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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000738.txt from 1998/04

From: "Jason Hsien" <>
Subj: Re: Mouthpiece Information
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 07:52:50 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Lantis <>

| I'm a 9th grade Average to Above-Average clarinet player who will be
|attending High School next year and playing in the Marching Band. I have a
|Artley 17S clarinet with the original mouthpiece that came with it. Dietze
|Music (a local music store) says that I should buy a new mouthpiece as soon
|as possible. They suggested a Vandorean which would run $60-$70. I was
|wondering what other people think. Please send me your suggestions and how
|much it would cost. I would also like to know how big of improvement it
|would make in my skill, am I better off waiting until later in High School
|or investing in one now? Also, I'm looking for a good catalog company to
|order it from. I would greatly appreciate any assistance anyone could

Well... *THE BEST* catalog company, IMO, is the woodwind and the brasswind.
You can order a catalog from them at their web site
or if you can't access the world wide web, call them toll free at
1-800-348-5003. They usually have prices that are _up to_ (not definate) 50%
lower than you'll find at the average music store, and even with S&H, it's
still really cheap!

Now, in regards to your mouthpiece and instrument. I really don't like
Artley, they don't play well, but Vandoren mouthpieces are excellent. I
would try them out at your music store, see which ones work the best with
your instrument-reed-ligature combination before you buy from WW & BW.

But, you have to remember that a good mouthpiece doesn't guarantee a good
sounding horn, just as a good horn doesn't guarantee a mouthpiece that works
on it. It's all a big agreement. You could have a world class Leblanc
Symphonie and a worn out Buffet mouthpiece (I would like to kill all Buffet
mouthpieces in the world. How can such great clarinet makers make such awful
mouthpieces?!?!) and sound terrible. You could have a new Damark-brand
no-name clarinet you got from Damark "For the unbelievably low price of
$69.99!" and a Selmer C95 and sound exceptional (although I doubt it, with
those dumb Damark clarinets)

Most people buy a Vandoren B45, which cost $52 from WW&BW. They are
effective, work well, and are budget friendly. The B46, which some
listmembers have been raving about costs $100. Whether or not you should buy
one now or later is up to you. If you plan on continuing into college and
into a career in music (or maybe just play in a community band or something
where music will still be a part of your life after high school), perhaps
now would be the best time. If you aren't sure and want to think about it,
or you doubt you'll continue after college, you might want to stick with
this mouthpiece, because you really don't have a pressing need for a new
mouthpiece except for short term gratification and then it'll be put away in
storage or sold.

But, I know that you are a student, as am I, and budgets are tight,
especially for the grade-school and college musician. I'd like to know more
about how you are with your Artley and if you've tried other clarinets? I
only know of one person who enjoyed playing their Artley, and that was
because she hadn't tried others before.

Some of my suggestions, if you'd like to try low-budget high quality horns
are (and you don't have to buy, unless it's one of the Leblancs. Most local
music stores let you try out a horn, whether or not you plan on buying one
at the moment):

Wood: Buffet E-11 ($519 from WW&BW)
Leblanc Normandy 4 ($500 from WW&BW)
Leblanc Noblet 40 ($616 from WW&BW)

Plastic: Buffet B-12 ($219 from WW&BW)
Leblanc 7214 ($298 from WW&BW)
Leblanc 7216 ($315 from WW&BW)

Okay, enough with the advertisement... Anyways, if you are happy with your
Artley, stick with it and don't give it up! I've had my Bundy for almost 7
years (I finally bought a Buffet after my upper joint snapped in two.
Fortunately, Selmer replaced it for free, but I felt more secure with a
newer clarinet) Also, if you do have the money and your budget is whatever
you can convince your parents to, give serious thought to the Buffet
Greenlines, which range between $2000 and $3000, but are more durable than
plastic and sound and feel and are wood.

I have no idea how I got into talking about clarinets instead of
mouthpieces, but there you go! I ramble in my messages.

Anyways, good luck!

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