These are the best saxophone mouthpieces I’ve ever played. I tried one back in 1990 or so and have been using them ever since. At present I own 2 of them, the Michael Brecker model and the King Curtis model.
They were the rage when they came out because the maker Dave Guardala made them himself for Michael Brecker so they became well-know immediately. I’m not totally sure what happened to Mr Guardala but he was or still is serving time in jail for some problems he had concerning his business.
Nevertheless, he made some great mouthpieces and I’m happy to own 2 of them! The new ones available these days are obviously not made by him but only carry the name. I have noticed they are putting out the most popular models he started with which are the MB (Michael Brecker), the King (King Curtis), the Crescent (John Coltrane), and the Studio.
Each model is known for having it’s own sound which comes close to the name of the player it’s named after. So the MB one has a big, modern jazz sound, the King a bit edgy and brighter, the Crescent a bit darker.
You can’t get different sizes within each model, just choose the model and either gold or silver plating available on a few of them.
My personal Guardala story…
Mr Guardala isn’t taking phone orders these days but he did way back when I placed my order. He tried talking me into using Vandoren Jazz Cut reeds. I didn’t go for it cause I had tried Vandoren reeds before and didn’t like them. He persisted on these and I finally said just send the mouthpiece, I’ll worry about the reeds myself.
When the mouthpiece came in the mail and I opened the box I had to laugh because there was a Vandoren Jazz Cut #3 reed set up on the mouthpiece by Dave. I though, man, this guy sure is persistant about these reeds on his mouthpiece. Well, of coarse I gave it a try and since that day haven’t used anything else. This is the best mpc/reed combination I’ve ever tried. I have tried those same reeds with other mouthpieces but they just didn’t work the same.Thanks Dave Guardala!
Yes that’s right, your mouthpiece and reed combination will make a bigger difference in your sound than your saxophone. Of course we all look for a good horn that’s well made and is working properly but the mouthpiece is were the air hits the road. This is where first contact is made so your reed and mouthpiece combination play the most important part in the tone you will produce through the other end of your horn.
The Dukoff X7 and Otto Link 7 are the 2 mouthpieces I had the most luck with next to the Dave Guardala.
Here’s a link that has all the Guardala mouthpieces