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 M15 or M15-13?
Author: Bruno 
Date:   2006-08-23 16:27

“M15”; a traditional mouthpiece (pitch 442 Hz)
“M15 13”: an optimized bore for the 13 series (American pitch440 Hz)

The above model designations were copy/pasted from a Van Doren article.
I've been thinking about trying one or the other. Here's my question: since (I think!) that these are essentially the same MP except for the pitch, wouldn't it be better to play the M15 and pull the barrel a little when needed, thus gaining the advantage of being able to play at both 442 and 440.
I pull the barrel when needed and I've never noticed intonation problems. A clarinettist friend of mine who knew Goodman said he played with the barrel pulled, (I've seen his horn with the barrel pulled myself) so I don't think that's a problem.

Or are they two completely different MPs?




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 Re: M15 or M15-13?
Author: David Peacham 
Date:   2006-08-23 16:40

I play the M15.

I can only suggest you try both and buy the one that plays in tune in your clarinet.

The 13-series mouthpieces are intended to make R-13s play in tune at A=440. On other designs of clarinet, they may simply play flat. Even on an R-13, your mileage may vary.


If there are so many people on this board unwilling or unable to have a civil and balanced discussion about important issues, then I shan't bother to post here any more.

To the great relief of many of you, no doubt.

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 Re: M15 or M15-13?
Author: DAVE 
Date:   2006-08-23 16:55

All of the 13 series that I tried play well and tuned nicely with the tuner BUT I could not play them in tune with anybody! Even with piano I was flat. Of course it could be a combination between me and the people I played with, but I suggest using the regular Vandorens and if needed, use a longer barrel.

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 Re: M15 or M15-13?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2006-08-23 17:04

David is right. One of the things you just can't know without trying is if you need the regular Vandoren or 13 series. On my clarinets (one being a R13) the 13 series Vandoren is just too flat and impossible to play at all (at least the five I tried).

To claim that a mouthpiece will be exactly 440 or 442 is even more rediculous than to claim the type of plating determines the sound of a saxophone  :) It is the mouthpiece, reed, clarinet, and most important the player who contribute to the exact tuning that a certain setup gives.

As always when talking about intonation, I recommend reading what Peter Eaton writes on his website, and especially the part in Jack Brymer's book "Clarinet" that he mentions there.

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 Re: M15 or M15-13?
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-23 17:10

I shortened my 13 Series M15 at the shoulder by 1mm, and it plays bang smack in tune now.

Before I really had to lip it up - whereas previously with my 5RV Lyre I was playing way sharp, even with a 68mm barrel.

But the sound I get from the M15 is the sound I want, which is why I didn't want to change it, so I shortened it instead - far cheaper.

Former oboe finisher
Howarth of London
1998 - 2010

The opinions I express are my own.

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 Re: M15 or M15-13?
Author: John O'Janpa 
Date:   2006-08-23 17:47

Only way to know is to try playing them on your clarinet. I play the M15-13 on an old Selmer Signet Special and still have the barrel pulled out once it's warmed up. The only time I have the barrel all the way in is when I'm forced to play the instrument cold. (Sometimes happens during church services, etc.)

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