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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001451.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <rgarrett@-----.edu>
Subj: [klarinet] More on Mouthpieces
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 16:39:05 -0400

I had the wonderful pleasure of having a person, previously on the list,
Tom Ascher, come and visit me with his Leblanc Basset Horn and
mouthpieces.......allowing me to try and measure a wide range of
mouthpieces for Basset Horn (alto clarinet) and one for bass clarinet. We
had a nice time, a great lunch, and he got to try out my Leblanc Basset
Horn (previously advertised on the list) and the Buffet Basset Horn for
comparison.

Among the mouthpieces were two made by Clark Fobes......one for Basset
Horn and the other for bass clarinet. For those of you looking for a bass
clarinet mouthpiece, you will want to contact Mr. Fobes......it plays as
well as any I have tried.......including my own personal one that was
refaced by Rick Sayer and another by James Kanter. The basset horn
mouthpiece had a wonderful sound but was much too closed for my
preferences.......I would assume it is not a problem for him to open it up
a bit. Contrary to what I have been told by a wel-known
mouthpiece/clarinet tech. who emailed me upon a recommendation for the
Fobes Bb mouthpiece a week or so ago, the basset horn and bass clarinet
mouthpieces were not faced with "skewed" numbers. They were very evenly
faced - very professional job.

The Charles Bay basset/alto mouthpiece was very similar to the one that I
own.......I was surprised at the consistancy between the two. The tip
openings are extremely large......193 and 194! But the rest of the curve
schedule of each mouthpiece was within one unit from the other......in
most cases exactly the same. Very nice mouthpiece.

Members of the list might be interested in knowing that the Vandoren 5RV
basset horn/alto clarinet mouthpiece was unplayable! It was faced with
the same facing as a few of the Bb mouthpieces I have.......a 120 tip
opening.....followed by the same schedule as an opened up B45. What a
trip. It took an hour to face it to the same curve as the Fobes (Tom
wanted to see if we could take a useless mouthpiece and at least make a
back up to Fobes).........the facing and tip opening matched, and the
window opening and baffle were adjusted to closely match, but the depth of
sound on the Fobes is still better.......I am guessing because of both the
blank quality (it is a Selmer blank) and the fact the Clark probably reems
or adjusts each bore on his mouthpiece. Wish I knew! However, the 5RV is
no longer a 5RV.....it is something that plays reasonably well.

The Selmer C* alto/basset played well right out of the box and I suspect
it could be faced to really play beautifully....the C (no star) was closer
in facing and not nearly as nice.

The David Hite basset/alto mouthpiece played well......blew freely and
without problems, but it was sharper in pitch than the other mouthpieces,
and it was more strident.....even with different size reeds. This could
be due to the much shorter schedule and a more closed tip opening than the
Fobes.

I still prefer the Bay basset/alto mouthpiece (but it is REALLY open), but
I may be ordering a bass clarinet mouthpiece from Clark very soon!

Roger Garrett
IWU

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