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Vandoren V16 Sax Mouthpieces

You don’t have to be much of a detective to discern the meaning in Vandoren’s statement that its V16 Series sax mouthpiece “captures the famous jazz saxophone sounds of the ’50s and ’60s.” The V16 is obviously modeled after the classic Meyer of that era-what we mouthpiece geeks call the “New York” Meyer, differentiating it from later, inferior versions. Vandoren can’t come right out and say it, since a competitor still manufactures mouthpieces bearing the Meyer name. But that’s the implication, and it’s a haughty claim. To Vandoren’s credit, the V16 stands up to the comparison.

I’ve strayed on occasion, but for the most part, I’ve used the same New York Meyer 5M on alto for 35 years. In choosing it (or, to be more accurate, having it chosen for me) at the tender age of 10, I was following in the very hip footfalls of Cannonball Adderley, Lou Donaldson, Charles McPherson and Phil Woods, to name just a few illustrious Meyer devotees. Other manufacturers made great mouthpieces back then, but the sound of modern-jazz alto was (and still is) largely the sound of the New York Meyer. Over the years, other mouthpiece makers have sought to recapture the greatness of the vintage Meyers. Vandoren has gotten it right.

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