- Rico Royal Graftonite Mouthpieces
- Rico Royal Metalite Mouthpieces
- An Interesting Hard Copy Bass Sax Resource
- Making A Homemade Baffle For A Sax Mouthpiece
- Rico Royal Metalite Baritone Chamber & Facing Info
- Rico Metalites Are Coming Back!
- The New Metalites Are Available
- Old Stock Rico Metalite Mouthpiece Facing Charts For Alto & Soprano
- The Original Metalite Facings For Tenor Saxophone
- A Review Of Some Original Metalite Mouthpieces
- Facing Chart For All The Original Rico Metalite Saxophone Mouthpieces
- The New Rico Metalite Family Is Finally Complete
- The Currently Available Rico Graftonite & Metalite Mouthpieces
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 Metalite mouthpiece by Rico. Source: http://store.daddario.com
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 Metalite mouthpiece by Rico. Source: http://store.daddario.com
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 Metalite mouthpiece by Rico. Source: http://store.daddario.com
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.
© 2009, Helen. All rights reserved.