Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rico Reviews Episode 1: Rico Metalite Mouthpiece

After my review of their orange box reeds, Rico was kind enough to send over some samples of their products free of charge including the Metalite mouthpiece.   Expect a little more Rico in the near future as well.

$25.  That is usually the cheapest price you can pay for a playable mouthpiece.  $25 is also about the highest price you’ll pay for a Rico Metalite mouthpiece judging from the price listings on Google Shopping.  It was quite a surprise to find out that the mouthpiece is also very good.

The sound, which to me is one of the most important selling points of any mouthpiece, is full bodied with a nice mix of highs and lows.  The mouthpiece leans toward the highs, which makes sense as its suppose to be providing the brilliance of a metal mouthpiece in a non-metal format, but it isn’t overly bright.  There is enough edge in the tone to give it presence and sound complete.  The mouthpiece does retain its tone quality at different dynamic ranges, and with a good reed you can really push it dynamically without worrying about the tone breaking up.

The mouthpiece does require a fair amount of jaw or embouchure pressure to produce the tone and respond well to articulation.  This also means that the mouthpiece is very sensitive to changes in jaw and embouchure pressure, and inflections and bends are easy to produce.  For an intermediate or advanced player the needed pressure and control wouldn't be a problem, but a younger player or a beginner might find these aspects of the mouthpiece challenging.

Here is a sound clip I blew playing an M7 Rico Metalite Tenor mouthpiece and a rico orange box 3 1/2 reed:

Ben plays Cherokee

Conclusion: This is a good vibrant mouthpiece at a very cheap price that delivers on its promise.  It's probably best suited for intermediate or advanced players.


  1. Hi Ben

    Glad you like the Metalite, I have an M7 for my tenor but it doesn't give a sound I like. Having said that I have one on my baritone and use it with a Legere reed and that is brilliant. I may try a few more reed combinations and see if I can make it sound as good as the Baritone.

  2. Hey David,

    Thanks for your comment here and on the Rico orange box post. Actually, I've never liked synthetic reeds very much. Maybe you'll have more luck with a cane reed. Good luck!

  3. I just got an M7 alto from a guy on - bonkers!
    I found it works better with a softer reed (tried it with a Vandoren V16 3.5, but worked better with a standard Rico orange box 2)and when I teamed it up with a Hahn kevlar reed it made a right racket...

    Thanks for the heads-up, I'll be using it for demos and maybe for soul/pop gigs. But mostly I'll be using my Link!


  4. I'm certainly still using my Link. Thanks for the feedback.