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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000884.txt from 1998/03

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: Re: Another note on Chedeville Revamps...
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 11:45:12 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Shouryu Nohe <>
Date: Friday, March 13, 1998 9:20 PM
Subject: Re: Another note on Chedeville Revamps...

>Unfortunately, my experience had been exactly the opposite.
>When I was using my medium faced mouthpiece, I was playing a V12 strength
>4.5. My prof hands me a box of mpieces - about 10 - 12 of them. My job
>was to find one that worked for me. He instructed me to use three
>different reeds on each one - a normal one for me, one a little too stiff
>for me, and one a little too soft. Among all of those that I experimented
>with were the Gennusa GE, a Portnoy, an M13, a Gigliotti (don't remember
>what kind), and a Borbeck. All of these sounded great with a softer reed.

I can't argue against your experiences with the mouthpieces you've named or
the reed decisions you've had to make to play on them. Only, perhaps, your
understanding of why the reed decisions were necessary. You don't say what
kind of mouthpiece you started with. You've used the term "medium faced" to
describe it (I think you used that description in the other post I was
responding to before." Ordinarily, people aren't talking about the length,
but rather about the tip opening when they use that description. I'm curious
about the length measurement of your original mouthpiece. Most length
measurements I've ever worked with or seen described are taken with an Eric
Brand measuring glass. The kit he used to sell (I think someone on the list
said Jack Spratt still sells it) came with a glass gauge and several feeler
gauges (like the ones you use for spark plug gaps) in graded thicknesses.
The longest measurement is taken by sliding the thinnest, a .0015 inch (.037
mm) feeler, down between the facing and the glass, which is marked in .5
(one-half) mm increments. Thus, a length (with the .0015" feeler) of 34 is
equal to 17 mm. The standard French facing when Brand's kit became popular
30 or 40 years ago, at least the ones that anyone around here in
Philadelphia was using, ranged from 32 to 34 (16-17 mm). Gennusa, Portnoy,
M13, the couple of Greg Smiths and Morgans that I have measured, are, as far
as I know (anyone who's gotten different measurements, please correct me if
I'm wrong) all in the neighborhood of 17 mm, all having been modeled on
those older French style mouthpieces. I haven't myself seen a 16mm facing in
many years. The only modern "Ched Copy" type mouthpiece I've measured that
is significantly off the 17mm standard length is the Gigliotti P, which is
deliberately longer (most of mine measure 37 on Brand's scale) with the
intention of producing an easier response while allowing the use of stiffer
reeds. But except for the P facing (which stands for Personal because it's
the one he ended up playing on) even all the Gigliottis were, last time I
checked, 17mm lengths. In theory, at any rate, the shorter the vibrating
length of the reed, the more effort (basic physics - leverage) is should
take to move the tip a given distance. Thus, the blowing resistance ought to
result from the combination of the length and the tip opening if all else is
kept the same.

In practice, of course, we add a third variable, the reed strength. Internal
measurements also add or subtract resistance to the actual passage of air
and can affect the reed choice as well. I don't mean to be combative. I'd be
very curious to know if you have length measurements for any of the
mouthpieces you tried or are currently using. I'm always curious about which
makers are doing things differently. Most of the differences in mouthpieces
within the standard French tradition are in the tip opening (which also
affects the rate at which the facing curves away from the reed) and the
internal measurements (baffle, chamber, throat). Any of these can
significantly affect the resistance of a mouthpiece and force a particular
choice of reed. Maybe all of the above is more than anyone wanted to think
about in connection with this thread, since ultimately the individual
measurements aren't so important as how the mouthpiece sounds and responds.

Karl Krelove

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