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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000068.txt from 1999/06

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: Re: [kl] New member with a question
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 09:52:38 -0400

On Tue, 1 Jun 1999, Roger Garrett wrote:

> One of the last things I do to a mouthpiece before putting it in the
> plastic case waiting to be sold is to test it. If it needs a bit more
> tweaking in the area of tone, the first thing I do is adjust the area at
> or near the beak on the exterior. This is something Richard Hawkins
> showed me, and it is something that has a dramatic affect on the
> mouthpiece. When a student wants me to to "fix" their store bought
> mouthpiece, sometimes this is all I do and they are happy.

This brings up an interesting thought. Roger says that he play
tests his mouthpieces as a final step in the production process
(this is what you mean when you say "test", correct?). If there
is some adjustment needed, based on his play test, he makes those
final adjustments before sliding the mouthpiece into its plastic
case as a finished product. Apprently Richard Hawkins performs
a similar test and final adjustment on his own mouthpieces before
considering them finished products.

Is this common practice among mouthpiece makers? It sparks a
train of thought in my mind, that if the quality of tone pro-
duced by a first-generation mouthpiece (i.e.; made from a blank
and faced only once, by the original maker) is partially deter-
mined by the maker's idea of what sounds good, then part of our
decision as buyers should include an understanding of what the
maker's concept of sound is. If I heard a maker play one of
his own mouthpieces in recital, and the tone quality I heard
was not my cup of tea, would it be logical for me to conclude
that this maker's mouthpieces would not be likely to please
me if I were to buy one for myself?

-- Neil

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