Meet 9 Of The World’s Top Mouthpiece Magicians

mouthpiece-refacers

Photo by mori yasu

While I was recently searching for a new mouthpiece, I started reading more about refacing and how the right person could turn a good mouthpiece into a one-of-a-kind-mouthpiece.

In this review, I will be profiling various mouthpiece makers/refacers whose mouthpieces I have tried – whether it be their own branded mouthpiece, or another branded mouthpiece that was re-faced by them.

Fred Lebayle

fred-lebayle
Fred Lebayle started refacing mouthpieces in an effort to emulate Charlie Parker’s sound. In 1987, Fred decided to set up his own mouthpiece business as a one-man venture and has been refacing and designing his own line of mouthpieces ever since.

Fred Lebayle has come out with an extensive line of mouthpieces with various specs to meet the musician’s needs. In addition to the wide variety of players who play on Fred’s various lines of mouthpieces, Fred offers refacing work that is top quality.

I have included a link which details Fred’s refacing work. In addition, if you are in New York, stop by Fred’s shop in Brooklyn if you would like to test play his mouthpieces, or be there in person while he works on your own mouthpiece.

http://lebaylemouthpieces.com/service

Eric Falcon

eric-falcon
Eric Falcon has hand finished and helped design some of the most popular mouthpieces by renown manufacturers such as Warburton, and most recently, MACSAX. Eric’s hard rubber and metal mouthpieces have become very popular due to the design, quality, and the time Eric dedicates to each mouthpiece.

I can personally say that I had Eric work on an old Otto Link Slant Signature hard rubber tenor mouthpiece that I picked up, and his workmanship and knowledge of refacing and overall sound resulted in a mouthpiece that I play as my main piece.

Here is Eric’s contact information with any questions:

eric@macsax.com
http://macsax.com/contact-us

Stephan Kammerer

Stephan-Kammerer
If you have visited KB Saxophone Services in New York, you might have had a chance to test play some of the mouthpieces that  Stephan Kammerer has been working on.

I met Stephan Kammerer while visiting KB Saxophone Services and was able to test play some of his tenor hard rubber mouthpieces as well as one of his hard rubber alto mouthpieces. I can say that Stephan Kammerer’s line of mouthpieces are constantly being worked on and they reminded me of my vintage Otto Link hard rubber mouthpiece and the alto mouthpiece reminded me of a NY Meyer in terms of the core sound, projection, and overall resonance.

More and more players in NYC are going to Stephan for refacing work and I can see why.

Please check out his website to find out more about him and his process when refacing a mouthpiece.

https://www.skmouthpieces.com/

Sam Dillon test playing a re-faced metal Otto-link by Stephan Kammerer

Theo Wanne

theo-wanne
I would have to say Theo Wanne is one of the most well-known mouthpiece makers, refacers, and most importantly one of the most knowledge people I know when it comes to vintage mouthpieces as well as what makes up a saxophone mouthpiece. Theo has an extensive line of mouthpieces, ligatures, and even a tenor and soprano saxophone under his own name. I would recommend contacting Theo Wanne in regards to mouthpiece refacing work as well as any questions related to the saxophone in general.

http://theowanne.com

Rafael Navarro

rafael-navarro
Over the past months, I have been hearing more and more about Rafael Navarro’s mouthpieces and the quality of work he offers when it comes to making a truly one of a kind mouthpiece. From my understanding, Rafael studied under famous mouthpiece maker Ralph Morgan, whom many players view Ralph’s line of mouthpieces as some of the best or an alternative to a vintage Otto link mouthpiece.

Here is a link to check out Rafael’s line of mouthpieces as well as more about his process when working on a mouthpiece.
http://rafaelnavarro.com

Brian Powell & Erik Greiffenhagen

Brian-Powell-&-Erik-Greiffenhagen
Like Rafael Navarro, both Brian and Erik studied under famous mouthpiece re-facer Ralph Morgan. I have play tested various mouthpieces from Meyer’s to Vandoren’s, to new Otto Link’s, and when I play tested the stock mouthpiece and one that Erik or Brain worked on, it was a completely different mouthpiece.

In addition to the great mouthpiece work both Brain and Erik produce, they offer a line of mouthpieces that were inspired by such popular mouthpiece designs such as the vintage Meyer’s, Otto Link’s, and Selmer mouthpieces.

Find out more at http://www.mouthpieceguys.com

Adam Niewood

adam-niewood
I have watched clips of Adam on YouTube and have heard from various saxophone players that Adam is the only guy they go to when it comes to refacing work.

Adam started learning the trade from Jon Van Wie, who was a well-known mouthpiece re-facer and then began studying with Jon Van Wie’s teacher Ted Klum. In addition to Adam offering great mouthpiece refacing work, he is also a great player, which contributes to his ability to understand what the player is looking for in their mouthpiece.

To find out information on pricing and questions, go to http://www.niewood.com/mouthpieces.htm.

Bob Carpenter

bob-carpenter
Probably one of the best known refacers, Bob Carpenter has been working on repairing and refacing mouthpieces for over 15 years. If you did not know, Bob taught well-known mouthpiece maker Theo Wanne the art of refacing. Bob has provided mouthpieces to various professional saxophone players, advanced students, and hobbyists throughout the Northwest and even to international players.

Bob works by appointment only and can be reached at: (425) 486-8362.

Ted Klum

ted-klum
The first time I ran into some of Ted Klum’s mouthpieces was when I visited Roberto’s Winds in New York City. I was at Roberto’s to test play some vintage Otto Link metal mouthpieces, and while checking out various pieces, I ran into one of Ted Klum’s Focus Tone mouthpieces. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is second to none. Ted truly puts a lot of time into each mouthpiece he makes, and based on what various players say about his mouthpieces, he has been listening to jazz saxophonists’ wish lists.

In addition to Ted’s lines of mouthpieces, his refacing work is something you should definitely consider – especially if you are looking to improve the overall playability of your main mouthpiece.

Check out his website for more information:
http://www.tedklummouthpieces.com

Final Thoughts

I hope this list of mouthpiece makers/refacers helps those players in search of a new mouthpiece, or looking to get more out of their current mouthpiece by having it refaced. I understand there are many great mouthpiece refacers who I may not be familiar with and not had a chance to test play their pieces. That being the case, I would appreciate any comments or posts naming mouthpiece makers and refacers that should be noted as well.

Please let me know if you have any questions.