Today I’m talking about the Saxmute One. I did a review of this, and a couple of other saxophone mutes a while ago. Do you remember?
But today, I’ve got this Saxmute One, but I’ve also got another sax mute in this box! There’s a story behind this.
In Sax School we’ve got thousands of saxophone learners, and they love their gear! So I like to do reviews of new saxophone gear to help them decide what they need, and what they don’t.
Sax Mute Review
My Sax Mute One Mods
But there were some issues with the Saxmute One, and maybe I’ve got too much spare time on my hands, but I ended up trying to find a better way to hold it together. I came up with the idea of some latches. I found some latches online, and I 3d printed some brackets. You can watch the whole video where I modify it here.
Now, a funny thing happened when I put that video out about my mods on the Saxmute One. I got an email from a guy called Max who lives in Russia. It turns out he makes the Sax Mute One. To be honest with you, I’d just done some research online and then I bought this one from sax.co.uk here in the UK.
Max reached out and said…“Hey, that’s interesting what you’re doing with the latches. Actually, we do something similar on our new models. Can I send you one?”
And that’s like how I ended up with a second one in my office.
The New Saxmute One
Now I’m kind of embarrassed to say that Max sent me this months ago, but I’ve been so busy, I haven’t literally had a spare second to open up this box. So that’s what today’s video is all about. I want to open this box and have a look at the new version of the Saxmute One and see how it works.
Even before I’ve unwrapped it I can tell there’s a bit of a difference. This is the alto version, so it’s smaller, and it looks like it’s not white either. The new model looks really fantastic – I love the colour.
Max’s latches look really neat. They’ve actually been riveted straight onto the body, on both sides.
I found that the real problem with the old model was that the only way the two sides were attached was with a little elastic band on the top. I just found when I was practicing, it would always fall apart. But with these clasps, it’s much better.
How the Saxmute One works
What makes the Saxmute One work really well is all of the deep foam on the inside. There’s an integrated hook for your neck strap for your saxophone, which can be a bit fiddly to get on. But the system is really good because it means the saxophone is actually suspended onto the case.
There are hand holes through the case, and a bracket inside the front where you can attach it to a stand.
Let’s put it in action and see what it sounds like. It comes with some really good instructions including how to fit it to the tall Hercules stand, which is the stand I’m using.
Setting it up
The front part of the Sax Mute One clips onto a standard Hercules stand. It’s a really simple system and it is quite secure. It’s a nice idea to use it on the stand. You can actually use it just on a shoulder harness, but having it in the stand is great, and I think in a practice room, it makes a lot more sense. You just need to adjust the height to the right level for you.
I mentioned that there is a little hook inside, for your neck strap. This is the tricky part. You need to connect that hook onto your saxophone. Your saxophone comes out through the top of the case.
Then you just need to put the two halves together, which is actually pretty straightforward. The saxophone goes into the stand and then you just clip the two halves together.
The problem I was having before is it used to come apart all the time. So I would be halfway through playing, and then half of it would fall off. But now this is really secure.
And actually, if you had the space, you could leave it set up like this on a stand in the corner of your music room. You could just walk up to it and play whenever you get a chance. You’ve really just got to get the height right, that’s comfortable for you. And then you put your hands in and off you go.
New Saxmute One: My Verdict
So, final thoughts on the new Saxmute One – I think it’s great. I’ve not used the alto mute before, and for me, the right-hand hole is a little bit high. I find myself just being a little bit uncomfortable with getting my arms in there.
But it’s really sturdy. And the main concern I had before was the fact that it wasn’t holding together. Max has nailed that, because with these clasps, It works perfectly. And now I wouldn’t need to go and modify it like I did before.
I also liked the colour. I think the gold and silver just looks a bit more interesting, than the big white egg that has always looked a bit weird in my practice room.
Why use a Sax Mute
The reason why you might be thinking about using one of these sax mutes is it means that you can practice anytime. Now I’m really lucky because I actually have a music room in my garden. In fact, part of the reason why it’s taken me so many months to get around to review this is because I’ve spent the last six months building this studio. It means I can pretty much play anytime of the day or night and not disturb anybody.
But for decades, I’ve always practiced inside my house, which means disturbing your family, your children, the dog, everybody!
The Saxmute One means that you can play without really annoying people. And it also means if you live in an apartment, or where you are just around lots of people, then you’ve got a lot more freedom.
I actually think it’s brilliant. It does make the low notes, like the low B flat, a little bit more stuffy, but I think that’s a small price to pay for being able to practice a lot more.
Choosing a Sax Mute
Now, if you’re looking at sax mutes, there are some alternatives to this. Quite a few of our Sax School students use the E-Sax Mute, which is a bit fancier than this. It’s got some electronics in it, so you can play backing tracks and use headphones and so on. It’s pretty clever, but it is very expensive. And for me really, I wanted something that was a bit less expensive so that it was just a tool I could have in my back pocket should I need it.
Because if I’m honest, I don’t really want to use a mute any more than I need to, but if I do need to practice and I’m worried about disturbing people, this is a really handy piece of kit to have.
My apologies to Max, for taking so long to make this video, but thanks so much for sending the new Sax Mute One for my to try. I really do love your new latches.
If you haven’t seen the other videos about sax mutes, because I think it’s important to learn about the different options before you make a decision on which sax mute to buy.
There are lots of other useful articles and resources on my website that will help you to improve your saxophone skills, or to learn about gear, or making mouthpiece choices and more. And if you really want to dig in deep with making good progress in your saxophone, click this link to try Sax School with our 14 day free trial.