There are so many saxophones on the market today, it is often difficult to figure out which saxophone will suit us best. Since every player is different, it is hard for me to recommend one horn that fits everyone’s needs. While at the 2012 NAMM show, I had the opportunity to stop by the P. Mauriat booth on several occasions and found a horn that I think would surprise many players.
The New Kid on the Block
The P. Mauriat System 76 2nd Edition tenor saxophone is a great new addition to the P. Mauriat line of tenor saxophones. It offers many of the features serious players are looking for in a tenor saxophone. I had the opportunity to try this horn out at NAMM and I wanted to see why this horn had gained so much popularity. To give a background on what I am used to playing, my setup right now is a Otto Link “slant” hard rubber mouthpiece from the 60’s, a Rigotti 3 soft reed, and a Selmer Mark VI tenor. I have been playing on this setup for the past couple of years.
While at NAMM, I was able to play the wide range of horns P. Mauriat offered, including the PMXT 66R, (lacquered and un-lacquered) and the PMST 86 which had a “aged burgundy tinge” and P. Mauriat’s new satin silver finish. The silver finish on the PMST 86 gives an edgier and unique sound due to its silver plating, while at the same time, the satin finish balances out the sound with additional warmth and mellowness.
Getting Around the Horn
At any rate, while I was trying these different model P. Mauriat’s, it was recommended to me by P. Mauriat artist, Adam Larson to check out the System 76 2nd Edition un-lacquered tenor because the action and the sound were very similar to that of a Mark VI. Once I picked this horn up and started playing from low Bb to altissimo A, I could tell that the action was almost exactly like my Mark VI tenor, but with improvements in the placement of the palm keys as well as the lower stack, which made it feel more comfortable to get around the horn.
Sound and Intonation
Due to the unlacquered finish, I felt the horn could really project and resonate, which allowed me to get a nice, focused sound. The extensive hand engraving as well as the black Mother of Pearl made the horn stand out and seem one of a kind. What I noticed from playing each P. Mauriat saxophone is that they were all set up properly and were very free-blowing. In addition, the Intonation on the P. Mauriat 76 was great, I went through my overtones and was surprised by how easy it was to keep in tune through-out all registers.
I wish I could have brought my Mark VI tenor to compare it to the P. Mauriat system 76, but just from playing the 76 every day at the NAMM show, I could tell that this was definitely a horn that any saxophonist would enjoy, no matter what style of music they were playing. Overall, I would describe the P. Mauriat System 76 2nd edition un-lacquered tenor saxophone as a saxophone everyone should try. In fact, it’s a horn I hope to pick up very soon myself.
For more information on the entire lineup of P. Mauriat saxophones check out http://pmauriatmusic.com.
If anyone has any questions where they can get their hands on one of these great horns, please email me and I will do my best to locate a P. Mauriat dealer in your area.
Here are two videos two of P. Mauriat’s renown endorsers playing the System 76 2nd Edition tenor:
EDITOR’S NOTE: Zach is not in any way officially affiliated with P. Mauriat.
Photo comes courtesy of Stohrer Music.