Friday, May 18, 2012

Morgan Fry's Rhodium Lrg. Chamber Mouthpiece

beautiful, right?
So many of the current high priced metal mouthpieces shoot for the ultimate modern sound, but usually go too far one way or another. Morgan Fry has created, by contrast, a flexible, middle of the road mouthpiece that could fit in well in many playing situations. Today I'll be reviewing his rhodium plated large chamber tenor mouthpiece, and I'll divide the review up by sound and playability.

Mouthpiece: 7* Rhodium Plated Large Chamber Tenor Mouthpiece
Ligature: metal Florida era Ottolink ligature
Reed: Rico Jazz Select unfiled 3-soft
Horn: Selmer Mark VI


The best comparison I can give for this mouthpiece's sound is the sound of a metal Ottolink. To my ears it has more core and brilliance than a modern Link, and a little less core but possibly more brilliance than the average Florida era Link (Side note: I usually get more core out of any mouthpiece using my vintage link ligature vs. any other ligature). Fry advertises the piece on his site as flexible, brilliant, balanced, and rich, and I found all those to be true.

The flexibility of this piece is one of its stronger assets. It's able to both cut and do a very full bodied subtone. More on that later. While flexible the overall sound of the piece has a warm vibrance to it giving the piece its own unique signature sound.


Fry's mouthpiece feels easy and fun to play. It does have a very quick response to articulation, dynamics, etc. In other words, it is in good working condition, and doesn't leave the player hanging in any particular category. In terms of resistance, blowing through the mouthpiece feels nice and balanced, not too resistant and not overly free blowing. There is a slight trend in the resistance with the bottom of the horn feeling the freest and the altissimo register feeling a little less so. Having said that the altissimo register is fully functional, though it requires a bit more air control than some mouthpieces in that register.

The freedom of the bottom register is the advantage that comes out of the aforementioned trend. The bottom end tends to be super responsive and subtoning in the lower register is lush and easy to do. Also important to the mouthpiece is its openness to inflection. The construction of the piece seems to invite inflection, and the easy feeling of bending and inflecting is consistent throughout the different registers of the horn.

Play Test

Here is a clip of me play testing the mouthpiece. Towards the end I make it through a couple of A sections of Body and Soul.

Ben Plays Morgan Fry.mp3

Conclusion: Morgan Fry's Rhodium plated Large Chamber Tenor Mouthpiece is an overall warm yet brilliant sounding mouthpiece. Its bottom register is free and super responsive though its altissimo register is slightly resistant by comparison.

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