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 Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: dahong 
Date:   2011-10-16 19:07

Hi Guys!
I just had my CWF 2L clarinet mouthpiece shipped from WWBW (finally from back order..) and I was wondering what experiences do you guys have from CWF mouthpieces (with the asymmetrical facings), is that uncomfortable in the mouth?
and what reed strength you use with that?

I am currently using an M15. I'm not really a professional, as I am only on my third year but I am beyond obsessed with getting as nice of a sound as possible. That's what makes playing fun for me. Will it be a noticeable difference for anyone? and what ligature do you currently use?

Much Thanks!
-Daniel

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: rtmyth 
Date:   2011-10-16 21:28

First check any new mp for symmetry. Many are not. I rejected them.

richard smith

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2011-10-16 22:23

They aren't bad, try it and see what you think Take Richards advice above. If you get tired playing the MP or you have trouble hitting some of the notes, or there are dead notes and stuffy notes send it back.These are very good indications that the table and the facings are off.

STEUER REEDS Importer played by Sabine Meyer

NEWLY DESIGNED "Vintage 1940 Cicero" Mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist




Post Edited (2011-10-17 05:54)

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: dahong 
Date:   2011-10-16 23:01

well, what I meant is that CWF mouthpiece(s) (not completely sure if all of them are) but purposely made asymmetrical, so I'm really wondering if anyone has experience with these mouthpieces?

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2011-10-16 23:37

It is Clark's latest offering according to his website -- an asymmetrical facing that is a copy of his own personal mouthpiece.

Sorry to say that I haven't tried it.

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: claritoot26 
Date:   2011-10-17 00:23

M15 is actually my mouthpiece of choice right now on clarinet, after trying a dozen or more others. I use a 3.5+ Rico Reserve Classic reed on it. I have a Fobes MP on bass clarinet, and like it with a 3+ RRclassic or 3.5 V12 reed.

Lori

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2011-10-17 01:45

Clark's mouthpieces are generally symmetrical. I believe only the CWF and the 2M* are not. Even so, Clark's asymmetry is very slight. The CWF is a very good mouthpiece. I would not have known from the playing that it was not symmetrical. This seems to add a little depth or character in the piece. It plays very comfortably.

I like the mouthpieces that Clark makes. They are always very well crafted and play very well for me.

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: SteveG_CT 
Date:   2011-10-17 03:32

Good luck with the new mouthpiece Daniel! I play a Fobes mouthpiece on bass clarinet but haven't gotten around to trying one of his upper level soprano mouthpieces. I have tested out some of his "Debut" models for some colleagues of mine who had children planning to start clarinet lessons and they have usually been very good for student mouthpieces.

As for your question about ligatures, I have a couple that I use regularly. I tend to like fabric/leather ligatures and use a Rovner Versa much of the time on both bass and soprano clarinet.

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Clark W Fobes 
Date:   2011-10-18 19:19

Hi Dahong,

My CWF mouthpiece is only slightly asymmetric and most of the asymmetry is near the tip. You will not feel this in the mouth. They asymmetry helps close facing to play a bit darker and with a bit more resistance. This allows a nice resistance in the altissimo .

Generally, I make all of my facing symmetrical, but this is a facing that I have used for 14 years and it works very well for me.

Clark

Clark W Fobes - Clarinet & Saxophone Products

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2011-10-18 22:00

Funny, I was gonna post asking about these and I was beat to it...

My teacher loaned me a CWF for this week (also has ZA7354 inscribed on it, I'm assuming a serial number)? I find it slightly less resistant than my Vandoren M13. I find the altissimo speaks a little easier. I will be trialing it this week in different orchestra rehearsals and see if I like it better than my M13 (he said he might trade my M13 for it if I like it better).

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Alexis 
Date:   2011-10-18 22:02

Given that we all have different (and often asymmetrical) facial structures, wouldn't ruling out a mouthpiece based the criteria of it being asymmetrical be a little short sighted?



Post Edited (2011-10-18 22:16)

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2011-10-18 23:56

I think the idea of of the asymmetry is that the reed meets the mouthpiece at two different lengths of the lay. It is this difference that makes it respond the way it does. This is independent of the anatomy of the clarinetist.



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



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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Clari 
Date:   2011-10-19 07:40

Mr. Fobes,

I have several of your mouthpieces and they are all symmetric and great.
Regarding the asymmetry, it seems like every individual might have bias in their oral configuration. For example one person might have tendency on putting more pressure on left side due to the muscle or lip shape and if you make asymmetrical facing the same way, logically it will work well for some people and do the opposite for the other? Wouldn't it?

thanks

Clari

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2011-10-19 08:45

You could say the same thing about symmetrical mouthpieces.

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2011-10-20 15:26

I'm really liking the CWF so far and I may have to negotiate that trade with my teacher. It plays sharper than my Vandoren M13 (series 13), which is nice because (with a 64mm Chadash barrel), I can _finally_ hit A440 on my A clarinet without tons of effort and warmup time! (I'm usually quite flat on my A unless we're playing in a toasty nursing home-type setting; even after lots of warm-up time, I may not come up to A440 at room temperature).

Interestingly enough, it doesn't sharpen my Bb clarinet to extremes like I thought it would since my A clarinet comes up so much (10c-20c). I use the same barrel on both (with a tuning ring for the Bb), and can tune it just fine with some pulling out and lipping down.

I'd like to learn more about the asymmetry. Is there any more to say about it than has been said in your above post Clark?

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: William 
Date:   2011-10-20 19:21

I've read that it was common practice years ago to take a little extra off the right rail to compensate for the pressure of the thumb. The Chicago Kaspar mouthpiece that I play on is asymmetrical--longer on the right side--and wouldn't trade it for all the symmetrical mpcies in the world (unless one played better-lol). The only true test for any mouthpiece is, DOES IT PLAY FOR YOU--not, is it symmetrical.

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Clark W Fobes 
Date:   2011-10-20 23:46

REGARDING ASYMMETRY IN MOUTHPIECE FACINGS.

William makes a very interesting point about asymmetry. But the thought that we twist the mouthpiece as a result of supporting the clarinet and thus creating an unequal pressure on the reed is perhaps flawed. I think in practice we all rotate the mouthpiece to a position where out teeth feel comfortable. I would bet that most players do not play with the mouthpiece absolutely centered to the register key, which lines up with the thumb rest.

It is true that many of the original Kaspar facings (in my experience) were asymmetrical in the same manner as my CWF mouthpiece. On occasion, I may allow the left side to be asymmetrical to the end of the curve, but generally I prefer the facing to only be asymmetric near the tip. Most of my Eb mouthpieces are made this way and I like a very slight asymmetry on my contra mouthpieces. I feel that the slight asymmetry on the contra allows the reed to vibrate at the extremely soft dynamics, where as a completely parallel contra facing does not function quite as well at that dynamic.

I tend not to use any asymmetry in my bass mouthpieces, it lends a buzzines to the sound at the more extreme loud dynamic.

When I make asymmetrical facing I always make the LEFT side slight more open (Left as you look at your reed on the mouthpiece). For me, making the mouthpiece asymmetrical on the RIGHT side kills the sound. I have observed that MANY Vandoren mouthpieces are made this way and I think it is a flaw, not intentional.

The "trick" to making a successful asymmetrical facing is that the tip rail remain flat, flat, flat. It took some time to realize how to do this effectively.

Both Dan Johnston and James Pyne favor very asymmetrical facings which some players find very appealing. It can create a very warm sound due to resistance,but I think extreme asymmetry does create some aggravation for fitting reeds.

But as someone here so aptly wrote "play what works for you". Amen. I am not on this voyage to convert the world to my mouthpieces and as a player I hear a lot of my colleagues who sound great on equipment that is quite different from what I am doing. Ultimately, music needs to be enjoyable and if I can make playing the clarinet more enjoyable, more expressive and more facile for a large number of clarinetists through my products then I am achieving my goals as an artisan and artist.

Cheers,

Clark

Clark W Fobes - Clarinet & Saxophone Products

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: donald 
Date:   2011-10-21 00:38

If this was facebook, i'd "like" Clarks post....

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2011-10-21 00:41

Clark -

I think William's idea comes from Bonade. In The Clarinetist's Compendium, he says that the clarinet tends to roll to the left, off the end of the right thumb, and that reeds [and presumably the mouthpiece lay] should be adjusted to compensate for this.

I've never noticed that my clarinet rolls off to the left, and I adjust my reeds to be balanced left-and-right. Like you, I adjust my mouthpiece position to where it feels best. This can very with the shape of your teeth and lower jaw. When I chipped a front tooth, I had to adjust, and when it was knocked out years later and I got a permanent bridge, I adjusted again.

Steve Girko rotates his mouthpiece probably 15 degrees to the side to compensate for an asymmetrical jaw and plays beautifully. As Mark Nuccio says, what's important is that you find the best position and stick with it.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Clark W. Fobes Mouthpieces?
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2011-10-21 03:13

When I adjust reeds, I almost always have to take more off of the left side than the right (which is counter-intuitive to things I've read, but that's what works for me). I got back to being diligent about that when I started taking lessons again last year.

Not that it will change how I adjust things at this time, but I often wonder if the nerve damage I (still) have in my left lower lip/chin effect what I do versus what I "should" do (the putting-more-pressure-on-the-left-side thing when that's the side that feels funny). I tend to doubt it since I haven't lost muscle strength/usage (that I know of), but it would be interesting to find out. Of course, it would probably be moot since I wouldn't have data from before surgery to compare it to.

I really have to stop thinking and just play (my teacher says that, too)...

----------
Rachel

Bb/A: Buffet R13
Eb/Bass: Bundy

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