The marketplace for metal alto saxophone mouthpieces is EXTREMELY competitive. There are so many choices of fantastic high quality metal mouthpieces that it is very difficult to choose just one. In this article, I am going to explain why I ended up choosing the Otto Link OLM-402-7S Super Tone Master Metal Alto Sax Mouthpiece.
Before I chose the Otto Link mouthpiece, I looked hard at some of the competitors.
The David Sanborn Signature Mouthpiece
Drake Mouthpieces makes a David Sanborn Signature model metal mouthpiece for alto saxophone. This is the model that David Sanborn plays, and his input went into designing the model. I love the concept of a David Sanborn signature mouthpiece, but two things kept me from buying the David Sanborn Signature Mouthpiece:
- The price: this mouthpiece retails for over $500.
- I love David Sanborn's sound, but I don't want to sound like him: I want to sound like me. For this reason, I don't think that I'll ever buy a signature mouthpiece, or a signature saxophone (i.e. the Gerald Albright Cannonball saxophone).
The Eric Marienthal Signature Mouthpiece
Retro Revival makes a Modern-Line Signature "Eric Marienthal Special" Alto saxophone metal mouthpiece. I strongly considered this mouthpiece, but I ended up not buying it for the same reasons that I passed on the David Sanborn signature mouthpiece:
- It's too expensive for me, at almost $600.
- I love Eric Marienthal's sound, but I don't want to sound like him.
The Theo Wanne Gaia 3 metal alto saxophone mouthpiece
When I first started studying the Theo Wanne metal mouthpieces, I immediately knew that I wanted a mouthpiece with a "jazz" sound vice a "pop" sound. For me, that eliminated all Theo Wanne metal saxophone mouthpieces except for the Gaia 3. The Gaia 3 mouthpiece is beautifully made, and it was very tempting. But I decided that it is too flashy for my tastes, and it is too expensive, at almost $600. If money were no object, and if they made the Gaia 3 with a less flashy design, this is the mouthpiece that I probably would have chosen.
The Jody Jazz DV Alto
Two of my favorite saxophonists play Jody Jazz mouthpieces: Tom Scott and Andy Snitzer. I know that both of these gentlemen have very high standards, so I know that Jody Jazz must manufacture very high quality saxophone mouthpieces for both of the gentlemen to choose them. I took a very strong look at the Jody Jazz DV Alto mouthpiece. It checked almost all of the boxes: not too flashy styling, a great sound and a great response, and designed to last a very long time. However, the price was not right: more than $500.
Choosing the Otto Link OLM-402-7S Super Tone Master Metal Alto Sax Mouthpiece
So with most of my choices exhausted, I decided to go to YouTube and look at reviews of Otto Link saxophone mouthpieces. The Otto Link STM mouthpieces had very good reviews, and the saxophonists playing them sounded fantastic! I went onto Amazon, and most of the Otto Link STM metal mouthpieces were in the $200 - $300 range. Perfect! I ended up choosing the Otto Link OLM-402-7S Super Tone Master Metal Alto Sax Mouthpiece, which was about $250 at the time of my purchase. I could not be happier with my purchase. The Otto Link Super Tone Master line has the conservative (not flashy) styling that I love. My STM has excellent response and intonation all the way up and down my range, and it makes the altissimo notes very easy to play. My opinion: the Otto Link Super Tone Master mouthpieces are the best value on the market.
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