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 Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-12-12 23:56

Hi all, I'm sorry for starting another discussion even I just started one a few days ago. So I've always been having issues with tuning ever since I got my R13 about 2 years ago. Last lesson, the teacher whom I just started studying with over the summer decided to address the problem. As he is a Vandoren artist, he made me try some B40s, B40 lyres, and one BD5 he happened to have. None of them really suited me. The closest was the BD5, but it gave me a very airy sound. He tried to give me some shorter Moening barrels to try, but they none of them fit on my R13. I think I read somewhere on the Bboard that they don't fit the new Buffets?
Anyways...after realizing I was playing on a series 13 M30, he told me that was the problem. He said my flat open G and left thumb F would be fixed. Told me to try as many M30s that weren't series 13.

So I ordered some M30s off Amazon (since its so easy to return with them) and ordered a Selmer Concept as well. The Selmer Concept arrived yesterday. Although the tip opening was a bit smaller than the M30 theoretically, I immediately fell in love with the Selmer Concept. Some have said it was too stuffy and resistant, but for me I felt it was perfect. The M30 is too freeblowing for me. For the M30, my sound became very thin and spread if I use a softer reed and very airy if I use a harder reed. However, on the Concept, no matter what reed I used, the focus, centered tone was always there: never airy even at pp dynamic unless I went to extremely hard reeds. The only change in reed strengths on the Concept was the brightness of my sound. And the tuning problem was basically fixed! Still riding a little low on the left thumb F, but only by a little. The open G is fine now. Even the articulations are better.

So this is all really good, and I think this may be my new go-to mouthpiece. Even if it means I'll have try to talk it out with my teacher, since he wants me to use VD mouthpieces. I know I still need to spend more time with the mouthpiece to get used to it, but one issue I have with the Concept at the moment is that its a little harder to control. Sometimes when I attack the notes, there's that "crack" sound, not quite a squeak, if you know what I talk about. Any tips? Or is this a problem the Concept mouthpieces have?

Also what are all your opinions on the Concept/Focus?

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2017-12-13 03:01

Maybe I am very wrong. I have a general feeling that most young players pay a bit too much attention to mouthpiece. Some of them even mistakenly hope that one magic mouthpiece can change everything. I like what Sabine Meyer once said: it is you, the player who makes the sound, not the material. Sticking to one decent mouthpiece (e.g., BD5, M30 and Concept you mentioned) and working on the sound and technique by practicing probably is something young players should do.

Well, I am sure mouthpiece makers are not happy to hear this...

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-12-13 04:26

I think both the material and the player's skill are important. Ask me to play on the mouthpiece that came with my instrument back in 6th grade and I wouldn't sound as good, although I wouldn't sound like a beginner (hopefully)  :)

In all honesty, the only reason I am looking for a new mouthpiece is because my teacher and I both think the current mouthpiece is making some notes come out too flat, especially my open G and left thumb F. I've been playing the clarinet for 6 years, have played on the same equipment for awhile, but by no means am I a pro. Yet this flatness is clearly an equipment thing, as no matter how much I try to lip it up, it doesn't work. if I try my hardest to lip it up, the notes are still 15 cents flat.

Now since I am getting a new mouthpiece, it would be nice to get a mouthpiece that would give me the sound I am looking for right out of the box, to solve not only my tuning issues but also my sound. Yes i suppose if I used the BD5 my teacher asked me to try I could make it work eventually. but why go for the BD5 when I can find another mouthpiece that is better at around the same cost? Even my teacher told me the B40s and the BD5 weren't fit for me.

Correct me if I am wrong, as I am a student, but that's my logic. And by the way, I am not the type of person to try new things all the time. I've used the M30 13 since I was a 7th grader, and I'm a 12th grade senior now.

-- Ray Zhang

Post Edited (2017-12-13 04:29)

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2017-12-13 04:42

Ray...
You're an excellent player. I know it's hard to go against your teacher, but ultimately you have to do what works for you. No offense to the Vandoren fan boys, but they have never been my favorite...even when I was your age. They are inconsistent (looking at you too Buffet) and frankly there might be better options on the market for you.
Perhaps considering a more boutique (Bernardo, Graber, Fobes) option for your mouthpiece is a good strategy. That's what I did, for example, and Brad Behn de-mystified the mouthpiece hunt and helped me tremendously. Yes, I paid for his service, but worth every penny to avoid endless frustration. No you don't need to drop $800 for a mouthpiece, but maybe the $100 options aren't cutting it either. There has to me a middle ground somewhere.

~Robert L Schwebel
Mthpc: Behn Vintage, Lig: Ishimori, Reed: Aria 4, Legere Euro Signature 3.75, Horns: Uebel Superior, Ridenour Lyrique

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-13 05:36

zhangray4 wrote:

> So this is all really good, and I think this may be my new
> go-to mouthpiece.

Until something else comes along. But that's completely OK. Mouthpieces aren't lifetime commitments. Who knows what will come along in the future (or even next week)?

> Even if it means I'll have try to talk it out
> with my teacher, since he wants me to use VD mouthpieces.

If he's interested in your best playing and not some kind of ulterior reward for spreading VD in the world, this ought not to be a problem.

> I know I still need to spend more time with the mouthpiece to get
> used to it, but one issue I have with the Concept at the moment
> is that its a little harder to control.

This may be something you can overcome by playing it, or it might not be. You need time with the mouthpiece to know for certain.

> Sometimes when I attack
> the notes, there's that "crack" sound, not quite a squeak, if
> you know what I talk about. Any tips?

This can be from taking too much reed in your mouth, especially if the reed is soft. Or it might be caused by some bad habit you've developed with your tongue. It isn't anything wrong with the mouthpiece itself (mouthpieces aren't deliberately designed to make that kind of sound), but may be something you're carrying over from your previous mouthpiece that you'll have to find and fix.

Karl

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2017-12-13 06:01

zhangray4 wrote:

> I think both the material and the player's skill are important.

Advice like what Klose cites above from Sabine Meyer needs to be applied within reasonable limits. I don't think Sabine Meyer or anyone else with real experience would try to convince you that the stock mouthpiece on an entry level Yamaha or Buffet or Jupiter will give results as good as a well-designed, well made mouthpiece. But it is, I think, true that you can learn to get good, musical results on almost any well-designed, well made third-party mouthpiece. Much of the time what seems like a preference to an inexperienced student is more a result of habits built up while playing the mouthpiece he has become used to.

> In all honesty, the only reason I am looking for a new
> mouthpiece is because my teacher and I both think the current
> mouthpiece is making some notes come out too flat, especially
> my open G and left thumb F. I've been playing the clarinet for
> 6 years, have played on the same equipment for awhile, but by
> no means am I a pro. Yet this flatness is clearly an equipment
> thing, as no matter how much I try to lip it up, it doesn't
> work. if I try my hardest to lip it up, the notes are still 15
> cents flat.

Yes, it's an equipment problem, but if it's only throat F and G, one alternative solution you may not have considered is to have these two notes adjusted on the clarinet. How does high C6 tune? Bringing the pitch of G4 up is fairly easy and safe because there's no twelfth involved as a "normal" fingering (making the alternate open D6 fingering a little sharper might on most clarinets even be a positive bonus). F4 can be brought up, too, if it doesn't result in a C6 that's unmanageably sharp.

Not that this is necessarily preferable to buying a mouthpiece that tunes better in the throat area, but it *is* a different possible solution, depending on how much you like your current mouthpiece otherwise.

> Now since I am getting a new mouthpiece, it would be nice to
> get a mouthpiece that would give me the sound I am looking for
> right out of the box, to solve not only my tuning issues but
> also my sound.

But accept that your sound concept may - almost certainly will - change with experience as you continue to play.

Karl

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2017-12-13 09:32

Funny, I've been telling people on this Board since the August ClarinetFest that the new Selmer was a very good mouthpiece. It can actually get even better Ray. It's the best commercial mouthpiece on the market right now. I still think it is stuffy though. But with some work it can be an amazing mouthpiece. It beats out anything on the market today at $100.

I've been toying with buying some and fixing them, then selling them for $145.

Maybe fix them for $50 and ship them back to the player and it includes shipping; so $45 for the labor.

Haven't made up my mind yet. If people are interested email me. They will play just like the old Chedeville's or very close to it, as very few Chedevilles played the exact same. That's how good they can be in the hands of the right person. In the hands of the wrong person, well throw them out. A hint, it's not in the facing, so don't have them refaced. If you do throw them out because they may become more resistant. So I have to keep the stuffiness/resistance to freeness and freedom a secret.


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist




Post Edited (2017-12-13 09:37)

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2017-12-13 10:07

Ray - I think your logic is sound here and you've received some excellent additional advice. Klose is correct that younger players these days often do themselves a disservice by bouncing around with their set-up choices every time some shiny bauble catches their eye, but I don't get the sense that you've fallen over that edge in terms of your expectations from a mouthpiece. There are many younger players who think that all the answers are quickly found in a box rather than slowly between the covers of an etude book. Don't be that person and you'll do fine.

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2017-12-13 11:10

These are all excellent advice. I don't think I indulge too much regarding equipment, as I focus more on what I can do to improve. Then I start to question the equipment and maybe ask my teacher for clarification.

It's good to know that someone else believes the Selmer Concept is good, especially when it is a pro mouthpiece maker like Bob. I remembered someone saying about the new Selmer mouthpieces being good, so I copped one off Amazon while purchasing the M30s. I guess it was Bob. Glad I bought one.

And my teacher says the tuning issue is most likely the mouthpiece as anything below the open G is flat, but especially the open G and F. And my throat tones are actually not really sharp without adding extra fingers, which is something you would not usually expect. So that's why I am looking for mouthpieces to solve the issue.

Thanks again for all the helpful replies!

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2018-06-01 22:04

Just tried these mouthpieces from Selmer Fr. the focus and concept. Allied with the correct reed...in my case v21. Vandoren reeds

I found the Concept was really superb and corrected much of the flatness encountered with the bd513 vandoren offering. The concept does indeed have a very nice big sound but does play pianissimo very well.

The Focus for me is very good but did not have the rich sound I like..that being said it stands way above the BD5 vandoren in that it projects really well and plays with great ease. So..these new facings are very fine and do not really need any after market adjustment. Finally some facings for north american players that do not play flat!

David Dow

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: TomS 
Date:   2018-06-02 16:53

I have found that the throat E and F to be a bit flat (3-4 cents in respect to open G (with no resonance fingerings)) on most clarinets (my R13/greenline, for example) and with VD MPs ... I've heard that this is often designed into the clarinet because these notes lack resonance and require the addition of some venting, such as the LH C# key ... the addition of this key or other keys improves the resonance and brings the pitch up. If these two notes were "right on the money" the addition of some venting fingerings would make them sharp ... of course, some resonance fingering flatten notes, such as the RH down on the open G ...

However ... I've used and currently using Vandoren M13/M13-lyre/M15 and perhaps some improvements could be made by trying something else ...

Selmer has been making their MPs out of machined rod rubber for eons ... before it was fashionable and while most everyone else was using molded blanks.

And, because I like the option of using Legere reeds, a closer facing seems to work better ... might give the Selmer a try ...

Tom

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: Ralph 
Date:   2018-06-03 05:18

David - what model/brand clarinet did you try the new mouthpieces with ?

Ralph

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-06-04 08:35

The Focus and the Concept rubber is pretty soft. This is both good and bad. Since August when I first commented on the Concept for $100 it still remains a very good mouthpiece. Several have passed by me for refacing and some magic touches to get rid of the resistance. The bore is inconsistent. Some are very nice like the old Chedeville bores and others just are way off. So I blame this on the tooling Selmer is using. The reamers are perhaps getting too hot or the rubber is a problem. I prefer very hard rubber not this softer rubber they are using.

Wish someone there would call me. Guess they are too proud to ask for advice. This $100 average mouthpiece could be a treasure with the right techniques and concepts put into place. As it stands now it still beats anything Vandoren puts out, because it plays pretty much in tune, if the bore is set correctly.

I strongly feel the Concept is a much better mouthpiece compared to their Focus. To redo the focus several hours would be needed to make this mouthpiece play well. But the Concept given about 30 minutes to an hour of reboring and other adjustments, could sound pretty amazing. Equal to any $500 to $1000 mouthpiece.


NEWLY DESIGNED - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist




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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-06-04 16:58

As for the tuning, which is what started this thread, it is well known that that some R13s had their register tone hole in the wrong place. Maybe a good clarinet craftsman could change the bore for you to fix the tuning, or get another horn. Most clarinets now tune better than those suspect R13s.
And used R13s are getting a good price now.

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2018-06-05 02:01

I use the Focus on my bass (Buffet Prestige). It plays well, in tune and with a big sound that carries in orchestral situations. I chose this over the Concept.

Peter Cigleris
http://www.calarecords.com/acatalog/info_CACD77015.html
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/english-fantasy/id594011840

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 Re: Regarding the Selmer Concept Mouthpiece...
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2018-06-05 19:42

I am currently using a set of CSG Yamaha clarinets which are in very good condition. I want to add a few thoughts..a small bore mouthpiece with a small bore clarinet might indeed be the trick..the M30 and BD5 13 all play quite low on the e but the Concept and B40 Lyre 13 play in tune for me on this set up. I also want to say they play very similar as well in terms of tonal color. What the Concept does have is a great eveness..not necessarily an advantage musically but intervals are very precise as a result of this....I also love the blank material. Yes..the video shows Selmer France hand finishing as well. I used v12 and v21 reeds with the concept..so happy I have just bought one as well. The other thing I may add is the Concept facing adds a very good resistance to the sound and this shape or hold allows alot more control over sound production....this of course means greater ease of performance
Phillip Berrod was the design guy who is a player I really admire..his ideas about tone I agree with ..so maybe just maybe we have a Selmer piece for clarinet ideal for this larger deep sound so current! The tip of the Concept is nicely made and gives great air flow too...so this is hand made work for sure..

The Concept is just about where I like the instrument to work..so for some this may not be so good..I found the Focus to lack the depth I look for so that means I want a broad deep sound..the B40 and B40 Lyre are where I think now not wanting to spend alot of time getting harder reeds to work. I also find the tuning of the Concept realistic and a good compromise..off to a recording..all the best

David Dow

Post Edited (2018-06-05 19:49)

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