As an alto saxophone player, I believe that one of the most challenging things do is play with a beautiful sound. It can be difficult finding the right balanced between brightness/projection and core/warmth to the sound.
If you play contemporary/commercial jazz (like me) you want the sound to have a certain amount of brightness but not too much. Too much, and you sound shrill, edgy and it can be hard to record that sound. On the other hand, if you don’t have enough, you can sound dull, boring and uninteresting. It can be hard to find the balance and it’s very easy to sound bad in my opinion.
This often leads players into the endless cycle of mouthpiece shopping. I can tell from experience that there is no such thing as a “perfect mouthpiece,” the endless cycle brings more harm in the long run than good. That said, there are a few mouthpiece that I own that I would never sell, and the Phil Tone Rift is one of them.
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The Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece is a handcrafted mouthpiece made by Phil Engleman, a talented and experienced craftsman known for his high-quality saxophone mouthpieces. The Phil-Tone brand has quickly gained a reputation a few years back for producing some of the best saxophone mouthpieces on the market, and the Rift is one of his most popular. In this article, we will delve into the features and benefits of the Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece.
Who is Phil Engleman?
Phil Engelman is a highly skilled and experienced craftsman who has gained a reputation for producing some of the best saxophone mouthpieces on the market. With over 25 years of experience in the music industry, Engelman has developed a deep understanding of the acoustics of the saxophone, as well as the needs and preferences of saxophonists. He has dedicated himself to creating mouthpieces that are not only high-quality and reliable, but also highly expressive and versatile. Engelman’s commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail is evident in every aspect of his mouthpieces, from the careful selection of materials to the precise shaping of the facing curve. His passion for excellence has made him a trusted name in the saxophone community, and his mouthpieces have become a favorite among players who demand the best performance from their equipment.
What Types of Mouthpiece Does Phil Offer for Alto Saxophone?
Phil Engelman offers a range of alto saxophone mouthpieces to suit different playing styles and preferences. One of his most popular mouthpieces is the Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece, which has a medium round chamber and produces a warm, full-bodied tone. Engelman also offers the Eclipse Alto Sax Mouthpiece, which has a larger chamber and produces a more open and free-blowing sound. For players who prefer a more focused and compact sound, Engelman offers the Sapphire Alto Sax Mouthpiece, which has a smaller chamber and produces a brighter and more cutting tone. Each of these mouthpieces is handcrafted from high-quality materials and features a carefully designed facing curve that allows for excellent intonation and playability. With such a wide range of options to choose from, saxophonists are sure to find a Phil-Tone mouthpiece that suits their individual playing style and preferences.
The Phil Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece
The Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece is a handcrafted mouthpiece that is designed to give saxophonists the perfect balance between power and warmth. With its medium round chamber, the mouthpiece produces a sound that is full of brightness and clarity, while still maintaining a warm and beautiful tone. This unique combination of power and warmth makes the Rift an excellent choice for players who need a versatile mouthpiece that can be used in a variety of musical settings. The carefully crafted design of the Rift ensures that it is highly responsive and easy to play, while still delivering a sound that is rich, full-bodied, and expressive. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, the Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece is sure to become a favorite in your collection.
Here is Phil describing the mouthpiece in his own words:
For me, the selling point of the Rift is the tone and power. The Rift offers the best of both worlds between brightness and warmth. The Phil-Tone Rift delivers a rich, warm tone that is full of character and depth, but it doesn’t stop there. The mouthpiece has a great deal of pop, formidable projection, and sheer power to make it cut through in a louder playing situation (it has a huge sweeping dynamic range!) The mouthpiece produces a sound that is highly responsive and easy to control, allowing players to express themselves with ease. The sound is also highly consistent across the entire range of the instrument, making it a great choice for players who need a reliable and versatile mouthpiece.
Another standout feature of the Phil-Tone Rift is its design. The mouthpiece has a unique baffle design that gives the mouthpiece more projection that a traditional meyer mouthpiece.
The tone is definitely on the brighter side, but chamber balances it out. Engleman designed the mouthpiece to have a medium round chamber, which creates a sound that is warm, full-bodied, and resonant. This makes it a great choice for players who are looking for a versatile mouthpiece that can be used in a variety of musical styles.
Another important feature of the Phil-Tone Rift is the material that it is made from. The mouthpiece is made from high-quality hard rubber, which is known for its excellent acoustic properties. The use of hard rubber allows the mouthpiece to produce a rich, warm tone that is full of character and depth.
One of the most noteworthy features of the Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece is its excellent intonation. Phil Engleman has put a lot of thought and care into the design of the mouthpiece, and the result is a mouthpiece that produces a very consistent and accurate pitch across the entire range of the instrument. This makes it easy for players to hit the right notes with precision and confidence, which is particularly important for more complex musical passages. The excellent intonation of the Phil-Tone Rift is a testament to the quality of the craftsmanship that goes into each mouthpiece, and it is one of the reasons why the Rift has become such a popular choice among saxophonists who demand the best performance from their equipment.
The Phil-Tone Rift is also designed to be highly responsive and easy to play. The mouthpiece has a comfortable beak that makes it easy to hold, and the facing curve is carefully crafted to ensure that the player can easily produce a wide range of notes with ease. This makes it a great choice for both beginner and experienced saxophonists.
One thing to note about the Phil-Tone Rift is that it is a relatively expensive mouthpiece. However, the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each mouthpiece is clear, and many players feel that the price is well worth it for the superior sound and performance that it offers.
Overall, the Phil-Tone Rift Alto Sax Mouthpiece is an excellent choice for saxophonists who are looking for a high-quality, versatile mouthpiece that delivers a warm, full-bodied tone. With its carefully crafted design and superior materials, the Phil-Tone Rift is sure to become a favorite among saxophonists of all skill levels.