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 Regarding the Vandoren 5RV
Author: Ben Shaffer 
Date:   2018-02-25 17:13

Quick question.
I notice there are a bunch of used Vandoren 5RV mouthpieces for sale by various Sellers on eBay.
The only ones listed as Series 13 (440)are brand new 5RV's.
Are the older used 5RV's actually actually 440 Mouthpieces or were they always made at 442 ?
And ONLY when they started to make Series 13's did they then have 440 versions?
So could some or all of these older 5RV MP's in fact be all 440, but don't have an embossed 13 on it?

Post Edited (2018-02-25 17:16)

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 Re: Regarding the Vandoren 5RV
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-02-25 18:55

The pitch of the mouthpiece isn't fixed. It's the result of the internal volume of the whole system. Series 13 was designed to play lower than the traditional Vandoren mouthpieces. The actual pitch depends on the instrument, the barrel, the mouthpiece and to a limited extent the reed.

AFAIK the original Series 13s were designed to play at 440 on an R13 with the barrels supplied as original equipment. But, also AFAIK, the R13 Buffet was aimed at the American market to begin with. European players preferred other Buffets, I think RC in particular.


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 Re: Regarding the Vandoren 5RV
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-02-26 00:12

Well, I have a 5RV that I bought for $10 from Harry Gee about 1950 when we played in the Univ of Minn orchestra together. The tuning must have been A440 at that time. We both studied with Earl Handlon of the Minneapolis Symphony who was also Robert Marcellus' teacher.

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 Re: Regarding the Vandoren 5RV
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2018-02-26 04:13

All Vandoren mouthpieces have gone through an evolutionary process. Mouthpieces that were made in the 50's are not the same as current versions. Their material, manufacturing process, and designs changed through the years.

Generally speaking post war era mouthpieces tuned sharper than older pre-war era mouthpieces. Vandoren mouthpieces of the 50's played lower than contemporary versions as well. However the 13 "treatment" to Vandoren models brings pitch down as the total volume of the mouthpiece has been increased...largely as a result of the baffle's shape being troughed down the middle.

13 series and non 13 series models can work on most any clarinet, however barrel length would need to be carefully considered for true A=440.

It is worth mentioning that by lowering the baffle of the 13 series models the response, blow through, and resonance changes as well.

Brad Behn

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