Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mouthpiece Refacers Keith Bradbury & Matt Voss

Today, I have a double bill for you.  The first is mouthpiece refacer Keith Bradbury known online as Mojo and located in Vineland, NJ.  The second is Matt Voss a refacer working in NYC.

Mojo Refaced Hard Rubber Link

After some time being unhappy with my mouthpiece, a Florida era metal Otto Link, I took the plunge and decided to have it worked on.  At the recommendation of Ken Barry from Saxscape I decided to take it to Keith Bradbury who is just an hour or so from Philly and a veteran well respected refacer.

My two concerns I had with the mouthpiece were its resistance and flexibility, which are two things Mojo really has figured out.  On arrival he charted my mouthpiece's facing onto a graph on his computer and analyzed it.  His first step in changing the mouthpiece was to simply clean up the mouthpiece's facing slightly and see if that was a step in the right direction.  Five minutes later I was playtesting the mouthpiece and it had clearly improved.

Following clean up we slowly changed the mouthpiece to be somewhat more free blowing. I playtested it at each step and confirmed it was going correctly which it was.  This process was very interesting as Mojo has some mathematics worked out that he follows (as many mouthpiece architects do), and he would show me the next step graphed out on the computer.  The work went quickly and was finished in just over 2 hours.  All said and done my mouthpiece now plays better than it ever has.

I've recorded the mouthpiece and you can hear it with a similar reed before and after the work.

Before: Ben Plays Motif Based Improv.mp3
After: Ben Plays Giant Steps.mp3

Voss Refaced Metal Link
Matt Voss

I've known about NYC native Matt Voss for a few months, and I've been curious in trying out his work for a while.  The opportunity came recently and I was able to play a modern Otto Link NY Super Tone Master that Matt had completely reworked.

Matt believes that a refacer should be able to take a modern stock mouthpiece and really shape it into whatever is needed, and he has proven that ability with the mouthpiece I played.  What started out as a mouthpiece known for its warm deep tone was given some fairly different tonal qualities.  The mouthpiece has retained much of its depth while taking on some brightness and power.  It feels very even throughout the lower and upper registers of the horn though it is somewhat more resistant in the altissimo register.  Overall, the work is beautiful and well crafted, and the mouthpiece feels consistent and focused.

Here is a clip of Matt's piece: Ben Plays Voss' Link.mp3


  1. Thanks for the review of your mouthpiece experience. Can you offer some insight into the prices you paid for the work?

  2. I payed $50 an hour for Keith's work. It took 2 hours.

  3. Hi Ben, nice reviews and playing !
    you've mentioned that Mojo refaced your Florida metal Otto Link, but in the photo it's Hard rubber modern or vintage Tone Edge - I am confused?

    The Matt Voss refaced modern metal STM link sounds more mpoved than the stock buzzy pieces ... what kind of alterations were done by Matt Voss and how much did it cost you?
    dimitri ( nice, France)

  4. So, yeah, Mojo worked on my piece. The picture is not of mine but just of some work that he has done. Hopefully that unconfuses you.

    Matt Voss sent me his altered stock piece to demo. You'd have to visit his site to see what the price is and what alterations are done exactly, as I don't remember! Sorry I couldn't be more help.