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 Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: Bobsterz 
Date:   2018-02-02 04:44

I just had a Selmer Series 9 restored. It is said to be a larger bore, NON-polycylindrical clarinet with larger tone holes. Nonetheless, it seems like my better mouthpieces fit internally (inner diameter). They each sound nice in their own way. (Portnoy, Rico Reserve, and Vandooren B45, which sounds a little harsh.) Maybe I need to get some calipers.
But I'd love to hear any know-how on this topic, especially on mouthpiece selection. I am semi-retired and play Golden Era pieces and Latin classics (and fun odds and ends) locally, so it's a treat to have this clarinet and experiment with, how to say it, a bigger, more visceral kind of sound for my little niche act.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-02-02 05:05

Some mouthpieces known to work well on large bore Selmers are the old Selmer oval pieces (they have facings like HS*, B*, C* etc. engraved into the table and inscribed in an oval), the even older "table" Selmers that have the word "table" followed by the facing inscribed on the table, and the original New York Woodwind Co. mouthpiece with facings like G7, C7, K7, N6, A8. The specs for the New York Woodwind pieces vary a great deal. It is always risky to buy mouthpieces off the web sites without first trying them or at least having a return option. The most consistent pieces of these three would be the Oval Selmers. IF you play mostly jazz, you might also try some of the old slant Otto Link mouthpieces as well. Brillharts can be good too but their quality varies widely.

Post Edited (2018-02-02 09:48)

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: dubrosa22 
Date:   2018-02-02 06:47

Ed Pillinger makes custom large bore (typically for B&H 1010 or Eaton Elite horns) I'm sure a chat with him would help in your search.


Also Clarinets Direct UK currently has in stock a number of secondhand large bore/1010 mouthpieces. Most seem to be now sold or reserved but a chat to Alex would surely yield results too.



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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: Bobsterz 
Date:   2018-02-02 07:36

Wow, thank you Seabreeze and Dubrosa22! I contacted the two mouthpiece providers and will look at the pieces recommended. Very interesting!

I mentioned to the providers that my vocal style and instrumental voicing have a common thread of being kind of earthy and visceral, and with lilting qualities inspired by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The clarinet already has so much of the sound I wanted, if I can enhance it further, that will be something.

I recently got a R&C AG soprano sax that has the older (not that "pure" Yani sound), sandy jazz sound (of course you can get a wide variety of sounds from it, so maybe I should say "enables" instead of "has") that is so perfect for my niche and style. Listeners are really responding favorably, so it's quite gratifying. It's a gas to feel transported back to another time.

Funny side note: I think I found the classical recording of Benny Goodman allegedly playing a Series 9, and, as others have said, it did not sound like his brightest idea, tone-wise OR articulation-wise. At least he wasn't in a classical ensemble.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: Mdfried 2017
Date:   2018-02-02 09:20

I've had great results with a Woodwind Co. K9 from the '50s on my Series 9 and Centered Tone Selmers. It's given me better intonation and more power than any Selmer mpc I've tried, including the oval HS that came with the Centered Tone from its original owner.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-02 13:21

I agree with the other posts, but not too fond with the Brillhart MP's. I'd look around for those Selmers too, HS Stars and double Star's. If you can't find one look me up. I have a few collecting dust. I would personally use a bore reamer and make the bore a bit larger. Which I also have a few of. Since they are collecting dust I think I can spare to give one away.

Contact me offline. I'll check to make sure I have more than one, with the stamp on the table.

The mouthpieces you have the bores are too tight. Too small. Modern mouthpieces are kind of messed up. No one is making a mouthpiece with the right bore except the new Selmer Concept. But it plays a tad bit stuffy, which can be fixed if you have the right tools and I do. So if you want a new mouthpiece this is something to consider, but you should have it adjusted so it speaks freely like your horn.

Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces

Yamaha Artist 2015

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-02-02 13:48

The Selmer Series 9 takes normal 'French' mouthpieces. So nothing special. Stay away from the '1010' bored mouthpieces as they are designed specific for '1010' bore size clarinets which will give you bad intonation on the Selmer.

I have had success with following mouthpieces:
- Crystal mpc (e.g. Vandoren A3, Buffet 5 or Pomarico)
- Vandoren B45 Lyre (gives a fuller, less harsh sound than the normal B45)
- Selmer HS** (if you can find a good one, otherwise Vytos Krass makes very good facings on Selmer mpcs)

If you go into the vintage Selmer mpcs: The 'Oval' versions work still well, but the 'Table' versions give intonation problems because of the larger internal volume.

Happy searching!

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-02-02 18:15

V, Ed Pillinger does indeed make wonderful mouthpieces for the large bore B&H clarinets, but they probably won't turn out to be satisfactory for a Selmer Series 9. The operative factor isn't the mouthpiece bore, but rather what the instrument maker expected people to play the instrument with, because that's how they decided where to bore the tone holes. 1010 mouthpieces were indeed designed for a large cylindrical bore, but were also designed for, well, 1010s. The mouthpieces people play successfully on Buffets and Selmers are way out of tune on 1010s, and 1010 mouthpieces are way out of tune on Buffets and Selmers. Fortunately, Ed also makes wonderful mouthpieces for Buffets and Selmers. Just make sure you tell him what instrument the mouthpiece is for, and he'll steer you in the correct direction.

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 Re: Mouthpiece for large-bore clarinet?
Author: dubrosa22 
Date:   2018-02-05 01:22

Yes, I did say that he should chat to Ed or Alex - not buy a 1010 mpc outright.

They would both have good experience in what may suit a Selmer Series 9.


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