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Time for a new soprano saxophone mouthpiece? Looking for a replacement to a stock or beginner product? Need a backup? Want a major upgrade?
No matter what you might be looking for, if a mouthpiece is what you need, you’re in the right place.
In this guide, we’ve compiled the best soprano saxophone mouthpieces, so you don’t need to go hunting any further. Let’s get into it.
JodyJazz SUPER JET Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece – Best Overall
Pictured here is 6, and no mater the size, the SUPER JET is a premium soprano sax mouthpiece for jazz, fusion, funk, pop, rock, and soloing. Basically, any situation where you need to be heard.
Consistent and reliable, the SUPER JET features superior tone and delivers a high level of performance, night after night. The mouthpiece also offers better control and added projection for those times you need to cut through a band.
The JodyJazz SUPER JET mouthpiece is made of palladium-plated brass. It’s our best overall selection based on the array of size options available, construction, sound, versatility, and playability.
Theo Wanne DURGA 5 Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece – Best Premium Option
The Theo Wanne DURGA 5 Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece (compare price on Sweetwater and Guitar Center) is known, first and foremost, by its luxurious and eclectic appearance. Honestly, it would be hard to mistake it for anything else, with its Egyptian (?) inspired design.
Its bold outward appearance, however, is backed up by quality performance. Following in the footsteps of previous entries in the DURGA series (a high bar to live up to), the DURGA 5 is even better than its predecessors. Offering a high level of versatility, the mouthpiece is plated with 24 karat gold.
The mouthpiece comes complete with a leatherette case to keep it safe. Given its price point, that’s a good thing. And yes, this is our best premium selection. Theo Wanne is one of the best by reputation.
Yamaha Standard Series 6C Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece – Best Budget Option
The Yamaha Standard Series 6C Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece is a solid entry level soprano sax mouthpiece made of phenol resin (plastic). Its design takes after the more advanced Custom Series mouthpieces too.
With a 1.3mm tip opening, the mouthpiece was made to be easy to play, with good projection and tonal variety.
Those who’ve been using stock mouthpieces will find this to be a solid upgrade. Users found the mouthpiece easier to play, and said it provided a richer and fuller tone as well. Some even found the product competitive with professional level mouthpieces(!). This could prove a great backup mouthpiece to keep on hand.
This mouthpiece is our best budget selection. This comes with the caution that the Yamaha Standard Series 6C mouthpiece won’t prove an upgrade to anyone who isn’t using a stock or cheap mouthpiece. If you’re looking for something better, you’ll want to explore other mouthpieces featured in this guide.
Henri Selmer Paris B-flat Soprano Saxophone S80 Mouthpiece
The Henri Selmer Paris B-flat Soprano Saxophone S80 Mouthpiece (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the gold standard for professionals and music educators alike. Selmer mouthpieces are well known for their warmth, fullness, and impeccable intonation, and this one is certainly no exception.
The S80 Mouthpiece was milled from hard rubber and hand finished. Henri Selmer Paris’ manufacturing process ensures both consistency and quality, so if you end up having to buy a replacement at the music store, it will feel and sound the same.
This mouthpiece is also a favorite among jazz players. Buyers enjoyed its tone and projection.
JodyJazz HR CUSTOM DARK Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
The JodyJazz HR CUSTOM DARK Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece (compare price on Sweetwater and Guitar Center) is a professional quality hard rubber soprano sax mouthpiece. Created with JodyJazz proprietary Chedeville rubber (slightly more pliable), the mouthpiece features a tone that’s practically tailor made for the jazz club.
The free blowing, responsive mouthpiece includes a rollover baffle, which will reduce shrill highs, as well as a large chamber and bore for added warmth.
Its responsiveness also contributes to its versatility, as it allows you to freely shape your sound as you’re playing, no matter what setting or gig you might be taking on.
If you’re looking for a professional grade jazz mouthpiece, the JodyJazz HR CUSTOM DARK is well worth a look.
Otto Link SOLM-7# Super Tone Master Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Otto Link SOLM-7# Super Tone Master Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece doesn’t need much of an introduction. The legendary Otto Link is responsible for creating the Master Link technology that became a must-have for jazz players across the nation.
Their modern mouthpieces take everything that was good about their predecessors and improves on it. This beauty was plated in 24 karat gold, and it’s versatile to boot. Try it with jazz, classical, pop, and even R&B – and see for yourself. You’ll love the results.
This kit comes with a ligature cap.
Meyer SMR-7MM Hard Rubber Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Meyer SMR-7MM Hard Rubber Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece (compare price on Sweetwater and Guitar Center) is available in a variety of sizes – 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Pictured here is of course 7, with a medium chamber and medium facing. Small chamber and long or short facing variations are also available.
Meyer initially found popularity in the 1930s thanks to their quality saxophone mouthpieces. Jazz players immediately gravitated towards the hard rubber U.S.-made mouthpiece with a free blowing feel and colorful sound.
You might want to give this one a try for yourself too.
Vandoren S7 V16 Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Vandoren S7 V16 Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece is another popular, quality soprano saxophone mouthpiece design. Vandoren, as with Henri Selmer Paris, is well known for creating mouthpieces suited to a variety of genres and playing levels.
The V16 series is one of their more common models, and is perfectly matched to jazz and symphonic players, with its ebonite construction, medium long facing length, and clear tone.
What To Look For In A Soprano Saxophone Mouthpiece
Not all mouthpieces are created equal. What works for another won’t necessarily work for you. So, it’s important that you take your time, do your research, and find the right fit. After all, if you practice and play often, you’ll probably be using your mouthpiece weekly if not daily.
If you’ve reviewed the options above, and you’re still not sure which to buy, you’re not alone. Here’s the good news – we’ve broken down the key criteria you should consider when shopping for a soprano saxophone mouthpiece.
While there are many factors we could look at, everything fits neatly under these four primary categories:
- Sound quality
Let’s explore each.
It’s important to start here, because the saxophone, from a mile-high view, is made up of just three components – the mouthpiece, reed, and body. And every component counts. That won’t be news to saxophonists with some experience behind them, but it could be news to beginners and students.
All that to say, the mouthpiece will affect the sound, the tone, the timbre of the instrument. Much could be said about the tip opening, baffle, table, its free blowing design, and more, but what we’re interested in, at the end of the day, all falls under the heading of sound quality.
By the way, I’m not saying that the comfort or playability of the mouthpiece isn’t important. We’re covering that next, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
What I’m saying is that when we talk about technical aspects of the mouthpiece, one of the things we’re going to be interested in is how it sounds. A very comfortable and playable mouthpiece probably isn’t going to amount to much if it doesn’t sound how you need it to in the settings you’re practicing and performing in.
You’ve probably seen how some mouthpieces are a little more suited to classical, some have been designed with jazz in mind, and so on. And you may have asked yourself whether it makes any difference, but if I were to cut to the chase, it does.
Yes, some mouthpieces truly are versatile, and you can draw a variety of tones out of them, especially if you know what you’re doing. But there are other mouthpieces that won’t respond the way you need them to in every scenario (which still makes them good in certain situations, mind you).
So, don’t overlook this aspect of mouthpieces. It is worth paying attention to product descriptions and reviews. This is one of the main ways we’re going to figure out whether a mouthpiece is for us.
Sure, I’ve heard of some music stores letting players try out mouthpieces before buying them. But for obvious reasons, this usually doesn’t happen. No one wants to spread germs, especially in the world we’re in now.
That is the best way to figure out whether a mouthpiece is for you, is by playing it, but unfortunately, it’s not much of an option, unless you happen to have a friend or a teacher that will let you try theirs.
So, the best we can do besides asking for recommendations is to read product descriptions and reviews or watch video demos and reviews. At least we’ve got that. Can you imagine what people had to do before the internet? Crazy.
I will assert that sound quality isn’t everything. There are some other factors that can make a big difference in the buying process. And that’s what we’ll be looking at next.
But sound quality does matter. A lot.
The impressive technical specifications of a product don’t matter if the mouthpiece isn’t playable. If you don’t find it comfortable, if you can’t move the air through the instrument in the way you need, if higher or lower notes are harder to play, if the intonation seems off, then the mouthpiece shouldn’t be considered very playable.
And, as you can see, most of these factors play right into sound quality as well.
Playability, just like sound quality, is individual. As much as I would love to tell you which mouthpiece to buy, unfortunately, what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, and vice versa.
One of the broader considerations here is whether you’re a beginner or intermediate to advanced player. Beginners should look for mouthpieces that are easy to play, come with a free blowing design, and are relatively even across the entire range of the instrument.
Intermediate to advanced players are more adept, have probably used a few mouthpieces before, can adapt to a variety of scenarios, and even have a sense of what they like already. Plus, most intermediate to advanced players don’t just have one mouthpiece, but multiple, either as backups, or for different playing scenarios.
It’s kind of a roundabout way of saying that players with no experience will struggle with some mouthpieces, while more experienced players can likely figure out how to use just about any mouthpiece if called upon.
The verdict, while general, is that you want to find a mouthpiece that performs the way you need it to perform. That way, you will be more satisfied with the purchase long term.
I only want to make a brief note about durability. It is an important factor, but let’s face it – if you spend good money on a mouthpiece and love how it sounds and plays, you’re more likely to take very good care of it, making durability less of a concern.
It would be wise to let go of false expectations, though. You can’t spend $10 to $50 on a mouthpiece and demand that it last forever, especially with regular use. It’s not likely to be made of material that’s going to last.
While relatively robust, plastic mouthpieces are subject to wear and tear over the long haul, whether it’s chipping or denting.
Hard rubber and metal mouthpieces may be more expensive, but they are sure to hold up to regular, long-term use compared to mouthpieces made of lesser materials.
And, of course, there can be differences from one brand or model to another. Just because a mouthpiece is made of a certain material does not guarantee its longevity. Read the reviews for more information.
Mouthpieces don’t cost an arm and a leg, but quality mouthpieces may cost more than you think.
Obviously, we want you to end up with the best possible product you can. But we never recommend going into debt for musical gear.
So, always consult your budget before any purchase. If you can’t afford the mouthpiece you’re thinking about buying right now, either go with a more affordable model, or consider saving up for the product you really want.
Best Soprano Saxophone Mouthpieces Brands
If you’re going to be buying a soprano saxophone mouthpiece anyway, wouldn’t you love to know that you’re buying from one of the best brands out there?
Here we look at the best brands and manufacturers and what makes them great.
Yamaha is the reference standard for soprano saxophone mouthpieces. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best mouthpieces, but they do have very good products that are often emulated, and they are a trusted brand for all things music.
The company doesn’t just make accessories. They make almost anything you can name – guitars, basses, amplifiers, pianos, keyboards, drums, strings, brass, woodwinds, and much more.
And they do take pride in the quality of their products. They don’t always hit the ball out of the park, but they do have quality standards, and that’s one of the things many appreciate about them.
Theo Wanne is a legendary saxophone brand, and some would even say they make the best saxophone mouthpieces money can buy. Their eclectic designs aren’t for everyone, but their quality is undeniable.
You’ll find plenty of artists representing their products on their website – Mindi Abair, Greg Abate, Gerald Albright, Dominic Amato, and many others.
Speaking of their website, it’s more externally focused than internally focused. No indulgent “About” pages here. Only resources for saxophonists, like mouthpiece videos, tutorials, mouthpiece guides, and so on.
Henri Selmer Paris
Anyone who’s been around saxophones for any length of time will recognize the name Henri Selmer Paris, a French company providing saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces.
Yamaha may have set certain benchmarks for mouthpieces, but some would also say that Selmer is the standard many aspire to.
Their products are generally of very good quality, and artists like Melissa Aldana, Jimmy Sax, Noa Mick, Chris Potter, Maura Marinucci, and many others all use Selmer products.
Vandoren may as well be Henri Selmer Paris’ cousin, as the companies both started around the same time, and effectively manufacture the same products – saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures, accessories, and so on.
Of course, people aren’t unanimous in their like or dislike of their products. Some like Vandoren. Some like Selmer. Some like both. Some don’t like either.
Vandoren’s artist roster is extensive, and it includes players from all over the world – Abramovitz Eric, Adamski Arkadiusz, Afettouche Hugo, Scanlon Brian, Scott Andy, Sperrazza Rose, and many others.
JodyJazz is a superb U.S. based saxophone brand and it has what is quite possibly one of the most interesting origin stories of any saxophone mouthpiece company, beginning with the fateful meeting of mouthpiece maker Santy Runyon and Jody himself, jazz educator and NYC musician Jody Espina.
(You can read the entire story on their website.)
JodyJazz makes both saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces. Their products are beautiful in appearance, and according to Jody himself, quite superb quality wise too.
Their artist roster includes many, from Andy Snitzer to Ed Calle, and Jason Marshall to Claire Daly.
Top Soprano Saxophone Mouthpieces, Final Thoughts
Remember – at the end of the day, soprano saxophone mouthpieces are individual.
What matters most is you find a product that works for you and your needs. Recommendations and reviews can be helpful, but when it comes to finding the right fit, the best thing you can do is think like a detective and do thorough research.
Here’s wishing you all the best on your saxophone journey.