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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000292.txt from 2005/05

Subj: Re: [kl] Mouthpieces - Chedeville
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 14:42:55 -0400

In a message dated 5/18/2005 7:36:12 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:
The sound
is so big and resonant I almost have to back off a bit! It sure would be
nice if these guys did not take their secrets to the grave with them!

Bill - the problem is not "secrets". The problem is in getting the
appropriate molds made. I assume the old Chedeville molds no longer exist (If they
did, someone would certainly be using them). I have to assume that after many
years of use the molds were no longer usable.

As a mouthpiece craftsman, you must work with the blanks that are produced.
That is, unless you have your own molding operation and a factory to pour the
rubber into the molds, de-mold them, and vulcanize them and put a
preliminary facing on them. We all know that Clark Fobes, Greg Smith, Richard Hawkins,
etc etc, etc., do not have such a factory.

I have approached several companies with a design for a bass clarinet
mouthpiece and the cost quoted was in the neighborhood of $24,000 (yes, twenty-four
thousand dollars) to have a set of molds made. Even assuming they got it
right the first time, I could spend the rest of my life selling bass clarinet
mouthpieces just to pay for the mold.

The market is just not big enough.

Perhaps Chadash/Hill will come up with a CNC approach to making a bass
clarinet blank. Since their Bb mouthpiece blank is in the neighborhood of $200, I
would expect a bass clarinet mouthpiece made from such a blank to cost about
$400 to $500. Maybe that's the future.

In the mealtime we continue to work with the blanks made by Babbitt, Zinner,
and/or mouthpieces made by Vandoren, Selmer, Pomarico etc.
Walter Grabner
World-class clarinet mouthpieces

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