Masahiko Goto began playing saxophone and joined a local community band in 1990. He gradually became unsatisfied with over-the-counter mouthpieces because they were of low quality. He then decided to start creating mouthpieces himself from scratch, and founded Gottsu in 2005.
The meaning of Gottsu
The company was named “Gottsu” after Masahiko Goto’s nickname during his adolescence.
To make the best saxophone mouthpieces in the world
We believe “music” is the time musicians share joy with audiences. We are hoping to support those times with our mouthpieces, so we give our whole hearts to carefully making each and every one of them.
Comments from Masahiko Goto
Playing saxophone brings joy and happiness not only to players but also to listeners, with beautiful sounds and melodies that cheer you up at times. I think those are wonderful moments. My goal will be achieved not only when we make mouthpieces but also when musicians perform with Gottsu mouthpieces on stage and share happiness with their audiences. I am so proud to support those moments with my mouthpieces.
Masahiko Goto believes that a good quality of sound on saxophone is determined by the mouthpiece. As an analogy, if instruments were the body of a car, mouthpieces would be the engine which determines the quality and performance. That is why we at Gottsu select materials by ourselves, and take “in-house factory” and “hand-finishing” seriously.
Masahiko Goto believes that the saxophone sounds like vocalization and that the mouthpiece should also imitate the human voice. Therefore, all Gottsu models are the outcome of his pursuit of human vocal harmonic overtones.
Learn from the Past
Masahiko Goto has studied various mouthpieces while refacing them, and is especially impressed by vintage mouthpieces which were made during the golden era of Jazz (1930s-50s). He is able to see the maker’s precise craftsmanship in each of the vintage mouthpieces. The Gottsu vintage model exists to create a fusion between vintage mouthpieces and modern music.
G-Tune is a special facing technology developed by Masahiko Goto. It is performed on all Gottsu mouthpieces during the final handcrafting process. Thanks to G-Tune Technology, all Gottsu mouthpieces make beautiful tones and have great ease of blowing.
The thickness of the tip rail and side rail is an important aspect of the mouthpiece because it has the greatest influence on sound quality. Masahiko Goto exhaustively determines the best thickness of tip and side rail for each Gottsu model. We normally make over 100 test mouthpieces to find the best tip and side rail for each model.
Selecting the right material is an important step in making good mouthpieces. Gottsu carefully selects material for each model, and only the highest quality material is utilized for Gottsu mouthpieces.
If you look at vintage metal mouthpieces, the brass looks to be the same as in current metal mouthpieces. However, the composition is different. Gottsu has studied the composition of many renowned, vintage mouthpieces from 1930s, and selected the most similar metal composition to vintage brass. For the Metal HL 2018, specifically, Gottsu selects custom-made Tin.
The most important characteristic for a mouthpiece’s material is to be able to resonate with various timbres, not only a specific timbre. Ebonite (hard rubber) is the best workable material for that sound resonance. We collected and studied samples of hard rubber from all over the world, and selected the highest quality hard rubber. In addition, the material used in the VI marble and Soloist marble is Gottsu’s own custom-made hard rubber material.
Masahiko Goto studied programming and design for 8 hours every day for one year in order to be able to design and make high quality mouthpieces himself in the Gottsu factory. The designs are made with a 3D rendering software, and are then programmed into a machine which sculpts the mouthpieces. Gottsu takes quality seriously for all mouthpieces, so Masahiko Goto does in-house design and programming for all Gottsu models.
Gottsu utilizes a “shaving-out” machining approach for both rubber and metal materials, which has been refined over the years to a high standard. Gottsu has implemented a new, 5-axis machining technology, which allows us to accurately shave the mouthpiece out of ebonite and metal sticks. Even with an identical mouthpiece design, the sound will change if the shaving process changes. All current Gottsu models are the result of much trial and error due to the degree of difficulty in finding the best way to shave out a mouthpiece.
After the machining, all mouthpieces are delicately finished by hand and tested by Masahiko Goto. This process promises Gottsu quality to all of our customers. The mouthpieces, which are finished with Japanese precision, are like a work of art and easy to blow. Masahiko Goto always tests new models in his band to be sure that the mouthpiece is well balanced with other instruments before introducing it as a new model.
Mouthpieces Making Videos
Sepia Tone VI Marble Alto
Sound Comparing with Gottsu Models
You can compare sounds difference with Gottsu models.