Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Woodwind.OrgThe Clarinet BBoardThe C4 standard

  BBoard Equipment Study Resources Music General    
 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 05:34

Wow, I have always felt the same about Zinner's sounding pretty up close and dying in music halls.

I have a patented baffle chamber measuring tooling gauge that actually has several patents on it so it is pretty cool and very accurate.

Here is a standard Vandoren chamber/baffle. I'm leaving out several measurement, but measuring the exact same spots starting from just behind the tip to the table and then going the same exact spots with the Zinner I have in stock.

Vandoren M13 - 75, 145 209, 298 386 439 488 552

Basic Zinner - 96, 164 {244 346 427 482 527} 570

Thes are measured in thousandths of inches, of some of the numbers are actually a 1/32nd on an inch deeper and more in different areas of chamber/baffle of the Zinner compared to your standard Vandoren M13 and a lot of other mouthpieces of the market which have similar sounds. To me this is wrong and promotes a dead sound.

To help understand measurements a 1/32nd" is almost equal to 0.03" or for those whom prefer meters it's 0.78mm.

From my { } you can see how deep most of the chamber area of the Zinner's are at least 1/32nd of an inch too deep causing a DEAD sound that doesn't carry in halls and not a warmer sound which we all want to hear.

In fact the only measurement I can live with, but I don't like it is the first one which is 96. This can lead to a tonguing issue where you hear your tongue hit the reed before you hear the sound of the note, mainly in the upper registers.

A trick to try if you've spent $100's and $100's of a Zinner is use nail polish and fill the chamber and baffle area as indicated above. then take a nail file and file the areas until you get the sound you want. This sure beats throwing away a ton of money. As we know some jerks out there charge a lot of money for these mouthpieces and they really don't work. $1500 for a dead mouthpiece? Lets fix it for pennies. Go to Walmart and buy thin wooden nail files and black nail polish. Just be careful not to scratch the tip of the mouthpiece so put a piece of tape over the tip.

As I've been saying lately clarinet playing should be fun, not expensive. Let's fix your dark dead mouthpieces for pennies and don't go and buy a $2000 mouthpiece that also is horrible.

Hope this helps!

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: alanporter 
Date:   2018-02-26 05:48

What a brilliant article ! I have always thought it but never had the courage to state it. We are ripped off by "experts", paying big bucks for jobs we can do ourselves. Let's all try it and report our results. Bob, you are a treasure !

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 06:57

Thanks! I have to add to just use one coat of polish at a time, mainly towards the center of the MP baffle. (mouthpiece) Then see what happens. Play on it for a bit. a week a few days in an orchestra a band and make an adjustment as needed. Add another coat or trim some off.

The cool part is you really can't screw up an already screwed up mouthpiece. :)

Too much nail polish? \take it out with nail polish remover!

Feel free in emailing me folks with questions. I may be slow to respond so email me again. This is a busy season for me.

Another thing that sucks with a lot of mouthpieces, not just the Zinners are the rails being too wide.

Using a very fine nail file you can carefully from the outside file the rails thinner. Do this slowly use glasses so you can see well. Then make the rails look like about the same as a Vandoren or some other the other mouthpieces. This will surely help the reed vibrate and project.

I forgot to add this about the rails being too wide. It's pretty important. Don't be afraid to do this. It's not hard. If you have an old mouthpiece try it on that first. Just to get the feel. Remember the mouthpiece already sucks! You can't hurt it. It can only get better. After you take off a little play it. I bet you will freak out and say "WOW!!!" Or "Holy Sh*t!" Remember that the Kaspar mouthpieces had very thin rails. Some dumb mouthpiece company decided that if you make the rails wide they sound dark. Well dark is dead as we now know.

You now can fix a $500 to a $2000 mouthpiece in just a few minutes. It's that easy.


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

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2018-02-26 07:18)

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-26 07:36

Hi Bob, concerning the wide mpc rails, I've seen mouthpieces filed on the "inside" but never the outside.

Wouldn't filing the "inside" be preferred because then pressured air from the instrument would be pushed against a larger part of the reed when the reed is against the rail? I know the total air volume would increase, but, I believe only minimally which shouldn't affect the pitch of the mpc.

Your thoughts?

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 08:35

No, this is a very bad idea to file from the inside, but a VERY Good Question!

If you file from the inside out you can screw up how the reed vibrates.

One of the keys and major factors why the old mouthpieces played so well such as the Kaspar's and Chedeville's were due to the inside rails not being too wide!

It's hard to believe that this is so dang important but it is. Pretty much all of the mouthpieces made and altered today are too wide from the left window distance to the right window distance.

As we all know the German mouthpieces are narrow and very warm sounding. Well this has so much to do with it.

So to get that warm sound of the past we surely don't want to make the window distances wider. I've actually used the same nail polish technique to fix mouthpieces that have been filed from inside out. What happens to the sound is too much of the rails, the sides of the reeds vibrate and not enough of the spine, the center, of the reed, the heart of the reed, whatever term you wish you use. So we lost a lot of the projection, simply because the reed no longer vibrates right or never did vibrate correctly.

This is another major reason why those new Chedeville's pretty much are horrible.

The Zinner blanks are actually pretty close to the old Kaspar and Chedeville mouthpieces as far as the distance between the rails so if people fix the baffle/chamber areas with polish they may have a very good mouthpiece and of course file the outside of the rails only.

The Vandoren M13's are too wide so the sound won't ever project as the old Kaspar's and Ched's did.

This brings up another subject. At the Clarient Fest 2107 I was pretty happy with the Selmer Concept. But several of past through my hands lately. They changed them. Same problem, the distance between the rails is too wide. This is a real shame. I think it may even be a whole new mold.

So for now let's just save the Zinner's, because anyone can do this. It's actually easier than adjusting reeds.

Later on I'll try to find ways of saving other expensive mouthpieces without spending any money.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 08:41

Another though, now that the baffle and the rails are pretty close to correct you may need a heavier reed. This too is a good thing. This will help your sound project better as well.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-26 09:45

Bob, I believe I phrased my "filed on the inside" incorrectly. What I should have said is: I've seen mouthpieces "filed on the inner edge at a 45 degree angle."

Any idea as to why someone would do that?

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 10:47

Hi Dan, I've seen this done and it's wrong. It still widens the rails in the wrong direction; with too much with the sides of the reeds vibrating and not enough of the center. Again, this is an EXCELLENT question. In the 1970's I did it this way when I first started messing with mouthpieces and soon realized how critical the inside of the MP rail distance is.

The ONLY time I ever mess with the inside rails are is if there is a ding or a nick. I then smooth it out and use a very hard epoxy to refill the area, then adjust it accordingly. This can take several hours to do, so I won't do it unless it is a great mouthpiece. Maybe a total of 6 to 10 hours to get it perfect. So needless to say I don't like repairing mouthpieces.

The 45 degree angle is just fine, actually perfect, but use it on the outside of the mouthpiece. Don't worry about the file marks. You can have your repairman buff them out if it bothers you, but frankly I don't care. I'm after a great playing mouthpiece.

I just want the average person to be able to fix their Zinner mouthpiece for pennies.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-02-26 11:02

Thanks for an interesting discussion on the Zinner mouthpieces. They seemed like they were worth trying at one time, but they just did not project enough.

How about just making the too wide rails a distance apart so they fit a reed?

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 11:19

Hi Wes,

<How about just making the too wide rails a distance apart so they fit a reed?>

I'm sorry, I don't understand the question yet. I'm happy to answer it of course. It's getting late so I will probably answer it tomorrow. Thanks in advance for understanding the late hour.

Had 2 difficult concerts this weekend! Played for the first time Daphnis et Chloé! So fun! After 40 plus years I got to play it. Wicked hard and wicked fun. I don't think it will be on PBS. hahaha - A chair tipped over in the percussion section. :) So funny! So glad it wasn't my fault!!!

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2018-02-26 11:23)

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Burt 
Date:   2018-02-26 17:48

I'm confused. I thought that wide rails meant that the opening between the rails is narrow. Or is somebody referring to filing the outside of the rails?

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: MichaelW 2017
Date:   2018-02-26 22:39

What I don't quite understand: „$100s and $100s“.
Thomann ( ) offer the better quality „Concert“ Zinners for €109, the standard quality for €75 (some of the German workshops, as far as I know, are using Zinner blanks and finish them themselves).

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-26 23:10

Burt, I'm not sure what you mean. But too wide rails produce dark and stuffy sounds. Thinner rails, if everything is set correctly, such as the distance between the left and right windows brings freedom to the vibrations of the sides of the reeds, plas the mouthpiece actually vibrates too. At the same time if these rails are too thin the mouthpiece can be too bright sounding. So there is that happy medium and I think the Yamaha Custom mouthpiece is close to what we want, but the problem with the Yamaha is the tip openings are 1.23, just sadly insane. If Yamaha made a tip opening of 1.07 or so they would sell like hotcakes. I tried to talk with them, but they look at me a dumb As* American. Too bad. They wouldn't give me any names, nothing, no information. Hung up on me.

I really wish companies would start to pay attention to what the musicians want. Such as Vandoren making these crappy mouthpieces that tune to 440. I thought Bernardo Vandoren was smarter than this. Guess not. Buffet changing the bores of the R13's to match the Selmer 10G and only tune to 440. None of us wanted this, not a single person. But for some reason these companies are shoving these down our throats. Yamaha giving us mouthpieces with alto sax tip openings. What's wrong with these people and these companies? The answer is to charge double and triple and come out with a Tosca that isn't very good, well not as good as the 1960's R13's.

So go online and look at the Yamaha Custom mouthpieces, ebay, and check out the rails. This is what you want.

When you buy a Buffet clarinet the mouthpiece is thrown out. These rails are paper thin. They aren't even good enough for a student.

Long story short I have a cure for the Zinner's. People can try to save their dead Zinner's or spend $1000's and buy another horrible mouthpiece. Right now there isn't anything out there. Maybe mine, but I'm not trying to sell mine but save the Zinner's. I'm trying to save your Zinner mouthpieces again for pennies.

Just follow my directions and you will have a great mouthpiece. If you want to argue with me don't do it and play on these dead mouthpieces. If you want that ping and that ring go for it. If you don't do it it's just a dead very expensive mouthpiece that sounds beautiful up close but around 20 feet from where you are playing it won't have that beautiful sound you hear up close.


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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Wes 
Date:   2018-02-26 23:32

Sorry to be so brief but I meant that while the rails need to be narrow and not too wide, the distance between the rails should match the reed width. Yes, I must have an ancient Zinner in some storage box!

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-26 23:46

MichaelW, although I view your post as being off topic, I'll go ahead with my response and try to keep it short.

Yes, I, too have also noticed the price of finished Zinner mouthpieces in the U.S. has risen quite high within the last few years. This could possibly be due to the following reasons:

1) Shipping costs. German mouthpiece craftsmen could possibly just drive down to where they are manufactured and pick them up. Our craftsmen have to order them direct from Germany.

2) Customized Zinner blanks. Several Zinner craftsmen over here utilize proprietary customized Zinner blanks which cost more to make due to a unique, specialized mold being used. In short, all Zinner blanks are not the same.

3) Level of expertise. Mouthpiece craftsmen with an established higher level of expertise can and do charge more for their products.

4) The cost of doing business here in the U.S. may very well be higher than in Germany. I did a little bit of researching and what I found was the "cost of living" between our countries is actually quite close. Business wise, however, may be a totally different story.

5) Zinner blanks are not readily available. I just got through checking with 3 major suppliers of clarinet mouthpieces and found no Zinner blanks available. I don't know if private individuals can order directly from Hans Zinner.

I apologize for my rather long, "short" response.

All of the above are strictly my opinions.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2018-02-27 00:21

Burt- Wide rails can go along with a window that is narrow, however I think what most people are referring to is rails that are wide going towards the outside of the rail. Unless the window is too narrow to play well, typically the rails are thinned out from the outside.

MichaelW (and Bob)- The most expensive zinners are probably from Backun, $375 I believe. Most others are between $200-300 from makers in the U.S.


1) Please provide some evidence as to what mouthpieces are costing $2000. Nothing new on the market today costs that much that I'm aware of and the vintage pieces (Henri Chedevilles for example) that are sold for that much are few and far between. Many people who have such mouthpieces would prefer to be buried with them rather than sell them.

2) Please provide some evidence as to who is charging $400 for a reface. There's no one in the U.S. that even comes close. Brad Behn is the highest I'm aware of, at $160 (due to having decades of experience in refacing and crafting many different mouthpieces of his own design for Bb/Eb/Bass). Again, if you know someone who's charging $400, then you've found an outlier from the norm. Most people are charging between $60-120.

3) I'm surprised given your aversion to Daddario products due to pesticides you would want to put nail polish and nail polish remove into a mouthpiece. Not quite the level of eating Tide Pods, but just seems like not a great idea.

4) The idea of having people with no experience and no training (in person lessons/demonstrations, not youtube videos and reading the bboard) start hacking away at their mouthpiece with files from Walmart seems like a bad idea. The learning curve for measuring a mouthpiece properly is much steeper than people think, so having people scrape away with whatever files they come across isn't going to lend itself to positive results. It's a bit like saying, "you too can fix a transmission on your car, no experience or technical understanding necessary".

5) "you may need a heavier reed. This too is a good thing. This will help your sound project better as well.". This idea, especially from a pedagogical perspective, has been incredibly detrimental to so many players over the years. Quite simply, it makes people think that the heavier the reed, the better the projection. This leads to being forced to bite to get the sound to respond, airy/stuffy sound, lack of flexibility, problems with endurance, and on and on.

6) "Don't worry about the file marks." Why not have a mouthpiece look as good as it plays? I think most mouthpiece refacers/makers will agree that the work is an art form, so why not make it look as good as it plays?

7) If you're after a zinner that sounds less dark/dead, why not try an E blank?

8) The Selmer Concept and Focus mouthpieces have very wide rails, an incredibly long facing (46/23mm), and not a particularly lively material (nothing like the table stamps and oval stamps of the past). Can you elaborate on what you like about them, since it seems counter-intuitive to your stated preferences.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-27 00:35

Dan, the Zinner's are actually not molded. They are made by a CNC machine. "Computer Numerical Control"

This is good and bad. I won't go into details but when you set the machine up it is computer operated and it is set to run a given number of mouthpieces. This is the good part. The person can walk away for hours.

The bad part is when you set it up again for another run this set of mouthpieces may not be the same. The tooling may be dull, the operator may have put in the wrong numbers, the rubber is different, chips of rubber get in the way of the cutting tooling, things like that. Even the temperature can become a factor, too warm or too hot inside the building. Rubber gets hot when it is being cut.

So in a lot of cases molding is better. The rubber is stable. It is heated to a the required temperature and you've used the same rubber for many years. But rubber can cause issues too. Some rubber is too soft some rubber shrinks too much, but the rubber I use comes from Michigan and it's as hard as it gets. It also only shrinks 3 percent. But even then there is some needed handwork. Nothing is perfect. But I like molds better than CNC machines.

A good example is finding a Vandoren M13 where 2 play the same. You will have to test about 15 or more to find a match. the rubber shrinks too much. The Selmer Concept rubber is too soft. You need a patch on the beak even if you don't bite.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-27 01:15

I didn't read the part of needing a German reed. No - The distance between the rails is a French setup not a German setup. The distance of the right and left inside windows compared to a French mouthpiece and a German mouthpiece at the tip area, from side to side is about 1/32nd of an inch wider on a French mouthpiece. The thickness of a credit card. This is why you don't want to make it wider. This is a lot of rubber. It's already wide enough, so file from the outside in. Your French reed of choice will fit just fine and sound even better.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: bsnake1956 
Date:   2018-02-27 02:25

Please answer NBeaty's questions. I am curious myself. I Don't doubt what you are saying but $2500 Canadian for a mouthpiece is beyond my wildest hallucinations. I can almost buy one of your beloved Yamaha clarinets up here for that price. Speaking of hallucinations, I am interested in your respone to his nail polish question. I have read your comments for a while now about pesticides in reeds, and I believe you even have a lawsuit pending. I respect your thoughts and opinions on that, although I think it is exaggerated. BUT, there is NOTHING more toxic than nail polish!! Advocating using nail polish to fix a mouthpiece, then breathe in the fumes, or have miniscule pieces end up in your mouth, seems counter to what you believe.

I won't get into the dead Zinner question. My mouthpieces are made from those blanks (Greg Smith) , and I have no problem with projection or articulation. BUT as you know there are many more factors that go into these intangibles than the mouthpiece.


 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-27 03:25

H Bob,

A quote from "The Doctor" included in the thread listed below: "I was just interested because there seems to be some cache associated with mouthpieces of old and of new that are milled from rod rubber stock. Zinner, Babbit, and other quality blanks are molded rather than milled from rod stock."

Clark W Fobes uses custom molded Zinner blanks:

Gregory Smith on Zinner "A" and "E" moulds:

I don't mean to disagree with you, it's just that I'm getting contrary info from various well known individuals. Also, I could find no reference to the Zinner company using CNC machinery. This is usually done on rod rubber blanks like the "SONO" from Brad Behn.

So, if you could provide a resource where Zinners are not molded and are CNC machined, I would appreciate that.


 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-02-27 05:05

When I was at the Zinner factory in Marktrodach he was pulling blanks from an oven. To be fair, that WAS in 1998....

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-27 07:08

They were at the ClarinetFest 2017 there were mouthpieces for $2000. There was a ligature selling for $1000. Had a diamond in it. There were clarinets for $10,000 and I think I saw one for $11,500. If you missed the show or were at the show and didn't see the mouthpieces for $2000, well I can't help you. You are blind.

If nail polish is toxic then don't use this. I tried! Throw the Zinner's away or play with a dead sound. Hmmm - Wonder why billions of women are not all dead if nail polish is so toxic? Try putting it on outside and letting it dry outside for a week or 2. Think smart. Don't act dumb.

I give up! I tried to help so play on your dead Zinners if you want.

As for resources buy them from Backun. Call Zinner, email them and ask for distributors from whatever countries you are from. Do I need to hold your hand? If you want me to buy one I will and then triple the price. This is nuts. I'm NOT selling Zinners I'm trying to fix them for people.

If the mouthpieces project, ping and ring just fine for you well leave them alone! Will the sound fill the halls like Severance Hall or worse yet Orchestra Hall in Chicago? If so it's a no brainer Greg Smith made you a nice mouthpiece. But if they are dead either fix them or if you are afraid of toxic nail polish throw them out or sell them on ebay! Another idea is take them to a nail shop and let them put the toxic nail polish on.

I have my own line of mouthpieces. I'm surely not going to stock poor quality mouthpieces. EVER! I made my own molds, the works. Why would I carry dead Zinners?

Please ask questions related to the post. Something which I know about. If you are afraid to fix your Zinner yourself I'll do it for you for $275 per mouthpiece. If it sounds like a lot of money then do it yourself for a few cents. See I don't want to do it. Thus the high cost. But when refacers are charging $300 to $400, $275 is very fair. Remember in past posts I said I often reface mouthpieces for free. Surely not when people want to know where to buy Zinner's and then we are getting into molding V/S CNC wars. I've lost my patience of being that nice guy.

What just happened here is a "Few" people made me angry and questioned my knowledge and disagreed with me and DEMANDED me to respond. So I responded.

Email me if you want your Zinner fixed for $275. I'm telling you now you are throwing your money away, but I'd gladly take your money. This post was to save your Zinner mouthpiece. Not for me to make money.

Email Zinner and ask them if they use CNC machines or CAD machines. I already did. By the way, in 1998 very few companies used CAD nor CNC because Windows 98 wasn't out yet, depending on the month, so computers weren't really being used in machine shops. It was just starting.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

Post Edited (2018-02-27 07:13)

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2018-02-27 07:36

Just for the record, my questions were all related to the original post and subsequent posts by Bob.

No one is charging $275 for a reface, as was part of my original point, but I guess you are now.

Like I said, if you found someone selling mouthpieces for $2,000, then it’s an exception and an outlier to the norm. The instruments going for over $10,000 have already been discussed in other threads.

Plenty of people have played zinners quite successfully over the last few decades. Many other zinners were subpar in one way or another, but I don’t think it’s fair to tell people they’re horrible and to throw them away.

I don’t prefer zinners myself either, but plenty of people sound great playing them. Their Eb blank seems to be the best blank they produce with a good facing applied.

The point I was trying to make, with supported reasoning, was that it’s no garuntee that people will improve their mouthpiece and will very easily go the other way. People that disagree with you are not a lower class of intellectual capacity and it seems pretty disrespectful to use these kinds of implications.

No one was demanding anything, they were just curious what your answers/responses would be to help clarify the original and subsequent posts. It’s really not a big deal or a reason to throw in the towel.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-02-27 13:27

Two people (who manufacture mouthpieces made from Zinner blanks) have told me in the last 9 months that the blanks are molded (this arose in discussions about the dimensions changing as the blanks cool). Maybe they use CNC tooling to do the facings, or CNC for some blanks and molding for others?
CAD was around for quite some years before Windows 98, I recall my flatmate (room mate in USA language) was using it in 1993/4

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2018-02-27 18:34

Great post Bob. Saving a mouthpiece that sounds dead to you using this method is something players should not be afraid to try. I would try a temporary putty first, like dental wax. But since nail polish allows you to build up small layers, it can be applied in a more subtle way. Plus you do not need special tools to spread it around.
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-02-27 20:24

While I agree that there could be some benefit by trying this (if you have the stomach for it), I would be a bit concerned that shrinking the volume would raise the pitch on mouthpieces that already trend a little towards the high side. I don’t know if this would actually make an appreciable difference or not.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-27 23:05

I may be wrong but I know I'm very close. Ramón Wodkowski is around [ Bob -
I'm ashamed that you quoted a price here that isn't even remotely close to Ramón's price for a reface. It puts EVERTHING you quote in doubt. Someone may have told someone who told you a lie. I would make sure you discount anything that so-called 'source' told you. Mark Charette, List Moderator
] for mouthpiece refacing.

Mojo - Dental wax is a great idea. Way to go! Finally someone is helping and not causing trouble. Thinking smart.

Yes CAD started first, then CNC, but CNC really started kicking in with Windows XP with smaller machine shops, because the CNC machines were so expensive. CAD drawing wasn't expensive at all. That started before Windows 95. Now we are seeing 3D Printing pop up everywhere, but in most cases it is way too slow, soon it will be faster and cleaner. What is 3D printing? Look it up. It is amazing.

As I wrote above - just call Zinner. CNC takes a lot longer to make a mouthpiece, whereas a mold takes seconds to pop out a mouthpiece. My guess Zinner is doing both, one for a general Zinner blanks and maybe some for Greg Smith (and others) who I've talked with in great detail and he surely is using CNC machines for Gregs mouthpieces. It's pretty common to have more than one machine in a machine shop.

For example most likely a machine shop has more than 1 hammer and more than one hired molder.

My offer is still available for $275. It would have been no charge except for those few people that seem to want to cause trouble. They wrecked it for everyone. I don't care if some people only charge $10 to reface a mouthpiece. This is my cost to fix a Zinner. It's more work than just refacing a mouthpiece.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: ClarinetRobt 
Date:   2018-02-27 23:22

For what's it worth, I find the comparison to nail polish and pesticides a false equivalency. Nail polish obviously dries inert - it's been used for what centuries?
The pesticides used in Rico products would leave residual chemicals in the porous cane.

I'd take my chances with the nail polish.

Bob, I'd love you to post a youtube video demonstrating your technique on the Zinners.

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

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-02-27 23:28

“I may be wrong but I know I'm very close. Ramón Wodkowski is around $400 for mouthpiece refacing.”

This is false.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: NBeaty 
Date:   2018-02-28 00:18

Brad Behn- $160
David McClune- $75
Vytass Krass- $85
Walter Grabner- $67
John Thomas- $65/hr
Keith Bradbury- $75-95

And the list goes on. Ramon is very popular right now and can afford to charge more (partially due to his constant travel around the world), although last I had heard it wasn’t $400 for reface (don’t think most of his mouthpieces cost that much). At any rate, he may be charging more than the short list above, but that’s indeed what constitutes an outlier. Saying that everyone is charging $400 for a reface is incorrect and extremely misleading. It’s wrong and it’s not close, unless we change the meaning of the word.

On the same note, saying everyone (or even a majority or significant portion) of mouthpiece makers are charging $2,000 is wrong, not close, and misleading to those who don’t know otherwise. In the US, Behn is the top of the market, in both quality and price. Most everyone selling zinners (including Behn zinners) are between $175-300. Not even in the ballpark of $2,000.

Charging $275 to reface/rework a zinner is outrageous. Every refacer I know, myself included, is basically charging for an hour of their time. Most people sell their customized zinners NEW for less than that (whether you like their work or not is beside the point).

The constant tearing down of other people with wildly inaccurate claims and implications that you must be smarter than everyone else because of where you went to school or that you made your own mold (despite that plenty of people have done this) isn’t doing anyone any favors, yourself included.

Why not provide a link to a video where you show people how to do the nail polish technique so people can try on a junk mouthpiece with at least SOME instruction? Otherwise, it’s just not going to help anyone. It would also avoid all of the nonsense that has gone on with this thread.

I personally have a plethora of disagreements with how many refacers do their work. Some of it is a difference in goals of what makes a great mouthpiece and sometimes it has to do with techniques I don’t find beneficial, or often detrimental. I don’t see any reason to call people out (which you do to everyone by including everyone in your statements) though as you have, as it seems at the very least to be unprofessional.

After all, the sales tactics by some who you have called out in other threads often include, “if you’re not using my products, you’re not going to win a job and will never sound good” (something someone said to me when trying to sell me something very expensive, word for word). If your distaste is indeed for this type of business/“professional “ practice, then why do the same thing?

On the note of 3D printing, it has already gained momentum in the clarinet community by a young upstart by a Norsworthy student, Ryan Pereira. He’s printing ligatures, barrels, bells, mouthpiece caps, and more. From what I saw, they were selling quite well at the TMEA convention earlier this month.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2018-02-28 00:30

I spoke to Ramon Wodkowski about a year ago concerning refacing an old Kanter I have and he said he’d do it for $80 (plus shipping).

Bob Barnhart

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2018-02-28 01:20

One needn't add polish or baffle inserts to a Zinner to increase spin, life, ring, ping, etc.

By properly facing the mouthpiece for those elements, one can achieve a nice free blowing, stable platform with enough ring to make a believer out of most.

What do I mean by "properly facing the mouthpiece?"

Well Zinner blanks come from the factory with very wide rails, short facings, and their table concavities are extremely deep. So when I put zing in a Zinner I lengthen the curve, narrow the rails from the outside (smooth and polish for a nice appearance), and narrow the tip rail from either the outside or the inside as needed. Furthermore I finish the upper baffle to make a lovely tip rail appearance, AND to voice it for good response, ping, and ring.

By the way FWIW, these facing treatments will bring out enough ring to augment the performance of Legere reeds too. That is to say that Legere Signature Euro reeds tend to play duller and with a smaller range of dynamics than cane. By properly voicing a Zinner's facing as such, it makes for a more cane-esque playing experience.

Brad Behn

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-28 04:29

Not to disagree with you Brad as we usually agree, so let's say we half agree. If I were to put the same baffle in as what Marcellus and Gennusa used the Zinners would sound amazing. I have their mouthpieces and I made a mold based of there mouthpieces, but I did update them for the 21st century.

I totally agree with you regarding the thickness of the rails, so we are in agreement.

Thanks for your input. We are surely on the same page, but not the same chapter. If you wish, send me one of your Zinner's and I will put that Marcellus chamber in for you at no charge, so you can compare the differences in the sound, the ring, and the ping. People say I sounded like Marcellus, but I don't. I studied Gennusa and Marcellus, but years with Gennusa. I have my own sound. Point is I want that ring and ping and fill the halls with huge sounds.

I don't mind helping out or sharing ideas with fellow mouthpiece makers.

Cheers Brad!


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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2018-02-28 07:07

I must publicly apologize to Ramon Wodkowski. I was misinformed about the cost of his refacing. Ramon I heard this at the ClarinetFest 2017 and needless to say the information was wrong. Please forgive me.

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

Yamaha Artist 2015

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: sax panther 
Date:   2018-02-28 15:23

Hey Mojo - just wanted to say I watched your youtube video on building a removable baffle, and have added a baffle to one of my berg larsen tenor mouthpieces using dental wax - it worked brilliantly and had exactly the effect I wanted.

Apologies for going slightly off topic, but if you are interested in mouthpiece work, please do take the time to watch MojoBari's youtube videos on opening tips etc - they're very detailed and a great resource.

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2018-02-28 17:58

You are welcome!
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Brad Behn 
Date:   2018-02-28 21:22

I am delighted that you find my mouthpiece pedagogy agreeable. Some find my concepts: "More sound with less effort" through the artistic implementation of lighter reeds, balanced with mouthpieces that have suitable working-resistance, and material composition to enhance ring, focus, resonance, and response - to be VERY different than what they are used to on modern gear.

I am delighted to have found an audience, and privileged to serve.

Brad Behn

 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-03-03 04:11


 Re: Saving DEAD sounds of Zinner's
Author: Ed 
Date:   2018-03-03 05:08

I apologize for diverting the thread, but want to say hi to Ken Lagace, who I knew back in my days at Hartt. I recall studying reed making with you!

 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 This thread is closed 
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
is sponsored by:

For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

Services and products too varied to categorize! Repair, recording, news

Instrument repairs, restorations, adjustments, and overhauls.

Music & Books
CDs, Sheet Music, and some of the greatest reference books ever written!

Great reeds available from around the world

Accessories that every clarinetist needs - reed makers and shapers, ligatures, greases, oils, and preservatives ... and more!

Major events especially for clarinetists

Mouthpieces & Barrels
Fine makers of mouthpieces and barrels, from wood to crystal to hard rubber and plastic

Retailers and manufacturers of clarinets, both modern and early replica

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact