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 Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: nickma 
Date:   2004-06-27 11:14

Anyone heard of this? Made by Boosey & Hawkes, marked Made in France, and with Jack Brymer's signature on both sides. Almost certainly made for an English wide bore instrument such as a B&H 10-10, as it plays beautifully on my Leblanc Dynamique, a bit like a warmer and rounder version of a Vandoren B45, and is a dreadful match for my narrow bore Eaton International!

Many thanks


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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2004-06-27 19:00

Hi Nick,

If you'll do a Google search on Jack Brymer, you'll find an incredible amount of information about him.

According to Sherman, , Brymer was an English clarinetist who played with a very open mouthpiece.

In London, 1976, Brymer wrote a book entitled: "Clarinet" which appears to be widely referred to: .

This is just a wild guess here, but I'm wondering if you have a rather rare mouthpiece...

Good luck with your search!

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: nickma 
Date:   2004-06-27 19:29

Thanks Dan,

I've read the book, which is incredibly interesting. He played Boosey & Hawkes 10-10s until John Eaton came out with his much-improved wide bore version in the mid '80s, using the jigs and other equipment from the B&H factory that they gave him when they closed the UK factory down (to concentrate on the Buffet operation they had acquired by then). He retired from professional playing around then.

Its just there are no references anywhere to this wonderful mouthpiece which I picked up for $20, and which has a very short lay, is reasonably open (not excessively so), and brown!!! (yuk).

My guess is that it may have been made by Buffet, given B&H were importing their instruments into the UK, but totally unlike the crappy things that no one uses which they include with Buffet R13s these days.

Anyhow it plays like a dream with wide bore horns (and is broadly unplayable on narrow bore ones). Thanks for posting on this thread.


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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Wodkowski 
Date:   2004-06-27 21:52

I have a Brymer B2 mouthpiece, and it is not a large bore mouthpiece at all. It is stamped "Made in France", along with Mr. Brymers signature stenciled in the side. None of my friends in London seem to know anything about these mouthpieces, but one guessed that it was perhaps a product of the handoff of Boosey and Hawkes to Buffet in the 80s. Boosey and Hawkes did make a number of French/English hybrid instruments in cooperation with Buffet/Evette during that time, so its possible. Who knows, maybe one of the Brits on the page can shed some light.

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2004-06-28 17:07

Most of the Brymer mouthpieces were felt by Mr. Brymer to be quite far below what he expected of them.

this info comes from a former prof of mine... John McCaw whom I studied with breifly one summer in London with.

Sadly, most of the Brymer pieces are going for exorbitant prices on Ebayl...

.they are quite bad and my personal experiences is that they really play unevely and with no depth of tone one normally associates with the British sound.

David Dow

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: graham 
Date:   2004-06-29 08:28

They were launched in the 70s. I have never played on them, but as I said in an ealrier post, Brymer had trouble with the prototypes and said he had sent them back. On the other hand, the ones that were released in the end may have been better. They never developed a serious market in the UK, but that might have been down to timing. They were released at about the time the fashion was turning against the Brymer/de Peyer approach and towards more continental styles.

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 Gale Hollywood
Author: nickma 
Date:   2004-06-29 09:01

Many thanks for all the postings on the B&H Brymer B1. It is an odd one: I've never come across a mp that plays so well on one of my horns and so atrociously on the other! At $20 it didn't break the bank however...

Acquired another recently by the name of Gale Hollywood. This one is really lovely. Plays well on both. Bit more expensive. Guy who sold it to me was honest enough to say Chales Bay had indicated Gale mps were either hit or miss. Not quite the tonal range of my Eaton 1.19mm tip opening, medium facing, but handles range with great ease, and I like it.


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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-02-18 02:41

I acquired an A2 and a B2 and both have the same markings: Jack Brymer signature and made in France. The facings are very short and tips are rather close. The A2 may be a bit smaller than the B2. Bore size is certainly smaller than the 1010 bore. The B2 seems to have a larger bore than the A2 but I cannot measure accurate. They are pitched very high, requiring a longer barrel.

For some reason both mouthpieces work quite well on my B&H 926's giving a very rich sound.

Anyone who knows more about the specs of these mouthpieces?

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-02-18 04:55

I have come across a few of the Brymer mouthpieces in the past but also heard the story, come to think of it possibly from the man himself, that Brymer was not very happy with the quality control of those pieces.

It was a rather common thing for manufacturers to attempt to capitalise on the marketing values of their key artists.
In earlier years they produced a similar range of mouthpieces in 3 facings under the name of Reg Kell.

I am pretty sure that all the mouthpieces that B&H marketed that were intended for the wide bore 1010 actually had the mark 1010 etched on them. Certainly the Kell ones did.
But even for B&H the sale of 1010 clarinets represented only a small fraction of their clarinet output so any mouthpieces produced would have had to include the much more numerous smaller bore variants.

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-02-18 17:18

I also have a Jack Brymer B1 mouthpiece. I haven't measured the tip opening, but it looks very close compared with my other mouthpieces. For me it plays best with a Vandoren 56 4.0, but its best isn't very good. I've tried it on my 1010 and on my Imperial 926 and it's rubbish on both. Mine was from a music shop that was closing and was part of a lot that I bought for $20. I hoped that the Brymer would make it worth it, but the real prize was a couple of old Selmer HS*'s in as-new condition.

Tony F.

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Chris_C 2017
Date:   2018-02-18 20:10

How do the B1 and B2 compare with the Vandoren 5JB (which i understand stands for "Jack Brymer")? I know the 5JB is a wide lay and used for Jazz/big band with a soft reed...

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-02-18 23:45

Chris_C wrote:

> How do the B1 and B2 compare with the Vandoren 5JB (which i
> understand stands for "Jack Brymer")? I know the 5JB is a wide
> lay and used for Jazz/big band with a soft reed...

They are totally different. The B1/2 have very small tip and short lay. The 5JB has a very open tip and longer facing. In both cases I wouldn't take the influence of Jack Brymer too serious.

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2018-02-19 01:14

I have understood that JB in 5JB means "Jazz Bec".

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: graham 
Date:   2018-02-19 01:49

I once spoke to Brymer when I was a youth and 'his' mouthpieces were about to be launched. He said he had sent them back as they would not play. I don't know at what point he signed off, or whether he was ever satisfied with them. I have one that is very poor.

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 Re: Gale Hollywood and Brymer mouthpieces
Author: Nelson 
Date:   2020-01-18 05:43

re the "Jack Brymer" mouthpieces, I bought a B2 for a 1010 when they first came out around 1977 and it was a disaster. But not giving up on a mouthpiece with Brymer's name on it, I went to Boosey and Hawkes at Edgware in 1980 and have nearly all the story ....and the brochure marking its release.

As has been stated in earlier posts, the product from France were inconsistant, this was pointed out by David James at B&H. For months the pieces were relayed at Edgware and he offered to relay mine personally. It is now a superb mouthpiece for that older English style.

I have the specs (using two measuring systems) exactly as he gave them to me

Specs B2 tip .0475"
length 16.5 mm

The Brymer B2 mouthpiece had a slightly wider tip opening than the standard 1010 No 2 piece which was .0465" once again quoting Dave's letter "it just seems to work better that way".

Clarifying a couple of points,

the Brymer 'A' series (1, 2 or 3) were designed for
B&H 926/Emperor/Regent; Buffet R13 and RC plus most Selmer, Leblanc and Noblet models.

The Brymer 'B' series (1, 2 and 3) is specifically for B&H 1010 and Buffet S1

One interesting point from one source which I haven't been able to confirm states that the Jack Brymer mouthpieces were possibly made by Chedeville. Any thoughts/further info would be most welcome

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2020-01-20 00:29

The reference to the B&H factory and David James reminded me of my experience there.

I was sent to the B&H factory by Thea King to see Geoffrey Acton about a 1010 mouthpiece. I’d recently bought a pair of 1010s from Michael Harris. After selecting one Geoffrey Acton tried it and took me over (nearby) to see David James. Geoffrey asked David to open it up a bit. David took out a sheet of abrasive paper and laid it flat on the desk (there may have been a board or slab on the desk, I don’t remember). He then took out a small metal roller (a short length of rod steel, about 1” to 1.5”). Then, with the mouthpiece face down on the abrasive, the roller was placed under the heel of the mouthpiece (bottom end of the lay, above the tenon). This put the tip of the mouthpiece closer to the abrasive. David rolled the mouthpiece back and forth over the abrasive a couple of times and that was it. I was impressed at the time as I didn’t know any better. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has ever used or seen that technique used before. No need to name the guilty.

I played on that mouthpiece for many years and always had a lot of trouble finding reeds. It was only later when I learned to use gauges that I realised how wonky the lay was. I had refaced by Ramón a few years ago.

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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-01-20 01:48

JTJC wrote:

> I played on that mouthpiece for many years and always had a lot
> of trouble finding reeds. It was only later when I learned to
> use gauges that I realised how wonky the lay was. I had refaced
> by Ramón a few years ago.

I'm confused. Are you saying the wonkiness resulted from David James's facing technique?

My experience watching people who know what they're doing is that to open the tip the tenon end is lifted enough so the curve is placed in contact with the abrasive where the refacer wants it to start opening more, and then the tenon end is slowly lifted as the rails are dragged along the abrasive to follow the existing curve, taking off a small amount of material in the process.

I'm not sure how it works out to keep the angle fixed the way it sounds like Mr. James's use of a steel rod to support the back end would do. It seems as if it would just flatten one spot. But someone more familiar with that technique might have a better explanation.


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 Re: Brymer B1 mouthpiece
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2020-01-20 17:33

Hi kdk,

I wasn’t saying the lay was wonky because of what David James did. He only touched the tip from what I could see. It was a bog standard mouthpiece from the production line. I assume the lay was already wonky, as it seems so many were at that time, given the comments on this board.

I’d always thought the roller helped follow the curve of the lay or something. Maybe it was a personal technique of his. I didn’t see him align the mouthpiece or roller position with any measure or scale, or I wasn’t aware he did that. As with any proper craftsperson, what looks like a casual move of the hand to the uninitiated is in fact a carefully judged, precise and accurate adjustment to the material they’re working on. No disrespect to David James intended by relating my story, just curious about the roller technique as I’ve not seen it used on videos or even mentioned elsewhere.

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