Education · Gear Review

Faxx : Mute Review

The Faxx brand may already be known to many of you. It has a reputation for reliable accessories at a reasonable price. I have recommended the Faxx mouthpieces to young students for many years as they offer comfort and quality at a price point that is appealing to parents! However I was yet to try any of their mutes until I was sent a box by American Way Marketing who own the Faxx brand.

Here is a run down on the box’s contents!…

Compact Aluminium Practice Mute

I own quite a few practice mutes and must have tried dozens of them over the years. Each one requires you to make a compromise in some way. I have a favourite mute for playing as softly as possible so that it is barely audible – it is super quiet but the intonation is tough down low. I have another for general practice where I want good tuning and response – it is however too loud for some sneaky blowing at the side of the stage where you don’t want to be heard. This Compact Aluminium Practice Mute from Faxx is brilliant for travelling. It is small enough to store in the bell of the horn without taking up additional space in the case, but it also blows surprisingly well.

The intonation is even across the range and although quite a resistant mute, still allows you to blow in an honest way rather than constantly over-blowing. I like this mute. It is reassuringly robust, clearly well-designed and made and retailing at around $45, gives you the value that you would expect from Faxx.

Aluminium Straight Mute

This is a well-made, sturdy all aluminium mute with great corks. We often underestimate the importance of good corks to the fit in the bell as well as the overall sound. This model is also available with a copper bottom as well as in all copper.

The blow is responsive at quiet dynamics as well as having a lots of lovely bright overtones when playing forte. There is also a really satisfying ‘bite’ to the attack at stronger dynamics, while still keeping the core of the sound. These make a really great addition to any pro orchestral section, but at a price point to suit students and pros alike – around $40!

Aluminium Harmon Mute

There are a number of Harmon style mutes in the Faxx range. This traditional long body mute, a short bodied harmon, and also the bubble style harmon that is reviewed below. All of these are available in both aluminium and copper, and you will now not be surprised to learn that they sell at a fraction of the cost of many of the other brands!

This traditional harmon mute, like the straight and practice mutes above, is well-made, sturdy and fits a variety of bell flares very well. With tube out, it is easy to achieve that smoke jazz club sound and responds particularly well with close miking. With tube in it is a completely different beast! The volume and projection are exceptional and makes a great wah-wah!

Aluminium Bubble Harmon Mute

Until now, I had never really given much thought to how the body shape affects the sound. The difference between this and the model above is huge. Even with tube out, this is an incredible resonant mute, so much so that you can feel the vibrations coming back through your hands while playing. Projection is great and it compares really favourably with my normal aluminium bubble mute from another more expensive brand!

These great value and great performing mutes are now commonly available across the UK, the USA and farther afield in most good music stores. I strongly recommend that you give them a try – these are far more than just student mutes!

To find more information on the full Faxx range and also where you can find a dealer near you, please visit American Way Marketing.


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