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Mouthpieces Dukoff tenor mouthpiece?


Well-Known Member
Grenada, West Indies
I’m happy to say that I’m playing more and more often with a local blues trio…they’re inviting me just about every week at the moment.

I use my Martin tenor with an RPC 115B mouthpiece when I want to be nice and mellow, such as while people are still eating dinner and I use my Yamaha 82Z alto with an RPC 85B when I want to really scream, when people are up and dancing to our ‘hotter’ numbers. The brighter, higher pitch seems to cut through to the front of the music.

I want my tenor to scream as well. It’s sounding too mellow. So I’m considering buying a Dukoff D chamber mouthpiece. My problem is that living on a Caribbean island, it’ll have to be mail ordered…yes, I’d love to spend a day trying out equipment in a shop, but that's just impossible.

So which tip opening should I buy, to get a mouthpiece that I’ll be comfortable on? Looking at a comparison chart for tip openings, it appears that I should buy a Dukoff D8, to get the same tip opening as the RPC115B, and I guess I would probably be comfortable on that, as long as the lay is not radically longer or shorter than the RPC. Does anyone agree/disagree?

Just to recap…on the tenor I’m comfortable on the RPC115B with a 2.5 or 3 plasticover, I also have a PPT 9 star, but I have to admit, I think the tip opening is a little to wide for me, some of the time.

So, a Dukoff D what?

PS. Please don’t tell me that I can’t buy a mouthpiece without trying it…’cos that’s impossible.

Looking forward to some advice…
Heck - the difficulties of living in paradise.... Boat, sun, sea, sand, girls, permanent holidays and he complains about buying mouthpieces >:)

Can't help with the selection, but if the PPT9* is a bit wide, maybe consider a slightly more closed one.

But a lot of guys buy a used mouthpiece from ebay/SOTW, try it and sell on if it doesn't work for them.... You lose a lot less that way.

Maybe you should organise a sax workshop out there. Sounds like a perfect excuse to get away from the kids.... :cheers:
If you sound mellow on an RPC1115B you must have a naturally very mellow tone. I have an RPC115B as well, and sound very bright on it. I have had a Dukoff in the past, and for me it was just too bright, verging on the screechy. I hated it and sold it. For you, if you naturally blow mellow it might be just the thing. Try a D7 or D8. Because of the baffle, Dukoffs are pretty easy to blow - how hard a mouthpiece is to blow is only partly a function of tip opening.

If you do get one, be aware that it'll tarnish, and whatever you do, don't drop it. The metal is a soft as cheese.
Heck - the difficulties of living in paradise....

But a lot of guys buy a used mouthpiece from ebay/SOTW, try it and sell on if it doesn't work for them.... You lose a lot less that way.

Maybe you should organise a sax workshop out there. Sounds like a perfect excuse to get away from the kids.... :cheers:

Well Kev, it's a tough life...but someone's got to do it...

I've never bought on ebay before...but you're right, it might make sense here, because what I really need to do is could make my experiments a little less expensive...

By the way...if you're ever drop in...

Cheers, Martin
Try a D7 or D8. Because of the baffle, Dukoffs are pretty easy to blow - how hard a mouthpiece is to blow is only partly a function of tip opening.

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the reply...I think I might look out for a second hand D8.

Cheers, Martin
A D chamber is fine on a "The Martin" tenor. You're playing a Martin? You can also buy a X chamber. Less bright comparing to the D chamber and the low tones comes out easier. I played a Dukoff LD 10 (Large chamber and no baffle) ,but I couldn't get along with it on my "The Martin" tenor. I think a medium chamber mouthpiece is best on a "The Martin". A reed like La Voz is also good on Dukoff. Plasticcovers can be too much!?!?!

D8 is on the money tip opening wise. I have had both (RPC115 & D8).

I have found I can push an RPC into Dukoff territory but not the other way around. That said on a Martin things may respond different than on my Selmers and Yams. So try it and enjoy! The old ligs used to break quite easily so you may want to get a back up or better first choice one.

Personally, I would go for a WWBW studio with a Selmer 404 lig instead.
Either way the finish on each piece looks terrible after a while.
The dukoff silverite dulls and the material is soft.
The plating on the WWBW studio 'pits' if you unwrap the box ;}
To avoid that your Dukoff metal mpc becomes tarnished: Rinse the mouthpiece in warm water and use a few drops of detergent after playing. Dry and keep your Dukoff in a mpc pouch or a cloth.

The other year I had opportunity to listen two tenor saxplayers in the Rocksax field. One was blowing a Dukoff D8 and the other a RPC 130. Dukoff sounded better in the high register and altissimo. The RPC was outstanding in middle and low register. But the sounded great together. The RPC did have some probleme with bitemarks.

My 73yo teacher was telling me this morning that as he plays 2nd tenor to a very loud player(who plays a Guardala), he was thinking of getting a Dukoff D8 or a Jumbo Java ....he asked a very experienced pro friend what the difference in sound would be likely to be ....."Just a different kind of chain-saw!" was the answer :)

I think he's opted to try a Dukoff.
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It's funny that Bobby Dukoff company, the man who recorded "Sax In Silk", "Sax In Satin" and "Tender Sax" in the 50's, designed the D chamber!!!

Andrew Clark (Rock & Roll Saxophone, Saxophone Journal) is playing a Dukoff D8. Beside Rocksax he is also playing classical saxophone, Big Band, Jazz Combo and he use Dukoff D8 tenor in all genres!! Andrew study classical saxophone before he went Rocksax!! I believe he got his good tonecontrolle and pitch from his classical studies.

The mouthpiece just helps us to bring out our ideas and tones. It needs a loud player to get a loud mouthpice to produce loud tones!!

I found an interview with Bobby Dukoff in Saxophone Journal (pt I vol 12, #3, Fall 1987 & pt II vol 12, #4, Winther 1988) made by Arthur Woodbury and Vance Jennings. It's 22 years ago!! I uploaded two clips from the interview:

"The Secret Is In The Metal". Dukoff explains his thoughts about the soft metal (Silverite) in mouthpiece manufactoring.

Maybe an answer why Dukoffs are loud?

Just bought a Dukoff D7 from the Devil's Junkyard, for about £60 inc. postage. Sounds louder, more penetrating and slightly more mellow than my Berg Larsen 105/2, so it's going on the next gig I do with me to see what I think in anger.
Initial signs are good though. The only thing I'm worried about is being a clumsy sod I'll probably drop it and bend it!

Thanks for your advice everyone.

Thomas...I looked at the two interviews...very interesting.

I had a look at ebay and found a D8 selling for the same price that I could buy a new one...I don't think I have the patience to wait for a good I'll order a new one today or tomorrow.

When I've played it enough to have an opinion...I'll report back.

Well, I've been playing a Duloff D8 for about ten days now and I like it. Here are my oservations:

I'd been warned that the ligature was a bit naff, so I wasn't surprised when I had some trouble putting a reed on. Problem was that as I tightenned the lig, it slid up the mouthpiece due to the rather pronounced taper where the lig rests. I tried to play it like this but every now and then, the lig and reed would just fall off. So I put my thinking cap on and glued a piece of very thin cork (0.4mm or 1/64") to the inside of the ligature, where it rests on the top of the mouthpiece. The increased friction now stops it from sliding...problem solved!

I found my regular 2.5 or 3 reeds too soft on it. I tried the hardest reed I have, a 3M RJS, and that works OK, but I'm going to experiment with harder still...I'll order some 3H RJS next. It surprised me that I need such a different reed on it. I bought a D8 because the tip openning is reported to be 115 thou', same as my RPC, so I expected it to use a similar strength reed...well, you live and learn...

My intonation is spot on with the Dukoff...actually a little better than with the RPC115B.

So I played two gigs with it this weekend and the tone really works for me in a band situation...plenty of attack, edge, or whatever you call it. The bass player heard the difference in tone, without knowing I had a new mouthpiece on and he told me afterwards that he thought I was playing extra hard to try and blow the other (guest) saxophonist away!

All in all, it's everything I hoped it would be.

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