New Tenor Sax Mouthpieces
We’ve had some fantastic new tenor sax mouthpieces come out in the last year, so today we are going to look at 4 of my favorites.
If you are considering getting some new tenor sax mouthpieces this should help you get started.
BetterSax Burnin’ Tenor Mouthpiece
I’m going to review these in order of price.
The first one being the best selling BetterSax Burnin’ tenor mouthpiece which was released in April of 2022, and has already become extremely popular.
Now I do realize that since this is my personal brand mouthpiece, you probably think I’m a little biased; it’s true – so I’ll just share a quote from the king of saxophone mouthpiece reviews Steve Neff:
“The BetterSax Burnin’ tenor saxophone mouthpiece was a lot of fun to play! I am not sure if I have played a tenor sax mouthpiece before that had such a huge tonal variation accessible between dark and bright. When playing at a soft volume, the Burnin’ tenor sax mouthpiece had one of the darkest, warmest and lush tenor saxophone tones I have experienced. It was really sultry, buttery and sexy sounding and the sub-tones were just so smooth and lush.
I loved playing at those softer volumes because of this beautiful warmth of tone the Burnin’ tenor sax mouthpiece produced.
At a medium volume, the Burnin’ tenor sax mouthpiece seemed to become more focused and a bit brighter.
It seemed to get more focused and concentrated in tone when pushed louder in comparison to most of the Otto Link tenor mouthpieces I have played.
At full volume, the Burnin’ tenor sax mouthpiece becomes even brighter and more focused. It can handle brighter type rock and R&B type lines and altissimo and can really be quite powerful when pushed to the max.
This variation from soft, dark and warm to an ‘in your face’ bright and more focused tone with edge is really quite interesting and makes the Burnin’ tenor sax mouthpiece quite versatile in my opinion.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Besides being a sort-of one mouthpiece for all situations, the extremely reasonable price point is very popular. The BetterSax Burnin’ sells for around $279 at the time of this video. Yes, we could charge a lot more for this piece, but we want it to be accessible to as many players as possible.
Boston Sax Shop E-Series
Another new mouthpiece on the scene is the Boston Sax Shop E Series. It’s got a similar design concept to the BetterSax Burnin’, in that it has a long rollover baffle going into a larger chamber. The idea being to get a dynamic mixture of power, edge and warmth all in one mouthpiece that can be used in a variety of situations.
I like playing on this piece a lot, but it doesn’t have the same amount of power or projection for me as the Burnin’ does. I consider this to be more of a strictly jazz mouthpiece. It reminds me of a very good hard rubber link that has all the beautiful subtone and fatness, but also a sizzley edge to it.
Looking closely, you can see that it does have very thin rails, but a slightly thicker tip. The side walls of the E-series are rounded, while the Burnin’ has straight side walls. And the baffle is not quite as pronounced as the Burnin’ is.
So while you certainly could play this mouthpiece on any kind of gig, I personally would not choose it for anything where I had to compete with a loud electric guitar or drums. It’s more of an acoustic jazz mouthpiece for me. I feel like it the Boston Sax Shop E-Series really shines in the soft and medium volumes.
The Boston Sax Shop E-Series sells for $499 at the time of this video, which is on the upper end of the spectrum for a professional hard rubber piece.
There is a discount available for BetterSax subscribers though. Use the coupon code BetterSax to save 10% if you want to pick one of these up.
Theo Wanne Lakshmi
Now I’ve got a couple of metal pieces for you, starting with the Lakshmi by Theo Wanne.
I have just about every Theo Wanne mouthpiece in my collection. I like them all, but this one is hands down my personal favorite.
The Lakshmi is similar in concept to the Burnin and the E-Series in that it has a larger chamber for warmth mixed with a moderate baffle for power and edge.
On their website, they refer to these as the “Elongated Roll-Over Baffle” and the “Large Stadium Chamber.” The Lakshmi also has rounded side walls.
Personally, I feel like this piece does indeed have a lot of power and projection, but can also play softly with warmth and a lot of control.
It comes with their integrated ligature which is great. At the moment it is only available in the metal gold plated variety, but I expect they will release a hard rubber version soon.
The Lakshmi sells for $775 at the time of this video.
Jody Jazz HH Hand-Hammered Rose Gold Plated Limited Edition
And saving the most expensive mouthpiece for last, let’s check out the new Jody Jazz Hand Hammered Rose Gold Plated Limited Edition.
When Jody first showed me this mouthpiece last year I didn’t really know what to think. It just seemed like a gimmick right. Why make such a heavy and big mouthpiece? Isn’t it just the inside that really matters?
He was so passionate about the new concept though… And then I got this beauty, and now, I understand what he is so excited about.
In all honesty, this is the most interesting and unique mouthpiece I’ve ever played.
Notice I don’t say best, because the best mouthpiece for any given player is always going to be very subjective.
However when you play this piece along with the gorgeous sound it produces is this whole physical sensation that has never existed before.
There is a deep resonance that I can feel in my body when playing and the vibrations create this enveloping warmth that seems to surround me.
On the inside, we are consistent in concept to the other mouthpieces, to my eye it is very similar to the Burnin’ in terms of chamber, side walls and baffle. Although, the baffle is not quite as pronounced as with the Burnin’ so I don’t get quite the same range of power from the HH.
The exterior of the piece is beautifully hand hammered like a cymbal is and that work is done by an actual cymbal craftsman.
The rose gold plating and engraving are really exquisite. It’s a very beautiful looking mouthpiece.
On the saxophone it is heavy. You are going to want to have a nice snug fit with your neck tenon.
The Hand Hammered Rose Gold mouthpiece is a limited edition to 300 numbered pieces. Mine doesn’t have a number I think because it is labeled Artist instead.
It sells for $999 at the time of this video, and if you want this matching rose gold plated hand hammered power ring ligature that comes with a custom leather cap and leather pouch, which I would recommend, you’ll have to fork over another $250.
Certainly not the mouthpiece for everyone, but 300 individuals are going to cherish this thing I’m sure.
General Mouthpiece Testing
As always, the best way to find a mouthpiece you like is to try stuff out. I recommend always spending at least a few hours spread out over several days on a new mouthpiece and trying a variety of reed cuts and strengths before making up your mind.
It is entirely normal for a new mouthpiece to feel weird to you at first. That’s because you are used to playing on something else and need to adjust. The reed that works on your current mouthpiece may not be at all right for something else, so take the time necessary to give things a proper test before making up your mind.
Two of the tenor sax mouthpieces in this video started out with a poor first impression for me because of the reed I was using.
If you are unsure of what any of the terms like baffle, chamber or side walls mean, you need to watch this video here next. In it I explain everything you need to know about the anatomy of saxophone mouthpieces and how they work. You’ll be an expert after watching it.