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 Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-10 19:44

My Legere European cut makes my clarinet 20 % flat compared to a Vandoren cane reed.
Everything should tell that the clarinet should not be flat. I have a Buffet RC 444 (!) clarinet, a 62 mm barrel, a Vandoren B45 and a 2,5 Legere European cut. I have contacted Legere, but they have no answer. I also have a Vandoren 5JB
mouthpiece with the same result.
The reed is fine to play with, but in my little jazz band with a vibraphone that is tuned to 442 it doesn't work.
Anybody?

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

Post Edited (2018-04-10 19:58)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-04-10 20:31

You might try the next strength (they're graded by 1/4s). If a quarter higher is too stiff, your mouthpiece and Legere may just not be a good match.

Karl

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-10 22:22

Thank you Karl. My mouthpiece is one of the most sold. My clarinet is a 444 which is no longer produced and I have the shortest barrel available. I’ll try the next step, but I’m not very optimistic. Based on my experience I can’t understand how A 442 or 440 clarinet with the regular 65 or 67 mm barrel are doing.
I’m disappointed that Legere has no answer. I can’t possibly be the only one with this problem.
I’m also playing the tenor saxophone and the Legere signature works great.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

Post Edited (2018-04-10 22:22)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-04-10 22:34

Mattis2 wrote:

> Based on my experience I can’t
> understand how A 442 or 440 clarinet with the regular 65 or 67
> mm barrel are doing.

I don't know if players who do this successfully do it with a B45. I use Légère Euros with mouthpieces that have tips around 1.03 and curves of 17-18 mm (with a .0015" feeler). Even then, the Légères are more prone to flatness on a couple than on others.

But you're right in general, Légère Euros do tend to play flatter than cane reeds. If you want to use Légère, you have to find equipment that it works with. My only conjecture is that it's a combination of the material's vibrating characteristics and the very flexible tips, which because of the material, I think (but can't document) are a little flabby.

Karl

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: rgoldem 
Date:   2018-04-11 00:08

I have the same problem with all Legeres. Even though they are nice and consistent they are always flat. I went back to reed.



Post Edited (2018-04-11 00:09)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 00:51

If it’s so that several clarinetists have problems with the reed being flat on the most common equipment (I think), Vandoren B45, I would expect that Legere comes up with a suggestion for what mouthpiece to use.
The Signature series didn’t work for me and my equipment. However, the European version works great, even being flat and therefore useless on a gig. So Legere can modify, so why not make a reed that don’t make my clarinet flat?
By the way, I’m also returning to the cane, which I think is a step backwards.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-04-11 02:04

I started clarinet playing a B45 series 13. And now I play on a slightly more closed mouthpiece (tip opening 113) with Legere Euro #4.25, R13, and stock 66 mm R13 barrel. I tune to 440-441 with this setup, and given the intonation characteristics of my instrument, I am sure a shorter barrel will allow me to tune to 442-443 if I need to.

But I still have the B45 laying around. I occasionally try playing on it just for fun. When I play the B45 with the Legere Euro #4.25, I do not have any problems in terms of tuning. The only problem for me is that it is slightly too hard for me. However, it plays really flat on my Vandoren Masters CL5 series 13, and the Legere this time feels too soft.

So if you are playing super flat right now, I would suggest trying some harder strength Legeres. I think if the Legere is too soft, it will play flat. This usually happens to soft reeds in general.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-04-11 02:21

20% flat... :-D



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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 02:39

Thank you for your comments.
I'm using the B45 Lyre that has a tip opening 100/127 and also a 5JB with a tip opening at 100/147. Clarinet Buffet RC 444, 62 mm barrel. Reed Signature 2.5 on both mouthpieces. That suits my jazz style where I prefer to be in the lower register. I have tried harder reeds, but have not checked the change in tuning. However 3 or 3.5 is too stiff for me.
So it seems I'm left with three options: Returning to the cane reed, ask Legere to look into this more seriously or get myself a new setup.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-04-11 03:16

Ya need a closer (close!!) facing for them to work well.

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

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Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-04-11 03:16

B45 being an old (bad) standard of the past.

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: KenJarczyk 
Date:   2018-04-11 04:03

I agree with David. B45s should all be confiscated and melted down. Of course, I have strong opinions against all stock mass-produced mouthpieces.

I’ve converted to Euro-Cut Legeres on Bb/A and recently also use them on the Eb! Absolutely no tuning issues at all. Superb control up and down the clarinet.

Those experienced with Euro-Cuts do recommend placing a wee bit of the reed beyond the beak of the mouthpiece, just a sliver over. Also good to know placement of your mouthpiece’s facing curve, to know where to anchor it in your embouchure.

I know of no real players of Euro-Cuts that would agree they play flat. That is not true.

Ken Jarczyk
Woodwinds Specialist
Eb, C, Bb, A & Bass Clarinets
Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones
Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2018-04-11 04:38

Try a shorter barrel. Do what it takes to get up to pitch. If it’s 62 mm barrel then try 2-5 mm shorter.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-04-11 05:39

I also agree with the comment made by David regarding the B45. No one plays on them, or the B45 lyre. Too open, and facing is too short. Most people play on more closed mouthpieces.

If you really want that open of a mouthpiece, the B40s are much better, since it has a longer facing. The B45s do require a lot of embouchure support. Some people call it "biting", but I believe it's just requires too much pressure. I've played on the B45 for 5 years and I can switch back and forth easily, it's just I don't like the sound I get from the B45, and it tires out my muscles. My lips don't get sore from the teeth biting onto it, so it's definitely not biting.

The B40 has a much shorter facing. The shorter the facing, the more pressure/force from your embouchure you must exert.

This is perhaps also a reason why you feel using slightly stronger Legeres (Euro #3) are too stiff. It actually isn't too stiff: the B45 and the B45 lyre is simply just designed for people that use a lot of embouchure pressure when they play. Maybe they don't suit you; and that's perfectly fine because it doesn't suit most clarinetists nowadays.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-04-11 06:56

zhangray4 wrote:

> I also agree with the comment made by David regarding the B45.
> No one plays on them, or the B45 lyre. Too open, and facing is
> too short. Most people play on more closed mouthpieces.
>

I write as a user of close-tipped mouthpieces and one who has played (uncomfortably) on a B45 for only about 5 minutes. Without knowing how many clarinetists you're actually on speaking terms with, I'm not sure how you can make a sweeping generalization like this about the universe of players, even limiting it to players using French-style reeds on Boehm clarinets. At best it's true of most of the players you know. It's true of many of the players I know, too, and probably most of the players David talks to, but I play almost exclusively "classical" chamber and orchestral music and most of the clarinet players I know play similar work within a fairly small geographical area and also have training backgrounds very similar to mine.

We all have our preferences. Mattis2's dilemma is that the reed he'd like to use doesn't by his report work well on the equipment he has been using for a long time and wants to continue using. That's a dilemma he may not be able to resolve (probably not), but it sounds as though given the choice, he'll keep the equipment he's been using in his view successfully, including his cane reeds.

>
> The B40 has a much shorter facing. The shorter the facing, the
> more pressure/force from your embouchure you must exert.
>

Yes, in general, but does that make it more likely or less that the Légère Mattis2 wants to use will play in tune?

Karl

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-04-11 07:57

Mouthpieces seem to be a faddish thing. Today the villain of the piece seems to be the Vandoren B45, although it's been around for years and there must be squillions of them out there in the real world giving excellent service. I used one for quite a while and managed to do fairly well on it, and I know many players, some at an advanced level, who still use them. I dug one of my old ones out and tied a Legere #3.25 European Cut onto it to see what happened. While the mouthpiece is no longer one that I would play for choice, on a Buffet E13 it played well, tuned well and articulated easily. Just as an experiment I'm taking it to a jazz gig tonight. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

Tony F.

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: zhangray4 
Date:   2018-04-11 08:22

I admit I made a mistake by saying most people play closed mouthpieces. I should have said that from what I observe, it seems that more and more people playing French Boehm clarinets are starting to play more closed tip mouthpieces. This is why the B45 is so unpopular, and the Vandoren M13, M15 and M30 are so popular nowadays. This is only what I observe.

The shorter the facing, the more pressure/force from your embouchure you must exert. So that is why many people use softer reeds on these mouthpieces. But having too soft reeds and too soft of a setup usually means playing flat.

Just what I've found when experimenting with all these mouthpieces. I know people are going to disagree with me, but just wanted to share my 2 cents.

-- Ray Zhang

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2018-04-11 12:22

While the B45 might not be the standard for classisal playing and certainly not for the 'American' style of playing, it is still quite popular in Europe. It is a 'standard' for playing jazz, pop, klezmer and so on. Many sax players that double on clarinet use it with good results. It is a powerful and colourful mouthpiece. I have used a B45 dot recently in a large symphonic setting to achieve the power I wanted. All 3 variants (regular, dot, lyra) have their benefits imo. Never tried a B45 with a synthetic reed however.

About facing length: Vandoren says that the B40 and B45 have identical facings. The B40 does have a wider tiprail that produces a more compact, covered sound.

To Mattis2: looking at your setup you are probably using a 'sax-like' embouchure on clarinet. Nothing wrong with that if you achieve the sound you want with good intonation. If you like the result of the Legere (besides the tuning) there is only 1 solution: an even shorter barrel. But check if the clarinet is in tune with itself with such a short barrel: throat vs. long tube notes, high vs. low register etc.

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Ken Lagace 
Date:   2018-04-11 15:45

The reed and mouthpiece are a 'marriage' and need to work together as a team. European cut reeds are for a long lay and minimal opening mouthpieces. It seems like a European cut and a B45 would be doomed to divorce.

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:03

Thanh you. I have tried a stiffer reed, but with my mouthpiece they are too stiff.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:09

I have only tried the Vandoren B45 and the 5JB. They are giving the sound I want with a Vandoren cane reed 2,5. They give the same sound with the Signature 2.5 as well, but too flat. I don’t look forward to hunt for another mouthpiece. That’s a nightmare and a lottery even if someone here suggest that all B45 should burn in hell :)

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:17

May be so, but as I have said, it gives me the sound I’m looking for. Also with the Signature. I hesitate to mess around in the mouthpiece world when I have a setup that works, except the problem with Legere. Why can’t they copy the Vandoren?

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:24

Thank you for your response. I’m not concerned about whether or not the mouthpiece is custom or stock as it’s the results that counts. As already said, the mouthpiece/reed circus I hesitate to join, even if I have to say goodbye to the Legere clarinet reed.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:27

Thank you. I ha tried a 60 cm barrel, but then the clarinet is not in tune with itself.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:32

Thank you. I’m not in a position to tell what mouthpiece is the most common. But since there still are a lot of B45 around me that is not melted, I would expect another result with the Legere.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:39

All the fuss is about a common B45 that plays well and in tune with a Vandoren 2.5, but is too flat with a Legere Signature 2.5. However I have got several recommendations, but the conclusion will most likely be to continue with the cane reed.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-11 16:49

Thank you. I have tried a shorter barrel (60mm), but then the clarinet is not in tune with itself.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2018-04-13 15:04

The standard barrel for RC is 65mm. So your instrument should be quite sharp with a 62mm barrel. The intonation has got much to do with the reed strength. We are pressing the reed against the table curve of the mouthpiece causing a tension to the reed. If the reed is soft there is less tension and if too soft the tension is not enough to raise the intonation to level sharp enough. It is like you were trying to shoot an arrow with a bow having a too loose string, the arrow doesn't fly very far.

So an important part in developing a good enbouchure is to strengthen the muscels round your lips, that you are able to use strong enough reeds. I would say, that 2,5 reed is too soft for vandoren B45. I try to develop students to play at least nr.3 reeds with that mp.

It is of course a matter of taste to some extent how strong reeds one uses, but that choice should happen within certain limits. One good way to test this was taught to me by my professor decades ago. Play an octave from second register A to third register A keeping your embouchure the same, not tightening it. If the high A is flat or doesnt come at all, your reed is too soft to your mouthpiece.

Reed stregth versus mouthpiece is a quite simple thing. Close tip and long curve need stronger reeds and are easier to play in soft dynamics. Open tip and short curve tolerate softer reeds and are easier to play in loud dynamics. Tone quality has more to do with the dimensions of the sound chamber and the material of the mouthpiece. Softer reeds are easier to play in soft dynamics and stronger reeds are easier to play loud.

I am playing Buffet RC Prestige clarinets having a 65 mm barrel in my B clarinet using PlayEasy B1 mouthpiece, that has a 1,20 mm tip and 20mm curve according to my own measurements and i am using legere european signature nr. 4 reeds and have no problems playing in 442Hz pitch in a professional orchestra.

Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Legere European cut is too flat
Author: Mattis2 
Date:   2018-04-13 16:07

Thank you for your advice.

My setup, B45 Lyre (1,27 mm) with a Vandoren 2.5 and my 5JB (1,47 mm) with a Vandoren 1,5 works fine to me. They are easy to play on, they are giving the sound I want and they are in tune (442).

The problem starts with putting on a Legere European Cut 2.5. The sound is, to me at least, the same as with the cane reed, but the clarinet gets about 15 to 20 % flat, especially in the lower registry. By increasing the tension around the mouthpiece it gets sharper, but that's not the way I want to play. My band members, especially my vibraphone and trombone player say it's OK, But I can hear that it's flat compared to the vibraphone (442).

I did start playing again in 2000 after a 30 years break with a new saxophone (Selmer Mark VI tenor and a Buffet RC clarinet) and thought that now somebody has done something with the mouthpiece/reed nightmare. And somebody has. I have tried several brands, including Fibracell that did not work. The Legere Signature did not work either (they were also flat), but the European cut did.

Bottom line: I keep plying with the cane reed at gigs, and use the Legere for practice. And I'm not going to melt my B45 as somebody here has suggested.

Professor of Business, Norway. Playing the tenor saxophone and the clarinet (Bb)

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