Repair Rates Instruments for
& Piccolos Mouthpieces
Claude Lakey "Apollo"
Aluminum - Black Nickel
8* - 0.120" (3.05mm) tip opening.
27mm facing length.
SOLD - Jan. 2018
You're not really going to read all this, are you?
These Aluminum mpces have the same facing and chamber as the Lakey Apollo Brass mouthpieces.
The Lakey Aluminum mpces have a 'Black Nickel" finish. The nickel-plating serves multiple purposes.
- Durability - The hard nickel plating protects the softer aluminum.
- Non-toxic - The nickel shell prevents the player from sucking on a piece of aluminum for hours on end.
Brass mouthpieces are silver-plated or gold-plated for the same reason.
Until they can make them from solid gold, everything else is a pale substitute.
Stainless steel is too hard to work cheaply.
- Cosmetic - It is lovely.
They are very pretty, but it was hard to photograph them and accurately get the color to come across on this webpage.
This photo of the aluminum alto mpce
is a pretty good representation of the color. Not exactly chocolatey colored.
Excellent balance of a fundamental core, but with really good projection. Can handle high volume (amplitude) while retaining timbre characteristics.
This larger tip opening (0.120") has a dark tone with a balance of warm overtones that supports projection...well-balanced timbre. Easy to control, very responsive.
Using my postal scale, which is supposedly accurate to 0.2 ounces, this nickel-plated aluminum mouthpiece weighs in at 1.8 ounces (for my metric friends, that
converts to 51 gms). Its brother, a goldplated brass mouthpiece, also a tenor, weighs in at 5.4 oz. (153 grams).
Consider for a moment that 153 gms is exactly three times as much at 51 gms.
Now, by way of contrast try multiplying 1.8 ounces by 3. You can figure it out using logic more easily than using math and come up with 5.4 oz.
But the point is that the brass mouthpiece weighs 3 times what the aluminum one does...this despite the fact they are as near to identical in shape, size and
conformation as modern machinery can make them.
It all begs the question...why? Why bother to make two mouthpieces absolutely identical except for the material from which they are made?
I think one reason they make 'em out of aluminum is because they can. Hard telling if they started by making one out of brass or one out of aluminum. But
once the CNC machine has the design, it can mill them out of any material that has similar working characteristics.
These Lakey Apollo mouthpieces are CNC machined in a shop in the Pacific NW which also supplies precision parts for Boeing Aircraft. These guys are probably
more used to making things out of aluminum than they were out of brass. Just guessing.
Some materials are too expensive, some are too hard, and some probably have other problems.
Delrin plastic must have similar characteristics that allow it to be worked.
That is why Ponzol has his Silverline mouthpieces. It has the characteristics
necessary to make a decent mouthpiece.
Now, I can tell you that the brass one has a darker, rounder tone with a strong core; while the aluminum has a more lyrical, sweeter timbre with
a singing tone that carries
to the back of the balcony. But that don't amount to a hill o' beans.
Why don't you come in to try them...back to back...and see what you think?
I am making the assumption that there has been absolutely no handwork involved in producing these Apollo mouthpieces, or the Wanne mouthpieces for that matter.
I also assume that these mouthpieces are milled (is that the right word?) on a 5-axis CNC machine, same as what Wanne uses.
They are, in a word, consistent.
It all comes down to the mouthpiece design. I believe the design of these Lakey mouthpieces to be the equal of the Wanne Durga mouthpieces. Both are fine mouthpieces,
But the Lakey costs $225 compared to the Durga at $750, an eye-opening if not "enlightening" price! It'll enlighten the money right out of your wallet.
I added a picture of the Durga below. The photo is from the Wanne website. This is a real nice shot...you can see into the throat. I wish I had the expertise
and the equipment to put out such nice photos.
But look at the photo of the brass Lakey below the Durga. Click on that thumbnail and see if it doesn't look like a freakin' nuclear reactor.
Again, I've strayed from the point, but the point is...the Durga HAS to look like that. We are talking jewelry grade prices for jewelry grade appearance and
And, as long as you've read this far...have you considered it odd that Wanne has named his mouthpieces after Indian gods (gods?) while the Lakey is
named after the Roman god Apollo?
Doesn't it just make you long for a mouthpiece named "Dirt Dog" or "Spike" or something you can relate to?