Friday, April 8, 2011

Philadelphia Mouthpiece Refacer Steve Cutcher

I recently met Mr. Steve Cutcher (, an excellent saxophonist and, to the luck of saxophonists in Philadelphia and abroad, an excellent mouthpiece refacer as well.  I had the opportunity to check out his work which is a very large collection of mouthpieces he has refaced over the years.  One of his philosophies is that you should be able to take a relatively cheap mouthpiece and turn it into a great player, and he has nailed this one on the head.

The two highlights of his collection were two modern hard rubber Otto Links he had completely transformed.  I was skeptical as I put the first rubber Link on my horn, but I was pleasantly surprised as I found the mouthpiece played evenly throughout all the registers of the horn.  The normal increased and somewhat overbearing resistance in the upper register that is usually present in modern rubber Links was completely absent.  Babbitt hadn't even accomplished this completely when I recently tried their "vintage" model rubber link. Following are some specifics on each piece.

Rubber Link #1

This Link has an alive and vibrant sound with a nice balanced combination of highs and lows.  It is a powerful piece that has enough resistance so that you can push it to its extreme with no fear of the sound breaking up.  The mouthpiece isn't as malleable or flexible as some, but the sound is beautiful and big.  The response of the mouthpiece is quick enough to feel comfortable, though not as responsive as #2, which I'll talk about shortly.

Here is a clip of the mouthpiece: Ben Plays Refaced 1.mp3

Rubber Link #2

This one has a warmer sound than #1, showing Steve's range of ability.  While it doesn't feel as powerful as #1, it does feel more flexible and more responsive.  The increase flexibility and responsiveness make it feel extremely easy to get around the horn.  I still felt like I could push the mouthpiece to its limit comfortably despite its warmer tone quality and less resistant feel, which is a real compliment to the mouthpiece and the refacer.

Here is a clip of something more subtle: Ben Plays Refaced 2.mp3

Conclusion: Steve Cutcher's two refaced modern rubber Links show his skill as a mouthpiece refacer.  They feel and sound great.  Any saxophonists looking to get in contact with Steve can reach him at

1 comment:

  1. I saw Steve today and he is refacing my metal Otto Link 6 from age and a few bad spots that might have been there originally that I wasn't even aware of until Steve pointed them out to me. I bought a plastic mpc to use in the interim and it plays amazing and with softer reeds than I was using. Steve is my "go to" guy from now on, plus he's an excellent saxophonist and improvisor as well!