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New! Finally! No more sad alto players!
The PPT Alto Onyxite Mouthpiece
5*, 6**, 8* (Hooligan model)
NB: Most normal alto ligatures fit PPT alto, but Bb clarinet ligature fits the Hooligan Model.
6** (82.6 thou) is all purpose versatile and seems to be fine for any players who are usually happy with tips in the range 6 – 7
5*(69 thou) is suitable for classical players who strive for a very slightly brighter sound than many classical pieces. Also good for a warm but vibrant jazz sound
PPT Alto Mouthpiece
Due to overwhelming demand we have now introduced the PPT alto mouthpiece in Onyxite. This is not just a scaled down version of the tenor, the concept is slightly different. My inspiration for these includes the Brilhart Tonalin and Meyer Bros. New York so they do not have as high a baffle as the tenor pieces, but in keeping with the PPT versatility concept, in the right hands they are capable of a warm dark sound as well some sparkle you associate with that lead alto “zing.”
Alto players that have inspired me to develop the sound concept of the 6** include include Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods, Maceo Parker and Joe Harriott. The 5* is designed for a warmer jazz sound (e.g. Paul Desmond, or for a more classical sound – also suitable for beginners)
A Minor Blues
Alto 6** Noodling in A
We are finally very proud to offer a new line in PPT mouthpieces – the Hooligan. This has taken years in research and development.
In many ways, yes but of course in the right hands it can be tamed. But maybe tamed is the wrong word – this is unlikely ever to sound tame, however you should be able to bend it to your will without losing any hooliganality.
The Other Side of the Lounge
On to the sound concept. I was not just after a bright, edgy “paint peeler” – there are plenty of those around. One of the things saxophone players seek in a blues or rock mouthpiece is true grit. Of course the player hem or herself can supply that, but it really does help if the mouthpiece is amenable otherwise attempts to add grit can often just sound overblown and have a tendency to sound flat.
PPT alto “Hooligan”
We started out working on the alto version. Originally we thought of taking a typical “holy grail” New York Meyer Brothers type mouthpiece and adding a baffle. Sounds easy, but that didn’t quite work in the way we wanted. One reason this has taken so long in development is that getting the perfection you strive for is not an exact science. A lot of trial and error is involved getting not just the right baffle and chamber combination, but the best facing curve. All these factors contribute to what makes it work the way we want. We only produce the alto with a wide 8* facing, as that is the facing that works best in combination with the chamber and baffle, however custom orders are of course possible for different facings.
I was very impressed by the quality of the PPT 5* I received, but having played some of Ed Pillinger’s pieces this year (thanks to Aldevis) I was not surprised to receive something so well made. I have a lot of mouthpieces and I do buy quite regularly and this one stands out in the crowd as having something very special.
The PPT’s 5* tip is a tiny bit closer than I usually play; I’m used to a .073″ tip whereas the PPT is .069+, so I had to adjust a little but it likes a number 3 ZZ, my favourite alto reed of the last year or so. I found the PPT just as strong to play as my Ted Klum piece and stronger than the D’Addario I bought in the autumn. There’s something in the construction of the PPT which makes me sound a little more compact, which I really like.
The soundclip of My Ship came out very gentle and relaxed sounding, rather ’50s West Coast’ I suppose, although I have to say that it’s not a style I have given much attention to: I’ve spent most of my time over the last 20 years playing classical stuff on the sax which probably helped to give me access to that tone quality. However it’s far from the default sound of this piece, it can really cut at the other end of the scale and once the Xmas period is over I will try to post something more acerbic so that people can get a good idea of the tonal flexibility of the PPT.
Pete says that the 5* is “suitable for classical and also fine for beginners”. I’ve been playing for over 40 years and I love this piece, so it works for old pros too! It would be perfect for a beginner – how wonderful to start out with a mouthpiece that you need never change!! But, I would not personally use the PPT for classical playing; I would favour a Vandoren AL3,4 or 5 or Selmer Concept as those pieces are much easier to develop a small compact sound that blends with orchestral instruments. Although the PPT plays beautifully cleanly at low volumes, it’s tonally a bit spread for true classical playing (IMO, YMMV), but I will definitely give it a whirl in the Nyman Band because I like something a bit pokey-er in that situation.
I think this is a truly excellent mouthpiece for any standard of player, at an amazingly fair price.
– David Roach
I’ve been playing two years now, on a variety of alto saxophones and mouthpieces and just received the Onyxite PPT Alto MP in 6** tip opening for my birthday today.
Typically, I started two years ago with the MP which came with my Jupiter 565-567, then a Yamaha 4C which was OK, then tried a Selmer C* which I didn’t get on with, nor a Runyon 22 6, and latterly a Bari Esprit II which is very good for a beginner, keeping the notes in tune with its fairly narrow tip opening.
I also tried three D’Addario MPs in 5, 6, & 7 openings recently but none of them suited me.
The Bari was replaced a few months ago with a Yamaha 6CM with 1.9mm tip opening as this gave me a jazzier sound with my favourite Rico Jazz Select 2S filed reed. This combo sounded great on my newly acquired Yamaha YAS-62 MkI “Purple Logo” (which came with the 6CM) but not quite so good on my Buffet SDA which I’d played for around a year prior (I’ve been through a good few horns on my short sax journey!).
So today I put an RJS reed on the new PPT (her name is Poppet!) and tried this combo on the 62. A little worried by its wider 2.1mm tip, I took my first breath and played… WOW!!!!! Suddenly I’m a professional!!!!!!??
I switched back to the 6CM to check… had I really been happy with its sound? Yes, I guess… but now IT HAS TO GO IN THE BIN!!!
“Blown” away by my new sound, admittedly with a few “getting used to it” squeaks here and there, I thought I’d give it a go on the Buffet, having tried and tried with other mouthpiece/reed combinations to get a jazzy sound out of what is sometimes described as a more classical instrument.
Oh WOW even more!!! This MP has transformed my SDA into a 62 Purple Logo! In fact, it is absolutely perfectly controllable on this horn without a squeak or bum note. This IS the holy grail MP for my SDA!!
And LOUD! On both horns I could blow as hard as I can and the sound kept coming.
I tried some other reeds, around a dozen different ones, but the RJS 2S filed is the best so far for me. I think the squeaks on the Yamaha horn are down to the wider tip and should come good with a few more hours. Talking about hours… my mouth aches! I’ve been playing for three hours and didn’t want to put this MP down! Don’t panic though, it’s an easy blow. I just spent too long testing it!
At £195 it’s over ten times what I paid for the Bari but for me it represents excellent value, just for the fun I’ve had today, let alone the rest of my playing life!
5* 1.75mm = 69 thou
6** 2.1 mm 82.6 thou
Custom sizes also available.
5*, 6**, Hooligan 8*, Custom – please contact
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