Located in Kansas City, Missouri

Bell Rings

Saxophone muting has been common among classical saxophonists for decades. The traditional saxophone mute is made from a curtain ring or something similar wrapped in a soft fabric such as velvet, and is generally tilted vertically. The primary goals of placing this type of apparatus in the bell is to lower the pitch of the notoriously sharp low Bb and to dampen the brash timbre of this range of the instrument. My design is different, so Ive decided that calling this product a mute doesnt accurately describe what I have intended it to do. This is why I call my product a bell ring instead.

There are a handful of advantages I think my bell rings offer over a traditional cloth mute. The first thing people notice is that the bell rings are not wrapped with fabric to dampen the sound of the instrument, so the overall volume, presence, and responsiveness of the tone is retained. In my opinion, adding fabric to the inside of a wind instrument is counterproductive acoustically because it reduces the efficiency of the standing wave by absorbing energy. My bell rings achieve the same primary objectives as a traditional cloth mute without limiting the tone color. I also have noticed that many cloth mutes are quite thick and can lower the pitch of low Bb too mucheven when turned vertically as they most commonly are. This is one reason I have developed several different sizes. Players can fine tune exactly how much they want to lower the pitch of low Bb and decide what size offers the best response and tone color for them. Many traditional mutes are also at risk of inadvertently tipping horizontally during performance, which the player doesnt notice until they play an egregiously flat low Bb. Bell rings are designed to fit horizontally and stay in place, but many people also choose to use them turned vertically which is also fine (especially with plus size rings). They tend to stay in place regardless of which way theyre turned because the material has a good grip on the bell.
Additionally, while traditional saxophone mutes are primarily intended for classical saxophonists, I strongly believe that this design is an equally viable option for jazz players. A cloth mute absorbs and dampens the tone, but a bell ring tunes, focuses, and enhances the sound. I believe every saxophonist has something to gain by using a bell ring.

Important Note: Tenor Bell Rings have been resized for better tone and response.

After a long testing phase of new tenor bell ring sizes aided by the input of many established tenor players, these new sizes offer the same intonation benefits while offering improved response and tone compared to the previous sizes. The new sizes also allow for a greater range of options to fit more players needs.

We are so confident that these new sizes perform better for most players that we have decided to completely redesignate tenor bell ring sizes.

In our testing, the new sizes O and II were the most popular. We consider size O the safest option, particularly if a player is worried about a bell ring impacting their tone or low register response too much. Size II was especially popular among classical saxophonists, as it provides a pleasantly dark-sounding low B-flat without adversely affecting response in the low register.

Please refer to the conversion chart below to see how the new sizes compare to the old sizes. The main difference with the new tenor bell rings is that we have decided to make the standard sizes thinner. We have decided to make many of the old sizes still available under a different roman numeral designation with a + signifying a thicker ring, for those who may still want to have access to those.

The New TPU Bell Rings
Bell rings will now be offered in a new material optionA flexible 3D printed TPU (thermoplastic poly urethane). This material and manufacturing method is excellent for saxophone bell rings. Compared to the original bell rings that I am still offering (made from vinyl), they perform essentially the same. The look, of course, is distinctly different. The 3D printing process offers greater consistency in roundness/shape, labeling, and are overall more efficient for me to produce as a one-man business since I dont have to do nearly as much production by hand. I will continue to offer the original bell rings for alto and tenor. The original bell rings for soprano have been officially discontinued.

The TPU bell rings are available in 10 colors: black, white, gray, blue, red, yellow, pistachio green, dark gray, translucent blue, and natural (semitranslucent). The sizing options will remain the same as with the original bell rings for alto and tenor. With the new possibilities of this new material, there will likely be new innovations from Peak Performance Woodwinds to come!

I make pretty much any color or color combination you might want. I also offer clear and matte surface finishes. No price difference with these as I hand make every bell ring to order. Four color limit on standard thickness alto bell rings, and six color limit on tenor bell rings and + size alto bell rings.

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Peak Mutes by Peak Performance Woodwinds

Peak Mutes by Peak Performance Woodwinds

Peak Mutes by Peak Performance Woodwinds

Peak Mutes by Peak Performance Woodwinds

Peak Performance Woodwinds Bell Ring Colors
I currently have several sizes available for players to explore, and Im continuing to experiment with and develop new sizes. There are two variables in delineating size. First is the length to which the tube is cut, which changes the resulting depth at which the bell ring sits in the bell.
Depth is indicated by a roman numeral. Larger roman numerals indicate a shorter tube which results in a ring that fits deeper in the bell (greater number=greater change to the tone). Generally, a bell ring that fits deeper will lower the pitch of low Bb more and have a slightly different effect on the resonance and response of the low register. There seems to be a sweet spot to be found for each player and setup, especially when it comes to balancing the ideal pitch of low Bb and the improved response of low B.

The second variable of sizing is the thickness of the tube. A bell ring made from a thicker tube will lower the pitch and darken the tone more without having to fit as deep in the bell. Many players find that they prefer moving to a thicker bell ring instead of having one that fits especially deep. A thicker bell ring is delineated with a plus+. Additionally, there are thinner bell rings delineated with a minus ' - .
Bell Ring Sizing at Peak Performance Woodwinds

Selecting a bell ring without being able to test them in person can be a challenge, as there are currently seven different sizes for alto alone. I have settled on two "standard" sizes of alto bell ring that seem to work well for most peoplesizes I and I+. Size I is made from the tube thickness and length of the original design, and is standard because it improves tone, pitch, and response while being fairy noninvasive. You cant go wrong with size I. Size I+ is made from a thicker tube than size I and its tube is cut to the same length (due to the thicker tube, size I+ has a slightly shallower fit than size I). If someone desires to try two safe but different options, I recommend ordering sizes I and I+. I have also been getting very positive feedback from many players on size 0, which is the least invasive size. If you seek to change the tone of low B-flat as little as possible while improving pitch and response, I recommend trying this size (especially if you have tried traditional cloth saxophone mutes and disliked them). Additionally, for the player who would like to order every size to find their ideal size, I accept returns for full refunds (buyer pays shipping). Please get in touch with me if you plan to return any bell rings.

For soprano, there are currently four sizes. Size I is standard, and is the largest size that fits easily in most popular soprano saxes, such as models by Selmer Paris and Yamaha. Size 0 is slightly larger for larger belled sopranos (such as Yanagisawa and Eastman sopranos). Sizes 00 and 000 are even larger to accommodate the significantly larger bell diameters of curved sopranos and tipped bell/saxello style sopranos. Some people prefer the effect of a bell ring that fits deeper, such as size II or III, regardless of what make/model instrument they play--it mostly comes down to personal taste. As a default, I recommend first trying the least invasive sizes (those that fit nearest to the bell flare), then try deeper sizes if more darkening or pitch lowering is desired.
For tenor, I currently offer sizes 0, I, II, III, IV, 0+, I+, II+, III+, and IV+. I designated size 0 as the "standard" size because all players who were testing my products felt it was a great option for everyone desiring to lower the pitch of their low Bb without negatively impacting the sound. I feel that it is generally a safe option for players who don't want to order every single size to try. Size II is particularly popular with classical players - it offers a dark and controlled low Bb while still offering good response.

Players who often switch mouthpieces may find that their preferences in a bell ring are affected by their equipment. For instance, I once prefered a size III alto bell ring when playing my classical setup, but when I switched to my jazz setup I noticed that low B was less responsive. Switching to a size II brought low B back to life, and lately I'm gravitating more to size 0 with my jazz alto setup, and 00 for my jazz tenor setup.
I value feedback from players! Please do not hesitate to share any thoughts and opinions you may wish to share with me after trying my products. In the past this has lead me to the creation of custom sizes, which I am happy to provide. For instance, I have once made a size 00- alto bell ring, which used a thinner tube and a conservative fit in the bell for minimal pitch lowering. Many of the sizes I currently list as options began as custom sizes. If you are interested in custom sizing, please contact me directly!
Soprano: $15
000 (curved and tipped bell sopranos)
00 (curved and tipped)
0 (max size for Yanagisawa, Eastman, & other larger bell sopranos)
I (standard)

Alto:$19 individual
I (standard)
Tenor: $22
0 (standard)
Sopranino: $15
Email me directly with sopranino orders

Bass Deep Bell Insert: $30
Email me directly with Bass Deep Bell Insert orders