Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: D’Addario Woodwinds Select Jazz Tenor Mouthpiece

D’Addario Woodwinds has recently released the tenor version of their Select Jazz mouthpiece. This mouthpiece was designed to recall and improve upon the sound of classic vintage hard rubber mouthpieces. Notably, Jeff Coffin was the primary artist who contributed to the mouthpiece’s design. It has a medium chamber and a roll-over baffle, and comes in sizes 6 through 9. The mouthpiece has a number of strengths and is a lot of fun to play. It particularly stands out for its projection and for its ease in the altissimo register.

While the mouthpiece has a warm tone it easily puts out a lot of volume. It has a noticeably larger presence than other comparable hard rubber mouthpieces also going for a vintage sound. Additionally, each note’s entrance has clear definition, contributing to an overall powerful tone quality. After hearing a few players on the piece I would say that the tone is on the darker side, though I get a pretty balanced tone, someplace in between dark and bright. The tone has a fair amount of flexibility, and it is fairly clear sounding, meaning it has a little less buzz than something like a hard rubber Otto Link for example. If you’d like to hear what the mouthpiece sounds like, check out the video at the top of the post.

In terms of response, the mouthpiece really shines. Everything from top to bottom speaks very easily. The response and resistance of the altissimo register feels similar to the normal register, which means playing altissimo feels very easy for players who have developed those chops. The mouthpiece’s easy projection also continues in the altissimo register. Essentially, the mouthpiece plays easily from the low Bb up through the altissimo register, which makes it really enjoyable and comfortable to play.

If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired hard rubber mouthpiece, this one is definitely worth checking out. The mouthpiece is extremely playable and is reasonably priced ($165-$200 depending on the seller). Overall, this is a very solid mouthpiece that deserves consideration alongside the typical modern and iconic vintage choices.

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