They are CNC machined from a hard rubber bar, and according to the company, they don't require any hand finishing.
The first look confirms this. the design is very neat and precise on both pieces. Medium chamber and straight baffle. Some undercutting under the siderails. Medium tiprail (not too thin or too wide).
Very well made.
They look exactly as a hard rubber mouthpiece should look: like a mouthpiece. Standard elegant size, cool shank, numbered pieces.
D'Addario owns the well known RICO brand, and decided to release these pieces under their own name. Quite a brave choice.
They are "off the shelf" mouthpieces. Current RRP is £130, in line with Vandoren, Meyer, Jody Jazz, Selmer... A challenging segment of the market.
They only come in three facings: 5, 6 and 7. It means a shop can have the full range with only three pieces.
How do they play?
First of all I would like to point out that I am not mainly an alto player. I usually play a Pillinger replica of a Meyer NYUSA 5 (I also have the original), a Pillinger NYA 8L (bigger and darker) or Absolute ST7 (a funkier piece). More pieces sleep in my drawer.
I used Hemke 2.5, RJS 2H, Rigotti 2 and Lupifaro 3 (last two, courtesy samples from the lovely assistant manager at sax.co.uk)
The 6 is a bit brighter than the 7, a difference I often noticed between smaller and bigger tips. Despite the small difference they play and feel different.
7 feels like having a bigger sound, 6 extremely focused and responsive.
If I have to write one line about them, they are half way between a Meyer and a very good Soloist. I never found a Soloist I really liked, but I have that sound in my mind.
They have a very "contemporary" alto sound, a bit smoky, dry, with not much edge (at least with the reeds I used). The 6 more than the 7.
I still have to do some tests, but the JS6 seems to be a mouthpiece that adds something to my collection.
They are extremely easy to play, with a good dynamic range. Some experimenting with reeds could probably widen the sound palette.
Looking forward to see what other members will say about them.
(... to be continued)
Two more days with it.
The 7 went back into the box. A great mouthpiece, but the 6 has something special in the balance between baffle and facing. It is a really fast and responsive mouthpiece.
I just tried it at home (no alto gigs in sight), and it is perfect for the dynamic range I use here. The temptation is to play fast. Since I come from 8/9 facings, the comfort it gives is very refreshing.
It seems very reed friendly. I tried some random Marca reeds (courtesy of the lovely manager at Howarth's) and the Excel and Tradition gave some great new colours. Less the Premium.
Back to Hemke, for further testing, the altissimo seems very balanced.
Compared with my Meyer-like pieces in the same smallish tip, the lack of edge and the ease of intonation are striking. It sports some nice mid range frequencies, instead. I would dare to say that Meyers wink Phil Woods, the SJ winks Hodges (to Snidero & Oatts).
At least during these tests.
It sounds and tunes consistently on both my Sequoia and my SML Gold Medal (re-exhumated for the event). I am curious to know how would it play on cheap altos that sport that "happy high register".
Some noodling (6 facing with Hemke 2.5):
A review from cafemember Ads:
M/Pieces - Ligs - D'Addario Mouthpiece Passround Thread
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