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 What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-12 15:39

Question: Now that Zinner in Germany has gone out of business, what are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinner blanks? I imagine most have got a good backlog of zinners, but they won't last forever.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-05-12 18:50

My sense is that they've gone in a number of different directions so that blanks are now being developed and produced by a number of different fabricators using a variety of methods. IMO, it can only benefit the clarinet community that mouthpiece blanks are no longer coming primarily from a single source.

Karl

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-05-12 19:01

Clark Fobes offers mouthpieces that are fabricated by Wesley Rice. They are virtually identical to the those that Fobes finished from the Zinner blanks.


Walter Grabner is now going through company that uses a unique ("vinyl") 3D printing method of production. Grabner is referring to this as his HiTech mouthpieces. I have not tried them yet because I am waiting for him to get around to re-introducing his "Chicago" facing.



As my old biology teacher used to say, "necessity is the mother if invention."




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



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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2019-05-12 22:10

Wesley Rice also makes the blanks for at least one of the David McClune mouthpieces (the FMK model). Brad Behn has purchased CNC machines that can now allow him to do all his mouthpieces in house from start to finish, I believe (or at least for everything but the acrylic Overture model--I'm not sure about that one). In most of the pro models, he was already using two of his own proprietary rubber formulas for some time, and he only used Zinner blanks for one model.



Post Edited (2019-05-12 22:20)

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-12 22:13

I suppose ebonite is not sacrosanct. 3D must use other material. To what effect?

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2019-05-13 01:40

Ebonite rubber still seems to be the overwhelming preference of American players. We'll have to see if that begins to change as more players try some of Walt Grabner's new models. Richard Hawkins, who has not been mentioned yet in this thread, has paired up with Backun to make the new Vocalise model, which is still in ebonite. Fobes is having Rice use ebonite in two different colors, a black blank and a blueish one for one variant of his 10K model. Greg Smith who recently said here he is still looking for the right blank, did not mention whether he would consider something other than ebonite (which was his main material, though he sometimes also offered mouthpieces made on Zinner wood blanks). Reserve mouthpieces, including the latest Evolution model, are still ebonite (they never used Zinner blanks). And of course the everlastingly popular French import, Vandoren, is still ebonite across the board, as are the new Selmers.

I have an Alexander Willscher AW F105T mouthpiece, made in Nurnberg, Germany I like a lot (easy response, good tuning, easy on reeds, and somewhat Germanic "pearly" sound still with good vibrancy) that is made from a non-shiny very dark grey- to- black material that looks like it might not be ebonite. AW is a relatively new company, having been founded in 2000 and evidently not afraid to try new materials. They also make "duckbill" mouthpiece but don't call them that. https://www.aw-woodwinds.eu/mouthpieces/en/11-bb-clarinet



Post Edited (2019-05-13 02:15)

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Grabnerwg 
Date:   2019-05-13 04:22

Just to gently set the record straight...

I am indeed having blanks manufactured using a 3D printing process; printing on very large, expensive, industrial strength printers made by HP.

The material I am currently using is called PA 12, which I have been told is closely related to nylon (not vinyl!). The PA 12 material has some excellent acoustical properties, that simpler plastics like PLA or ABS (which are usually associated with 3D printers) simply do not possess.

Indeed, the world of materials available to 3D printing has become vast, including other plastics, glass, porcelain, carbon fiber, wood, and several metals. I intend to explore many of these to look for other materials that will work well for the production of clarinet mouthpieces.

Nor am I precluded from looking again at the CNC world.

During the past year, I have been able to transfer all my former mouthpiece models into a CAD program, which can create specs for CNC machining, 3D printing, or other techniques of additive manufacturing.

Who knows what the future will bring?

Walter Grabner
www.clarinetxpress.com
All new Buffet R13's and Festival Clarinets

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-05-13 04:31

Walter,


So sorry about the misidentification. At my age I figured any word with a "Y" in it was the right one!



Sounds really exciting, and I look forward to trying them out.




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



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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-13 13:00

Dear Walter, Just a couple of questions, if you don't mind:
-Do you have European distribution of your products? Are they available in any shops in Europe?
-I thought 3D was basically for making prototypes; not for manufacturing. As mouthpieces are not mass-produced, I suppose you could easily produce a sufficient quantity of them with a 3D printer.
-Have you experimented using a mixture of material: I mean combining wood and metal for example? Selmer is trying this out with their clarinets, though it is in the experimental stage. This is with a view to taking a readily available type of wood and making it denser. The ultimate goal is to replace African blackwood, which risks becoming extinct.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-13 13:06

PS for Walter: I see you have quite a few Russian artists, including a couple from the Mariinsky Orchestra: fabulous clarinetists! I met them here in Paris a few years ago.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: HANGARDUDE 
Date:   2019-05-13 15:51

Paul Aviles:

Actually Clark Fobes's 10K mouthpiece blanks (the ones Wes Rice fabricates for him) are not quite the same as the Zinner Blanks. The blank design, in Clark's own words (I met him last summer), is a hybrid of the old Selmer (C*, C**, D, etc.) and Zinner blanks. I've personally been playing on a Fobes 10K bass mouthpiece and find both the exterior and interior shapes to be noticeably different from its Zinner blank version I've been playing prior switching to the 10K. Sound-wise it is warmer and more focused without losing flexibility.

Josh


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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Grabnerwg 
Date:   2019-05-13 16:20

Three questions:

-Do you have European distribution of your products? Are they available in any shops in Europe?

Yes, my mouthpieces are available from Howarth of London.

-I thought 3D was basically for making prototypes; not for manufacturing. As mouthpieces are not mass-produced, I suppose you could easily produce a sufficient quantity of them with a 3D printer.

For over 20 years now, 3D printing has been used basically for making prototypes. Now the uses of 3D printing has exploded into hundreds of different end uses - including your dentist 3D printing a new crown for you in his office.

-Have you experimented using a mixture of material: I mean combining wood and metal for example?

I have printed in at least 10 different materials, including a material that is basically glass. Lots of different results! I am still experimenting!

Walter Grabner
www.clarinetxpress.com
Buffet clarinets and World Class mouthpieces

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-05-13 16:53

Walter- is the printing able to accurately reproduce your pieces 100%, or do you still have to hand finish and tweak them?

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-13 19:02

Walter: This sounds really exciting! I wish your mouthpieces were available in France, but Vandoren has such a monopoly here, which I regret. The only American maker that was able to break into the market here a little was Charles Bay around 30 years ago; for only a short while.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2019-05-15 01:41

Just for reference, the Nikko Ebonite Mfg company has some info on hard rubber posted HERE on their web site.



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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-05-15 02:27

Dear HANGARDUDE,



I have not had a personal sit down with Clark Fobes but I do have three of his soprano Bb mouthpieces. Two of them are 'identical,' customizations of his C12 facing on Zinner blanks, the third is a 10K CF+. I cannot visually make out a difference on the soprano mouthpieces with regard to overall dimensions or shape of the baffle. They also play, taking the difference of facing into account, identically.


I only say this so that there is no lament from the Fobes Bb Zinner blank fans. I appreciate the comment regarding the bass clarinet mouthpiece for which I have no reference.




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

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2019-05-15 15:50

Several makers that used Zinners also have HR and plastic Babbitt blanks in their product line. Usually for a student or “step-up” mouthpiece.

Morgan makes their own HR mouthpieces from molds. I have never heard of them selling unmarked blanks though.

MojoMP.com
Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC
MojoMouthpieceWork@yahoo.com

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-05-16 08:25

I have a couple of Fobes mouthpieces... main and backup. One is Zinner, but the other doesn't say anything other than Fobes. I asked him and he said it was from a blank made in France. It doesn't look it had a Vandoren or Selmer logo/stamp that was buffed off. I'm not sure if Vandoren or Selmer would even make blank for others. So apparently there are blanks made in France by... someone. Or at least used to, it's from a few years ago.

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2019-05-16 16:10

Riffaults are one French blank that was adopted by several Americans; most of the Mitchell Luries (the rubber ones) for example seem to have been made on Riffault blanks.

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: HANGARDUDE 
Date:   2019-05-17 00:05

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the clarification. My bad for not specifying that I was talking about the Fobes 10K bass mouthpieces! However, I have ordered a 10K 3L Bb mpc from Woodwind and Brasswind on trial and I might let you know my findings once I get it!

Josh


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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-05-17 15:46

Hangardude,



Roger that.





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



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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-05-19 01:18

Correction - The Mitchell Lurie mouthpieces were made by Pomarico, both rubber and glass. I worked with Mitchell for 15 years making his reeds and making his mouthpieces better. Some of his mouthpieces needed refaceing, both rubber and glass. The glass bores were very narrow. Not a big deal though. Both companies are very good. Just don't want to start rumors here. He had 2 rubber models mainly.


DESIGNER OF - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2019-05-19 01:21)

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-05-19 10:24

>> made by Pomarico, both rubber and glass. <<

I didn't realize Pomarico ever made rubber mouthpieces. It's entirely possible, just in about two decades since I first heard about them (and used their mouthpieces for a long time) I've never seen or heard of a rubber Pomarico. I've only seen glass and wood. Were they only making them under different names? Was it long ago and they stopped? Google comes up with nothing about rubber Pomarico mouthpieces.

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-19 16:34

Seabreeze: Riffault made (really good!) blanks for quite a few American makers: Charles Bay, for example. They were located in a small town in the French provinces and now seem to be out of business. Their own mouthpieces were not so good-to put it politely. This proves that you can make good blanks, but not good mouthpieces and vice-versa.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-05-19 16:36

Walter; have you tried Delrin (not sure of the spelling) as a material. It's very heavy: maybe too heavy. Do you see heaviness as a virtue or a vice in mouthpiece materials?

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: What are American mouthpiece makers using to replace Zinners?
Author: Grabnerwg 
Date:   2019-05-22 00:52

Ruben:

Yes, I have made some mouthpieces using Delrin. Delrin is a very good acoustical material (in my opinion). The mouthpieces performed quite satisfactorily.

Personally, I don't see heaviness as a factor. Accurate dimensions and the finish to the surfaces where the air stream flows are far more important.

Walter

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