Special Mouthpieces

Special horns need special mouthpieces

Because I have so many different saxophones, it is quite hard to develop and keep the muscle memory necessary to play these horns 100% in tune. In order to this successfully, I generally rely on only 1 or 2 mouthpieces per voice of horn. 

For example, on alto my go-to MPs are either a Runyon Custom or my vintage Meyer. On tenor one of my vintage Dukoffs is all I ever play. While on bari either my vintage SS or HR Berg always gets the job done. 

However, in the fall of 2017 and 2018 I got the Olds Super tenor and the Couf bari respectively, and each one of them had issues when it came to mouthpieces and reeds. My regular set-up of mouthpiece X & reed Y no longer worked. Suddenly I was left scrambling for alternatives. 

The Olds Super would not play in tune with ANY of the mouthpieces I had, nor would it play with anything other than cane reeds. (I stopped using cane more than 20 years ago.) The Couf bari would only play in tune with a couple of my pieces, but I couldn’t get the palm keys to speak properly with either mouthpiece.

All these problems sent me on a mouthpiece hunt. However, since both of these are not particularly common horns, the solutions couldn’t be found by simply asking on sax forums.

I was really lucky when I stumbled onto a solution for the Olds Super tenor’s problem. Thanks to a fellow tenor player I know who let me try his Claude Lakey Apollo mouthpiece I knew it would work for the horn, and give me my sound.

For the Couf bari’s issue, I reached out to the good people at Theo Wanne. After talking with them about my problem, they suggested I try their new Durga 3. 

I recently took some HDR photos of these two rather unique mouthpieces. Both are quite uncommon, so I thought this would give other players the chance to see them in greater detail. 

Claude Lakey Apollo tenor 6*

Theo Wanne Durga 3 bari 8*

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