The New Metalites Are Available

Ever since Rico announced that they were reintroducing their Arnold Brilhart-designed Metalite mouthpieces, sax players have been waiting anxiously to see how these new pieces would measure up to the old ones. Well the new Metalites are now out, and are available directly from D’Addario (the distributor of Rico products).

Currently Rico lists only soprano, tenor, and baritone versions of the Metalite on their website.

Soprano Front

    Soprano Metalite mouthpiece by Rico. Source:

Here is how Rico describes the reintroduced, Metalite mouthpiece:

Designed by mouthpiece maker Arnold Brilhart, Metalite mouthpieces are designed to offer the sound of metal with a durable, resonant material. Available in a medium-small chamber with three different facings.

This description was taken from the the soprano page. However, the soprano mouthpiece is listed as coming in only 2 sizes:

  • Metalite Mouthpieces Soprano Sax- #M5
  • Metalite Mouthpieces Soprano Sax- #M7

No tip opening or facing size are given on the Rico site, unfortunately.

The good news is that the soprano Metalite mouthpiece only costs $28.00. Although that’s $10.00 more than its Graftonite cousin, it is still considerably less than you would spend on a metal mouthpiece.

Tenor Front

    Tenor Metalite mouthpiece by Rico. Source:

The description of the tenor mouthpiece is the same on the ordering page, as the one quoted above. However, this time they do actually come in 3 facings:

  • Metalite Mouthpieces Tenor Sax- #M5
  • Metalite Mouthpieces Tenor Sax- #M7
  • Metalite Mouthpieces Tenor Sax- #M9

Still no tip opening or facing size given.

The cost of tenor Metalite mouthpiece is $27.00, which is $7.00 more than they charge for the Graftonite mouthpiece.

Baritone Front

    Baritone Metalite mouthpiece by Rico. Source:

Now this is the one that I think will cause the most talk, and what most people are waiting for. The original Metalite pieces for baritone were the most talked about, and the most sought after. Over the past number of years, original bari Metalites were selling for over $100 on eBay. 

These new Metalite baritone pieces are available in 3 facings:

  • Metalite Mouthpieces Baritone Sax- #M5
  • Metalite Mouthpieces Baritone Sax- #M7
  • Metalite Mouthpieces Baritone Sax- #M9

Again, no tip opening or facing size was provided by Rico.

The cost  of the Metalite baritone mouthpiece is $29.00, which is $8.00 more than its Graftonite cousin.

The original Metalites were grey in colour. My baritone and alto pieces have a pebbly finish, while the one for my tenor is smooth. From the photos that Rico provides, the new pieces appear almost dark grey or black, with a pebbly finish. But are they really? And more importantly: How do they play? Are they the same as what they once were?

Well, SOTW has some of the most committed Metalite fans you will find anywhere, and you don’t have to search too hard to find a thread that has updated information on the new Metalites. Here are a few quotes from one of the players who has received his new Metalites:

I just received my Metalite tenor pieces from D’Addario. They appear identical to the old ones but just have the name RICO on them. They are shiny finish and are grey in color. The baffle design appears identical to the old ones. There is no info on actual tip sizes. On the box (they are in new boxes also) it just states:#3 Medium (feels less resistant-works with harder reeds) #5 Medium Open (adds more resistance-works with medium softer reeds) #7 Open (most resistant-works with softer reeds). What is really strange is that I ordered a M7 and M9 and received mouthpieces marked M7 and M9 in new boxes also marked M7 and M9 but the boxes only give info for 3, 5, and 7. They do look identical to the old ones except for finish (shiny) and just the name Rico on them…

I just played my two new Metalites for tenor, a M7 and M9. I could be happy with either one. They seem to play just like the old ones (although I never tried an old M11). They seem to have got it right with duplicating the old design. For the money you can’t go wrong but you have to like the feel of a bigger piece. These new ones feel like a Graftonite but play like a Metalite, that is the best that I can describe them. I didn’t notice a drastic difference between the 7 and 9, the 9 maybe being a tad fuller and louder. I played both with a number 3 Rico royal and a metal lig. To my ears they sound like a good full metal mouthpiece.

I just received an e-mail from D’Addario with respect to my question on the info on the new boxes and tip openings [snip]. I was informed that there is a misprint on the new tenor boxes . The only available tip openings on the new Metalites are 5, 7, and 9 for tenor and bari and 5 and 7 for soprano. The tip sizes for tenor are 5 is .095″, 7 is .105″, and 9 is .115″. This is all the info I received so it seems like the openings are like the old ones.

It appears that D’Addario will not ship outside the USA, so if you live outside the States I guess it’s: Sorry ’bout your luck. D’Addario tells you to talk to your local music store about having them do a special order for you.

It also seems that Rico has run out of baritone pieces in all 3 sizes already. It appears that they seriously underestimated the popularity of their Metalite line… Again… Oh well, hopefully they will get some manufactured soon.

If you’re interested in the Rico Metalite mouthpiece, keep an eye on this SOTW thread. As more players get their pieces, more will chime in with their impressions.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2009, Helen. All rights reserved.

Series NavigationRico Metalites Are Coming Back!Old Stock Rico Metalite Mouthpiece Facing Charts For Alto & Soprano


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.


  1. Thanks for your reply, I’ll go for the Rovner Tenor,
    or try a similar Chinese lig that you can get for $2.5
    There seems to be a sort of soft fabric between the lig and the reed,
    would that be an indication to a more dark sound ?

    In the mean time I tried it using a shoe string to fix the reed to the mouthpiece, and I like the sound …. only it is a bit of a hassle to put the reed in a correct place like this
    It gives me a more solid sound than the stock closed mpc that came with the saxophone (Yanagisawa), which is nice to play rock/funk/jazz things at home. perhaps it will not blend in when playing in a concert band, I’ll see when I get the ligature.

  2. I bought a new baritone metalite mouthpiece, but my normal baritone ligature does not fit on it, it is too big.
    Can you tell me what ligature would fit ?

    • No, no it won’t. Both the Metalite and the Graftonite are actually quite slim.

      The ligature I use on it is the Rovner Hard Rubber Tenor Sax. I have both dark and light—dark would likely be fine for this MP since it is already so bright in overtones.

      BTW, I don’t trust their sizing chart. According to it, the HR Berg bari piece I use would require a bari lig. Not true at all. The Berg, and both Rico pieces use the same HR Rovner.

      Hope this helps!

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