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 Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: yearsofwisdom 
Date:   2010-10-04 21:24

I have been currently using a m30 mouthpiece and my teacher never actually realized that i was using it. She claims that it could be the reason why i get some resistance problems and lack control when attacking notes. She has told me to either switch to a custom or a b40 since they offer better control. How much better would a good custom mouthpiece be compared to a b40/b40 lyre? I don't know which version i would get yet for the b40. Does the 300-500 dollars justify its cost compared to the 70-80 i would spend on a b40 lyre?

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2010-10-04 22:11

You can get excellent mouthpieces for less than$200. Custom (or hand-finished) mouthpieces do not have to spend as muchas you are worried about. I got two very nice hand finished mouthpieces for between $180 and $300.

Even so, a B40 is not the only option. Try a number of different Vandorens, if you have the chance. My daughter plays beautifully on an M13. She tried at least 15-20 different models with her teacher before getting that one. She sounds wonderful, and is doing very well in music school. Go to a store that has a good selection, and try out what they have.


“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2010-10-04 22:15

The M30 is a specific animal in the Vandoren line. It features particularly thick side rails and even a thicker tip rail. This DOES contribute to the "delay" in attacks..... at least when I use one.

The B40 is an ENTIRELY different mouthpiece from the M30 in that, even though it DOES have thinner rails, it is a short lay mouthpiece with a substantially open tip.

For me, I would suggest trying the M13 or 5RV Lyre well before the B40. Of course if your playing indicates this particular switch to your teacher (and that person should know where you're at better than any of us), just be prepared for it to seem like you might need a slightly weaker reed on it. And work on taking in less mouthpiece (on the B40 that is).

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

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: beejay 
Date:   2010-10-05 00:04

I have had exactly the same problem. The M30 is a very nice mouthpiece, but it is very free-blowing.
I also was pointed in the direction of a B40. I tried the new B40D (D for Deutschland) and fell in love with the sound. But it is quite resistant, and softer reeds (2 1/2 - 3) are advised.
This is an advantage as far as I'm concerned because I am able to re-use the scores of reeds I've rejected over the years as being too soft. I use an ordinary B40 on my basset horn and find it gives a very focused and warm sound. I've also heard good things about the B40 lyre.
I'm fortunate to live close to the Vandoren shop in Paris, and when I bought my latest mouthpiece, I was able to try a dozen or so B40s.Every one had slightly different characteristics, so my advice would be to try as many as you can.
I have never tried the M13 as Paul Aviles suggested. I have played a RV Lyre and do not like it nearly as much as the M30 or the B40D. But the person I sold it to is very happy with it.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2010-10-05 00:04

Paul Aviles wrote:

> The M30 is a specific animal in the Vandoren line. It
> features particularly thick side rails and even a thicker tip
> rail. This DOES contribute to the "delay" in attacks..... at
> least when I use one.
> ...............Paul Aviles

I really like the M30. I think it's a great mouthpiece. I never thought about it, but I guess I do understand that there's a delay. I compensated by using lighter reeds (3.0), a responsive ligature, and being VERY careful with my embouchure to get a more immediate response. But if it's not working for you and your teacher is noticing, then try something else.

As for the custom mouthpiece, there are MANY good options (IMO) under the $200 mark. Especially if you don't mind getting it used, or finding a blank or other mouthpiece and having it refaced. I bought an old lelandais mouthpiece cheap, had it refaced by richard hawkins, and had a mouthpiece that was JUST over a 100 bucks that played VERY well.


[edit] PS - you may want to check on getting your M30 refaced. 30 - 50 dollars could have your mouthpiece tweaked a little bit to play much better.

Platoon Sergeant
US Army Japan Band

Post Edited (2010-10-05 00:07)

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: cxgreen48 
Date:   2010-10-05 01:34

I don't believe I have any problems with attacking notes, and I play an M30. The problem could also be a reed issue.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2010-10-05 16:17

I recently tried an M30 Lyre and wrote about it on another thread. While it shares the sound of the M30, it seems to have better control (hold) without significantly greater resistance. It also seems to have a warmer sound than the 5RV Lyre. Along with others who have tried the M30 Lyre, I found that it takes a softer reed than the M30--a VD V12 3.5 worked well for me, whereas I would probably play a 4.0 on the M30.

I also play the B40 Lyre which for me is completely different from the regular B40. If you want a bit more resistance to aid control, this is a mouthpiece worth trying as well. It tunes better than the M30s (which seem to play a bit low, as does the M30 Lyre) and has a denser, more powerful sound (which is why I use it for Orchestral work). Since it is a bit more open than the M30 and has more resistance, I play V12s in the range 3.25-3.5.

I would take advantage of the Van Doren lineup to try a few alternatives so that you can get a better idea of what you are looking for. If you still want something better, you will have a better basis for evaluating the more expensive, hand-made mouthpieces.


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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: Ed 
Date:   2010-10-05 16:26

Before thinking of spending on a new mouthpiece, I would experiment with some different strengths and cuts of reeds. Often this can be a much easier way to get the results you want. The M30 has become a pretty standard and well respected mouthpiece for many.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: Drakiej 
Date:   2010-10-05 19:46

I just recently switched to the M30 from a B45 and fell in love with the response I got with it. I tried several m30 and 5rv and chose the m30.
I use Mitchell Lauries #4 with my m30.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: yearsofwisdom 
Date:   2010-10-05 23:57

i am currently using vandoren v12s and blue box 4s on it. I do feel that i lack control sometimes especially when i was playing the 2nd movement of the mozart.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: clarinetguy 2017
Date:   2010-10-06 03:22

If you're going to switch, also check out the M-15. I really like mine.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: yearsofwisdom 
Date:   2010-10-10 03:49

mmm... now how much better are customs vs a regular non-custom VD?

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2010-10-10 04:36

A custom mouthpiece is not always really a custom mouthpiece. I happen to play "custom" mouthpieces i.e. they were made by small, some even single person shops. But there is nothing custom about them. I just tried them and liked them. A couple of days ago I tried another "custom" mouthpiece and didn't like it at all. You might like one or not just same as with a Vandoren mouthpiece.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: yearsofwisdom 
Date:   2010-10-17 04:24 teacher suggested a pyne mouthpiece? anyone have experience with them?

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: TianL 
Date:   2010-10-17 05:20

if i were you, i'd stick with vandoren. you could spend a tone of money on mouthpieces, yet they don't make that much difference from a good vandoren unless you are really THAT good of a player.

vandoren has so many different models that you will definitely find one that fits you. there are closer facing ones (M13, M13 lyre, 5RV, 5RV lyre, M15 etc) and more open ones like the B40. you can find a chart on vandoren's website. you should first try all of them (just order one each from WWBW and return all of them after you are done). then whichever one you like, order like another 5 or 6 and pick the best one. they do charge like $4 per mouthpiece as stocking fee, but it's well worth it. (This whole process probably will cost you like $40).

once you really figure out what you like, take a look at what facing it has, then later if you do want to upgrade again to a custom mouthpiece, at least you know what kind of mouthpieces you are looking for. otherwise if you buy a custom one now, you are not even sure what you will like.

the pyne.. hmm some people like it so much and others hate it so much.. so it's all personal preference.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2010-10-17 07:03

Your current mouthpiece can be fixed. Email me for ideas on how to solve your problem.

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 Re: Resistance: Custom vs B40
Author: donald 
Date:   2010-10-17 10:13

Use this mouthpiece as a blank for refacing- a good artisan will be able to adjust the curve, (maybe) flatten the table, if needed re-shape the tip and side rails to suit the facing. This is all best done with you there to try it out at various stages in the procedure.

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