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 Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Gobboboy 
Date:   2013-08-06 19:54

Can anyone tell me what the tip opening is (in mm) of the Dan Johnston 'W' Bb mouthpiece is please? I've done a search but all I can find out is that it's 'short close' - I'm guessing its around 110mm but would like to know the exact number.

Hope you're all well


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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2013-08-06 21:06

Just off hand I'd say 1.10 mm is medium/open to open. Perhaps you meant 1.01 mm?

Other than that I don't know of Johnston mouthpieces.

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

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2013-08-06 23:52

Ask him. He apparently has no email or web site, but fairly recent contact information is at http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=355679&t=355679.

He's still listed at that phone number http://www.whitepages.com/phone/1-716-633-5573

Ken Shaw

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2013-08-07 14:57

I had a student many years ago that played on one of his MP and I loved the sound he got. When I tried it I felt great so I ordered one but could never get it to play the same as the students. I sent it back to him several time but finally gave up on it. But, I can't help you here, sorry. Don't forget, there are many other measurments that make one MP play differently than another, not just the tip opening.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Grabnerwg 
Date:   2013-08-07 16:45

Why do you want to know the tip opening/ To what use would you put that information?

Walter Grabner

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Gobboboy 
Date:   2013-08-07 20:25

Hi guys

Thanks for your input.
I wasn't going to bore you with the reasons why but seeing as you asked... ;-)

I have (rather embarrassingly given my question) been playing on a Dan Johnston 'W' MP for a number of years now, but don't know what the tip opening is.
I have 2 of them. One is marginally more comfortable than the other. I have always made a nice sound on it. A warm sound with a wide tone which I can manipulate well, being happy in an orchestra or in a show or in a jazz group.

I'm no expert on mouthpieces, apart from the basics. In the past I have just sat in a shop for a few hours playing on different mp's until I found a few I liked & took them away on trial to decide.
They have always been quite close pieces played with a fairly hard reed.

The reason I asked the question is that I am playing in a show in london now so play every night, 8 shies a week (2 years so far, lucky guy I know!) so a change of MP right now could prove uncomfortable. (ish)

So why change at all you ask?!
Well I happened to have had a blow on a well known Canadian MP with a tip opening of 1.12mm & it felt really great. I found it had more of a "bloom" to the tone & was even warmer than my trusty DJ 'W' I just felt I was making a much bigger sound.


I was asking to see how much different this 1.12mm is from what I'm playing at the moment as if it was significant then I might be reluctant to make the change mid show.

It was more of a "I wonder what the difference is" than a problem as such.


Post Edited (2013-08-07 20:29)

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Ed 
Date:   2013-08-08 00:20

I would suggest that you get one and try it out. While knowing the numbers can help, at the same time it is only a guide. I have played mouthpieces that felt completely comfortable, yet had numbers that would have made me think otherwise. I have also tried mouthpieces which had the right numbers, yet felt awful.

if you do a search, John Moses posted a story here about getting some new mouthpieces from Clark Fobes and trying them immediately in the pit of Wicked. Sometimes things just work for you.

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: Gobboboy 
Date:   2021-08-23 12:54

Talk about a delayed response Ed :-) but i've just referred back to this thread and as always your advice has proved solid. I do hope you are all keeping well. Ben

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2021-08-23 20:23

The "W" stands for (Harold) Wright, so the facing would most likely be long and close. I owned one many years ago but do not remember the exact dimensions.

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-08-24 05:24

rmk54, I was told that also by Dave Etheridge when he lent me his W Johnston mouthpiece (1995!!!!!).
However when I spoke to Dan Johnston at Clarinetfest in 2003 (Salt Lake City) I mentioned this to him and he denied it. I was quite impressed with the guy, and thought he really knew his stuff, but also had the impression he didn't really like me very much and might have been messing with me. I don't know him at all and don't want to cast aspersions on his character (an old student of mine studied with him and thought he was amazing btw).
But that's what he said (or more to the point, he denied any link to Harold Wrights facing).
I have lost the measurements of that mouthpiece, but it was I recall... medium open (around the 1.10 range) with thick rails, longish facing but most importantly a slightly flatter curve to counter some of the effect of the rails being thick. Oh, and NO "tip dip" on the tip rail unlike almost every mass produced mouthpiece, I discussed that with him!

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 Re: Dan Johnston mouthpiece question
Author: rmk54 
Date:   2021-08-24 16:44

Dan told me this himself, probably around the mid 90"s. Maybe Wright heard about it and took exception for some reason.

He (Dan) certainly was a mercurial character...

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