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Meyer Saxophone Mouthpieces
Meyer "True Flex" Fascing
These were the first real Meyer Brothers mouthpieces and were made in New York. These have a cut out on the table with the phrase, 'Meyer "True Flex" Facing' in it. The cut-out was to allow the reed to vibrate more freely. This concept does not work well though as the ligature pushes down on the malleable reed right above this cut-out, deforming the reed. The wet reed bottom also expands into the table and further deforms the reed bottom, not allowing it to lay flat.
These did not have a chamber size marking, but had a slightly larger chamber than the later Meyer Brothers mouthpieces. Hence they also had a little less projection and punch. MeYer was written lengthwise on the back of these mouthpieces. A very rare version of this mouthpiece is a clear plastic version that is otherwise identical to the other "True Flex" models.
Vintage Meyer Metal Mouthpiece:
Ike Quebec played one of these on his Buescher Aristocrat tenor. My guess is it is an old Otto Link, Master Link blank with nicely fluted outer-walls. It is a very nicely finished mouthpiece that came in brass and solid silver with a slide on ligature. They even had a clarinet version that is very unique in that it has rounded inner-side walls and a round chamber just like their saxophone mouthpieces.
Meyer Brothers New York:
The most sought after of the Meyer mouthpieces is the Meyer Bros. New York model. These had a fat body and came in a small, medium, and large chamber. The small chambers were very bright, and the large chambers were very dark. Hence most people played on the medium chambers. The large or small chambers are still very good playing mouthpieces though. The finish work on these was excellent. They had very rounded inner side walls and a small roll over baffle at the tip. The Meyer Brothers mouthpieces are also known for having a very good quality hard rubber compound that produces a very rich sound.
Though officially the Meyer Bros. mouthpieces came in three chamber sizes, really there were four.
The fourth is another small chamber model. Both were marked as small chambers but one is much smaller than the other. The below top two photos show the two small chamber models. The top-left version has a very high floor and the back of the chamber forms a circle smaller than the bore. The top-right small chamber mouthpiece also has a high floor but the back of the chamber actually extends out to the same diameter as the bore.
The back of the chamber on both the medium and large chamber mouthpieces are the same size as the bore, the difference is in the height of the floor and the width between the two side walls inside the mouthpiece. Here the large chamber is significantly larger than the medium chamber. It is interesting though that the larger of the two small chambers, the medium chamber and the large chamber do look and play very similar.
By far the most popular model for alto is the medium chamber as it has the most traditional sound; however, all models play very well. The tenors are not nearly as popular as the altos; however, particularly the small and large chamber versions of the tenor mouthpieces are very special and unique playing mouthpieces. Both are quite rare though.
The Meyer Bros. mouthpieces came in two vintages. The early version had the chamber size marked on the shank UNDER the table and included the word 'chamber'. For example it would say, "MEDIUM CHAMBER.' The later version had the chamber size marked on the shank under the 'Meyer Bros' logo on the back of the mouthpiece. It only said, 'SMALL,' 'MEDIUM,' and 'LARGE.' It also had a slightly longer shank, though the entire length of the mouthpiece stayed the same.
Meyer Mouthpiece Boxes:
Meyer boxes only came in two variations. The True Flex mouthpieces and first Meyer Bros. mouthpieces came in the boxes shown below on the left. The later Meyer Bros mouthpieces came in the boxes shown in the right picture.
Meyer New York USA: Early Model:
These mouthpieces retained the rounded inner side walls and roll over baffle of the Meyer Bros. mouthpieces. However the body of these mouthpieces got thinner. The thin body produced a very nice resonance but sacrificed the solidity inherent to the Meyer Brothers mouthpieces. Many players prefer this resonant quality though.
The early model looks outwardly identical to the later NYUSA Meyers. The difference is in the interior. They have nicely rounded inner side-walls.
Meyer New York USA: Late Model:
These mouthpieces look identical on the outside to the earlier New York USA models. Inside they are very different. They have less of the rounded inner side-wall than the earlier model but do retain the same amount of baffle. The interior finish work is good, but not as good as the earlier model.
Meyer "Made in USA" Model:
These are the current production mouthpieces and were made at the Babbitt factory since the mid 1970s. They have a flatter inner side wall forming an almost triangular chamber. While they have changed from the vintage Meyers, they are the same general concept, and still a very good alto mouthpiece. They are still the standard of the alto mouthpiece industry.
Meyer New York Limited Edition Mouthpiece:
According to Meyer these mouthpieces were made to duplicate the older style New York mouthpiece. They use a different rubber compound than the current production pieces, and only a limited number of them were made. The chamber shape is more like the late New York USA models. The finish work on these mouthpieces is nicer than the standard model as well.