Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece 2022 Review

Today, I am reviewing a Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor saxophone mouthpiece made by Johannes Gerber mouthpieces.  I first reviewed a Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant tenor mouthpiece here over 12 years ago.  I was incredibly impressed with Johannes Gerber’s craftsmanship 12 years ago when I first played the Gerber Vintage Slant tenor saxophone mouthpiece and am just as impressed now as I write another review of this 2022 Gerber Vintage Slant tenor saxophone mouthpiece.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Here are a few words from the Gerber website on the Gerber Vintage Slant tenor saxophone mouthpiece:

“The Johannes Gerber VINTAGE SLANT tenor saxophone mouthpiece is modeled after the classic 1950’s tenor sound. The sound is characterized as warm and rich in harmonic content – darker but lively – true and transparent. While many of the vintage pieces of the past play very well, they are also known to be inconsistent – they were finished by different craftsmen at the factory and the internal and external dimensions changed from time to time – no two are the same, and it’s becoming harder and harder to find a good one in original condition.

Johannes Gerber compiled a database of vintage mouthpiece’s measurements over many years and used the data from his favorite mouthpieces during the conception of the Vintage Slant.

The medium-large chamber is finished with beautifully sculpted concave side-walls and a medium ‘New York’ era roll-over baffle, resulting in an evenly balanced sound through the range of the saxophone. Projection and power are excellent for this type of design and the precisely finished facing and rails facilitate fast articulation and control.

Several saxophonists ordered the Gerber VINTAGE SLANT as a backup to their original ‘Slants’ and ended up liking the Gerber Vintage Slant mouthpiece even more. Some described it as the perfect substitute for their ‘No USA’ slant Otto Link tenor saxophone mouthpieces.

Craftsmanship bar none: Johannes Gerber is world renowned as a true master craftsman of saxophone mouthpieces. We have measured and inspected some of the most expensive saxophone mouthpieces in today’s marketplace and have found none that compare to Gerber’s accuracy, consistency, and perfect finishing – what you see in the photos is what your mouthpiece will look, and play like.

Material: We have developed a modern equivalent of the best vintage hard rubber. Our hard rubber composite uses the finest hard rubber from Germany as the main component and resonates and responds nearly identical to the hard rubber used in the vintage Otto Link and Meyer mouthpieces from the 1960’s.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor saxophone mouthpiece came well packaged and protected.  The Vintage Slant tenor mouthpiece looked great right out of the box.  The hard rubber is dark, shiny and smooth to the touch.  The mouthpiece table, tip, rails, baffle and chamber look absolutely perfect.  Everything is clean cut, even and smooth.

The mouthpiece has the “J. Gerber” signature engraved on the top of the body and “Vintage Slant” engraved on the top of the shank. The tip opening of “7*” is engraved into the body next to the table and the bottom of the shank reads “Made in South Africa”.  What I believe is a serial number is also engraved on the other side of the mouthpiece body next to the table.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor saxophone mouthpiece looks immaculate as I examine it while writing this review. The table looks flat and smooth with not a mark on it.  The side rails and tip rail are thin and look to be perfectly even to my eyes.

I’m always incredibly impressed with Johannes Gerber’s incredible attention to detail.  his tip rails and side rails are some of the most even and precise in the business.  If you check out his website he has some incredible photos of more of his mouthpieces and work.  Here is a great video showing some of Johannes Gerber’s craftsmanship and work.

The Gerber Vintage Slant tenor saxophone mouthpiece is called the “Vintage Slant”model for a reason.  Reading the description of the origin of the Vintage Slant model mouthpiece shows that Johannes Gerber is dedicated to learning and mastering his craft.  I love this quote:

“Johannes Gerber compiled a database of vintage mouthpiece measurements over many years and used the data from his favorite mouthpieces during the conception of the Vintage Slant.”

Johannes Gerber put himself through a mouthpiece craftsman school of his own making.  This shows determination and passion but also intelligence and patience.  His years of study and meticulous hard work paid off in the form of his detailed and beautiful mouthpiece craftsmanship.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Gerber Vintage Slant has a smooth rollover baffle that descends down and through the large chamber.  Johannes describes this chamber as medium-large but it looks like a large chamber  to my eyes, similar to a typical hard rubber Otto Link sized mouthpiece chamber.  The baffle travels at an angle through the large chamber where it meets the start of the bore.  The sidewalls are nicely scooped out and the roof of the chamber is moderately thin.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor saxophone mouthpiece played great with a BSS (Boston Sax Shop) size 2 1/2 and size 3 tenor sax reed.  A saxophone mouthpiece ligature that fits on a typical hard rubber Otto Link tenor sax mouthpiece will work on the Gerber Vintage Slant mouthpiece as well.

The beak height feels very comfortable and similar to a typical hard rubber Otto Link beak height to me.  The tip rail shape matches perfectly to the saxophone reeds I tried on the Gerber Vintage Slant tenor saxophone mouthpiece.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor sax mouthpiece had a beautifully smooth darker saxophone tone that was warm and full of character. The low notes were lush and round in tone and the high notes had a pretty roundness to them that I really liked.

The Gerber Vintage Slant had an immediate response to articulation that was clean and precise and the intonation on this mouthpiece was excellent.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The first sound clip below is with the BSS (Boston Sax Shop) 2 1/2 reed and the tone is warm and lush even from the very first notes of “Darn that Dream” that I quote at the beginning of the sound clip.  The tone is dense but also spread sounding as if the edges of each note are spreading out through the room which gives the notes a warmth and mature character to the sound.

The second clip is with a slightly harder BSS (Boston Sax Shop) 3 tenor sax reed.  The tone of the Vintage Slant mouthpiece with the slightly harder reed seems a little more crisp and thick I think.  Like the tone has more layers to it I think.  The slightly harder reed allows the sound to be pushed harder and more aggressively if needed.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* is a great tenor sax mouthpiece for those of you looking for a traditional “vintage” tenor saxophone tone that is reminiscent of the 50’s-60’s hard rubber “Slant” Otto Link sound.  The Vintage Slant gives you that warmth and takes some of the brightness out of the tone that many modern mouthpieces have.   I usually use the word “dark” or “darker” to describe a tenor saxophone tone that has less highs in the sound but I don’t really like that word for the Gerber Vintage Slant tenor mouthpiece. The Vintage Slant mouthpiece does keep enough brightness in the tone of the saxophone so the highs that are still in the sound just sound warmer to me and more pleasant.  The high notes especially, have a pleasing appealing roundness and “singing” quality to them which is really beautiful.

The low end of the saxophone is also beautiful, resonant, thick and lush sounding as well.  The mouthpiece subtones beautifully and the notes down low are rich, thick, resonant and full-bodied.

The Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor sax mouthpiece is even and smooth throughout the range of the saxophone.  I mentioned in my review of the Alexander Superial I Jazz mouthpiece review that it had a “smooth as butter” quality to the evenness of the notes when played fast and this Gerber Vintage Slant mouthpiece has a similar smoothness to the lines that I love as well.  Where as that mouthpiece had more of a focused quality to the tone, the Gerber Vintage Slant has more of a fat and spread quality to the tone.

As far as volume, I would say that the Gerber Vintage Slant plays similarly in volume to a typical great hard rubber Otto Link tenor saxophone mouthpiece.  I usually find typical hard rubber Otto Links play at about a 7 or 8 on a volume scale of 1-10 and the Gerber Vintage Slant is in that same volume range in my opinion.

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

If you like the sound and look of the Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor saxophone mouthpiece, you can find them at the Gerber website.  Johannes Gerber has done an amazing job creating his own line of saxophone mouthpieces with a meticulous attention to detail that is top of the line.  Besides the Vintage Slant model, the Gerber line also includes the Vibra Master, Vibra Master X and the Octa Supreme II.  I have not tried these other Gerber tenor sax mouthpieces models as of yet but hope to review them sometime in the future.

If you have played or end up playing a Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* tenor 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

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-BSS (Boston Sax Shop) 2 1/2 Reed-Dry Recording (No Effects)

Johannes Gerber Vintage Slant 7* Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece-BSS (Boston Sax Shop) 3 Reed-Dry Recording (No Effects)

  • But wait, there’s more!   Here is a bonus video clip of Tucker Antell (a killer tenor saxophone player in the New England area) playing on the Gerber Vintage Slant 9* Tenor Sax Mouthpiece.  Enjoy!

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 Arya Boustani says

    Hi Steve, Tucker tone is somehow more multi-dimensional. May be it’s just the player thing but also I’m wondering if let’s say an 8* would open up more dimensions to the tone. I know you sometimes played 8 or 8* in the past. Would be good to know. I imagine it may be a better match for a BSS 2 1/2. Your sound with 7* and BSS 3 is a good fit for 60s tone. I think that Optimum ligature helps to create a more defined tone profile that helps to balance out the spread sounding mouthpieces.

    • I could maybe go to an 8 but I have not had good luck going to an 8*,9 or 9* on Link-like tenor mouthpieces. For me, an opening that big with a lower baffle makes the sound too hollow and spread for me although I don’t hear that at all in Tucker’s sound so his 9* is working for him on that video obviously (I’m curious what size reeds he is using on that……..)

  2. Avatar Arya Boustani says

    Any difference with your 2010 reviewed model that you can think of (tone-wise, etc.):
    https://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2010/12/johannes-gerber-vintage-slant-tenor-mouthpiece/

    • Arya, Not that I can remember. I believe that was an 8. I can’t remember the details between that one and this one. They both played great for me.

  3. Avatar Walter Ruckdeschel says

    Hi Steve,

    I’m a quite experienced collector of many mouthpieces and for me Johannes’ work is among the very best. I think his Vintage Slant is a simply outstanding interpretation of that “slant” theme. The Vibra Master has more bite and projection, a little less complexity and sweetness and is simply outstanding too. The Octa supreme is more midrange-focused (many a great option and upgrade for Soloist-players…). You absolutely should try these, not to mention Johannes’ superb Alto- and Soprano-mouthpieces.

  4. Hey Steve,

    Great review! How do you think this piece compares to the GetASax Slant you reviewed not long ago?

    Kind regards,
    Malte

  5. Steve! I think one of my favorite clips of yours, definitely in your famous EB territory. Congrats on the excellent sound and playing, as always.

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