Retro Revival Aims to End Your Hunt for Classic Mouthpieces

 Introduction

This year, The 2018 NAMM Show was filled with various manufacturers and vendors showcasing their new and existing line of products. With so many saxophones, ligatures, reeds, mouthpieces, cases, neck-straps etc. to test play (SO MANY!), it can become overwhelming. As mentioned in my 2018 NAMM Saxophone Gear Roundup (BSWE NAMM 2018 Round-Up), I was able to meet up with Joel Peskin to check out the Retro Revival line of mouthpieces. I spoke with Joel Peskin (Owner of Retro Revival) who was nice enough to send me the most current Retro Revival line up of mouthpieces after the show. I will be providing a product overview, my thoughts on each mouthpiece, and a final recap.

“Shorty” Replica 50’s Selmer Scroll Shank-Round Chamber Soprano Sax Mouthpiece (F Facing)

Product Overview

The Retro Revival “SHORTY,” is an accurate replica of the sought after vintage “Selmer Scroll Shank” hard rubber soprano mouthpiece. Over the years, this highly sought-after mouthpiece from the 50’s became the industry’s favorite and is still the standard bearer for soprano mouthpieces. Anyone looking for a great “scroll shank”, knows how rare and difficult it is to find a tip opening larger than a “D”. Retro Revival’s “SHORTY” is available in tip sizes from “D” to “H”. The search for an original “scroll shank” took Retro Revival close to three years to then find an “F” that performed as well as a great original. Retro Revival believes their new replicas play better than the originals as they are more consistent from mouthpiece to mouthpiece. The facing in comparison to the originals was slightly improved so there is more efficiency and sparkle to every SHORTY that will certainly impress. Intonation is the first concern crucial to soprano mouthpieces’ performance and the “SHORTY” delivers. The “SHORTY’s” harmonics will prove amazingly stable, with just enough resistance to keep the pitch locked, a clean positive response in the palm keys and great articulation in all registers.

My Thoughts

Please note, I mainly play/practice tenor & alto saxophone, not a full time soprano player. The Retro Revival “Shorty” mouthpiece is targeted to those players who either have been looking for an original Selmer scroll shank soprano mouthpiece or for those players looking to upgrade their current setup. I received the Retro Revival “Shorty” in a F facing. Retro Revival offers a D (.051) to H (.063) tip opening depending on your preference. Sonically, I found the Retro Revival “Shorty” to have a medium bright sound and to be very responsive. I noticed there was a nice timbre to the overall sound as well as focus. I found the “Shorty” was very easy to articulate across all registers on my soprano. I found in the palm keys I was able to play in tune with a full sound which is something I have struggled with in the past on my current setup. Overall, The Retro Revival “Shorty” is a great alternative to the vintage Selmer scroll shank soprano mouthpiece. I have seen various players play on mouthpieces such as: Selmer C*’s, Vandoren V-16, Ted Klum Classic, Bari, Otto link, and Soprano Plant to name a few. I think if you are currently in the market (especially looking for a vintage Selmer scroll shank) you should test play the Retro Revival “Shorty” soprano mouthpiece. I personally would like to test play the “Shorty” in a smaller tip opening to see if it would be a better fit for me over the F Facing.

Demos

Bob Sheppard Playing The “Shorty”

Paul Harr Plays The “Shorty” & Reviews

Retro Revival “New Yorker” Replica Vintage NY Meyer Bros Medium Chamber Alto Sax Mouthpiece (6M)

Product Overview

The Retro Revival “New Yorker” alto saxophone mouthpiece is a replica of an original Meyer Bros New York mouthpiece. The Meyer Bros New York mouthpiece was played by such great saxophonists as Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods and many more. An original untouched Meyer Bros is indeed quite hard to find and if you start searching for one on eBay, you can easily end up spending well over $2,000 on one that’s unfortunately mediocre or unplayable. Based on Retro Revival’s extensive mouthpiece collections, Bob Sheppard and Joel selected and play tested each one until they narrowed it down to ‘The One”. The Meyer Bros New York selected, delivered the fattest sound, fastest articulation, evenness of color and consistency of intonation. Retro Revival utilized CAD technology and highest quality vintage formula German rod rubber as well as each mouthpiece is individually test played by Joel or Bob.

My Thoughts

I have played a mix of original Meyer Bros New York 5M and 6M alto saxophone mouthpieces in the past and they all played quite different. From my experience, play testing various manufacturers’ mouthpieces, the Meyer Bros New York is one of the most copied designs in production today as well as modified designs. I have played a few great vintage original Meyer mouthpieces and do understand the hype around them. I was sent The Retro Revival “New Yorker” mouthpiece in a 6M tip opening which seems to be the tip opening across multiple mouthpiece brands that works best for me. The Retro Revival “New Yorker” alto mouthpiece played very well. Sonically, the overall sound was medium neither leaning towards the darker or brighter side of the sound spectrum. The “New Yorker” is incredibly responsive and really maintains an overall round and warm sound that when pushed could be edgy especially in the upper stack. The “New Yorker” articulated well and consistently throughout the entire range. For me, what I liked most about the “New Yorker” and what I have found in various vintage Meyers is this mouthpiece has an overall consistent sound and focus throughout the entire range. I think the Retro Revival “New Yorker” is a great overall mouthpiece that produces a big, warm, focused sound that is easy to control. I think if you currently own a vintage Meyer Bros mouthpiece or have been searching for one, you might want to try out the Retro Revival “New Yorker” and see how it compares.

Demos

Various Players Test-Playing the “New Yorker”

Paul Harr Play Test/Review Retro Revival ” New Yorker” alto mouthpiece

Retro Revival “New Yorker” Replica Vintage NY Meyer Bros Small Chamber Alto Sax Mouthpiece (6S)

My Thoughts

Very similar to the Retro Revival Alto “New Yorker” medium chamber mouthpiece, the small chamber “New Yorker” has a full bodied warm sound across the entire range of the saxophone. I would say those players who want a freer blowing experience might prefer the small chamber over the medium chamber. In addition, I found the altissimo easier to achieve on the small chamber “New Yorker” but my personal preference is still the Medium Chamber because I really like the level of resistance and projection.

Demos

Bob Sheppard Play Testing the “New Yorker” Small Chamber
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkdXEjB0CWA

“Super D” Replica Vintage Link Double Ring Super Tone Master Tenor Sax Mouthpiece (7*)

Product Overview

The Retro Revival “Super D” tenor sax model is a replica of an early 1950’s Otto Link “Double Ring” Super Tone Master. The Otto Link “Double Ring” Super Tone Master was once played by such saxophonists as: Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Johnny Griffin, Dexter Gordon, Michael Brecker, and the list goes on. The Otto Link “Double Ring” although played by some of the greats, unfortunately had a short production run. The Otto Link “Double Ring” mouthpiece had a higher baffle profile in comparison to the previous tubby “Tone Master”. This newer design produced the classic modern “Link” sound. This sound can be characterized with a brighter sound in the upper stack as well as an overall faster response. In addition, this facing still maintained a rich mid and low range due to the slightly deeper chamber. Of all the “Link” models that were produced in the past, Retro Revival believes the “Double Ring” vintage has the superior tonal characteristics of all the Otto Link metal mouthpieces.

Finding an original “Double Ring” Otto Link is very difficult. On occasion you may spot one on eBay from $1,200.00 to $2,000.00, but unfortunately, many of these original “Double Ring” links have been compromised by inferior re-facing’s or very small tip openings. Retro Revival chose an untouched “Double Ring” example to replicate and produce the elusive missing “Link” many players continue to search for today. Retro Revival describes the “Super D” mouthpiece as a full bodied metal mouthpiece that really packs a punch. The “Super D” is a very flexible mouthpiece that lends itself to any stylistic approach. Every aspect of the “Super D” has been meticulously duplicated from a perfectly mint Florida as well as the darker “New York” original “Double Ring”. The “Super D” is available with tip openings from a 6* to 8*, the “Florida” and “New York” have the same chamber designs but, difference being the baffle profile. The lower baffle “New York” version is gold plated, very balanced, and centered with plenty of projection. The “Florida” version is rhodium plated with a higher baffle for players wanting a bit more zing. Retro Revival believes the tonal characteristics and response of both these classic designs will impress any serious player.

My Thoughts

Similar to the vintage Meyer Bros New York mouthpieces for alto saxophone, the Otto Link “Double Ring” metal mouthpieces are some of the most sought after Otto links on the market. The Retro Revival “Super D” mouthpiece in a nutshell reminds me of a great link. Sonically, the “Super D” had a nice bright sound in the upper stack that when pushed would stay focused and really project. Although many vintage links have been known to have a “tubby” sound or a high level of resistance, the “Super D” I found was freer blowing and with a level of resistance that many players who have played or play links currently would prefer. Due to the “Super D’s” chamber & baffle, it was easy very to play fast passages as well as articulate. Finally, I found the “Super D” was easy to control and play various dynamics from top to bottom across the entire range of the saxophone consistently which is not something I have found while trying out various vintage and modern Otto Link metal mouthpieces. The “Super D” New York version in comparison to the “Florida” (rhodium plated) played very similar but when I tried the “Florida” model, which has a higher baffle, I found the response to be a bit faster and there to be less resistance. Overall, The Retro Revival “Super D” tenor saxophone whether the “New York” or “Florida” model are great metal mouthpieces that I think players looking for a metal mouthpiece or a consistent playing Link should check out.

Demos

Bob Sheppard Testing Retro-Revival “Super D” 7* NY & Florida Tenor Sax Mouthpieces

Paul Harr Reviews the Retro Revival “Super D-NY” tenor saxophone mouthpiece

Brandon Fields Playing iReedMan’s Retro Revival 8FL “Super D” Dbl. Ring Tenor Mouthpiece

Jerry Bergonzi Plays the New Retro Revival “Super D” Gold New York 7* Dbl. Ring Tenor Sax Mouthpiece

 “Seventh Ave. South” Replica Guardala MB II Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece (.107)

Product Overview

The “Seventh Ave. South” is a new model which is a precise copy of Joel’s own personal MBII that Dave Guardala hand made for him when he first started his operation. Dave was making these choice pieces for such players as Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Tom Scott and others. This model is CNC milled from solid bell brass and then silver plated. The original Guardala MBII mouthpiece had a .107 tip opening. In addition to the .107, the “South Ave. South” will also be offered in a .116 tip opening for those players preferring a larger tip opening. The “Seventh Ave. South” tenor saxophone mouthpiece has tons of power, core, and center without being super edgy. This mouthpiece is extremely free blowing and really produces a huge sound. The “Seventh Ave. South” is particularly a great mouthpiece for Jazz, Latin, R&B, Blues etc. and unlike many other copies available today, the “Seventh Ave. South” is a direct replica from a hand-made and hand-picked mouthpiece by its creator Dave Guardala.

My Thoughts

The original Guardala mouthpieces are incredibly sought after and many players are playing the originals (if they can get their hands on one) as well as various versions from multiple manufactures. I have tried many copies of the various Guardala models and some played better than others. Although my preference is the “Tru- Slant” or “Tru-Res” because I play on an original hard rubber slant link, The “Seventh Ave. South” (.106) played quite well. This mouthpiece was incredibly free blowing with the sound being instant. I believe this mouthpiece would suit players who want no resistance, instant response, and a mouthpiece that can play really loud and project. Of all the Retro Revival models I test played, the altissimo on the “Seventh Ave. South” was the easiest to achieve by far. If you are a Guardala enthusiast, you should try the “Seventh Ave. South” and see how it compares.

Demos

Joel C. Peskin On The Retro-Revival “Seventh Ave South” .107 Tenor Piece Replica Guardala MB II

Bob Sheppard Playing our New Retro-Revival “Seventh Ave. South” Replica MB II Tenor Piece

“Tru-Slant” Replica 50’s Vintage Florida Slant Signature Link Tone Edge Tenor Sax Mouthpiece (7)

 

Product Overview

The “Tru-Slant” is Retro-Revival’s replica of a Otto Link Tone Edge Slant Signature tenor mouthpiece which as many of you may know is one of the most sought after vintage hard rubber tenor mouthpiece’s on the market today. In the late 1950’s, Otto Link created the Tone Edge back in New York City and this mouthpiece quickly became the standard played by many great tenor players. The original Tone Edge was manufactured with a larger chamber and was only available up to a 6 tip opening. After Otto Link moved to Florida, changes took place in the manufacturing process. The updated Slant Signature manufactured in Florida contained a higher rollover baffle and the tip sizes ranged from a 5 up to a 9 tip opening. This Florida version of the Otto Link Tone Edge became quite popular and is still played on by many players today. When Otto Link decided to re-locate to Elkhart Indiana with their remaining mouthpiece blanks and tooling, the Tone Edge remained excellent for quite some time, but something happened to the quality and playability with future production. Fortunately, Retro Revival went through the efforts play testing many versions of the Tone Edge from Bob’s & Joel’s collections to find the best one. The Retro Revival “Tru-Slant” comes in tip openings ranging from 6-8*.

My Thoughts

Of all the various models that Retro Revival has to offer (more to come), this “Tru-Slant” was the model I was most excited to test play. My main mouthpiece for the past 7 years has been an original Otto Link Slant Signature 6 tip opening that I had opened up to a 7 by mouthpiece re-facer Eric Falcon. Like many of us, once we find the mouthpiece that works best for us and have played for quite some time, it can be difficult to make a switch to a new mouthpiece. Since I really like my vintage Otto Link “Slant Signature”, I have been looking for a replacement or back-up in case anything were to happen to my main mouthpiece. Joel Sent me a Retro Revival “Tru-Slant” in a 7 tip opening which would be similar to what I currently play. The Retro-Revival “Tru-Slant” in comparison to my original Otto Link “Slant Signature” played very similar. Sonically, I found this mouthpiece to have a dark low end, a medium center, and play medium bright in the upper stack. The “Tru-Slant” had a nice balanced core that I found to be smooth with some edge when pushed. The “Tru-Slant” in comparison to my original “Slant Signature” noticeably projected from low Bb to high F# and was slightly easier to articulate. The intonation on the “Tru-Slant” was great and took little to no time to adjust too. I did initially find my “Slant Signature” had less resistance compared to the “Tru-Slant” but after trying a few different reed strengths/cuts and ligatures, The “Tru-Slant” had a similar resistance level to my Slant. Overall, the Retro Revival “Tru-Slant” embodies many of the characteristics that players are searching for in an original “Slant Signature” and if you are in the market specifically for a vintage hard rubber Link, you might want to check one out and see how it compares.

Demos

Retro-Revival “Tru-Slant” Late 50’s Replica Florida Slant Sig Link Tone Edge Tenor Sax Mouthpiece

BRANDON FIELDS ON THE RR “TRU-SLANT” REPLICA VINT LINK TONE EDGE TENOR PIECE

“Shorty” Replica 50’s Selmer Short Shank Soloist Tenor Sax Mouthpiece (G)

 

Product Overview

Retro Revival’s Tenor “Shorty” is a replica of the 1950’s Selmer “Soloist”, coined by professionals as the “scroll shank” or “short shank”. This classic Selmer mouthpiece was known for its warmth, fast articulation and great intonation. The “Soloist” was most notably played by the great Joe Henderson for his entire career as well as musicians such as Rich Perry and Gary Campbell. The Retro Revival “Shorty” replica, with its horseshoe chamber captures a warm mid-range but can be played gritty and ferociously when pushed harder. An original untouched Selmer “short shank” has been very difficult to locate and rarely can be found with tip openings larger than a “D”. The Retro Revival “Shorty” was modeled and cloned from a spectacular playing Selmer “Scroll Shank” which happened to be refaced by tenor master Jerry Bergonzi some years ago. The Selmer design had beautiful qualities, but many Jazz players felt it was stuffy and lacked bottom. With today’s CAD technology and CNC equipment, Retro-Revival was able to address these flaws and produce a really great playing mouthpiece. The Retro Revival “Shorty” is offered with the following tip openings: D, E, F, G, and H.

My Thoughts

I have played various Selmer Soloist copies and originals in the past. I would agree that the original Selmer Soloist I have played tended to be a bit stuffy and had a nasal like sound with a fair amount of resistance and limited response. The Retro Revival “Shorty” replica still maintains the horseshoe chamber associated with the original Selmer Soloist mouthpiece but has some slight modifications that were based off of Jerry Bergonzi’s personal Selmer Soloist. I found the “Shorty” to be more responsive as well as play much less resistant than the original Selmer Soloists. The “Shorty” maintained a dark focused sound that was very easy to articulate. I did find the “Shorty” compared to an original Selmer Soloist had a sound quality that was very clean and focused instead of broad and edgy. If you really like Joe Henderson, Javon Jackson, Rich Perry, and the list goes on, I think you might want to take another look at a Selmer Soloist or in this case, the Retro Revival “Shorty” tenor mouthpiece.

Demos

BOB SHEPPARD W OUR NEW RETRO-REVIVAL “SHORTY” REPLICA 50’s SHORT SHANK SOLOIST TENOR SAX MOUTHPIECE

“UK Special” Replica 1950’s Duckbill Berg Tenor Sax Mouthpiece (110/2)

Product Overview

Berg Larsen, was originally known as a professional musician and reed maker in Archer Street London. In 1945, he designed and manufactured a range of ebonite mouthpieces for clarinet and saxophone which later evolved into a range made out of stainless steel. The Berg Larsen line of mouthpieces have a unique design: a small chamber with flat side walls and even side rails. This design makes them unique among the various popular vintage brands. Berg Larsen used a unique tip opening chart (95/2, 100/2, 110/2 etc.) compared to other manufactures as follows:

The first number (95 for example) is the tip opening in thousandths of an inch.  95 means .095″. (note: Bergs run about .005″ small, so a 95 would actually measure .090″.) The second number (2 for example) indicates the baffle height/brightness. The second number ranges from 0 to 3. 0 being the brightest and 3 being the darkest.

Unlike the original Berg Larsen mouthpieces, the Retro Revival “UK Special” is milled on a CNC lathe and further finished so each tip opening is true to the indicated number. The Retro Revival “UK Special”, is a replica of the hard to find 1950’s vintage Berg Larsen metal tenor mouthpiece. The “Duck Bill” design which had a longer body/# 2 bullet chamber design was only made for a short period of time. Retro Revival believes this specific Berg model is one of the fattest and best playing models from over a decade of other lack luster Berg Larsen designs. The Retro Revival “UK Special” is accurately copied from one of the best sounding/playing vintage Berg Larsen mouthpieces from Bob & Joel’s collections. This vintage Berg Larsen mouthpiece was played by the such famous saxophonists as Sam Butera, Junior Walker, King Curtis, Sonny Rollins, Lenny Pickett, Charlie Ventura, Coleman Hawkins, Booker Ervin, Babe Russin, Roland Kirk, Pete Christleib, Yusef Lateef, etc.

My Thoughts

I have tried various vintage Berg Larsen metal and hard rubber mouthpieces in the past. For me personally, the vintage and modern Berg Larsen mouthpieces had a big sound but the consistency across the entire horn as well as overall control was something I tended to struggle with. The Retro Revival “UK Special” Joel sent me was a 110/2. In comparison to some of the vintage metal Bergs I test played in the past, what I noticed right away with the “UK Special” was the sheer power and projection I could get from this mouthpiece with very little air. The Retro Revival “UK Special” I found to be a versatile mouthpiece (similar to Paul Harr’s review) and believe those players that want a mouthpiece that can really project with a huge sound, would really enjoy this mouthpiece. The “UK Special” played consistently from top to bottom and I did not notice any stuffy/thin areas in the extreme lows and highs. The “UK Special” is definitely easier to control than other vintage metal bergs I have played but I found some of the other Retro Revival mouthpieces to suit me better. I believe the “UK Special” is similar to the “Seventh Ave. South” model in terms of a instant response but the difference being the “UK Special” has more of a big broad sound while the “Seventh Ave South” is much more focused/direct.

Demos

Bob Sheppard Plays New Retro-Revival “UK SPECIAL” Tenor Sax Piece 50’s Replica Berg Duckbill Replica

REVIEW: Retro Revival “UK Special” by Paul Harr

Retro Revival Bob Sheppard Signature Series Generation 3 Tenor Sax Mouthpiece (7*)

Product Overview

The “Bob Sheppard Signature Series” tenor saxophone mouthpiece is an original design that was made for multi-instrumentalist Bob Sheppard. The “Generation 3”, is the latest version of Bob Sheppard’s personal mouthpiece which is a fusion of classic design concepts found at Retro Revival and further modifications that significantly improve response and dynamic range.

My Thoughts

After playing the “Tru Res”, “Tru Slant”, “Seventh Ave. South” and “Shorty”, I finally test play the Bob Sheppard Signature Series Generation 3. I had played the 1st and 2nd Generation in the past and was excited to see how the Generation 3 model played in comparison. The Bob Sheppard 1st and 2nd Generation mouthpieces played evenly throughout from low Bb to high F# but contained a level of resistance that I was not used too. The Generation 3rd in comparison was much more-freer blowing and had a complex timbre that was neither too dark nor too bright. The overall sound had warmth as well as edge and could be played from pianissimo to fortissimo with very little effort. The “Bob Sheppard Signature Series Generation 3” to me was a hybrid model that took characteristics from a Slant Link, Early Babbitt, and Reso chamber and combined it into one mouthpiece. I would highly recommend test playing the “Bob Sheppard Signature Series Model Generation 3” mouthpiece to see how it compares to your setup.

Demos

RETRO-REVIVAL BOB SHEPPARD PLAYING HIS NEW “SIGNATURE SERIES” GENERATION 3 TENOR SAX PIECE

Thomas Luer: Bob Sheppard Signature Series Generation 3 Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Retro Revival “Tru-Res” Replica Vintage 1940’s Otto Link Reso Chamber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece (7*)

Product Overview

One of Retro Revival’s latest replica’s is called the “Tru-Res”. This is a precise replica of the classic 1940’s Vintage Otto Link Reso Chamber tenor Saxophone mouthpiece. Retro Revival describes the “Tru-Res” as a mouthpiece that embodies a beautiful rich sound that will suit any Jazz or Classical player. Sonically, the “Tru-Res” has a very dark core and plays evenly up and down the horn. The “Tru-Res” is made of the finest German Hard Rubber, and CNC milled to precise measurements. Each and every model that comes off the mill is fine-tuned and played tested to assure quality control. Unlike many of the used Otto Link Reso Chamber mouthpieces that you might find on eBay with smaller tip sizes, The “Tru-Res” Retro-Revival Mouthpieces come in a 7*, 8, and 8* tip opening.

My Thoughts

I found the Retro Revival “Tru-Res” model to fit its description well. This mouthpiece played evenly from top to bottom, with a very dark core. The “Tru-Res” was designed for players who want a mouthpiece that leans towards the darker side of the sound spectrum. There was some resistance based on the facing but it was not stuffy or tubby. The “Tru-Res” was easy to control and as I pushed more and more of air thru the mouthpiece, the sound did not thin out. I believe those players who are looking for a dark, focused, and edgy mouthpiece will really enjoy the “Tru-Res” tenor saxophone mouthpiece. If you are a fan of Seamus Blake and Ben Wendel who have played on Otto Link Reso Chamber mouthpieces, you might want to give the Retro Revival “Tru-Res” a shot and see what you think.

Demos

Bob Sheppard Playing The New “Tru-Res” Replica 1940’s Link Reso Chamber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Retro Revival “UK Special” Replica 1950’s Berg Hard Rubber Baritone Sax Mouthpiece (110/2)

Product Overview

The Retro Revival “UK Special” hard rubber baritone is a replica of Retro Revival’s owner, Joel Peskin’s, 1950’s Berg Larsen 110/2 model hard rubber baritone mouthpiece. This mouthpiece was originally played by famous Hollywood woodwind specialist Gene Cipriano, who used this mouthpiece on countless recordings and soundtracks. Joel always wanted to duplicate this vintage Berg Larsen due to it’s fat/dense sound. With CNC technology, Retro Revival is excited to offer their “UK Special” hard rubber baritone mouthpiece. After the 70’s, Berg Larsen changed the overall design of future Berg Larsen mouthpieces which Retro Revival believes the newer models were not of the same quality and performance. As a result, the vintage Berg Larsen’s hard rubber baritone mouthpieces have become harder and harder to find.

Similar to the Retro Revival “UK Special” for tenor saxophone, the Retro Revival “UK Special” for baritone is based on the original Bullet Chamber design which maximizes projection and tonal clarity. The “UK Special” speaks clearly in the altissimo range and tunes with precision in all registers. Like all of the Retro Revival mouthpieces, the “UK Special” is made from the highest quality German rod rubber which will serve you for a lifetime.

My Thoughts

Please note, similar to soprano, I am not a full time baritone player. The Retro Revival “UK Special” baritone mouthpiece I believe was targeted toward those players who are looking for a fat sounding well-rounded hard rubber baritone mouthpiece as well as those baritone players who enjoy playing on a Berg Larsen hard rubber baritone mouthpieces. Sonically, I found the Retro Revival “UK Special” to play right in the middle of the sound spectrum (neither super dark nor super bright). The “UK Special” was very responsive and like Joel mentioned in his description, the sound was very fat and really projected. There is a core to the overall sound depending on your embouchure and how you focus your air but I found the “UK Special” to be a bit more broad than laser focused (Seventh Ave South). The “UK Special” was very easy to articulate across all registers and tuned well (especially for someone who does not regularly play baritone regularly). From my understanding, similar to the vintage Meyer’s for alto and vintage Otto Link’s for tenor, the vintage Berg Larsen’s, Lawton, and Gale Hollywood baritone mouthpieces are some of the most sought after pieces on the market today. I believe if you like vintage Berg Larsen hard rubber baritone mouthpieces, you should definitely test play the Retro Revival “UK Special” as well as if your someone who does not play baritone often, the “UK Special” is a great all-around mouthpiece.

Demos

BRANDON FIELDS ON THE NEW RETRO-REVIVAL 110/2 “UK SPECIAL” REPLICA BERG DUCKBILL BARI SAX MOUTHPIECE

JOEL C. PESKIN ON THE NEW RETRO-REVIVAL “UK SPECIAL” REPLICA VINT. BERG HR BARI SAX PIECE 110/2

Final Recap

There are  multiple mouthpiece manufacturers offering unique as well as “vintage” designs that it is almost impossible to be completely up to date on what’s new. Since attending multiple NAMM shows and writing for BSWE, Down Beat, Reverb, etc. I have been lucky enough to play test a wide range of mouthpieces across soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone with unique facings and manufactured of unique materials. Although there are so many mouthpieces on the market today, I have learned from speaking with various musicians that for the most part, there are a select group of vintage mouthpieces that a majority of players want to play. After speaking with Joel Peskin and Bob Sheppard, as well as play testing the various models that Retro Revival has to offer for soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone, I believe Joel and Bob have done a great job recreating these vintage mouthpiece from the past. With that being said, I have played vintage Meyers, Links, Berg Larsen, etc. mouthpieces that I prefer overall to the Retro Revival offerings. But, using the “Tru Slant” as an example, I have not played many new “vintage slant” mouthpieces that offer the overall same feel and sound to my vintage hard rubber link that the “Tru Slant” offers. My recommendation would be if you own a original Meyer, Link, Berg Larsen, Guardala, etc. and are looking for a back-up or replacement, I would recommend checking out the Retro Revival line of mouthpieces to see if its worth making the switch. I want to thank Joel and Bob for sending me the Retro Revival line of mouthpieces as well as answering all my questions while test playing/reviewing.

Retro Revival Website

Retro Revival Saxophone Mouthpieces