Absolute Color Line Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Today, I am reviewing a new alto saxophone mouthpiece from Absolute mouthpieces in Italy.  This is neon yellow Absolute Color Line 7 alto saxophone mouthpiece.   These Absolute Color Line saxophone mouthpieces also come in neon blue as well as neon red as you can see in the photo below.

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow, Neon Red and Neon Blue Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I have to admit that these neon color Absolute alto saxophone mouthpieces are really triggering my memories of playing with a “Lite Brite” when I was a little kid.  These mouthpiece have that same neon color as those magical pegs I used to proudly create works of glowing colored artwork with.

              

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here is some more details from the Absolute website about the Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece:

“We are pleased to present our brand new series of colored mouthpieces, with a truly beautiful image but not only … The material used is particularly resonant and the low roof and the middle chamber give excellent sound power while remaining very easy to manage and in tune. As always, they are machined with excellent quality CNC machines with equipment specially designed and manufactured by us for the perfect and delicate processing that these require. They are also all checked and finished perfectly by hand, with a perfectly flat table and a variety of openings (6-.075, 7-.085, 8-.095)

Absolute Mouthpiece Website

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece looks really cool. It is translucent which means that light can pass through it and you can kind of see through the mouthpiece to a certain extent.

The mouthpiece is light in weight and I’m told that these mouthpieces are made of a cast acryllic called Plexyglass.  The are machined from solid bar stock of this material and then are checked and finished by hand.

The Absolute logo in engraved into the top of the mouthpiece body with ABSOLUTE and ITALY engraved on the shank of the mouthpiece.  The tip opening of 7 is engraved on the rear of the table of the mouthpiece.

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

As you can see in the photos, the table and rails look flat and pretty even.  There are milling or cutting lines on the table and baffle area but the area feels pretty smooth to the touch.  The tip rail is not exactly even but it is close.  On the mouthpiece I am reviewing, the very top of the tip rail curve is a little thinner and flatter than the rest of the tip curve but it was still easy to line up reeds and did not affect playability that I could tell.

The baffle is what I would call a high baffle that has a bullet chamber cut into it at the end as it enters a small chamber.  The sidewalls are straight and the roof of the chamber area is pretty thick.

The beak of the mouthpiece is an average height and feels similar in height and shape to a typical Meyer alto saxophone mouthpiece beak to me.  I believe the body of the mouthpiece is a little bit thinner in diameter than a Meyer alto sax mouthpiece but the same alto sax ligatures that fit on a Meyer alto saxophone mouthpiece fit on the Absolute Color Line alto sax mouthpiece as well.

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece played incredibly well for me.  I was actually quite surprised by the tone and response it produced,  I have to be honest in writing that I thought this alto mouthpiece would be incredibly bright and edgy when I was first looking at it.  The baffle is high and the chamber is really small.  Those two elements combined usually make for a pretty loud, bright and edgy mouthpiece but that was not the case with this Absolute Color Line mouthpiece.

The 7 tip opening which is a .085 on the Absolute website did not feel at all like an .085 tip opening to me but maybe that is because of the higher baffle on this mouthpiece.  It played perfectly for me with a Roberto’s 2 1/2 medium reed.

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece was nothing like I thought it would be. It had a pleasantly light and delicate sound to it that had a bright round singing quality to it that I really loved.  The Absolute alto sax mouthpiece definitely is on the brighter side of the alto tone spectrum but the tone is more reminiscent of a brighter Paul Desmond kind of tone than a bright and edgy Dave Sanborn kind of tone.  I really dug the light beautiful tone of the Absolute Color Line mouthpiece.

In my mind, the main strength of this mouthpiece is it’s unique tone.  I’m not sure I have ever tried an alto mouthpiece with this particular kind of tone before which I found really unique.  Although the tone is brighter, it has a beauty to it that is easy and enjoyable to listen to in my opinion.  The smoothness and beauty of the tone almost make me want to play classical music with it which I start leaning towards during a few moments in the sound clips below.

The brightness of the tone while still being smooth makes me think this would be a great mouthpiece for smooth jazz sax playing also. I’m not sure this mouthpiece would be the best for really loud gigs where many alto sax player go for more of that overblown “Sanborn” alto tone.  I tried going for an overblown “Sanborn” kind of alto sound while practicing but it didn’t feel comfortable to me on this mouthpiece.  It felt like I couldn’t get all the air needed for that type of sound through the small opening of the chamber of the mouthpiece.

The intonation on the Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece was very good in my opinion.  Usually high baffle alto mouthpiece can tend to make certain notes on my Selmer Reference 54 alto saxophone really sharp but that was not the case with this Absolute alto mouthpiece.

Another interesting fact about this mouthpiece is that I had to push it onto my cork almost to the end of the cork.  I was surprised by this because high baffle, small chamber mouthpieces will tend to play sharper and will need to be placed further out on the neck cork.  Not so with this mouthpiece.

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Absolute alto saxophone mouthpiece was very smooth up and down the range of the saxophone.  The high notes were crisp and bright while still having a roundness to them I really liked.  The low notes were not as fat and rich as some other alto sax mouthpieces with larger chambers but the low notes came out surprisingly easy for a high baffled mouthpiece.

On the clips at the bottom of the review,  I tried to show a variety of different sounds that the Absolute alto sax mouthpiece could get when I was playing it.  As is my habit lately, I have added an additional clip with added reverb as well.  This is the same as the “no effects” clip but the added reverb gives you an idea of how the Absolute alto saxophone mouthpiece might sound in a hall, large room or recording studio with some reverb added to the sound.

Absolute Color Line Neon Yellow Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you like the sound and look of the Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece, you can order one of them from the Absolute website.  They are very reasonably priced at the time of this review and I would consider this mouthpiece a great option for any alto saxophone player that digs this kind of sound on the alto sax.

If you have played or end up playing a Absolute Color Line alto saxophone mouthpiece or have any other thoughts or comments about this review, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below.  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!

Absolute Color Line Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Roberto’s 2 1/2 Medium Reed-No Effects

Absolute Color Line Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece-Roberto’s 2 1/2 Medium Reed-Reverb Added

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.

Comments

  1. Avatar Angelo - LI, NY says

    Since I can not read Italian can you tell your audience what the price is of this piece?
    Does it come with a cap or lig?
    Do they make Tenor or Soprano pieces?
    What is your opinions on this Absolute verses the Syos Alto pieces?

    • Angelo,
      At the top right on the Absolute website you can choose the language from Italian to English. The mouthpiece sells for 145 euros. That is 174 in US currency on the day that I am writing this comment. I’m not sure about cap and ligature. I am assuming it doesn’t because mine didn’t come with a cap and ligature and the Absolute page for the mouthpiece doesn’t say anything about a cap and ligature. I do see a color line for soprano and tenor on their website but have not tried those models.

      As far as the comparison to the Syos pieces you would have to look at my reviews and listen to the sound clips. I have done a number of reviews on different SYOS alto pieces and can’t compare them all to the Absolute. They are all different and as you can hear on the clips, they all play well for me. I personally like the colored acrylic smooth feel of the Absolute over the textured feel of the SYOS mouthpieces but it really has to do with what your preferences are. Hope this helps, Steve

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