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4 Amazing Alto Sax Mouthpieces for a Beautiful Sound

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There’s a brand new mouthpiece out that the saxophone world is very excited about. JodyJazz has just released the Hard Rubber version of their flagship DV mouthpiece for alto saxophone.

I’m going to play it for you so you can hear what it can do, and then we’ll compare it to the metal version as well as a couple of other alto mouthpieces so you have a frame of reference. Then once you’ve heard them all, we’re going to do a blind test to see if you can identify which is which just by listening. It’s going to be fun so let’s get started.

I’m going to be playing on the best selling BetterSax alto saxophone which is available for $899 at Sweetwater.com There will be links for this horn and all the mouthpieces I play in the video description.

JodyJazz DV HR

Let’s hear the DV HR first…

The DV HR has the same double window as the metal version albeit a bit shorter. They both have a step baffle and the interior proportions look the same to the naked eye. Notice the gold plated brass ring on the shank and the inlaid bite plate. I’ve put a standard mouthpiece patch over the top of mine and I suggest you do the same.

JodyJazz DV Metal

I’ve been a fan of the metal DV since I first played one. It’s a great contemporary mouthpiece that can be used in almost any musical situation so it’s extremely versatile. It is definitely designed to deliver power, projection, a very focused core and a bit of edge when you want it. A free blowing mouthpiece that plays effortlessly over the full range.

Let’s hear what it sounds like…

How would you describe the difference in sound between the new Hard Rubber DV and the original metal version? Let us know in the comments.

Go back and listen again if you need to, I’m playing one of the selections from my Melodic Etudes course which is not just a collection of written out solos designed for intermediate saxophone players, but also a course in how to build effective solos and improvise over chord changes. I put a link for that in the description as well.

I will say this. I really like the new DV HR. I’m definitely more of a Hard rubber guy for alto saxophone, I prefer how it feels but also the sound. Listening back, the DV HR is a bit mellower making it more versatile a least for the music I like to play most.

JodyJazz HR*

One of the most popular and affordable mouthpieces from JodyJazz is the HR* so let’s throw this into the mix as well to get a good point of reference.

You could probably hear the difference with the HR* compared to the DVs. It is noticeably darker and has less power. It still has a level of brightness and projection, but not as much as the DV series. The HR* is an all around very solid mouthpiece that I’ve been recommending for years.

BetterSax Burnin’

Now my main mouthpiece is the BetterSax Burnin’ of course which is also made from the same proprietary hard rubber and expertly hand finished at the Jody Jazz factory in Savannah, Georgia.

I’m going to play the same thing on the Burnin’ mouthpiece to give you another point of comparison. Listen carefully, because in a minute we are going to do our blind test where you’re going to try to identify each of these yourself.

Summary of all 4 mouthpieces

All 4 of these are fantastic mouthpieces. I would be happy to play on any one of them. We are covering a broad price spectrum from $219 for the HR* to $695 for the metal DV. Ideally you’d want to try these out yourself before making up your mind, but hopefully these play tests are helping you understand what to look for.

Some players prefer metal, some prefer hard rubber. I love when there is both a metal version and a hard rubber version of the same piece like Theo Wanne often does with his mouthpieces. This way you can get a similar sound but stick with the material you’re most comfortable with.

Hard rubber is going to add a bit of warmth to the sound compared to the same design in metal. It’s also lighter and costs less.

Blind Test

Now I’m going to play a different selection from the same Melodic Etudes course. This time I’ve jumbled up the order of all the mouthpieces and I want you to let us know in the comments which one you think is which.

Ready? Let’s go…

I put the answers in the description. Go ahead and leave a comment to tell us how you did on the test.

Upgrading to a high quality mouthpiece that matches the sound concept you’re aiming for can be a total game changer in your development as a saxophone player. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to instantly improve your sound and make playing the saxophone more fun. But before you go spending hundreds of dollars on a new mouthpiece, you need to know how they work so I want you to watch this video next, where I explain all the parts of saxophone mouthpieces and how they work together to help you achieve your ideal sound concept.

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