Posted 4/Dec 2010 at 21:39
by in Music & Sound / read by 2465 people

Geoff Lawton 8 Star B Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece Review

Lawton mouthpieces have been around for a good few decades now.

This one was manufactured by Geoff Lawton Macclesfield, UK and over the years these pieces have become increasingly more popular. Players such as Ernie watts, James Carter, Steve Neff, Sonny Rollins, Dave Bishop, Johnny Dankworth, John Williams,  to just name a few have at one point in their career tried their hand (or rather mouth) on a Lawton. 

Lawton mouthpieces are made from the best materials and come with at least 3 decades of experience in mouthpiece making. Geoff was always very interested in mouthpieces and never stopped trying new things to make them sound better.

All pieces were handfinished. Stainless steel mouthpieces were made from surgical stainless steel, and ebonite mouthpieces were created from a solid rod and shipped with a Lawton single-screw ligature and cap. They had a medium roll-over baffle and were made out of bronze.

Lawton mouthpieces are very nicely styled indeed and they have enormous power potential. Have you ever heard of Dukoff mouthpieces? Double that noise, make it a bit darker, and you have the quality of a Lawton, and mind you I am only talking from my experience of the the Model B, with a medium chamber and baffle for a briliant full tone. This model was especially designed for projection. And boy, does it project. It projects the dust off the furniture and the snow off the roof. The 8* tip opening on this tenor piece is an 0.115. 

Personal experience

As Jay Thomas would say, 'Cats and Kitties in mouhpiece land', this is a great piece but not for the faint hearted. If you play jazz, you had better have fantastically controlled embouchure to keep this mouthpiece under control, even though you can whisper subtones with it, you need to have the chops and the breath. If you play Rock 'n Roll or pop and need to deliver screeching solos over 4 bars, then this is your piece to make an impact. 

As with any mouthpiece, you need to try it for a good while, play around with reeds and if it doesn't feel right, either stick with it and make it work or put it away for a while as it might suit you later on when you have a more developed embouchure or when you are simply a different player and it does suit you. 

Conclusion

I would put this mouthpiece into the bracket of a mix between a modern Otto Link 8* and a Dukoff or Guardala mouthpiece, it's loud, has good intonation, projects like a bullet out of a gun and really challenges the player to deliver without hesitation. 

The time you put into working with this mouthpiece will eventually be paid back to you with a great and versatile tone.

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