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5.00 based on 17 Customer Reviews17 Customer Reviews Write a Review
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Perfect for the all-around playing of students and pros alike.

Vandoren Optimum Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece
The Vandoren Optimum series of saxophone mouthpieces is designed to be more free blowing and responsive. This alto sax mouthpiece gives you accurate articulation and total control at all dynamic ranges with precise intonation.

These mouthpieces are available in two different facings, the AL3 and the AL4. The AL3 most closely resembles a C* facing and is perfect for students from beginner to intermediate and into advanced. The AL4 is based on the popular A27 from the V5 series. The design is a bit more open and better for professionals or serious, upper-level students. It is similar to C**.

Vandoren mouthpieces are known for their high, uniform quality—among the best of the mass produced. The Vandoren line is extensive. It covers all woodwinds and offers designs suited to a variety of playing and musical styles.

Order today with the no-risk assurance of our Total Satisfaction and Low Price Guarantees!

  • Material: Hard Rubber

Customer Reviews
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"best mouthpiece ever"

by Daniel May - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
8 years classical, jazz blues, rock, ect. Simi Valley, California
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

This mouth piece has the best response. It has the perfect tone quality for large ensembles, to soloists and duets. When partnered with the Vandorin optimum ligature there is no better combination.

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"Great Mouthpiece"

by Chris - 6/19/2012 3:46:17 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Music Education Major Classical, Jazz Terre Haute, Indiana
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Recently, I have played on the Selmer S80 C* Mouthpiece. After purchasing the Vandoren Optimum AL3 I immediately heard and felt a difference in my sound. My tone was much more desirable that the tone that the S80 gave me. I have a richer and darker tone which is great for classical music. I would recommend this mouthpiece to anyone that wants to improve how they sound while playing classical music.

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"Simply Outstanding Tone!"

by J Clarkson - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
All-State and several honor bands, high school bands primarily classical, also jazz Woodbury, MN
14 people out of 15 found this review helpful

I received the AL4 my sophomore year right before school ended. It produced the best tone I have ever had!! I played it with the Vandoren select reeds, strength 3 and the optimum and leather ligatures and it was a dream come true. For almost two years I had been searching for my unique sound and I achieved it with this mouthpiece. The tone was rich and extremely colorful. I couldn't believe I had never tried it before! Shortly I was getting way more compliments on my tone than I thought I deserved! My solos in honor bands drew a lot of attention to me from the other band members, the audience and even band directors from other schools! I play on a Yanagisawa 901 alto with the 992 neck and it sings like an angel. Then last Christmas my mom got me the AL3 and I experimented with that a little. I use that one more now because my private teacher and band director say that my tone is even clearer and more focused. I use 3 1/2 reeds with it because the 3s sounded too bright for me on that mouthpiece. Overall, the optimum series is a very wonderfully made mouthpiece that is sure to give you the saxophone sound of your dreams!

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"These mouthpieces are amazing!"

by B - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Jazz, Blues, and Classical WI
15 people out of 15 found this review helpful

I bought the Vandoren AL3 mouthpiece about two years ago. It was one of the best investments I've ever made. Not only did it make my playing more fun, but my sound has improved tremendously. I wouldn't recommend this mouthpiece to a beginner, but for an intermediate or higher level player, it's amazing. It's a great step from a stock set-up. I wouldn't recommend any other mouthpiece.

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"Best Investment Possible For All Sax Players on any level"

by Patrick Brady - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Assistant Band Director, Drum Corps Alum, Music Ed degree Classical Kentucky
52 people out of 56 found this review helpful

After 4 years of college I finally came across the Optimum Al3 and all my struggles were resolved. Working on tone is something that is very frustrating for all and automatically it produced a clean and dark tone that the C* and Larry Teal could not give me. Even though those two very popular mouthpieces are chosen by hundreds of thousands of players, this mouthpiece is more affordable and offers a much more rich tone that everyone is seeking. Don't waste your time with the expensive LT, go straight for this mouthpiece. I play them on soprano, alto, and tenor and have got tons of compliments on my rich dark tone.

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"Vandoren AL-3 alto mouthpiece."

by Chuck - 3/6/2013 10:54:14 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Hobbyist Classical Chester, VA
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I've been a sax player on and off for 35 years, but the last 6 years I have gotten serious with it. My main mouthpiece was the Selmer C* for classical. I saw the good reviews on this piece and ordered one to see for myself. This piece is noticeably easier to play than the C*. The sound may be a little quieter, but the tone is still nice. This would be the best piece for a student, in my opinion or a classical player.

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"Love it!"

by Lynsey S - 10/11/2010 11:38:41 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Alto Sax Student of 7 Years Classical Champlin, MN
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I purchased this mouthpiece because the Selmer S80 C* just wasn't doing it for me. I have to say, I wish I had got this one from the start! I have an AL4, and it is the best mouthpiece I have ever played on. The low register is deep and doesn't "honk" at all. The high register pops with ease, as well as altissimo. The sound is mellow and dark -perfect for a classical player. There is also little resistance. Not to mention it's great for the price. I play this with a size 3 V12 reed, but blue box also sounds good. I give my full recommendation for this mouthpiece!

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"Much better than the S80 C*"

by John - 8/26/2009 11:57:14 PM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
College Student Classical Bloomington, IN
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

I bought this mouthpiece recently at the advice of my professor and fellow students, and was amazed with the improvement over my old Selmer S80 C*. The tone is much more dark and centered, and the response is better. It took the brightness and edge out of typically bad-sounding notes like high B and C#. Likewise, the lowest notes on the horn got much better responses, and their tone qualities did not have a "honk". I was also able to get a better response in the lower dynamics throughout all ranges of the instrument. If you're not satisfied with your S80, then by all means, get this mouthpiece.

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"WOW - What a difference"

by Brad Lathrop - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
Making music since '69 Christian, Jazz, Classical Illinois
12 people out of 13 found this review helpful

If you are looking for a smooth, mellow, dark, rich tone you owe it to yourself to try this one. Like some of the other posts here, I ordered several mouthpieces from WWBW to do a side by side comparison. The Vandoren AL4 won hands-down! The tone I got from it was absolutely amazing. I continue to get compliments on my tone from amateur?s and pros alike. I recommend using it with a Rovner 1RL Dark ligature and Vandoren # 3 or better reeds. Plan on spending a week or so experimenting with the ligature placement. I found the best positioning for me was placing the ligature towards the back of the chamber then "cocking" the ligature forward and tightening. Have fun!

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"Beautiful Sound"

by Emily - 1/28/2009 9:45:19 AM  Share
Musical Experience: Style of Music: Hometown:
8 years on alto sax mostly classical, some jazz Vermont
34 people out of 37 found this review helpful

This is a GREAT mouthpiece - I've played a couple others but none of them give as good of a sound. I get a lot of compliments on my tone now and I think it has a lot to do with the Optimum. It's really clear, dark, smooth, rich, direct - it's great for classical but definitely not for jazz because it's so clean sounding. I got the AL3 and I've had it for about 2 1/2 years and it still sounds great, but the smaller facing is starting to feel like there's not enough flexibility, so I would definitely say for really experienced players or anyone playing on harder reeds (4 or above) that the AL4 would be the way to go.

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Other Pages: 1 2 
I live in Puerto Rico and I would like to know if the return policy about trying a mouthpiece for a couple of days apply to my country. Thanks
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I bought the Vandoren Optimum blemished option. Does this "defect" could affect the mouthpiece performance?
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Which of the used mouthpieces is the AL4?
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I am not sure about buying the Vandoren AL3 or AL4. Is there any way I could try them both and then send the one I prefer the least back?
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How long do mouthpieces take to ship to Michigan?
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Is this mouthpiece shipped in its original box and cover.
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Can you reccomend a good saxophone for students?
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Do I need to buy a ligator when I buy a mouthpiece. I have one from plastic mouthpiece. Can I use that one? Do I need to buy another one to play it?
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What experience level is this mouthpiece geared for?
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I could use some advice about saxophone mouthpieces. My daughter is a high school senior and will be using it for college marching band and concert band (not jazz) but is not a music major. She probably plays at an early advanced level. Vandoren has been recommended but we're not sure which one would be best. After reading reviews, the Optimum seems like a good candidate. Can you give us a reccomendation?
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I am looking to buy a new alto sax mouthpiece. I play only in concert bands. I am a retired teacher and I have been using a Meyer for 20 years. Thinking about the Vandoren Optimum. Which of the AL3 or AL4 would be best for an intermediate player looking for a rich responsive concert soun?
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Is the vandoren optimum alto saxophone mouthpiece made of metal?
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