Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

 
  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-01 03:23

I had the pleasure of finally getting to try to Moralas/Backun mouthpiece at the spa day at Peabody. I tried 2 the "L" and the "C". I played the "L" on a Bar Mitsvah Saturday evening, and the "C" for the klezmer class and Mozart at Peabody on Sunday. The Mouthpiece plays great. I went through a few reeds over the weekend and found I had to do about half the adjusting I usually do. I taped with it today and compared it to my control sample, ( a Zinner A blank, faced by Johann Berger) and it sounded better! And It was even easier to play. This mouthpiece is definitely worth giving a try.

[ Per the bulletin board rules, remainder of post is deleted - GBK ]

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: CPW 
Date:   2006-03-01 04:54

Tom, thanks for the comments.

I have a few questions if you have the time reply.

Do you know if he is making his own blanks, or if they are being supplied by Babbit or Zinner or whoever?

What sort of material is he employing and what is the shape of the baffle?
Is it deep, shallow, grooved, rifled (ah, there's a thought for the CSI fans)?

To the physicists or engineers that lurk here, how do grooves on the lower part of the mouthpiece strengthen the tip as is claimed on the B-M webspite?
If the reed feels like it is floating, then wouldn't that dampen the sound?
The picture of a hydroplaning reed enters my mind.

Since Moraless uses Selmer Recitals as his instrument du jour, is the bore of the mouthpiece compatible with Buffet or the older wider Selmers?

Finally, the idea of a "philadelphia" mouthpiece being anything more than a 105 tip flies against the tradition of the city of Bro-luv.
This is certainly a departure from the days of Tony G and the founding fathers. The irony is inescapable.

Yep, I 'spose I could ask them directly, but I have this thing about filling out question templates on the internet.

Against the windmills of my mind
The jousting pole splinters

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: susieray 
Date:   2006-03-01 06:45

Tom,

What kind of ligature did you use? [wink]

Sue

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Morrigan 
Date:   2006-03-01 08:09

I asked directly and never got a response. So I'm not spending $500 on a mouthpiece with them! They MIGHT be flooded with emails, but they say all customers are treated equally.
A certain mouthpiece manufacturer has taken plenty of time out of his busy schedule to email me regarding my search for a new mouthpiece; he gets my business.

_______________________________________________
Principal Clarinet, Central Band of the Royal Air Force, London
Masters Student, Royal College of Music, London
https://soundcloud.com/tieraci

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-01 12:46

When it's all said and done, for me, the criteria for changing a part of my gig rig is: Does it sound better, or sound the same and play with less effort? In this case I lucked out and it does both.

This is what I've deduce from looking at it and playing on it since Saturday:
A. I'm not sure about the origin, or composition of the material, but I would tend to think of it as "space age" as opposed to "vintage". I do know my top lip doesn't slide around on the top of it. Because the tuning was improved while playing it, I suspect that the internal dimensions are correct for modern production clarinets. 60 year old mouthpieces where designed for 60 year old clarinets, bores were different, reeds were different everything was different back in the day. The famed Moenig barrel was a solution to the older big bore mouthpieces that were going onto smaller bore clarinets, think of that white plastic PVC piece for going from 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch pipe and it makes sense.

B. when trying it I used new reeds, on my old mouthpiece with the ATG, it usually took 10 strokes down the right side of a Vandoren V12, 3.5 to get it close to gig balanced. The 5 reeds I balanced this week only to 3-4 stokes. While 5 reeds isn't enough for me to make a complete judgement, I do think for me it indicates even less time spend with reeds. Yea, even more practice time!!!!

C. I played 4 of the same facing mouthpieces, 4Cs, and 4Ls, the same facings played identically. No need to "grub for truffles" trying 30 mouthpieces to find one that will play. For me, that means If I'm out of town on a gig and my primary mouthpiece gets lost stolen or dropped, I can grab my spare it will play the same, and have one fed exd, so I have a spare the next day. That is piece of mind! No more what am I going to do if I lose my "precious"

d. those three lines on the bottom of the mouthpiece. Those three lines are, 0001 or 00001(I'm bad at the math thing) of an inch higher than the rest of the table. What this seems to do is recreate that "dip" in the table a lot of us used to like, in a more controllable fashion. I don't know if this is what makes it respond quickly or not, I'd have to play it against one that doesn't have that feature, which might make for an interesting experiment. I'm sure the production tolerances are such that could change that feature and leave everything else the same.


e. Facings, ok here is a disclaimer: The following is Puwalski theory, this is purely the thoughts and feelings of Tom Puwalski and as such must be treated as Opinion. While not as scary as "From the mind of Ashton Kutcher", trying or thinking to hard about what follows could be harm full, physically, mentally, or philosophically. There are 2 styles of playing on a single reed mouthpiece, those that put a lot of air into a clarinet or sax and those that put a very little amount but use a lot of "air pressure". People that use a large volume air tend to like larger tip opening, those who use more air pressure tend to like closer facings. I fall into the later category. I like close mouthpieces, but I've never liked anything less than 1.00 but the C doesn't play like a typical close mouthpiece. I also tried the "Philadelphia" a much more opened tip and my reed almost worked on it, I got a pretty big sound on it, but I would have had to adjust a reed and get used to the difference in playing it, I suspect that my learning curve would not be that long.

I can't wait to get one on my Bass, that will totally rock!

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Ed 
Date:   2006-03-01 23:23

There is some info now available on the Backun site:

http://www.backunmusical.com/

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: jim S. 
Date:   2006-03-02 13:40

10 strokes down the RIGHT side of a Vandoren? Was that a mistake?

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Sylvain 
Date:   2006-03-02 16:02

Did anybody at Backun told you why they were so expensive? The Chadash Hill mouthpiece price tag (~250) is justified (by the creators) by the cost of creating the blank (rubber and CNC), the Behn's Vintage (~650) by its blank design, CNC machining and rubber curing process (long and expensive).

What makes the Backun such an expensive treat?

-S

--
Sylvain Bouix <sbouix@gmail.com>

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-03-02 16:19

Sylvain wrote:

> What makes the Backun such an expensive treat?


I could venture a few guesses, but it wouldn't be kind, so I won't ...GBK

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-02 16:23

10 stokes on the right side of a V12 3.5 is about normal for me to get a vandoren to feel balanced on any of my older mouthpieces. But when I get them REALY balanced they sound great and play well.

As far as the cost of a Backun, I've been to Vancouver I've seen the CNC machines (that's plural) as well as all the other machines that are used to make his products. He actually has them in his shop, so if something needs to be tweeked, and less face it every always needs treeking, he can do it right away. Considering who's playing these, I'm surprised they're not twice the cost. But the blank, is proprietary, and I'm sure takes just as long to cure as "other" mouthpieces.

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: RodRubber 
Date:   2006-03-02 16:42

I usually stroke the left side of a Vandoren, i don't remember the last time i even bothered with the right



 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-03-02 17:40

GBK wrote:

> Sylvain wrote:
>
> > What makes the Backun such an expensive treat?
>
>
> I could venture a few guesses, but it wouldn't be kind, so I
> won't ...GBK

I won't be so mean-spirited ...

I don't think price is all that relevant. It's really in the eyes of the beholder and whether or not a company wants to keep a certain 'cachet' about their instruments. Morrie can charge whatever he wants and really shouldn't be subject to second-guessinjg as to why ... it was his marketing, sales, and profitablility decision, for whatever reason, and he'll live or die by that decision. Somethimes the decisions are obvious - I know why Stephen Fox's products cost so much more: they're all custom made - sometimes they're not.

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-02 18:30

Mark wrote:

"I don't think price is all that relevant. It's really in the eyes of the beholder and whether or not a company wants to keep a certain 'cachet' about their instruments. Morrie can charge whatever he wants and really shouldn't be subject to second-guessinjg as to why ... it was his marketing, sales, and profitablility decision, for whatever reason, and he'll live or die by that decision."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Without reference to any makers in particular, including ones already mentioned in this thread:

While it is true that your comments describe the free market at work, it isn't necessarily true that that fact precludes anyone from subjecting a maker's prices and product quality to a certain scrutiny, or as you intimate, healthy skepticism.

This post by Tom Ridenour - well worth reading in full - covers this subject nicely and his writing contains many essential truths worth considering regarding this very subject:

http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klarinet/1999/02/000873.txt

I would also add that as far as I've been able to determine, artistry has not yet been trumped by technology.

Gregory Smith



Post Edited (2006-03-02 18:33)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-03-02 18:33

As we've said numerous times, it comes down to "bang for the buck"

However, the new $500- $650 price structure of some mouthpieces should not relegate the $200 custom mouthpieces to a 2nd tier level.

Unfortunately, many clarinetists are starting to think along those lines.

Fair pricing is something that that buyer, with his wallet, will ultimately decide...GBK

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Sylvain 
Date:   2006-03-02 19:16

I understand that ultimately, the buyer will pay 500 if the mouthpiece makes him happy and he is willing to pay for it. Since I am always a potential buyer, what makes me happy is to know my mouthpiece feels and sounds great, but also that I have the latest coolest toy out there (also known as GAS syndrome). Now, I get easily attracted by the hype of the latest rubber compound, higher precision and whatnot. For some reason I don't feel that way with the Backun.

The Backun advertising, talks about the Boundary Layer and Resonance Tempering, what does it mean and how does it make the mouthpiece more expensive?

Anyway, if it sounds great, it sounds great...

And thank for the link Mr. Smith an enlighting article.

--
Sylvain Bouix <sbouix@gmail.com>

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2006-03-02 19:17

I shudder to think what tier I'm on with a $60 dollar mouthpiece.



.........Paul Aviles

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2006-03-02 19:40

Sixty bucks? My current one cost 17, my "Sunday" mpc 30.

Maybe it's better I don't take the music test in that other thread. I feel inferior enough. ;)

--
Ben

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-03-02 19:45

"However, the new $500- $650 price structure of some mouthpieces should not relegate the $200 custom mouthpieces to a 2nd tier level."

Not only the $200 or custom mouthpeices. A lot of professionals and excellent clarinetists use mouthpieces under $100. For example, Many professionals play Vandoren mouthpieces.
Those same professionals are also praised among other things for their sound, and by those using the expensive mouthpieces too.

I sometimes try to find what equipment my favorite players use (not because I want to buy it but just because I'm curious about it) and so far it almsot always was a mass produced mouthpiece like Vandoren or Selmer and stock barrels and bells.

Disclaimer: I personally have no opinion on Backun mouthpieces or other products since I haven't tried them.

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-02 20:23

The question that comes to my mind is not why would someone spend $500 on a Backun mouthpiece, but why would someone spend $500-900 dollars on a questionable quality Kasper on Ebay, a mouthpiece that was questionably the best when it was being made, and then only after you had Matson work on it. Why one would take a chance on something that maybe just maybe might be the "holy Grail"? I must admit I find it humorous to watch. Ebay is full of well intentioned "Kids" that think they don't stand a chance on an audition because they don't have a Kasper or the "right" kind of Kaspar. Those are the thoughts I find Bogus! Let's face it all the people that have the gigs we all covet, won them on equipment that isn't anything as good as what's being produced today. They had incredible training and incredible talent, they had the "tools". Didn't Riccardo win the met gig playing a Vandoren? If so he got his $80 worth! Is a Backun mouthpiece going to make him sound radically better? Guys like him can't sound radically better than what they already sound like. It will probably improve some part of how he sounds and maybe on a Friday afternoon after a week of rehearsals it might have saved enough energy to practice a little before that evenings show.

For me it played better that what I had been playing, and I have a desk full of all the stuff people dream about playing on, and every I've tried every new thing that's out there. And by trying I mean, cracked open a new box of reeds, adjusted them and then played some rehearsals and some gigs on it. After that it's that same question, does it sound better, or play easier. I played an L facing on a gig Saturday eve. 55 min into an hour and 10 min hora I knew this was a lot easier to play. And trust me I wasn't playing on crap! Think about this years ago a pair of "air" Jordan basket ball shoes were about $200, and you know what I could have bought them and this white boy still couldn't have jumped!


Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Ed 
Date:   2006-03-03 00:36

There seems to be the regular question why this or that product costs what it does, with the implication of some ulterior motive.

I may as well tell you the truth. I happen to know that in the next James Bond film, Morrie Backun will be the genius bent on world domination, who has gained incredible wealth and amassed his empire through the selling clarinet products.

(please note- this is meant in jest and I have nothing but respect for Morrie and his products)



Post Edited (2006-03-03 02:15)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-03 01:25

Even as a joke, the crack about an evil empire seems little over the top for this thread. All this man did was have an idea, on how to make a better mouthpiece. He has in no way stopped any other mouthpiece maker from engaging in their craft. He hasn't bought up ever zinner french blank so no-one else can make a mouthpiece. All he had was an idea, and the design and production chops to make something tangible. Some people say it's too expensive, or where does he get off charging $5oo for a mouthpiece. But he isn't making anyone buy them. He isn't promising anyone that they will "get the gig" if they play one. There isn't a mouthpiece guy on this list that doesn't think what they do is the best thing out there, if you didn't why bother to get into it in the first place.
If on a snowy Chanuka evening I was visited by the ghosts of Bonade, McClane, and Iggy Genusa, and they told me to go buy a mouthpiece and play it, I might get one and try it. But if I switch to it permanently it's still going to have to pass the tests, sound better, easier or both.

Never buy a piece of equipment because someone famous plays it, living or dead. Never hang your career, audition or gig on any piece of equipment that you don't have a spare for, or can replace tomorrow. One of a kind means one of a kind, that means when you break it you're on a frantic hunt to get back to square one. And never buy a mouthpiece because anyone on this list says to, including me. But try to try it, yea go for it.

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Ed 
Date:   2006-03-03 02:11

Tom- of course the comment was meant as a joke (I assumed that the tone of it would come across). If not, I apologize and will delete the post.



Post Edited (2007-11-25 14:27)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: CPW 
Date:   2006-03-03 04:59

The Spirits of Gigliotti, Wright, and Anton Stadler visited me last Easter when I openned the door to let the Archangel Jimmi Hendrix inside for a sip of Strega.
I thought that they said, "Get a Behn, and show persistence" Then they pointed at me and wailed that they really said I was " the bain of their existence. "
I bought a Behn, practised hard, and when they returned at Christmas (which coincided with Chanukah this year) they smiled, and left me some Morre reeds under an old pillow that was on the couch in the next room.

Oddly, they took the macarroons that I left for Santa. At least they didn't pass me over.

Against the windmills of my mind
The jousting pole splinters

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: kenwolman 
Date:   2006-03-08 13:20

If you hang around long enough the same junk will float up from the stagnant pond. The implications of gouging, scam, etc., etc. A couple of people on Klarinet had my lunch a couple of years ago because I questioned (if you wish to intepret it that way) why repair shops--singling out Backun--wouldn't print their repair "schedules" so people could determine whether they wanted to ship their instuments there. Or buy the barrels. Or buy the bells. There were no mouthpieces yet.

I found out Morrie lurks on Klarinet. I was mortified and I apologized privately. Those two people on the list who enjoy watching flesh-eating bacteria in action know as much as they ever did, i.e., less than nothing. I don't settle private issues in front of snipes.

In any case, this isn't about a mouthpiece. I don't play well enough to warrant a $500 mouthpiece even though I foolishly sold a Chadash/Hill a few years ago and would probably rob the person's house to get it back. However, two weeks ago I went to the opera and there through the binoculars was a young lady I learned from the program was Jessica Phillips, the 2nd clarinet, playing with Backun barrels and bells. I don't know who made the mouthpiece. For some reason that did it. I had the tax refund money (not anymore:-), called Joel Jaffe, and got three Backun "seconds" barrels to try out. Beware: import duties are insane in this country, even coming from Canada. They must think Morrie is a terrorist. Imagine the stuff would cost from France, our greatest enemy.

I'm returning two of them today. They ARE different. One was far too loose a fit on the tenon. One sounded a bit stuffy. And one I'm keeping. My skepticism is gone. I don't sound like me. I sound like I know how to play the clarinet. The tone on that old Selmer Series 9 is like nothing I've ever heard. Morales was right about living in a black-and-white world and suddenly seeing colors. The thing is, I have no idea WHAT Backun does to those pieces of wood to make so drastic a difference.

Ken Wolman, only young once but immature forever.
rainermaria.typepad.com
www.kenwolman.com

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-08 13:46

GBK said:

"...the new $500- $650 price structure of some mouthpieces should not relegate the $200 custom mouthpieces to a 2nd tier level.

Unfortunately, many clarinetists are starting to think along those lines."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There IS this problem of perception in the marketplace when it comes to who one's going to call to order mouthpieces for trial. Obviously not everyone is going to sample all mouthpiece makers, there just isn't enough time in life and in music.

I suppose there will be those that will maintain their ability to retain a healthy amount of skepticism and ask questions, deciding for themselves the merits of the ad copy that's provided on each and every website or in telephone calls to the makers.

At the very least, I believe that that is still possible.

Gregory Smith



Post Edited (2006-03-08 13:49)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Brenda Siewert 
Date:   2006-03-08 16:28

I would have to agree with most on this thread. I've spent tons of money on vintage Kaspar mouthpieces in the last year and have been tremendously disappointed. I did get one good one out of 3 that I purchased, but was totally taken on another from an eBay seller who had excellent ratings. I would have been better off to have given Greg a call and asked him to make another one for me like the one he made for me a few years back.

I'm leaning toward the idea that mouthpieces by current artisans like Greg Smith, Morrie Backun, Brad Behn, Walter Grabner and others are a better investment than spending $500.00 or more for a vintage that might really be a dog. I was stuck on one Kaspar I bought recently and the seller wouldn't take back--so vintage is not always a good investment.

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2006-03-08 16:30

kenwolman wrote:

> I found out Morrie lurks on Klarinet. I was mortified and I
> apologized privately.

Ken,

What were you thinking?

I know of most of the people who read Klarinet and visit here. I've taken posts off of here after informing the poster that the people mentioned either read this or will hear about it 2nd hand and will come to read it.

Nothing posted here or on Klarinet should ever be said that you wouldn't say in front of the person.

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: susieray 
Date:   2006-03-08 16:50

yeah, Ken... and now that I know you would rob my house to get that C/H mouthpiece back, I guess it's a good thing you are on the Joisey shore
and I live near the Oregon coast. :-)

Sue [happy]

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: David Spiegelthal 2017
Date:   2006-03-08 17:24

I've just played an original Kaspar mouthpiece, which I thought was pretty decent -- then for comparison I took out a few of my own (none of which is 'worth' a tenth of the going market price of a Kaspar) and every one of them felt and sounded better than the 'legend'. I think many folks, not just in the clarinet world but in general, are too brand-conscious and not skeptical enough. Maybe they don't have enough confidence in their own ability to judge things, and so depend on the word of others to tell them what's good?



Post Edited (2006-03-08 18:16)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Ed 
Date:   2006-03-08 23:10

I agree with Brenda's thoughts. Many of the vintage mouthpieces I have played have not been all that good. I certainly would not break the bank to get one without trying it. Some are lousy are have been refaced beyond recognition.

I also agree with her statements regarding the current artisans out there. Besides those mentioned, Clark Fobes, Chris Hill, Lee Livengood, and others should be certainly added to the list. You can get some absolutely wonderful mouthpieces and get great advice and consultation to tailor it to your needs. Many will even tweak it for your particular desires.

The number of great choices available today is truly amazing.

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: nickma 
Date:   2006-03-09 21:17

Smart marketers know that mouthpieces to an enthusiastic single reed player are GIFFIN goods.

That is, the more the cost,. the more desirable they become. Let's face it, buyers of aftermarket mouthpieces, notably those that have more than one or two pieces, are more attracted to expensive mouthpieces and barrels than they are to cheaper ones.

It is not just about performance, it's about branding and perceptions.

Expensive does not neccessarily equal the best however. Whilst there are many people who swear by Peter Eaton mouhtpieces, I know many who do not think they are as good as some costing a third of the price.

Take Backun's barrels. They look lovely and obviously perform well. But better than a custom barrel by Ralph Morgan? Having just received a genuine work of art from him, I doubt it. Unbelieveable wood and stunning finish: all for $150, from the ultimate master craftsman.

Nick

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: CPW 
Date:   2006-03-10 19:10

I had to research that one.

GIFFIN goods, named for the Scotch Economist:

Perceived value; potential customers make purchase decisions considering a product's perceived price. These perceptions may or may not accurately reflect reality.
Creaming means selling product range at a higher than average price in order to improve perceived value, known as "upmarketing" a product, whereby it becomes the accepted purchase of the more affluent members of society.
Creaming or skimming is selling a product at a high price, sacrificing high sales in order to earn high profits. Upmarket products tend to ride the storms of economic depression better than cut-price products.
Upward Stretching means introducing a new product into a product line at the higher priced end of the market

Against the windmills of my mind
The jousting pole splinters

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: donald 
Date:   2006-03-10 19:31

.....or maybe some mouthpiece makers are reflecting the true value of their experience and work. As someone who has earnt a bit here and there refacing mouthpieces, i can testify that it can be a lot of work. While sometimes a good result can be had in 10min, and it's best to stop while everybody is happy, if you have to work a lot on baffle/rails etc it can take ages to do a good job.
when i imagine designing my own blank and producing them, i don't for a seccond imagine that it's as simple as "let the neato CNC machine do all the work". This is an art that requires years of experience and a huge amount of knowledge, and that deserves to be recognised.
On the other hand, it's true that i've played many vintage mouthpieces that i thought were massively overpriced, and played very nice mouthpieces that were in the "sub $200" price range.
donald

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-10 20:09

GIFFIN may perhaps need a bit of revision in order to reflect today's newest-line clarinet mouthpieces.

Upward "Stretching" or Up"Marketing" doesn't seem to accurately portray what's actually going on.

Why would two relatively new mouthpiece makers manufacture their product from "exactly" the same rubber as the old classics (but vary in design according to their own personal tastes) charge $250 and the other $650?

Why would a mouthpiece maker using Zinner blanks - custom designed for the maker or not - charge double or triple the handmade Zinner-blank mouthpiece - especially when they are simply "their" machine made Zinner-blank mouthpieces? As far as I've yet been able to determine, technology has yet to trump artistry. Ad copy doesn't trump artistry either.

I know that there are plenty of clarinetists that play $75 machine faced mouthpieces; they're ubiquitous. But I would say that the reason for this is not because they are machine faced. It's because the clarinetist likes the design of the mouthpiece well enough in spite of the fact that they are going through a few mouthpieces from upward of 50 or more factory pretested, prescreened mouthpieces before they ever get auditioned by the company's "artist" or even the potential standard customer.

If handmade mouthpiece artists had that kind of huge production and worldwide distribution network at their fingertips, they'd be selling just as many mouthpieces without all of the prescreening and plethora of mouthpieces to have to go through to find something by way of a process resembling I Ching.

Handmade mouthpiece makers simply are not nearly as ubiquitous worldwide - or even countrywide - as Vandoren or Selmer or ?. Most of the world's clarinetists don't know "of" most handmakers let alone their products. They may play one or two in a an occasional retail store that might carry one or two of their complete line of models, think that's representative and move on.

So naturally, the General Motors (or should I now say Toyota) of mouthpieces are going to dominate the market. And that fact is not always necessarily the result of quality.

Maybe the internet will help change some things.



Post Edited (2006-03-10 20:42)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: nickma 
Date:   2006-03-10 20:45

'Why would a mouthpiece maker using Zinner blanks - custom designed for the maker or not - charge double or triple the handmade Zinner-blank mouthpiece - especially when they are simply "their" machine made Zinner-blank mouthpieces? As far as I've yet been able to determine, technology has yet to trump artistry.'

That's the point! What is intrinsically of greater value in a Peter Eaton mouthpiece costing $500 than one of yours costing less than half that? There isn't. In fact someone has remarked that his mouthpieces appear to be less handworked than other *hand* crafted pieces, unless of course his finishing is so smooth that it is impossible to see the faint tool strokes, which it may well be. At opposite ends of the spectrum, I have found a $114 Morgan to be far more effective for me than a $500 Eaton, though I accept that someone else may go doo-lalie over the latter. The value is in the eye of the beholder. And if the beholder thinks that $500 is going to get him or her a better mouthpiece than another which is 'merely' $200, many will make a purchasing decision on that basis.

I don't object to craftsman musicians charging whatever they like for their products. If people buy them then that's great. Supply and demand dicatates success or not, and the economic concepts of Giffin are part of what makes a 'perfect market'.

Nick

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-10 21:29

Quite aside from being fully aware of Giffen's "perfect market", all that I was trying to call attention to was whether the use of the free market in a way anyone pleases is ethical or not. There are substantial questions as to how the market is in one way or another, being exploited - Giffen notwithstanding.

Gregory Smith

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Bellflare 
Date:   2006-03-10 21:39


Question: What sort of blank does Backuhn use?

He does not indicate the origin of the rubber.
If it is Zinner, there is some sort of notch where the Zinner etching usually goes.

Since Moroles pitches reeds from Ricos thick kind, are the mouthpieces designed for the thicker reeds?

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-10 21:55

I can tell you why someone charges 3-4 times the cost of a zinner blank because some machine faced mouthpieces are better quality than some of the "hand faced" custom models that are offered by writters on this list. A good quality curve of a zinner blank is going to sound pretty good, even if a monkey is doing the facing, if the facing curve is a good, does it really matter how it gets there?

I've played a Viotto CG2 mouthpiece for the last few years, it was esentially a copy of a Zinner that was hand faced by johann Berger. The Viotto plays great, the Berger plays great (I have never seen a better refacing job than this man could do, these facings are true art work) . Both of those mouthieces in MY opinion played better than any Zinner based mouthpiece done in the USA, by anyone, period. Recently I tried the Backun mouthpieces and these right in the mix of the two previously mentioned mouthpieces. The blank isn't zinner it has a slightly different color than the zinner, but a lovely color (colour) juat the same. These play really great, I've sat and played all the different facings with reeds that worked on them. They have a consistant sound over all the facing ranges. They were very consistant between the same facings. I also had the chance at peabody 2 weeks ago to hear some area "professionals" trying backun mouthpieces, and let me tell you, the way some people try equiptment would scare me if I were manufacturing anything that had to do with the clarinet. if you want to do it the "wrong" way here's how to do that.

A. pull out the reed you've stretched one to many concerts out of. It might have sounded good last week but it doesn't now, especially in the small class room that you're attempting to put "concert hall solo volume" right now.

B. Put on the new mouthiece, don't bother to grease the cork

C. take the beat up, decaying carcus of a reed hold it on the mouthpiece with your thumb, don't bother with the ligature

d. blow any combination of 5-6 left hand notes, shake your head, pronounce the mouthpiece, the most awsome thing ever invented or call it crap, it doesn't matter because you don't know.

E. Repeat the above. I've seen it with mouthpieces, ligature, bells, barrels and clarinets.

My only complaint about Backun stuff is, sometime I go out on a gig or a concert and I have people come up to compliment my performance, and inevitably if it is a clarinetist, they look at my backun barrel and my zebra wood bell on my yamaha Sev, and they think and sometimes tell me that they think I sounded great becuase of the stuff I was playing on. I did help a little, like I did practice alot, you know.

I just heard a recording of an Itallian clarinetist on an all Cavallini CD, who played buffet RC, and a Vandoren mouthpiece, and damn he sounded really good. And to think he didn't have a Kaspar, or a mouthpiece that was touched by someone in the same room as a kaspar, or a mouthpiece that was refaced by someone who studied with a student of a student of Robert Marcellus.

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-10 22:02

"Question: What sort of blank does Backuhn use? He does not indicate the origin of the rubber."
===================================

Zinner. I've worked with them for years. Zinner makes two basic types of blanks - the A model and the E model...both from separate molds.

The designation has been removed for whatever reason and the origin of the blank used is (inadvertently or otherwise) not advertised as such.

Gregory Smith



Post Edited (2006-03-10 22:26)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-10 22:15

"I can tell you why someone charges 3-4 times the cost of a zinner blank because some machine faced mouthpieces are better quality than some of the "hand faced" custom models that are offered by writters on this list. A good quality curve of a zinner blank is going to sound pretty good, even if a monkey is doing the facing, if the facing curve is a good, does it really matter how it gets there?"
=================================================

"Pretty good" is usually not the criteria used for a mouthpiece that ultimately will be played by fine artists.

The presumption seems to (erroneously) be that all there is to do to a Zinner mouthpiece is to apply the facing. There are numerous different adjustments both inside and out that a facing or any other machine cannot and will not be able to accomplish.

Gregory Smith



Post Edited (2006-03-10 22:20)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2006-03-10 22:25

Then there are some really fine artists, playing some "pretty good" mouthpieces, in really decent orchestras. Maybe even in Chicago land.

The presumtion is: that there doesn't seem to be many people that can put a facing on a zinner, that artists will play. And my hallucinations is those adjustments can be done on a machine, but it's one hell of an expesive machine, with one amazing desighn and programed by someone who can work a CNC like Ricardo plays Messenger.

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with Lox&Vodka, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-10 22:28

Then there are some really fine artists, playing some "pretty good" mouthpieces, in really decent orchestras. Maybe even in Chicago land.
===================================================

In the CSO? Hand faced and adjusted inside.

Gregory Smith



Post Edited (2006-03-10 22:31)

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: Gregory Smith 2017
Date:   2006-03-10 22:30

And my hallucinations is those adjustments can be done on a machine, but it's one hell of an expesive machine, with one amazing desighn and programed by someone who can work a CNC like Ricardo plays Messenger.
================================================

I thought that shilling was not allowed on this list.

Gregory Smith.

 
 Re: Backun Mouthpieces
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-03-10 22:34

[ It is now time to let this thread rest and for all to digest the above information - separating the facts from the "ad copy." As always, mouthpiece makers are the best source to answer specific individual concerns and questions - GBK ]

 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 


 This thread is closed 
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
is sponsored by:

For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

Events
Major events especially for clarinetists

Reeds
Great reeds available from around the world

Instruments
Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

Music & Books
CDs, Sheet Music, and some of the greatest reference books ever written!

Accessories
Accessories that every clarinetist needs - reed makers and shapers, ligatures, greases, oils, and preservatives ... and more!

Mouthpieces & Barrels
Fine makers of mouthpieces and barrels, from wood to crystal to hard rubber and plastic

Service
Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

Miscellaneous
Services and products too varied to categorize! Repair, recording, news

 
     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org