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 Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: samoma1 
Date:   2016-04-05 14:46

Hello all!

I really like Vandoren V12 reeds in strength 5 and generally play them on a Vandoren M13. I'm not totally satisfied that this is the best mouthpiece for me and those reeds, so I've tried a few other mouthpieces such as the Rico Reserve XO, a Gennusa GE and the Gigliotti P and P34, and I still think I'm yet to find my optimal mouthpiece for the V12 5.

Could somebody please suggest some other possibilities?

(I've looked at the websites of Greg Smith and Clark Fobes and they seem to concentrate on strength 3 and 3.5. Vytas Krass seems to prefer making mouthpieces for Vandoren Traditionals and Rue Lepics. I'm sure there are other makers I could consider - suggestions very welcome, please!)

Thank you.



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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2016-04-05 18:32

Just to answer your question, without going into why you want to play such a high-strength reed, I would say that one solution would be to find a lively mouthpiece with a fairly long, close facing and accomodating resistance curve that is relatively easy to blow (no stuffiness or excessive resistance). You might ask Fobes about the 1L facing (1.00 mm tip. 18 mm length) on his new 10K model.

Any of the leading mouthpiece makers, Clark Fobes, Walter Grabner, Gregory Smith, Brad Behn, et al. could draw on their years of experience and do a custom facing for you on one of their models. You would almost certainly not be the first player to ask this or a very similiar question. Best to contact them directly, listen to their suggestions, and get price quotes.



Post Edited (2016-04-05 18:41)

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-04-05 19:10

Well, OK, I'll ask the question then. Why are you so enamored of a #5 reed when you have haven't gotten it to play well on any mouthpiece you've tried? What is it that you like about V12 #5?

In my experience most players who use #5s of any Vandoren model are treating them as nearly finished blanks. The strength leaves enough to allow balancing and other fine-tuning without as much risk of collapsing the reed in the process. They like the core sound, not necessarily the response.

Are you trying to use the #5s out of the box? I have tried many of the close-tipped designs on the market, and I personally wouldn't/couldn't play on a #5 *out of the box* on any of them (Traditional, V-12 or 56 Rue lepic). And, IMO, the current #5 Vandorens are somewhat harder than the old #5s from the era when there was only one Vandoren model (the original "traditional" thin-blank version) and many players in the Philly area used them on their Chedeville mouthpieces. Even Gigliotti, who was a died-in-the-wool #5 Vandoren player, switched to #4.5 V12s when they came out. I recently used the last of some #5 traditional reeds I had left over from the 1980s, and they were much more playable than any #5 I've played more recently.

In general, you should, IMO, pick the reed for the mouthpiece, not the other way around.

Karl

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2016-04-06 00:48

I think this thread's been well covered in the sense that you got the attributes typical of mouthpieces that work well with harder reeds, while also hearing from Karl universally accepted advice that we generally shop for the right strength cane to fit a mouthpiece we like; allowing for extra thickness for those who adjust reeds....not the other way around.

...and those who don't [learn to] adjust reeds will, I think, generally end up disguarding more reeds than they need to.

I have heard of people who've shopped for a mouthpiece to go with a Legere reed, but even then, I don't know that it was a particular strength Legere reed.



Post Edited (2016-04-06 00:49)

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: samoma1 
Date:   2016-04-06 02:42

Seabreeze, kdk, WhitePlainsDave: do you personally play Vandoren V12 5s and can report a particularly favourable experience with a specific mouthpiece? (Especially, seabreeze: have you yourself played the Fobes 1L mouthpiece that you seem to be recommending?)

Thanks.



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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-04-06 03:07

No. 4-1/2s, yes. 5s, no. At least not since the 1980s with VD thin-blank #5s.

Karl

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2016-04-06 03:13

I don't play Vandoren V12 5s on anything. Years ago, I gave up playing hard reeds and learned to get a resonant and balanced sound on several brands of 3 to 3.5 reeds (most recently including Vandoren 21, Peter Leutner, and AW). It is just too much work for me to push a reed that heavy on most mouthpieces and that is why I suggested you talk to a leading mouthpiece pro to see what they could make for you.

If I wanted to play a heavy reed I would use the Clark Fobes CWF personal facing mouthpiece that I own, which has a very close facing (0.96 mm at the tip) and is very free-blowin. Of all the many mouthpieces I own, that one has the natural liveliness of tone and lack of resistance that would let me survive (frankly speaking) on such a hard reed. Even so, I'm sure I would not enjoy pushing my limits that way. I would die playing a reed like that on any of my other moutpieces, unless, of course, I worked on it to reduce its strength.

Fobes has a well developed understanding of mouthpiece physics and acoustics and he would be able to tell you if his most recent model, the 10K, which seems from all descriptions I have heard to continue and possibly perfect many of the attributes of the Fobes CWF, would be a possible choice for you. I am in no way suggesting that you order a 10K blindly on Internet or that I can assure you that it will accomodate your Vandoren V12 5. I'm not sure that any "ready made" model mouthpiece will do that .

That's why I suggested you take up the topic with the mouthpiece experts to see if they can "confect" something to your liking. Call Fobes, Grabner, Smith, and Behn and see what they think.

I plan to try Fobes' 10K myself soon, and I fully expect it to work fine on the 3 and 3.5 strength reeds I play. I personally will not be trying it (or anything else) with an unadjusted #5 reed. And I will not be trying the 1L facing; I will try the 0.96 mm CF facing that I know from experience works best for me. I only suggested you TALK to Fobes about the 1L because that facing is a little longer and therefore just might better accommodate a harder reed. If he says it doesn't then you will need to try something else.

Most players who buy Vandoren V12 5 reeds probably adjust them to play easier, so, as actually played, they are really at a lower strength than #5. Modified in that way, they are more likely to fit a wide variety of mouthpieces. They buy the V12 in the maximum 5 strength with lots of wood in it so they can sand down the wood to get it to play as they wish. It comes as a sort of partially finished blank they can shape to meet their needs.



Post Edited (2016-04-06 23:58)

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: samoma1 
Date:   2016-04-06 03:22

Seabreeze, I probably will consult one of the mouthpiece makers that you mention, that was already one of my plans, but I thought I'd request personal experiences from the contributors to this forum first - I thought that was what this forum was for.

I'm actually quite happy playing V12 5s "out of the box" on an M13 or even a Larry C 1, but there's good, better, even better, and best (and even then, maybe optimal!) and I think I'm still to find the optimal mouthpiece for me. I think I mentioned that in my original post.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-04-06 03:27

Until more recently I use to think that reed strength was ONLY seen in comparison to the facing of mouthpiece you use.


Of late I find that harder reeds just respond slower to a given air speed. Or rather, less of the reed vibrates at all lending itself to a only the higher partials. I guess I want to say the solution is to STOP being enamored with hard reeds.


I have spent the last five months relearning clarinet playing through the prism of the German mouthpiece (very small tip opening; very long lay......similar to what was described by "Seabreeze"). However the standard reed strength that one is supposed to use with a tip opening of 0.83mm open and 24mm long is actually only 2 1/2 !!!!! And the results are amazingly responsive, dynamic and have great depth of sound.


So I would only caution that you may be cutting yourself off from better options by limiting your choice of reed strength.






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



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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: samoma1 
Date:   2016-04-06 03:39

I guess I was really hoping that people who play Vandoren V12 5s would report on their experience with various mouthpieces, with the suggestion of a mouthpiece or mouthpieces that I haven't tried yet (and I quite realise that what works for them might not work for me). There must be plenty out there. So far the only specific mouthpiece mentioned in this regard is the Fobes 1L, but the suggester hasn't actually played it.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-04-06 04:37

Well, let's turn it around. What do you find sub-optimal about the M13 and #5 V12s? What difference are you looking for? Really, if you like the response of the reeds on the M13, then the choice among the other close-tipped (and especially long-curved) mouthpieces ought to be a matter of preference for a tendency in tone color. That's a personal choice. Among mouthpieces that, to me, respond similarly to an M13 are the Fobes CWF and CF facings, Walter Grabner's K11, though it might be a little more open and less amenable to #5s, Gigliotti P (which at 19 mm has a longer curve than most). I'm sure there are others in the same general facing type that shouldn't respond very differently from an M13. They all have their idiosyncratic sound qualities. "Optimal" is a quality, as you've already written, that no one else can recommend for you.

Karl

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2016-04-06 05:21

Seabreeze's last post's first sentence is me. I play 3/3.5 on mostly a Vandoren M15.

I'm of the Marc Nuccio school that says you should play the lowest strength reed that doesn't compromise your artistry.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: samoma1 
Date:   2016-04-06 06:12

With an M15 I'd play a Vandoren 3.5 or 4, but in that sort of "area" I'd prefer a Krass K5 with a Vandoren Traditional 3.5 or Rue Lepic 3.5 (V12s don't work on it for me).

BUT here I have asked about V12 5s. It seems clear enough from my original post, but perhaps I could state: I'd really really really like to hear from people who actually play Vandoren V12 5 reeds.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-04-06 07:05

Could be no one here does?

Karl

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: maxopf 
Date:   2016-04-06 10:23

Since Fobes mouthpieces were mentioned above: When I visited Mr. Fobes a couple of years ago, he told me he plays 3.5-4s on his own CWF mouthpiece (depending on the acoustics of the room), so I'd assume that's the reed strength he designed that mouthpiece to be played with, more or less. I play a CF comfortably with a V12 3.5+ and my teacher plays a CWF with 4s. Maybe the longer facing on his 10K mouthpiece would work with something harder.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: sax panther 
Date:   2016-04-06 15:22

kdk is right - you might be waiting a long time for recommendations as I don't recall anyone on this board mentioning that they personally use strength 5 before.

Grabner K11 was mentioned - I've got one of these and would struggle (and possibly faint) on anything above a 4 - I usually use 3.5. The K series are advertised by Walter as being very V12 freindly though, so it might be that he could modify/custom make something for you.

I think Bob Bernardo mentioned before on another thread that John Yeh uses strength 5 with a Vandoren B40 - I've got one of those as well, and use either 3 or 3.5s with it. If I tried John Yeh's setup I'd pass out. The thread is here - it doesn't mention what reed brand though, only the strength.

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=435792&t=435746

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2016-04-06 17:11

Sam:

I hear you: "mouthpieces for V12 (or at least Vandoren) reeds in strength 5."

I don't know.

What I find odd is that your acceptable range of reed strength for an M15: a slightly more open (3/100 mm) mouthpiece than the M13, but still well within the range of small tipped long facing mouthpieces, is much less than the tip opening difference might suggest (3-3.5).

http://www.vandoren-en.com/Traditional-Bb-Clarinet-Mouthpieces_a159.html

While we all have to play on the setup that makes us comfortable, the link at the above referenced website has itself a link to Vandoren mouthpieces and suggested reed strengths. Never does Vandoren call for the M13 to take a stronger Vandoren reed brand than the M15, and sometimes less.

You've chosen to not include reasons why strength 5 reeds are your thing. Okay. But know that all reeds of a brand are cut identically, to--at least in Vandoren's case--less than a human hair's difference in thickness under Quality Assurance testing. It's mother nature that provides strength variability, not reed cut. Reeds are deflected by Vandoren with a puff of air of known strength and duration. Less deflection under this test=stronger box reed. Who knows what happens once the reed is wet, user-adjusted, and played over a period of time. So take reed strength with a "grain of salt."

When students have asked what strength reed should I use--hoping for some high numbered answer that's akin to "whatcha bench," I ask them--with deliberate tongue in cheek-what size reed someone who makes their own reeds uses. Please be careful with numbers here. Even if you've somehow inherited a boatload of #5's, learning reed adjustment--if you're not familiar with it--might be the single best use of your time and money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chxpjIIZmPA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOO5S4vxi0o


Several mouthpiece makers (e.g.) http://www.clarkwfobes.com/pages/mouthpiece-chart offer suggestions on what size reeds best fit their product offerings, or what their mouthpieces most closely resemble in resistance to another mouthpiece maker's offerings.

With no disrespect intended, my wife might say that you've "not only asked her to find a dress to match the handbag [when it's usually the reverse] but that the handbag's pattern is a Jackson Pollack abstract [hard to match.]"



Post Edited (2016-04-06 17:13)

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Geronimo 
Date:   2016-04-06 18:21

Samoma1,

I have some experience playing on 5's regularly so I'll throw my 2ยข in.

I was encouraged to try out the vandoren M15 mouthpiece and when I switched I was extremely unsatisfied. However the recomemdation was from a trusted teacher and we both understood that it will be a "transitional" mouthpiece. After thinking about why I don't like the sound and trying various brands/cut of reeds at the same strength (3.5) a colleague suggested that I tried a stronger reed. Purely through expirementation I setteled on the vandoren traditional #5 (I understand you specifically are asking about the V12 but I personally didn't care for it at the time of trying things). At that point my mouthpiece no longer sounded like a kazoo but I'm still not very happy with it.
What I'm trying to illustrate is that because I wanted to make the M15 work for me, it required a #5 reed. Not the other way around. I would have no problem going down a strength when getting a new mouthpiece.
In my experience players who use a strength 5 reed typically use it as a starting point to sand to their preference. I don't know anyone besides myself who uses them straight out of the box. In fact recently I had two fellow performance majors try my set up and both of them universally hated it. Keep in mind that one plays on a "golden era" buffet pre-R13 and the other uses Selmer signatures (so very different schools of thought)

All in all of you want to use 5's I'd say look for the closest mouthpiece facing. The Clark Fobes looks like a good possibly. But I've always been told to get the mouthpiece you like and find the right reed to optimise it.

Hoped that helped,

-GM

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: vintschevski 
Date:   2016-04-11 02:18

I think I know what samoma1 is getting at as my experience has been similar (I think). I prefer the harder reeds and tried the usual recommendations for an appropriate mouthpiece (close tip, longer facing), including most of those that samoma1 mentions, also a couple of Hawkins, a Fobes Cicero and a Grabner - and I found that generally reeds in strength 4 worked well on them, while 5 reeds were not so successful, at best they produced nice tone, but not volume. I really began to think that nobody actually made mouthpieces with reeds of strength 5 in mind - and perhaps they don't, given how few people seem to use the 5 reeds. I did, however, have the good fortune to "win" a V.Krass K1 mouthpiece on a certain wellknown auction site and hurrah, it's a beauty for both Vandoren Traditional 5s and V12 5s (I haven't tried any RL56 reeds on it). Sure, sometimes I need to judiciously scrape them, but other times I've just slapped on a reed out of the box and away I go, very happy indeed, great tone and volume with real ring and easy altissimo. I think you could say that I would happily recommend it, but who knows how other people might find it, mightn't suit them at all.



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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Liquorice 
Date:   2016-04-11 02:42

Samomal,

I think that the great thing that a forum like this creates is the possibility for discussion amongst people who share the same interest from all corners of the world. This is different from a place where you just post a question and wait for answers.

You must realise that your reed choice is at the extreme of reed strength and it seems that very few people actually play no. 5 reeds. For most of us, when reading your post, we wonder why you would choose to play such extremely hard reeds and what you perceive the advantages to be. It is especially puzzling given that you don't seem satisfied with your current mouthpiece/reed combination. Why don't you just change to reeds that would fit your mouthpiece?

Although you may be frustrated that you're not getting the answers you want, please could you also contribute something by telling us what it is that makes you want to play these reeds in the first place?

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: vintschevski 
Date:   2016-04-11 02:56

I can't speak for samoma1, but I rather think there is an answer to Liquorice's question lying in this thread, but not the sort of answer sought. What I mean is that to me the 5 reed doesn't seem hard at all, exactly because I am playing a mouthpiece which suits it. So if people wonder why so few other people play the 5 reed, perhaps it is partly because there are indeed so few suitable mouthpieces and they haven't tried the appropriate one. As to samoma1 searching for the best mouthpiece to suit him or her, I hardly think that that is an unusual search, haven't we all gone through that to a lesser or greater extent?

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: mddds 
Date:   2016-04-11 12:14

samoma1,

i agree with vintschevski.

maybe this will be of help to you.

i used a 5 strength Vandoren V12 reed on a Gennusa GE mouthpiece.

but this was a long time ago.

if you have your heart set on playing a certain type of reed strength, my suggestion is that you contact a mouthpiece maker and send them several of the reeds you like to play and ask that they make a mouthpiece that will play the reed.

for the boehm clarinet, i use a C Robert Scott mouthpiece that he made for me. Mr Scott's prices are very reasonable. although the opening is 1.0mm, i find that i've exceeded the stiffness of some reed companies (i.e. Olivieri). The last box of 4.5 Peter Leuthner French cut reeds were way too soft.

i personally used to like very stiff reeds, however in the German clarinet, im finding that the opposite approach towards the set up has been more successful.

i believe that there are others who are discovering some truth to this method (on German mouthpieces).

good luck and feel free to contact me off the board if you need further information or direction.

-CK

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: samoma1 
Date:   2016-04-11 15:51

Hello all again!

Thanks, there are some interesting contributions there.

I've played a mouthpiece that Mr Krass had worked on and put a K5 facing on, it's excellent with Vandoren Traditional 3.5s. I've had a look at his clarinet mouthpiece models and there are quite a few: Ss and Ls and Ks and so on. I notice that he has some even closer tip openings than the K1, even as close as .97. I suppose that would be even easier to play a V12 5 on? I'll have to send a message to Mr Krass and ask him about that.

CK or mddds, thanks very much for your information. I've tried to find out more about C Robert Scott mouthpieces, but I can't find any website of his. Do you know how one might go about contacting him regarding what he might recommend?

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2016-04-11 19:55

While the facing will affect the strength of the reeds you use, there are other internal dimensions which can make a mouthpiece more or less free blowing and more friendly to harder reeds.

I think you are having a hard time finding people who play #5 reeds because those people are rare these days. I think there is a combination of factors. As Karl mentioned, the current reeds are significantly harder than those from years ago. Most every maker I know seems to be designing their mouthpieces for a medium strength reed. Everyone I know is in that range or perhaps in the 4 or 4+ strength at the most.

You may be able to find one of the makers to make or modify a mouthpiece to fit your needs. Not to say it is the right way, but I have always gone in the other direction, by finding a mouthpiece I like and then matching reeds to it. Good luck in your search. Keep us posted on your results.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2016-04-11 20:07

If it works, do it!

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: mddds 
Date:   2016-04-11 20:40

i'm not an expert - the tip opening and facing length are important but the curvature is also important.

samoma1, you can contact me via email off the bb board and i can give you his email address and phone/contact info.

not sure is mr scott has a website, he's located in michigan near Interlochen.

i have no financial relationship to disclose.

-CK

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-04-28 15:46

Here is an answer!!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yK4aXpjSxA&feature=youtu.be



.........Paul Aviles



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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-04-28 17:14

That video is from 2011. Who knows what he's playing 5 years later. :)

Karl

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-04-28 21:32

Just sayin'



And would YOU be able to play an M13 Lyre with a Vandoren V12 nr 5+ reed????


I'd have a heart attack.




Seriously though, I wonder how he does it with such ease. He (as any top professional would) doesn't seem to be straining in the least. He is perfectly at ease.






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



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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2016-04-28 23:31

. Paul Aviles wrote:

> And would YOU be able to play an M13 Lyre with a Vandoren V12
> nr 5+ reed????
>
>
> I'd have a heart attack.
>

Not the V-12s of today. I can't play them comfortably in any strength. They did change at one point - I can't remember anymore if it was longer ago or more recently than 2011. It would be interesting to know what he's using now, since he said in that video that equipment and approach should be constantly evolving.

Karl

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Bubalooy 
Date:   2016-04-29 02:07

I've known a few players who use a vandoren 360 MP with number 5 reeds. I played on fives some years ago with a Blayman mouthpiece and it worked okay, but I've switched to 3,5 with a Greg Smith mouthpiece. Since trying this combination for a few days, I've never been tempted to go back to the old set up.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2016-04-30 06:06

Regarding Mondie's evolution, one Backun website says he is playing a set of MoBas and one Vandoren website says he is playing a Master's Series mouthpiece (without specifying which one) along with Traditional Vandy reeds (no strength given) and a Master's model ligature. That information also might be dated.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for V12 5 reeds?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2016-04-30 19:38

I know you are expanding information to the thread, but I wanted to make sure that we are all clear that Mondie gives a specific combination that he was using (even if only for that afternoon). And that particular combination speaks to what can be used easily by someone using a particular technique.


Even when I thought I had the very best standard French mouthpiece/reed combo out there, it was a nr 4 reed on a slightly less open mouthpiece (an M13 non-Lyre) than the M13 Lyre. And I was using a fair amount of force !!!!







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



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