This weekend my buddy Damien Mastersen came into town as he does several times a year. A few years ago I tried to convince him to get rid of his Jumbo Java 8 and get an old Link or Meyer. He first tried one of Brian Powell's copies of my Link, but that didn't work for him. Next he went through a dizzying array of vintage hard rubber alto pieces with very little luck. Recently he settled on a newer Meyer 7. He came to Portland this time with a Vintage NY Meyer for me to try. He had it out on trial and was going to trade several of his pieces PLUS $800 for it. The total price for the Meyer was $1100!!!
It wasn't even original!
It was a 4 that had been opened up to a 7. I told him that usually only original NY Meyers go for over a thousand, not refaced pieces. I really was expecting and wanted to be able to play it and tell him that it wasn't worth $1100, and that he could find a better piece for less.
That didn't happen.
It was one of the best alto mouthpiece I have ever played in my life. It was a little brighter than my Link but the thing screamed. It had a perfectly centered tone and it played effortlessly top to bottom. In fact, it made me want to open my Slant Link up a little more to play like it. I instantly knew that Damien would never find a better mouthpiece no matter how hard he looked, he knew it too.
I was in shock that there were pieces out there that played that well and weren't even original.
When I gave it back to I said," You're screwed."
He had no choice but to spend $1100 on a small piece of hard rubber. If he let it go in hopes to find something cheaper he would always kick himself for passing it up.
After all, what is $1100 when it comes to your saxophone sound?