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 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces
Author: NOLA Ken 
Date:   2018-09-06 22:20

WOW! What a treasure trove of top expert info for this old returning amateur. I am incredibly appreciative of Brad and others who are willing to share their expertise on this bulletin board. There just was no source of such in-depth information when I was playing as a younger man many decades ago.

On closer inspection with a magnifying glass, I see that I erred in that both of these have "7 1/2" incised next to the right bottom of the table. They otherwise look identical on the exterior (including a single ligature line at the top and a double line below with "D. Bonade" below the bottom ligature lines). I also see on very close inspection with a good light and magnifying glass that one has what appears to be "QualiteSuperieure" incised parallel to and beside the table and the other appears to have like markings that have mostly worn off. But when I look inside I see that the throats are not quite the same. The one that plays well for me has almost, but not quite, parallel throat sidewalls - a very, very mild spread. The one that plays poorly has a somewhat more identifiably A-Frame throat. I'm not sufficiently educated in mouthpieces to assess the baffle heights, but the baffle on the "good" one appears rough like it might have been worked with an abrasive out to the tip, while on the other one the baffle is perfectly smooth for the first inch or so from the tip.

Although Bonades may have been designed to play higher than A-440, one of the things that impressed me was that the better of these two plays very spot on in tune at A=440 pretty much across the range on these two Leblancs. (Haven't checked the other mpc.) Part of that is the instruments, but some of my mouthpieces produce whacky tuning even on these Leblancs.

If I'm understanding correctly, it sounds like that if I want to stay with this sound (which I do for serious classical/orchestral playing) I will be better off finding and working with vintage Bonades rather than trying to find a more modern piece that sounds similar as a backup. I don't want to mess with what works by having the nice one altered, as it has definitely taken me "to a new and improved place". But I'm always conscious of the possibility of disasters such as losing or breaking a mouthpiece and I have nothing else that plays this well on these instruments. I think I'll take your suggestion, Brad, and play around with different reeds a bit on the mpc that gives me more trouble, and keep an eye out to acquire other Bonades that can be worked into something as nice as the gift I received from my teacher long ago. Am I correct in guessing that in refacing a mouthpiece throat sidewalls can be opened out but not closed up?

- Ken

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 Topics Author  Date
 D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
NOLA Ken 2018-09-06 03:45 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Ed 2018-09-06 04:03 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Bob Bernardo 2018-09-06 05:09 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Brad Behn 2018-09-06 17:56 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
NOLA Ken 2018-09-06 22:20 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Ken Lagace 2018-09-06 20:22 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Ed 2018-09-06 22:58 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Hank Lehrer 2018-09-07 01:13 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
Brad Behn 2018-09-07 02:46 
 Re: D. Bonade mouthpieces  new
NOLA Ken 2018-09-07 19:44 

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