Home Alt Forums Mouthpieces Inexpensive Metal Mouthpiece

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    Mike Potter

    Hi folks,

    Late last year I was listening to a tune a friend had recorded, I asked him what mouthpiece he was using and he told me he was playing a really inexpensive mouthpiece he had purchased on eBay. He sent me a link to the auction site, I checked it out and thought I’d buy one just to see. Not that I needed another mouthpiece, I’m down to five tenor pieces now (I used to have a bunch).

    I did the purchase, communicated with the seller and ordered a 9 tip opening (.120), their standard tip opening was an 8 but I like a bigger opening. With that said less than two weeks later the mouthpiece showed up, packaged nicely. I took it out, inspected it, the outer shell is gold plated (you can get either gold or silver) and it was spotless, no scratches or marks. The face plate is clean, the rails are a bit thicker than my metal pieces but very close. The finish on the inside of the mouthpiece was fine, some file marks but my other pieces have file marks as well. The piece has a slide on Lig as well, works great. I compared it with my other Ligs and couldn’t find any difference.

    Playability, the piece plays great, I tried it with a number of different reeds and it played them all nicely. I’ve also played it recently with the copper carbon reeds I’m using and they play great as well. The piece plays evenly from bottom to top, table is flat so no squeaks. One thing I did notice immediately is the chamber is smaller so there is more resistance with this piece than with my other pieces but with that said it still plays nicely and is plenty loud. It has a high baffle but the roll over point is up closer to the tip of the mouthpiece, as such it’s darker than the my other three metal pieces where the roll over point is closer to the chamber. Low notes are full and airy, the tone is balanced and D3 – F3 are full sounding, probably better than my other pieces.

    The beak is shaped more like a Berg than a Guardala (it’s a bit thicker) which is fine for me, I adapted to it pretty quickly, it’s not nearly as thick as the two hard rubber pieces I play.

    Yes, it’s made in China, I know that scares some people, did me too. Before I put the piece in my mouth I took the piece over to a friend who has a metal machining/plating business and asked him to check it out. He had his plating expert look at it and swab it for heavy metals (lead/cadmium/zinc) and he said the plating is good and the swabs didn’t indicate the presence of any heavy metals in the gold plating.

    The cost, under $40…

    here are some pics.

    The first pic shows all my current tenor pieces, the cheapest one of the bunch was $300, the metal pieces were all $500. This piece was $37.



    guess what, unless your mouthpieces are made out of solid gold, in reality there probably each only worth about $10 scrap metal value.
    These company’s have huge overheads, small scale production and have to make a profit.

    If you can mass produce a product and got a huge market like sweets, then you can sell them cheap. If theres only a tiny specialist market that you are selling to like sax mouthpieces which is basically a metal pipe at the end of the day, to make a profit you have to sell it at as high a price you can get.

    However, if you’ve got millions of cheap workers, you can undercut everyone.

    cost of machinery to make product + cost of work force + cost of advertising + cost of materials + cost of premises ….

    at the end of the day, it’s only a metal pipe, with a tiny market, so there’s no real reason a cheap mouthpiece cant outdo a more expensive one.

    Some people will argue you sound the same on any mouthpiece, providing its not a dud.

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