The D’Addario Select Jazz Alto Mouthpiece – Another Meyer, or Something New?
D’Addario, the company that produces some of the world’s most popular reeds, including D’Addario Reserve, La Voz, D’Addario Jazz Select, Rico Royal, and Hemke (among others) has finally released a professional-level saxophone mouthpiece for alto called the D’Addario Select Jazz Mouthpiece. Kristen Mckeon, Artist Relations specialist over at D’Addario was nice enough to send me a 6 tip opening so I could compare it to my Vandoren V16 and Meyer mouthpiece. I am going to be reviewing this mouthpiece on its overall sound, intonation, response, and quality.
I believe that many mouthpiece makers today are trying to re-create an alto mouthpiece that plays similar to a Meyer Bros or NY Meyer mouthpiece. When playing the D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece, it reminded me of the older Meyer mouthpieces in terms of the warmth, edge, and brightness that I have found when test playing some of the aforementioned Meyer Bros and NY Meyer’s. If you have played the V16 or play a new Meyer mouthpiece like myself, the best way to describe the D’Addario Select Jazz is it embodies the focus of the V16 but has a bit more warmth and roundness to the sound which reminds me of my new Meyer.
I found the intonation on the Select Jazz mouthpiece to be a excellent. Similar to my Meyer and V16, this mouthpiece has a consistent scale from low Bb to High F#.
This mouthpiece responded well and was easy to control. I could play from the Bb to high F# from very soft to very loud. I tried a Lupifaro Classic 2 reed, but believe that this mouthpiece is similar to my Vandoren V16 and Meyer, where it is very reed-friendly.
The CNC machine work done on these D’Addario Select Jazz alto mouthpieces is top-notch. I have from time to time tried certain brands where there were noticeable shortcomings evidenced by uneven rails and a table that was not smooth. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Select Jazz mouthpiece. Using solid rod rubber and milling, the mouthpiece, I believe, is an effort to recreate the vintage sound and quality of the past.
I am very excited that D’Addario has introduced there new select jazz alto mouthpiece. If you are in the market for a new alto mouthpiece or are looking for a lower-cost alternative to purchasing a vintage Meyer Bros or N.Y. Meyer, I would highly recommend play-testing this mouthpiece. Compare it to a Vandoren V16 and Meyer mouthpiece to see which one you would prefer.
I would say that the D’Addario Select Jazz mouthpiece for me is a hybrid between a V16 and new Meyer mouthpiece in terms of having the focus and edge of the V16, but it’s also got the roundness and warm sound that many players find in a Meyer.
At the end of the day, you have to choose the mouthpiece that you feel most comfortable with and I believe the D’Addario Select Jazz alto mouthpiece is definitely one to consider.
Again, I want to thank Kristen Mckeon at D’Addario for sending me this mouthpiece to try out and review.
Please leave any comments or questions.
On the D’Addario Site: