1970’s American craftsmanship meets 2012 tonal concepts, the results? An in your face, no holds barred baritone sound that will hold its own against just about anything in a modern band.
First Impressions: This piece dates back to 1974 and the bite plate shows it. Despite this the rails and table are true and in near perfect condition. The person I bought it from was the original owner and had played for decades. This piece has a very slim mouth feel.
Ligature: The stock Brilhart 2 screw ligature was slightly stretched and could not tighten as much as I prefer. Instead of the stock ligature I swapped on a generic 2 screw soprano ligature. The act of tightening a reed to the mouthpiece gently formed the soprano ligature to the mouthpiece replicating the original.
Reed friendliness: This piece loved every reed at my disposal and played well with a 2.5 – 3 reed on every brand I tried. After my debacle with an internet ordered Otto link its nice to have a mouthpiece that wants to play on just about any reed available.
Response: This thing really barks when asked to. It seems to lack some of the subtleties you get from a lower baffle piece. This is not a bad thing per se. Articulation is easy up and down the horn with only a slight bit of resistance. Just enough to push against while playing.
Tonal/Dynamic Flexibility: Depending on the reed choice this mouthpiece is either a sledge hammer or rock hammer. I can with great concentration and relaxation coax out subtone but this piece feels like it wants to rock. As a long time Ronnie Cuber fan I love the “Cuberish” tone I can generate with this piece. Of course I don’t think that is a product of the mouthpiece alone but this piece combined with my physical make up and tonal concept can really make this howl.
Other: This mouthpiece has a very slender body and would great for a tenor player making the leap to baritone. The players embouchure will make a natural leap from metal tenor mouthpiece to this piece.
Intonation: This piece plays well in tune, when I’m in tune that is.
Take Away: This is my second Brilhart Level Air piece but my first on baritone. This piece is my new go to mouthpiece when I am playing with amplified instruments. Compared to my Rico Metalite this piece has more depth to the tone. The best part is that these vintage mouthpieces can be had a very reasonable prices on ebay and at local music shops.
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