there is little difference in perceiving the sound of these mouthpieces in a big room open or reflected from a surface: characteristic due to their having a focused and not spread sound.

    Allow me to report what you write in the Classic review:
    “… Usually, these vintage hard rubber Link mouthpieces play with a very“ spread ”tone for me. The 10mFan classic is much more focused in my opinion. As an example of what I mean by this, when I play a spread toned mouthpiece into a big room I hear a big wash of sound coming back to my ears. When I turn towards a wall and play into it the sound dramatically changes because it is immediately more focused as it bounces back to my ears. With a focused mouthpiece, I can play into a room and I don’t hear as much of that “wash” of sound. It sounds more focused and distinct as it comes back to my ears. When I turn to the wall I hear a much smaller difference in sound. It’s slightly more focused but is basically the same sound I heard in the room. That for me is the big difference between focused and spread saxophone tones … “.

    For me this being “focused” is a great feature, because I perfectly perceive what I play as I play it.
    If I remember well, instead you say, in the relative review, that the Eclipse Phil Tone has a spread sound.
    The sound of the Celebration, for you who have played it, as it turns out: focused or spread?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Giuseppe,

      The descriptions of “focused” or “spread” can be confusing because I think they are on a scale and how I describe a mouthpiece can be influenced by comparing it to another mouthpiece. In my own experience and also in the clips by Giulio, I perceive that 10mFan Robusto has a more focused tone and the Celebration as a more spread tone.

      At the same time, I have some very focused metal mouthpieces that when compared to the Robusto make the Robusto sound more spread sounding. (I feel like the term “fat” can be confused for the term “spread” even in my own descriptions especially early on in my reviews. I now think of “fat” as being a big huge sound but with defined borders to the tone. Those borders give it a “focused” sound but the “fatness” of the tone make the tone sound bigger and rounder.)

      With a tone that I describe as “spread”, I hear that big, huge tone but the borders of the tone seem more diffused I think. There is less of a border to the tone. The “spread” quality to the tone seems to make it warmer and more lush sounding to my ear.

      With the Celebration mouthpiece I do hear a difference when I play into a wall or mirror where it sounds more focused. This difference is not as large as I experience on some mouthpieces though. I think the biggest difference with this room to wall playing test is with an Otto Link metal NY Link I have and a Sugal Super Gonz I tenor mouthpiece. Both these mouthpieces have what I consider a big, spread sound but they also have some bright highs in the tone so when I turn to a wall the tone of each mouthpiece goes from spread in the room to focused playing into the wall to my ear. I think the brightness in the tone helps me to hear this focus as the sound bounces back to my ears immediately from the wall.

      The Celebration is darker and warmer than both of these mouthpieces I mention above so when I turn to a wall, although I do hear a difference from room to wall playing, I don’t hear as much of a difference as I do with the other mouthpieces with more brightness in the tone.

      I definitely hear the Celebration as having a more spread, warm and lush sound which gives it that beauty to it’s tone. Hope this answers your question. Steve

      • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

        Thanks Steve,
        I fully understand what you, and Arya too (apart from his technical quotes which I am not “prepared” for), mean; also for experiments on the subject made by me in the past.

        It is clear that the denomination of “focused” or “spread” are made, on the basis of a relative scale, among other mouthpieces.
        I explained myself wrong: I wasn’t asking the difference between focused or spread, which in any case I thank you for providing and clarified me; I was referring only to your experience, playing them, on the mouthpieces I mentioned: Classic, Showtime, Celebration and Eclipse.
        I could listen to the clip sounds but not feel what you felt; if you can remember.

        I also agree that a spread sound is received, in recording, by others, or even by oneself, as with a quality to the tone that seems to make it warmer and more lush sounding, a warm and lush sound which give beauty to the tone.
        But I have always had the “displeasure” of the impossibility, also for other technical reasons related to the emission and perception of sound, of the impossibility of being able to perceive, “while” I play, “the same” identical sound that, in reality, if recorded, or reflected from a surface, or listened to by others, it is different …
        Perhaps, the sound “identical to the one actually emitted” is impossible to define what it is; but I don’t know why, even if I like a sound while I emitted it, it bothers me to know that it is not the same, “in reality”, as what I actually perceive …
        This is why I like the idea of ​​a mouthpiece that gives me almost the same impression, whether reflected from a surface or played in a large room.
        I was referring to this.
        I guess I can, making a scale, put the mouthpieces I mentioned in this order, starting with the most (relatively) focused:
        Showtime, Classic, Celebration and Eclipse (maybe, those last two at par?).

        Another question:
        In playing the Celebration you have noticed if, by chance, it is more “tiring” to play, with the same tip opening than others, given that on Mr. Sepinuck’s website the Celebration starts from 0.090 (6) instead of 0.095 (6 *) like the other models?
        Probably the Showtime, due to its shape, is the least tiring, with the same tip opening.
        But I really like them, hearing them played by others, all mentioned!
        Thanks for your time!

        • I was referring only to your experience, playing them, on the mouthpieces I mentioned: Classic, Showtime, Celebration and Eclipse.
          I could listen to the clip sounds but not feel what you felt; if you can remember.

          I’m afraid I really don’t remember the differences I felt between playing each of these mouthpieces. When people ask me about the mouthpieces I have reviewed in the past I usually have to go back to the review, read what I wrote and listen to the sound clips.

          But I have always had the “displeasure” of the impossibility, also for other technical reasons related to the emission and perception of sound, of the impossibility of being able to perceive, “while” I play, “the same” identical sound that, in reality, if recorded, or reflected from a surface, or listened to by others, it is different …

          I overcome this by reminding myself that what I hear in the moment isn’t what is coming out of the bell of my horn. It’s really hard at times to trust that the sound that is coming out of the horn is good especially as a gigging musician because you play in so many venues and rooms that just sound awful. I used to be really bothered when I did a gig and my tone sounded completely “dead” and dull. The truth is that has more to do with the room, carpet and furnishings than anything to do with my sound. It’s frustrating though that is for sure.

          In playing the Celebration you have noticed if, by chance, it is more “tiring” to play, with the same tip opening than others, given that on Mr. Sepinuck’s website the Celebration starts from 0.090 (6) instead of 0.095 (6 *) like the other models?

          I wouldn’t say it is more “tiring” to play but I’m not sure what you mean by that word. The Celebration is more designed like a traditional Otto Link design with less baffle in it. I think of this type of mouthpiece as not being “more tiring” to play than a higher baffled mouthpiece but just different. Many times I have tried to go from a high baffle mouthpiece to a low baffled mouthpiece and thought “Holy Cow! I can’t play this mouthpiece!” It feels like it is harder to play and more tiring at first but that is because I only needed to blow a fraction of my air on the high baffled mouthpiece to get loud. On the low baffled pieces I have to blow more air and support it more. I just have to adjust and get used to how the mouthpiece blows and then it is not hard or tiring at all. Steve

          • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

            Thanks Steve, for the exhaustive and detailed answer, and for the time spent so kindly.

            I agree that the sound I perceive “while” I play is different from what comes out of the bell of the horn and is also conditioned by “… the room, carpet and furnishings than anything to do with my sound. It’s frustrating though that is for sure … ” as you write.

            I think that, moreover, the perceived sound is also conditioned by the shape of the head and the oral cavity of the saxophonist and by how the sound resonates in these, and from other physical details, in the different perception between those who play and those who listen …
            And, as you say, this is frustrating.

            As for the “effort” in playing a mouthpiece, I was referring exactly to what you said about the emission of air in relation to the design of the mouthpiece.
            So you have also here exhaustively answered my question and I thank you for your kindness.
            With regard,

            • One of the biggest bummers of my life was losing my left ear in 1995. Before surgery I heard everything in stereo. After surgery everything was in mono. I had a really nice car at the time with a Bose sound system that sounded amazing. I would crank saxophone music while driving and be in heaven because the recordings sounded so good. After surgery, the music in the car sounded dead and one dimensional. Having that happen to your hearing over night is a real sad experience……..

              • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

                I’m very sorry for you …
                Wanting to play down a bit, I tell you that I, and others, can tell you how much, however, although you hear mono and not stereo, it is equally beautiful how you sound …
                And, then, the mono sound makes a lot of classic jazz … (even if you like Brecker).
                Like a beautiful elegant black and white photo instead of a flashy color photo!
                The beautiful records we listen to, even in stereo, have often switched to stereo from the original mono; they are equally beautiful!

  14. Avatar Arya Boustani says

    Thanks Steve for spelling out the qualities of tone as opposed to a single word of focused which probably is interpreted differently. To me, the reason I call my 10MFan The Classic model focused is because it has a lot of accumulation of energy in the mid-range. It is a relatively dark mouthpiece so a lot of high partials of high baffle mouthpieces are not there in the face, and also low-mid frequencies are blended with mid-range make a sort of dense mid-range core around 400 hz to 1.5 kHz. The reed buzz that is accentuated with high baffle falls into 1.5 kHz and above stretched easily to 3.5 k or 4.5 k even. So if we are talking about reed buzz as focus it opens the door to all sorts of bright mouthpieces but if we are talking about the floor height and chamber entry design which is a more particular objective to make a focused tone in the mid-range frequencies, then it is a different thing in my point of view.

    • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

      Hi Aria,
      Listening to it played by others, the Classic seems very beautiful to me, almost perfect.
      Do you, who own the Classic, confirm this impression of mine? The problem is that, listening to other mouthpieces, played by other saxophonists, I also like these others very much and, perhaps, they are technically different!

      If by any chance you will buy the Celebration, I would be grateful for your opinion on it and, perhaps, even if satisfied with both Classic and Celebration, to have your opinion on the differences between the two, both beautiful but for different reasons.
      An opinion possibly given more in simple language than in technical references on the shape of the mouthpieces … 😆
      Because, unfortunately, in Rome nobody sells quality mouthpieces to be able to try them personally; and it would be too expensive to order three or four online to compare and choose one!
      Best regards,

      • I just went back after reading your post here and listened to the 10mFan Classic clip next to the 10mFan Celebration “Darn that Dream” clip and “Everything Happens to Me” clips. To me, both mouthpieces are in the same ballpark for tone but I clearly hear the “Classic” recording as a more focused tone with a defined border around each note and the “Celebration” tone as having that more “spread” tone that has more diffused edges to the tone. That’s how it sounds to my ears. You are right though in saying the “Classic” clip sounds perfect! I really love how it sounds also.

        I think Mark at 10mFan has done a great job with his three category system and putting the “Classic” and “Celebration” in category 1 really covers all the bases for that warm tenor mouthpiece category in my opinion.

        • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

          I really thank you for doing this for me; I also went to compare (again) the two mouthpieces and the reviews, listening to the ballads…

          Just as you say:

          “… both mouthpieces are in the same ballpark for tone but I clearly hear the” Classic “recording as a more focused tone with a defined border around each note and the” Celebration “tone as having that more” spread “tone that has more diffused edges to the tone … “.

          I completely agree. They are two things in the same ballpark and both perfect, but you can clearly feel the difference for different reasons.

          I like both: the Celebration gives me the idea of having a finer “grain” of the sound, and I really love that kind of “buttery” in the tone and the diffused edges and nuances of the sound…
          Mark is too good a craftsman…
          How to choose between “cream” and “chocolate”? Neither is better than the other… They are both different and perfect.
          Thanks for the time spent on me, I appreciate it.

        • Avatar Arya Boustani says

          Hi Steve,
          So based on Mark’s categories would you say the Celebration is in the same dark tone family and by means of focus sits between the Merlot and the Classic? I’m wondering if Mark is thinking of creating in-between categories and if he will come up with an in-between of the Robusto and the Celebration. There are some rollover mouthpiece designs (like Florida Links) that have a rollover baffle and they are spread and punchy like the Robusto but with a bit less buzz on tap of step baffle of Robusto or other step baffle designs (Theo Wanne has quite a few). That would be an ideal thing for me personally.

      • Avatar Arya Boustani says

        Hi Giuseppe,
        I don’t know if I will buy the Celebration mouthpiece. Not that I don’t like the tone, I love the tone but the almost effortless performance of the Robusto is not there. Classic sits right in the middle by means of being less effortless than Robusto but more punch to effort ratio than the Celebration based on what I gather. Although I like a bit more spread sound than Classic which again falls to the Robusto.

        To my ears, a metal mouthpiece rings differently and I like it very much. I think if some day Mark Sepinuck makes a metal version of the Celebration II (assuming he goes in the direction of Theo Wanne that his IIs and IIIs follow the path of more punch/effort ratio) I would love to wait and save my money for that. 🙂

        I’ve been exclusively on a refaced (reface modified by myself) early Florida STM Link copy that I’m very happy with and I found that the original effort has gone down and I feel at home.

        Part of the path is to build strength to take away the drawback out of the equation but most of the time we don’t give enough time to do it. It’s a bit of inherent physics that you can’t have effortless and lush sounding together often. You can work a bit on lushness with embouchure and reed/ligature choices but probably the effort side can have a dramatic shift with enough practice.

        There is liveliness in the Robusto that lifts up my spirit, but if someones fall in love with the Celebration tone and beauty and THAT is what is important to them, then it would make sense to stick to it and work on the effort side. Sorry I wasn’t very straight forward to reply to the point but I hope you can cherry pick if there is any useful context. 🙂

        • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

          Arya, I forgot that, moreover, you have clarified to me, based on your direct experience, the different ratios of effort / desired results that you expect in relation to Robusto, Classic and Celebration!
          And it is no small thing!
          Giuseppe. 😊

  15. Avatar Giuseppe C. says

    Sure Arya,
    Thank you, also you clarified the concept:

    You write:

    “… if someones fall in love with the Celebration tone and beauty and THAT is what is important to them, then it would make sense to stick to it and work on the effort side …”

    And, before, you wrote:

    “… It’s a bit of inherent physics that you can’t have effortless and lush sounding together often. You can work a bit on lushness with embouchure and reed / ligature choices but probably the effort side can have a dramatic shift with enough practice … “.

    It is fair and logical.
    But I wonder, and I ask, if, in addition to these “embouchure and reed / ligature” aspects, it is not possible to act on another aspect, that is, simply, on a minor “tip opening” that reduces the effort according to the wishes of the performer (less tip opening, less effort).

    I don’t think, at least listening to the most important saxophonists of the past who used tight tip openings, that a tight tip opening doesn’t allow lush sounding …
    At least for those who, like me, are not interested in playing in noisy bands with electric guitars and amplifiers but, simply, love to play classic 50s / 60s jazz, and acoustic, without amplification …
    Moreover, the Blue Note vinyl records I guess were recorded with amplification, but Coltrane used tip opening 5, Dexter Gordon also (see Berkeley legend Series mouthpieces https://www.rsberkeley.com/legends-series-mouthpieces Dexter Gordon). I think also to Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond, etc.

    This other possibility, manufacturers of mouthpieces permitting; which, for now, does not happen: minimum 0.090 / 0.095.

    Thanks, however, for your precious information: even for what Steve explained to me, I had already imagined what the situation was like and you too confirm what it is.
    Best regards,

    • Avatar Arya Bousyani says

      Hi Giuseppe,
      Sorry for the late reply regarding the tip opening. It’s hard to imagine factors involved in choosing small tip on those days of Coltrane but possibly it was what they got used to in the beginning and by tremendous practice time they took the effort out of the equation. I found smaller tip opening creates more back pressure which is more limiting than working the lungs out to adapt to a bigger tip opening. For some mouthpiece designs I think going down one size like 7* to 7 could end up with more feel at home result. I know some seasoned players that try rediscovering closer tip mouthpieces or softer reads. Perhaps with enough practice they could possibly get something out of that approach that is unique to those choices.

      • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

        Hi Arya, it’s a pleasure to hear from you.

        Personally, I disagree with what you write about the smaller tip openings: “… and by tremendous practice time they took the effort out of the equation. I found smaller tip opening creates more back pressure which is more limiting than working the lungs out to adapt to a bigger tip opening … “.
        I do not agree “in practice” as, about 28 years ago, when I had to stop playing for work reasons until 2008, I used tip opening metal Ottolink 6 * and metal Dukoff S 7 with La Voz medium, Hemke 2 or Rico reeds Royal 2.5.

        There was a problem that I don’t know if I can explain exactly as I don’t know the English term for “strasuonare”: the sound was beautiful and powerful and refined, but I had some problem controlling it as I had to take air more often and then , to control the sound and intonation, I was forced to constantly “play loud” (strasuonare) otherwise the sound “fell”, broke, I could not sustain it that much. I was able, however, equally, even if it may seem a contradiction, to play even lightly and pianissimo. It’s weird, I know; but I felt, however, that I was straining to sustain an unnaturally loud sound.

        In 2008, when I resumed playing, having an inguinal hernia, and wanting to gradually resume with little effort (which I considered to correspond to a smaller tip opening) I bought an HR Meyer M6M (.081) to resume temporarily with gradual effort; when I switched back to the aforementioned Dukoff or Ottolink, my teacher told me I controlled and had a much better sound with the Meyer!
        In fact, I got tired much less. I used almost the same reeds: Vandoren red 2,5, Vandoren ZZ 2,5 and, then, the Rigotti Gold 2.5 medium.
        So I no longer have that unnatural feeling of effort I felt with more open tip openings.

        I do not know what to say; it seems strange to me that you struggle more with small tips … At least in practice this is what I found.
        It probably depends on the type of embouchure and how we play and how we “are”. Is everyone different and does it work in a different way?
        Thanks for the reply; I hope I managed to explain myself with my poor English!
        A hug,

        • Avatar Arya Boustani says

          Hi Giuseppe,
          I think I didn’t explain things properly. I meant smaller tip only from the volume of air coming from the lung perspective. I’ve seen many players who use tip opening 9 to 10 and I gave them my 7* mouthpieces to try and right off the bat they said no they can’t play with that tip opening because they got used to much bigger volume of air and they didn’t want to change their way. Of course if you use a harder reed you can compensate for that like (I think) Coltrane was using #4 Rico for his 6 Otto Link mouthpiece. Although many jazz players like wide tip and soft reed combination to bend the notes easier while they have enough control for steady pitch if an experienced player wants. Also you get more nasal mid-range from too small tip openings so it does change the sound which is not usually the preference of jazz players. Nasal sound has more mid-range, ironed out definition, and tone purity and that’s the preference of classical players. Coltrane’s #6 is not that small so by using proper embouchure and breathing from the bottom of the lung he managed to get some lushness but more importantly his highlight was still mid-range which was catered by #6 tip and harder reed. From your reply what I gathered is that you were using a too soft reed so it was not having a steady vibration with lots of airflow for loud sound. Even going from 2 to 2.5 or 2.5 to 3 can make a huge difference in tone stability. Since the reed you were using was soft, you were bending the reed to a small opening so it worked well for pianissimo. If one is used to breathing from bottom of the lung with lots of lung capacity and air support, your default embouchure is pretty relaxed (not bending the reed as much) which is less prone to falling apart when lots of air flow for loud sound is needed. That’s my own experience anyway.

          • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

            Hi Arya,
            Thanks for the reply. You have not explained yourself badly, it is I who do not know English well.
            Even my teacher, who uses a tip opening 8, when he tried my Meyer 0.081 was unable to get a sound on the entire register of his Conn: but I, with this Meyer, have the same volume of sound as him, perhaps the notes of the high register are less thick, but I don’t mind this because it is natural that the high notes are less thick! I do not get the nasal sound, which I would like, however, reminding me of the nasal sound of Coltrane.

            Given that Coltrane had a sack full of mouthpieces, therefore probably of various tip openings, I think that what he used in my favorite period as a sound, was not a 6 but an Ottolink Tone Master 5: I say this because, lately, I have seen on the cover of a vinyl record a perfectly defined photo in the foreground of Trane’s face and his mouthpiece and, from the age that Trane showed in the photo and the perfectly legible writing on the mouthpiece “Ottolink Tone Master”, and the very narrow space between reed and mouthpiece, I feel I can reach the above conclusions.

            The reeds that I generally use are always 2.5 (the Hemke 2 corresponds to a hardness of 2.5 compared to the other reeds). Regardless of the mouthpiece, if I switch, as I would like, to a 3 reed, I feel too much effort! It is also true that some reeds, if too soft, give me the sensation of being like wet absorbent paper and as if they adhere to the internal shape of the mouthpiece …
            Where you write: … From your reply what I gathered is that you were using a too soft reed so it was not having a steady vibration with lots of airflow for loud sound … ” I must say that in my answer I explained myself bad, as what I described does not happen to me now with my Meyer 0.081, but many years ago when I used the Ottolink 6 * and the Dukoff S 7, with 2,5 reeds. The pianissimo came to me despite the reed being 2 ,5 and despite the fact that, at the same time, I sometimes had to play very loud to maintain the flow of air and although I have no problems in using the diaphragm correctly in producing the sound and relative projection. I think my problem at the time was born from a too hard relationship between tip opening and hardness of the reed.
            In thanking you for your kind advices that I will take into consideration anyway, I report, with copy and paste, if legal, what is taken from the site:


            extrapolating, if legal, a comment from user Nicolas Trefeil who in response to user mrpeebee reports a statement made to him by Dexter Gordon, as Trefeil writes:

            “… Nicolas Trefeil
            Joined Aug 22, 2013
            9 Posts
            # 34 Oct 3, 2020

            mrpeebee said:
            Yes, it’s hard to find consistent and reliable data about mouthpieces used by great players. If I remember well I did read about Dexter’s 8* Link in ‘Dexter Gordon – A Musical Biography’ by Stan Britt, but I could also have grabbed it from the liner notes on one of the many LP’s I have from Dexter.

            Here are some links:
            – Dexter’s biography: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1282114.Dexter_Gordon
            – Nicolas Trefeil setup of tenor players: https://www.nicolastrefeil.com/tenor-sax-player-s-setup
            – Old SOTW thread from 2011: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt…tups-Help-needed-from-SOTW-members-quot-quot/

            Nicolas Trefeil (see above for the link) states that Dexter used a Dukoff BD Hollywood metal 5* slightly refaced with La Voz Medium reeds.

            I’m not sure how reliable that is, because he is also not accurate about the mouthpiece Dexter used in the mid 40’s. That was an Otto Link Tone Master 6 (not a Four ****) which Dexter traded with Illinois Jacquet (who got Dexter’s refaced TM 4) when both played with Lionel Hampton in the early 40’s. That’s what IJ has stated on several places (also in the above mentioned biography of Dexter).
            Hello MrPeebee. I try to give good information on my web site, i can make some mistake, but the information from my Web site about Dexter Gordon mpc’s is given by Dexter Gordon himself

            “Actually this present mouthpiece of mine is relatively small. It’s just medium size a five-star. It’s been straightened out a little bit, but it’s not a big mouthpiece. It’s blows very free and gets a nice substantial sound. Most people are surprises because they think it’s much a much larger mouthpiece than it is. They think it’s maybe an eight or nine or something like that, but it’s not. So that’s why i say it’s projection that counts.”

            -from an interview in Crescendo Magazine of december 1962. (The picture of the article is showing him with is Conn and Dukkof mpc). He also says about the reed: La Voz, medium strenght

            Dexter Gordon say also in this interview that before the mpc is playing now, he played an Otto Link especially made for him during “The chase” era (1947) and until it got stolen around 1952.

            All the best.
            Nicolas Trefeil “.

            So Dex says that many think his 5* mouthpiece is an 8 or a 9, but that it is not, and concludes:
            “So that’s why i say it’s projection that counts”.
            A hug,

    • Avatar Giuseppe C. says

      Hi Arya, I forgot:
      Where you write:
      “… I know some seasoned players that try rediscovering closer tip mouthpieces or softer reads. Perhaps with enough practice they could possibly get something out of that approach that is unique to those choices …”,

      I must say that all my teachers over time, starting from 1977, so six professionals, one African American from New York and five Italians, of which four with certainly I know have graduated with full marks from the conservatory, have always told me: “with a big tip opening soft reeds are used and with small tip opening hard reeds are used “. Same thing I’ve always read that the most famous jazz masters did.
      Best regards,

  16. Hi. I have an ebonite vintage Otto link that I like a lot, but I feel a bit of difficulty in articulation and the upper region I miss a certain volume. Which of the 10mFan mouthpieces could I fill this gap? I’m looking for a versatile, balanced mouthpiece, with just the right amount of shine.

    • Alison, I would ask Mark at 10mFan. He is great at answering questions about his mouthpieces. It’s hard for me to answer because I don’t know what “just the right amount of shine” means. I personally dig the Robusto a ton but that might be too much shine for your tastes. the Showtime might be cool too. It all depends on your preference. I put the sound clips up so you can listen to each mouthpiece and maybe get an idea how much “shine” I get from each mouthpiece and then get an idea which one might be a good fit for you. Good Luck. Steve

  17. Avatar Mario Lafrésière says

    Great sounding as usual Steve. I received my Celebration today ….. this piece is a gem. Am really loving it …..

Speak Your Mind