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 Vandoren White Masters
Author: graham 
Date:   2006-01-27 12:11

I have recently bought a box of strength 3.5 White Masters, despite the vendor saying they did not fit "french" mouthpieces. Well, as far as I can see they fit perfectly well, as the blade, at the tip end, is the same width as Black Masters. The only major differences are the length of the actual cut (shorter) and the fact that White Masters are not file cut.

But what struck me was the strength difference. A strength 3.5 White Master seems harder than a strength 4 Black Master. I am aware that White Masters are suited to very close facing Austrian mouthpieces, but I would have thought that Black Masters, being suited to only very slightly more open German mouthpieces would be fairly similar. My own mouthpiece has a long lay and a 1.06mm opening, and I am finding 3.5 White Masters pretty resistant.

I am also curious about the reasons for the design. Non-engineer's common sense seems to suggest that a close and long lay would favour a blade that was itself long and with a gradual tapering to a fairly resistant tip. But White Masters are short, and taper very steeply to what looks like a thin tip. Much of the length of the lay will be in contact with some very chunky cane which I would have thought would not be sufficiently compliant.

I am not sure yet whether I like the reeds despite the hardness, but they seem to make a nice sound. Black Masters are probably better though (for me).

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 Re: Vandoren White Masters
Author: Liquorice 
Date:   2006-01-27 13:59

You're mixing up the black and the white: Black Masters are intended for the close facing Austrian-style mouthpieces, and White Masters for the slightly more open German mouthpieces.

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 Re: Vandoren White Masters
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2006-01-28 01:21

Um.......the length of the lay is also relative to the total size of the mouthpiece. The Wurlitzer mouthpiece is somewhere in between the size of a French Bb and a French Eb mouthpiece. Therefore the lay is COMPARATIVELY long for the size of the mouthpiece. And I agree with the vendor.......here is where a lot of you will jump all over me but..........God never intended the White Master to be played on anything but a German mouthpiece (at least since their redesign of the mid 80s). So what if it "works?" I bet I could get an alto sax reed to "work" on my bass clarinet but what's the point?

.................Paul Aviles

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 Re: Vandoren White Masters
Author: mnorswor 
Date:   2006-01-28 07:03


Not to jump or anything... but quite a lot of people use White Masters on French mouthpieces, including my teacher, Richard Stoltzman :) If it works, it works!! Personally, I use blackmasters.


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 Re: Vandoren White Masters
Author: JessKateDD 
Date:   2006-01-28 10:04

I play the whitemasters on my Eb clarinet. I just cut off the end of the reed, and it fits perfectly on the Eb mouthpiece.

And yes, you can play all kinds of reeds on the clarinet. I was at a summer music camp once, and for the heck of it, I played a band concert with a little Eb reed on my Bb mouthpiece. It was stupid and immature, but thankfully it worked. I'd never try that again, of course!

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 Re: Vandoren White Masters
Author: Stewie Griffin 
Date:   2006-01-29 00:17

I also like the Blackmasters on Eb, but I've never tried a White master on eb.

anyone can compare the black master vs. white master on Eb?

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 Re: Vandoren White Masters
Author: graham 
Date:   2006-01-30 08:32

Thank you Liquorice for putting me straight. It was the reed supplier's literature that put me on the wrong track (they say White are for Austrians) but the Vandoren paperwork clearly shows White being associated with German mouthpieces. And the point concerning the relative length of the facing is also something I had not considered, and that could explain a lot.

I am still confused however by the difference between Black and White. If Black suits Austrian mouthpieces, why does it play so much softer? Do Austrian mouthpieces have ultra short lays even compared to German ones?

On the general point about whether White Masters actually play on the larger non-German type mouthpiece, the answer is that they do play rather well, perhaps very well, but the mouthpiece I am refering to has a close lay, so they probably do not suit anything that is more open.

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