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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001131.txt from 2000/04

Subj: Re: [kl] Re: long facing, close tip
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 10:31:54 -0400

In a message dated 4/26/00 7:43:59 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:

Is there a page on Sneezy somewhere that talks about these measurements
or perhaps explains them in detail?

The first number, say 1.22 is a millimeter reading, using a tip gauge. It
measures how far the tip of the reed beparts from the tip rail of the
mouthpiece. Clarinet mouthpieces range from .97 (very close) to 1.45 (very

The other numbers indicate where along the facing curve various feeler gauges
stop, when the mouthpiece table is held against a glass gauge ruled in (get
this) HALF millimeters.

For example a "reading" of 6, indicates that a .034 feeler gauge stops, and
measurement 6.

All this means is that a feeler guage of an agreed upon thickness will stop,
or catch, at 3 mm (6 half-millimeters) from the end of the mouthpiece.
Nothing more, nothing less. It's a CONVENTION, invented by Erick Brand, to
help standardize facing measurements, and to allow comparision between brands
and styles of mouthpieces.

If you want more information, but the Erick Brand "Band Instrument Repair
Manual" which is now sold by Ferree's. It has a chapter on mouthpiece

This is "the text", perhaps the only text that fully explains the measurement

Be aware, very aware, that the facing is ONLY one, of many attributes that
contribute to the playing characteristics of a mouthpiece.

Many people assume, wrongly, that you can copy a facing from one mouthpiece
to another and they will play somewhat the same. Nothing is further from the
truth, unless many other attributes are the same.

Right, Karl?

Walter Grabner
who is only now really delving into what makes a great
mouthpiece.....however, at least one year of intense prepatory work was
needed to get there.......As my wife says, a huge amount of work for a very
minor financial have to love it, or don't bother. Long
signature block, huh?

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