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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000209.txt from 2002/05

From: Jeremy A Schiffer <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Crystal Mouthpieces
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 11:44:50 -0400

On Wed, 8 May 2002, William Wright wrote:

> There definitely are 'pieces of junk' available for clarinets, and there
> is also equipment whose performance leans in a certain direction. Thus
> (once again) I agree that such conversations can be useful.

Hi, this is my first post to the klarinet list. It was quite apropos that
this thread was the first thing that showed up after I subscribed, because
I have a question about crystal mouthpieces [and mouthpieces in general].
Granted, there are no universals, but I'd like to hear about people's
experiences with different mouthpieces, to give me a more focused way of
starting my search.

First, the background: I'm a fairly experienced amateur player, trained
almost exclusively in classical music. I currently play in a wind ensemble
and in some chamber music groups. I've used a modified B45 mouthpiece
exclusively since high school (my old teacher used a drill to widen
the bottom 15mm or so of the bore). I find this mouthpiece to generally
be fine for the types of playing I listed above, though it may need to be
refaced soon. Thus, I have never invested any time in learning about
different mouthpieces.

Now, for the last year, I have become involved in Klezmer playing, and
am finding that the Vandoren mouthpiece isn't cutting it anymore. I
recently read that Giora Feidman plays on a Pomarico crystal, and would
like to try those out, because I love his sound. Here's the qualities that
I'm looking for in a mouthpiece: ability to play loudly, very important to
be heard over the rest of the band when you play clarinet; ability to
manipulate pitch easily, for the standard ornamentations; preferably a
somewhat focused tone, as I don't like my sound spreading; ability to
blow HARD in the altissimo register and not squeak, for obvious reasons;
as good of intonation as possibly, because it's one of my weaknesses.

Now, is crystal something that I should be looking at for these
preferences? What about other mouthpieces, like those made for jazz
playing? Has anyone here played the different Pomarico models? And
finally, do these wishes point me (in a general sense) towards a
mouthpiece with an open or closed tip, long or short facing, etc? I have
tried to research this stuff online and everything I read seems to
contradict something else that I just read...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


jeremy schiffer

Jeremy A. Schiffer
AcIS Security Administrator
Columbia University
AcIS Nextel *75

Please direct all computer security related queries to


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