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 Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-02-06 07:43

Hi all,

I just got a Grabner G13, tried it out for a couple of hours with my 576BC, and really liked the sound. There is a problem, however, that I hope somebody will know what to do about it.

For a lot of notes, there is a strong/loud hissing sound, obviously from padded keys. It is most noticeable in the chalumeau, in forked low A#, C#, throat E, and throat B-flat, the last one sounding quite dull too. There's hissing in other notes too (low F, F#, G, G#, and others), but in the notes I mentioned it is quite loud.

Normally the answer would be "increase key height" or "replace/file pad," but: (a) this does not happen with any other mouthpiece, including a Ridenour HW and a Fobes Debut, and (b) it would be strange if, in light of (a), _all_ padded keys suddenly needed adjusting.

Any clues? I just wrote an e-mail to Walter about it, but I'm casting a wide net in the hopes somebody has seen this before and has an answer...

Cheers,

-Cesar



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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-02-06 10:44

As a test, try a softer reed, even by a full number (but at least half a number). This mouthpiece might require softer reeds. Also try more than one of each strength since some create it more than others. A harder setup generally increases buzzing and hissing like that. Even if you don't feel it is too hard right now, it's good to try this just to check since it's an important detail to know about the issue.

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2019-02-06 16:53

Forked low A#? There's no such note on Boehm systems - lower register A#/Bb isn't a forked note as the only fingering available for that note is xxx|xoo which isn't a forked fingering.

Chris.

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-02-07 02:33

@clarnibass

Thanks for the suggestion, that's Walter's guess at what's happening too. I'll see if I have softer reeds and try it out tomorrow. For the record, this was with Vandoren 56 #3s, Behn Arias #3.5, and Legere Signature (old ones) #3. Walter also suggested trying a G11* instead, as it should take harder reeds, but first I want to make sure it is a reed strength problem to begin with.

@Chris

Sorry, brain malfunction. Forked B.



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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-02-08 08:05

Well, so the softer reed suggestion worked: the hissing is almost gone with a Mitchell Lurie #3, and basically gone with a Rico #2.

This is a bit strange, though. A Rico #2 is very soft (about the same as a Vandoren #1.5), and I'm pretty sure no G13 user out there is using reeds this soft.

In any case, mine is going back, but I asked Walter to send another one (G11* or a G13*).

Thanks for the help!

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Grabnerwg 
Date:   2019-02-14 05:12

Cesar has a new mouthpiece heading his way, a CXZ_G13*. I am interested to see what the effect will be.

Walter Grabner
www.clarinetXpress.com
New R13s!

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-02-18 03:38

Grabnerwg wrote:

> Cesar has a new mouthpiece heading his way, a CXZ_G13*. I am
> interested to see what the effect will be.

Got it yesterday, thanks Walter!

Got the same problem, though - hissing padded notes, sometimes quite loud (esp. low forked B and C#). The only difference is that the small hissing I had with the G13 on the clarion was not there, but the chalumeau hissing did not change.

I'm not sure what's going on here, because my reeds are not _that_ hard... The G11* is a "half a strength harder" mouthpiece, and from what I could see so far it may not be enough. We'll see!

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-02-18 04:23

This may be way off-target, but have you had your hearing checked recently or have you changed a medication? I once spent a long time investigating the cause of a mysterious sound that I only heard under certain circumstances. I never found anything that might cause it and spent a lot of time and money with no result, but one day it went away. It eventually turned out to be caused by an anti-inflammatory drug I was on at the time. When I took the anti-inflammatory drug again the noise came back. A change to a different medication resolved the problem.

Tony F.

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-02-19 06:21

Hi Tony,

Not too off-target, as I have a lot of mid-frequency hearing loss on my right ear, and very low tinnitus that is probably associated with it. It has been there for years, though, and there have been no changes. No medications either.

In this case, the sound is not mysterious - it is clearly hissing from the padded keys. It may be something that is exacerbated by my particular clarinet, but only with the G13s so far. I'm hoping a G11* will somehow solve the problem, as I do like the way they sound...

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-03-06 02:15

Update: Unfortunately none of the three mouthpieces Walter sent worked (the G13, a G13*, and one other model). (Walter was a pleasure to deal with!)

This tells me there's something funny about the clarinet. Given how *good* those mouthpieces sounded, though, I'm seriously considering getting one of them anyway, and then searching for a clarinet that fits... Walter may end up getting another order for me in the next few months depending on how tax season goes.

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-06 04:29

I have to admit I am very confused about the problem. In my experience clarinet mouthpieces are the initiating sound generator. As such there is a GLOBAL tendency to the sound/pitch they produce. They can tend bright, dark, resistant, free blowing, reed friendly, not reed friendly, sharp, flat.....etc. But in each case that tendency extends to the gamut of notes on a horn.

You say you have no such issue with other mouthpieces (one is the Fobes Debut of which I am quite familiar). What is it about the Fobes Debut that needs improvement (searching for another mouthpiece)?


So that I get it. You do NOT produce any sort of extraneous sounds from the Debut on your 576? Do you own another clarinet? If you put the Debut on another clarinet and compared the results with the Grabners, do you get the same results?


And just to clear up other potential issues.........do you know how to accomplish a positive pressure test, or a negative pressure test? These will aid in addressing whether a leak has developed somewhere on the 576 that may cause a weird effect.



..................Paul Aviles



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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-03-06 05:18

Hi Paul,

Only one clarinet, the 576BC. I don't play on the Debut anymore (the sound is too bright for my taste), I play on a Ridenour HW. It has a much warmer sound than the Debut, and I can control things better with it. The Grabners, though, were a clear step up from the HW *for my taste*. Some passages in some Bach violin pieces I am practicing sounded much better, and the altissimo was easier to control too. It was those passages that got me started on the search for a new MP/sound, as I was just not getting what I wanted from the HW.

None of my MPs have the hissing sounds I got from the Grabners. (Well, if I _really_ look for them, they are there, but they are really quite imperceptible.) Now that I have the information, I can get a similar effect if I use reeds that are much too hard for those MPs. The problem is that the reeds I had to use on the Grabners were much too light (as in two strengths lighter than what people normally use with them), and for some models (the 56s I normally use) I can't even get them in the strengths that would be needed.

I know how to do pressure tests, the clarinet is fine that way. It also just came back from adjustment with a few new pads and no leaks (after I dropped it).

Best,

- Cesar

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-06 05:46

Hey Cesar,


So it sounds as though you have resolved the issue to moderating reed strength on the mouthpieces that give you the sound you want?


You speak of "strengths [of reeds] people normally use with them." That idea of that there is a universal standard for reed strength on specific mouthpieces is one that I try to combat with some students. The reed strength needs to allow YOU to achieve a good sound (hiss free) and easy articulation with whatever mouthpiece you are using. I do personally like the Rue Lepic as well but the V21s are a more mellow and versatile cut. I'd suggest trying that one as well as getting a bunch of different strengths until you find a strength (no matter what some chart may say) that allows YOU to sound at your best.


As I suggest for honing in on Legere reed strengths, you can buy through Amazon and they take back whatever doesn't work for you. Maybe you can do that with cane too. Well at least I know that works with Legere!



..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-03-06 07:14

Thanks for the suggestions Paul.

On the reeds, I got some V21s - as with the 56s, they only go down to #2.5, and I'm already using #3. Not much I can do there, they simply don't make them light enough. The hissing was only gone with an extremely soft reed, a Rico #2 I had lying around. The Legeres... what can I say, I _really_ want to like their sound to get rid of the reed nit-picking thing, but the canes always sound a lot better to me.

By the way, when I mention "getting a clarinet that fits," I'm including in that leaving my 576BC with my repair person to try and get the problem fixed; or trying all sorts of other reeds from other brands; and so on. In other words, "making it work." The sound I got from it was much closer to what I'm currently looking for than I can currently achieve with my setup, close enough that it may be worthwhile to adjust my setup around it.

Cheers,

- Cesar



Post Edited (2019-03-06 07:15)

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-06 08:52

Sorry 'bout the confusion. I did not mean to suggest Legere. I only mean that Amazon takes back pretty much anything (easy to try a reed strength and if it doesn't work, send it back). My only current knowledge with respect to that and reeds is the Legere brand (single item; expensive). I would suggest looking into it for boxes of cane if you need to try more brands and strengths.........and then refund the ones that don't work.


What does your teacher suggest regarding these issues?





..............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-03-06 22:09

Hi Paul - No teacher so far, although I'm looking to fix that soon, as I reached a level where my experience with other instruments doesn't help as much.

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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-03-07 01:13

What other instruments? Saxophone? Flute? Piano? Guitar?






...............Paul Aviles



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 Re: Puzzle: Hissing pads only with one particular mouthpiece
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-03-07 01:34

Guitar, violin, piano, and flute. Had to give most of them up due to RSI.

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