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 Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-19 01:16

Currently playing on a B45 which I am looking to replace. I think it plays well but... it's around 30 years old and I assume must be worn out somewhat. I'm going to get 4 mouthpieces on trial - a new B45 to see whether it feels the same as current one, then I want to try a Backun ART to see whether the price is worth it for me. The shop recommended I also try a BD5 but I'm feeling disinclined after reading around on the forum, plus the shop's own demo video gave me worries about this mp's intonation. They also suggested a Selmer but I don't fancy that either.
I play classical and concert band on a V12 no.3.
Ideas for 2 more mp's to try?
I'm thinking M30 or 5RV but not sure whether should opt for lyre or not? They also have Hite and D'Addario. (Mouthpieces posted on approval so I have to limit to 4)



Post Edited (2019-02-19 01:17)

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-02-19 03:02

Just try them and go with what you like. My personal favorite mass produced mouthpieces are the Selmer concept, vandoren BD5 and Vandoren B40. In that order. All are more on the open side with you seem to prefer. The M30 is nice too.

Backun’s imo, are overpriced for what they are.



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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-19 03:18

Thanks - yes I will try them and go with what I like. The issue is just narrowing it down as I can't take everything on trial.

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 07:29

I played the Kessler-Backun III for several years, which is a great mouthpiece. I wanted to try a genuine MoBa so I bought a PRT+ which had a great sound but was too resistant and dark for most orchestral playing. Dave Kessler recommended the ART, which I’ve been playing for about a year with Pilgerstorfer 4-4.5 reeds. I think it is a great all around mouthpiece if you ( like me) prefer more open facings. I think it would work for me with V12 3.5+ reeds. With softer reeds you might want to try the ART2 (442 pitch). Try a studio/demo copy if you want to save money.

Bob Barnhart

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: tucker 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 08:28

Fobes; Behn.

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-02-19 09:09

I love the Fobes mouthpieces a LOT!!! However, you are happy with the more open facing of the B45 and many of Fobes' facings are less open. He does have two that may work for you, the "Jazz" and the "Europa 5."



Just a thought.





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



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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 10:52

A Fobes Europa 4 is one of my backup as it takes similar reeds to the ART and has a somewhat darker, less focused sound. It is also a great mouthpiece, but is very free-blowing and feels much more open than it is (1.12 x 19). I would use it for a more German/Viennese sound when playing Brahms, etc.

The MOBAs and Fobes are (mostly) Zinner-based so I’m investigating non-Zinner pieces in case they’re no longer available. I have an ESM RCR3 (1.19 x 17.5) which sounds like it should be similar to a B40. The ESM mouthpieces are made of Acrylic (which ESM claims sounds better than rubber) and are completely fabricated by CNC machines. I think Paul was impressed by the MCK1 facing, so I’m hoping the RCR3 will work for me. I’ll post a review when it comes in.

Bob Barnhart

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-02-19 11:04

Fobes and Mike Lomax. Andrew Marriner played a Vandoren 45 for over 20 years and then conceived his own mouthpiece with Mike Lomax. I feel it's far superior to the Vandoren, though similar in opening.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com


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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-19 12:10

Thank you. It seems like Fobes are not available in the UK though? I'm not at the level where I want to import a mouthpiece (yet...) so my choice is limited to Vandoren, D'Addario, Yamaha, Hite, Backun , Selmer.

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: sax panther 
Date:   2019-02-19 16:46

Howarths sell the full range of Fobes mouthpieces, as well as the lomax line that Ruben has mentioned.

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Carmelo 
Date:   2019-02-19 17:04

Hi Victoria,

May I suggest a Borbeck 11 and or a Greg Smith 1++ mouthpiece as an option if you are looking to upgrade. Both are zinner material and are reed friendly with the V-12 3 strength reeds.



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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: RKing 
Date:   2019-02-19 17:29

The 5RV will be quite different from your B45. It's closed a lot more then the B45 with a shorter facing and I am pretty sure you will want a stiffer reed.

I grew up with the 5RV, but I have ended up with a Fobes Cicero 12. These are both closed with shorter facings and have a totally different feel than you get from the more open mouthpieces. If you have a chance to try a Fobes mouthpiece, you might be happier with the 4L or one of the Europa models.

The regular Vandoren M30 might be an easier change for you. It will be a little different from your B45, but you might feel comfortable with it.

And if you are happy with your B45, there is nothing that says you have to change. Trying new stuff is fun, but it can also be frustrating if you also have to try different reeds to make the new 'piece work. :-)

Cheers,

Ron

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Steven Ocone 2017
Date:   2019-02-19 17:47

Try the Vandoren M13 lyre. You may need a stiffer reed with it. The other recommendations above are also good.

Steven Ocone
Ann & Steve's Music

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-02-19 18:08

UK?


Pillinger!




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



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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-19 21:46

Excellent info thanks all!

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-28 20:12

Well I'm feeling a bit deflated today. I tried out a bunch of Vandoren's including a new B45 (current B45 is 30+ years old) and the Backun ART. I sent back the Vandorens straight away as they all sounded horrible, and kept the ART for a few more days as I liked the sound.
It's become clear though that it is really fatiguing for me and even going down a strength in reeds is not helping, so I today I have picked up my old B45 again and it's like welcoming home an old friend.
How can my ancient B45 be better (for me) than all these other models, including a new B45?! Is it just that my embouchure fits like a glove and anything else will need time to break in? In which case does this mean I'll never be able to feel at home with a new mouthpiece? :(
My reason for getting a new one was partly as a treat for myself, but also I felt sure that a mp of that age must be a bit worn out at least, and when I look down the middle of it I see a tiny nick in the surface which I assumed must affect its performance somewhat.
Should I just stick to what I've got, or try out some others?

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: JAS 
Date:   2019-02-28 20:19

After playing for so long on the same mpc, it could take several days or weeks to become comfortable with a new one.
Has your B45 ever been refaced? I usually begin to feel trouble with a mpc after 16 months to 2 years or so without refacing/replacement. I start to lose control, clarity, color, etc.

In any case, I don't trust myself to make a decision on a mpc without at least a couple of weeks playing it exclusively. (If possible.)

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-28 21:11
Attachment:  20190228_170902.jpg (1232k)

No, it's never been refaced. But with the small mark inside (pictured) would it be worth bothering? Or is that something that can also be fixed?



Post Edited (2019-02-28 21:13)

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-02-28 22:28

I just want to say that asking almost any of the people here isn't an optimal strategy. You just get opinionated and mostly American codswallop.

A very able professional colleague (you would probably know her name) said to me a couple of days ago on the phone that she was looking to change her (Vandoren) mouthpiece, and was catching the Eurostar to visit Paris in the morning.

"The only way to get a large enough choice," she said.

"Have a nice meal while you're about it!" I said. "Indeed!" she replied.

You could do that.

Tony

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2019-02-28 22:51

Looking back over your previous posts, I can't really find WHY you want to change your mouthpiece. It seems to be working well for you musically, which is the primary thing.

You might even find, trying to change, that it's the best for you.

That wouldn't surprise me, old though it is. But you might find another, not so good, but backup alternative.

Tony

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-02-28 23:14

Thank you Tony Pay for your wise words!
I suppose my initial motivation was simply the age of the mouthpiece. I got it when I was about 14 and remembered it cost my parents more money than they thought a "bit of plastic" ought to cost, and since then I've always thought of it as being something of value.

Until it occurred to me one day that it was actually probably not as good as I thought due to its age.

I called a woodwind shop for advice and they said due to its age it probably wasn't as good as it used to be, and to try out some new ones. When I tried them I did find (especially with the backun) that my altissimo sounded better and I guess this spurred me on.

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Luuk 2017
Date:   2019-03-01 14:57

A reason to renew your mouthpiece might be that it not longer accepts reeds of available strengths (though this is not what you state).

A friend played baritone sax for more than 50 years on the same mouthpiece, but started complaining some years ago that it was difficult to find any reeds strong enough. He ended up with Vandoren traditional 5 of which he clipped the tip. I suspect the rails and maybe the table of his mouthpiece were worn, effectively decreasing the tip opening.

He refused to try other mouthpieces, claiming they were not as good as his old one and went on blaming Vandoren for 'reed strength inflation'.

Regards,

Luuk
Philips Symphonic Band
The Netherlands

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Plonk 
Date:   2019-07-13 23:53

Well it's been about 5 months since I started this thread and I *think* I've finally found a mouthpiece I like - the 5RV.

Something about this quest really confuses me though....

Firstly, my old mp was a B45, but on trying two other new B45s I found them to be completely different (as in, all different from each other). The first just sounded nasty. The second sounded nice but was fatiguing. I stuck it out for about 2 weeks but eventually sold it and bought a Vocalise G.

(The Vocalise G was beautiful to play and not fatiguing but had no volume to it. At mp it was the sweetest sound I've ever made, but I just could not blow a FF into it at all and a forte sounded too harsh. So after a few weeks on that, it was put back in its funny tube and will be sold on later!)

I compared my old B45 mp carefully with the new ones and noticed that the rail tip on mine was extremely thin, and worn unevenly as well. I'm not surprised, given its age, but wouldn't such wear make the mouthpiece MORE open? On playing the new B45s I began to realise that they were just too hard blowing for me, and decided to try the 5RV on the basis that it is more closed, and yes, that seems to work. So my old B45 must be playing like a more closed mp. How can this be so?

So my two questions in a nutshell are:
1) How can a worn mouthpiece play like a more closed one when it looks more open?
2) How can two new B45s sound/play completely differently?

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2019-07-14 00:44

Hi,

I'm not sure if it's too late to chip in, but I tried loads of mps at my local shop, and I still find that the Hite D is the best for me by miles. I think it's different for different people though, isn't it?

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 Re: Mouthpiece recommendations
Author: Doug Leach 
Date:   2019-07-14 17:25

Plonk,

Well, as to your first question, it may be more than just how the tip rail is worn, and whether it looks more closed or not. The question is how has the entire mouthpiece worn. Plus the narrower width tip rail will have a big effect.
As to your second question this is actually a very common occurrence. I've never seen 2 vandoren mouthpieces of the same model play the same. Their mouthpieces are made by molding. There is so much variation in the cure and shrinkage during cooling in the molding process that you almost never get 2 of the EXACT same thing. It's always been the case of try several and pick the one you like the best. Especially now that Zinner is gone, I believe ithis is why more and more people are moving to CNC machining mouthpieces, to get rid of this variation.

Doug

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