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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000919.txt from 2000/09

From: GrabnerWG@-----.com
Subj: Re: [kl] Mouthpiece variation
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 16:27:21 -0400

In a message dated 9/28/00 2:11:44 PM Central Daylight Time,
Bilwright@-----.net writes:

<< Well.... I was astonished and flabbergasted to see how much
difference there is between individual mouthpieces >>
Bill

Unfortunately, this is still the state-of-the art in the mouthpiece biz.

Minute differences can make major differences in playing qualities. Remember,
we are working with a semi-rigid material here, not titanium or even steel.

Each hard rubber mouthpiece comes out of the mold slightly differently.
According to Clark Fobes (and this is consistent with my experience as a
manufacturing systems consultant), as the material cools and hardens, there
is always some change in dimension. This is influenced by surrounding air
temperature, humidity, and the actual quality of the material, which can
vary. So, no two mouthpieces are ever the same.

Most mouthpiece blanks are now faced by machine. There are several different
types of machine, and they do more consistent work than any craftsman could
do by hand. Artists model mouthpieces, however, always require some touch up
and adjustment before they are ready to play on.

At this stage in the evolution of the mouthpiece, one must consider each
mouthpiece to be a unique individual, which must be judged on its own
particular SINGULAR merits, (no matter what the brand or mouthpiece
technician), and evaluated on a particular clarinet and especially with a
particular barrel.

If you want a REAL chicken or the egg choice, try this one: Which should be
picked first, the mouthpiece or the barrel?

More on barrels later.

Regards

Walter Grabner
clarinetxpress.com

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