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 Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-27 06:50

Hi all,

I got my hands on a beautiful Yamaha SEV Master KF - same model as John Bruce Yeh used for a while, two tone silver/gold, E/F correction key, the works. I'd really like to keep it, but...

The twelfths are quite narrow on this clarinet. The whole chalumeau is about 15 cents sharper than the clarion. (Eg C4 is 17 cents sharper, G5 2 cents sharper.)

Nothing I can think of would cause that sort of behavior. Does anybody know if this something that has a fixable cause?

A more specific question would be: is this something that a mouthpiece/barrel change can fix, and is there any material out there on the effects for different combinations? I did search for measurements on the effect of those on tuning - eg, between a BD5 and a M15 with reeds blah we have these deltas in cents - but found nothing.

Thanks!



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 Re; Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-27 09:37

Well, I guess some of it could be chalked up to the SEV's larger bore, as Tom Ridenour (maker of my current clarinet) explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuJqtfYV9Ck

I doubt that's the reason here, though, as having to correct for about 15 cents for all the notes in the chalumeau seems a bit too much.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Micke Isotalo 2017
Date:   2019-07-27 15:14

Could it be a mouthpiece thing? Interestingly I just recently got the opposite result with a Buffet Tradition set, when playing it with the PlayEasy B2/Solist M successors Puccini Tosca, Verdi Traviata and Mozart KV622. The whole first register was up to 25 cents flat, while the second register was well in tune. However, the Nommos B2 from the same manufacturer was well in tune in both registers (but I didn't like it's tone).

Perhaps the Puccini Tosca, Verdi Traviata or Mozart KV622 could be a good fit to the SEV Master?  ;)



Post Edited (2019-07-27 20:37)

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-27 19:52

I thought that mouthpieces would not have that large an effect, but maybe I'm wrong. I did search for a while and could not find a quantitave description of mouthpiece effect on tuning - can it bring a whole register down 15 cents while keeping the other about where it was?

I think I'll change the title of this thread - I guess there's nothing that can be done to the clarinet itself to fix that problem, so the only hope is that the right combination of barrel/mouthpiece would do it.

The return window is closing fast, though, so I don't think I'll find a fix (if any is possible) before that happens, but I guess I could live with keeping it if I knew it _could_ be fixed.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-07-27 20:10

Mess around with barrels. I play on the CSVR's. I had to find the right Yamaha barrel.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-27 20:16

Thanks for the suggestion Bob,

I have only a few barrels available for messing around with, so chances are they won't fix the problem.

I guess what I'm interested in now is: can, from a technical/acoustics standpoint, a barrel/mouthpiece change have the effect needed here - lowering the chalumeau 15 cents while keeping the clarion put?

If the answer is "yes" I may consider keeping it, but I found little hard data on this so far.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Reformed 
Date:   2019-07-27 21:15

The answer is definitely "yes".

I had the opposite experience with my Yamaha German Boehms bought about 1990.

With Yahama's supplied German Reform Boehm mouthpiece the twelfths in the lower and middle of the instrument were ways too wide.

With any non-Reform Boehm German mouthpiece the twelfths are pretty good.

The difference is the degree of taper in the mouthpiece bore. The "reform" mouthpieces are based on the modern Wurllitzer reform Boehm bore which has minimal taper in the mouthpiece bore. Modern German non-reform mouthpieces have a very significant taper, much more pronounced than any French mouthpiece that I have measured.

I think you may need to reduce the mouthpiece bore's taper in your case.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-27 21:45

Thanks Reformed, that's encouraging.

Any mouthpiece suggestions? I play on an M15, but will try with the others I have lying around (B40L, M30L, M13L, X5, Ridenour HW). My teacher tried the instrument before with two of her mouthpieces without anything really changing.

No manufacturer publishes anything about bore dimensions, which makes it hard for me to even have an idea of what to try here. The 4CM that came with the instrument is sealed, and I wanted to keep it that way in case I end up returning it.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-07-27 21:57

Try one of the D series Vandorens like the BD5D. I found it to make my twelfths too wide on my ridenour clarinet. Playeasy mouthpieces seem to do the same.



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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-27 23:25

Thanks all for the help so far.

I just spent some time trying combinations of the stock barrel/Ridenour Ivorolon and a bunch of mouthpieces, M15/B40L/M30L/X5/Ridenour HW.

The best was the B40L/Ivorolon combination, but even then the B3/F#5 twelfth was at least 20 cents narrow. With some other combinations it was more like 30 cents. The barrel made the most difference, the mouthpieces I have seemed to have no effect (excepting the HW, it raised the pitch about 5 cents across the board).

This is starting to look hopeless. I know the SEV is a larger bore instrument, and this has the feel of the narrow twelfths Ridenour mentions in the video above and in this one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZdMiwCs8Ys

What I wonder now is what these look like in other SEV clarinets out there. I know some on this board play them (SEVRs) - how are those on your instruments?

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-07-28 06:48

To honest, much as I love Yamaha clarinets, it sounds like there's a problem with the bore in that one (I assume you don't have the same problem with other clarinets) and it might be best to just keep looking, no matter how much in love with the sound and response you are. That's a tuning problem you just DON'T want to be fighting against.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-28 07:38

Thanks Donald - yes, I gave up on it and will return it.

I was at a music store today (West Valley Music in Mountain View, CA) and tried out a CSVR, a SEVR, and two CSGs. The SEVR they had there had better tuning, but the A3/E5 and B3/F♯5 twelfths were also narrow by 20 or more cents. This seems to be a SE-bore problem.

For the record, the same twelfths in the CSVR were narrow but only by about 10 cents. The CSGs had the best tuning of them all. Both the CSVR and the CSGs had the clarion sharp relative to the chalumeau in general.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: donald 
Date:   2019-07-28 15:11

I've quite liked the CSGs that I played... I've heard it said that they "sound great in a small room but don't project", but then heard 2 players I can think of who used CSG for playing concerti with orchestra.... no problem hearing THEM in 1000 seat venues! (unlike a prominent German player everyone gushes over, who could NOT be heard for a concerto performance).
I've also heard "oh they are too resistant, they limit your dynamic range". One player here in Auckland used CSG throughout his undergrad degree, was told many times that he needed to play with a bigger sound (by more than one teacher/coach), got a job in a service band and changed to Tosca - still has the same problem. So it's not "clarinet related".
The CSGs I tried a year back both had great tuning, except for ONE NOTE, that I suspect was a result of me being accustomed to adjusting this note on my current horn.....

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects? (Was: Consistently narrow twelfths in SEV Master?)
Author: jack 
Date:   2019-07-29 06:14

Hello Crusius, Just curious - I thought the SEV Master model was only sold new in Japan. Too make long story short, I picked up an SEV Master clarinet in late 2017 after hearing it played at the 2017 Clarinet Fest. Love it. Bought a second one too. My experience is that practically every note is not just close to being in tune, but practically dead centered in tune.
Yamaha had two models of their top of line clarinets at the 2019 Fest with the correction key and cosmetics as you describe, but they were not the SEV Master model. So just wanted to verify that the Yamaha clarinet you refer too is actually the SEV Master. If it is indeed the SEV Master, please let me know who is selling it. I'm interested in checking it out!

As an aside, with the inspiration coming from the terrific Kessler store in Las Vegas, I added a Backun Lumiere barrel and bell to my SEV Master clarinet and have to say the improvement in how I experience the performance of the horn is transforming to the good. Of course it's a personal thing, not necessarily works for others.
Fwiw, picked up a Maxton Sergej mouthpiece at the '19 Fest. It's the most open faced of their models. For me it enhances all the qualities in the sound and feel of the SEV Master that I already like so much. It rocks.
Finally will mention that I discovered the ALTA synthetic reeds at the Silverstein booth. Would say it is much more similar to the sound and feel of cane then Legere. The core sound seems to me much more flexible and 3 dimensional then Legere. Like it a lot! Not to put Legere down but just a good reference for comparison.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-07-29 07:00

I reread your post. I wouldn't play an M series mouthpiece on this but I would have a BD5 refaced. The BD5 is just too open at 1.13mm's or more and the table isn't usually flat. As I've always said in the past the M series mouthpieces were made too long so the 12ths cannot play in tune. It actually bothers me when players still buy these! There are so many great mouthpieces out there that play better and cost less, such as the Selmer Concept; although they need to be adjusted.

Here's my issue. People buy expensive clarinets and then buy the Vandoren M Series mouthpieces which tune low and are too long in length, so the players have their horns tuned! They buy special barrels, and spend a lot of money undercutting key holes on sometimes $10,000 clarinets! Actually wrecking the horns.

This also has to do with the Rico mouthpieces with the really small bores. Same problems folks.

These dead notes and out of tune 12ths are often mouthpiece and barrel bore issues, not the horns. But sometimes some horns do need to be adjusted; first check with a qualified repairman and an expert mouthpiece designer. Buy a $20 digital tuner when testing all of the above.

I would also reface the Yamaha Custom mouthpieces that came with it. But that is about 1.20mm's. Way too open. However it you get it refaced to around 1.08 and then fix some other issues it can be really decent.

A guy that may pop in that has a lot of Yamaha's and dumped all of his Buffet's is Tom Powalski (spelling?). Maybe he will pop in. Very nice and very talented. He too studied with Gennusa and he too has a very good sound.

Anyway, it took me a couple of years to get the right barrels. The A clarinet was the hardest for the CSVR. The SEV horns have a tad bit more open bore. I prefer the CSVR's for this reason.

I think John Bruce Yeh likes these too, the CSVR's when playing in the orchestra, unless he's switched. I know when he does solo work he does play other Yamaha's. I haven't talked to him in maybe 2 years? It's been awhile.

I have to add that Tom, John, and myself all play with a double lip embouchure and perhaps this is why we all love the sound quality of the Yamaha's. That special ping and fullness. I think Tom uses a refaced Yamaha mouthpiece or he did, I think John likes the BD5 and the Vandoren ligature. Hope this helps lead you into the right direction.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




Post Edited (2019-07-29 07:23)

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-29 07:11

So "crusius," what clarinet where you playing prior to the SEV Master (your current horn)?



Just want to know to what you are comparing the Yamahas.





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



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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-29 07:22

Hi Jack - I am waiting for the original seller to get back to me so I can return it, and in the meantime it is for sale by me in the "For Sale" room here.

It is definitely a SEV Master - it is not new, and it is not sold here - somebody got it from Japan before.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-29 07:25

Hi Paul - playing a Ridenour 576BC now. I played other Yamahas too (on trial), three CSGs, one CSVR, one SEVR. The CSGs were the best tuning-wise, and the CSVR very close (but the one I tried had a stuffy throat B♭).

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-07-29 07:49

I can add a bit of information about Yamaha for the readers. A USA background.

As a Yamaha Artist I know that the USA is the last country to receive the latest Yamaha NEW clarinets. Yamaha spends a lot of time researching and field testing new horns. Then adjusting them and fine tuning them. Some models never make it to the USA.

I really like Yamaha's Research and Development program. Because of this when players go out and buy a new CSVR pro clarinet or any of the other pro lines the player doesn't have to test 15 as they do with Buffet and other companies.

You simply test one or two Yamaha's and play the concert that night. Yes they are that great. No leaking pads, no out of tune notes, the horns work. It's that simple.

So if you run into a weird or unusual Yamaha name you haven't heard of yet, chances are it has not been released in the USA yet. It may still have issues with it such as above.

Usually at the winter NAMM Convention Yamaha releases its latest updated or new clarinet. Until then things are kept pretty quiet.

So it might be worth it to avoid clarinets with strange names.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-29 08:00

Thanks for all the information Bob.

When I tried the BD5 it didn't work at all for me, so I didn't keep it. I may try it again with the Yamahas, or just go into another direction altogether. Not having too much time to mess around with those, however, I try to start from a "close enough" baseline. The CSGs and the CSVRs seem to do that better than the larger bore SEVR. (I also play double lip, by the way.)

Thanks!

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: jack 
Date:   2019-07-29 08:53

Hello Crusius,

So the horn has the inscription "Vmaster" near the top of the first joint?. Does it have metal rings on each end of the first joint and bottom end of 2nd joint?

Fwiw, my (both) play perfectly in tune with a Grabner G-13 mouthpiece (Sadly no longer available because of demise of Zimmer).

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-07-29 13:31

So then my follow up question would be:


Have you tried other professional clarinets such as the Buffet, Selmer?



My guess is that you may find the same sort of intonation "irregularities" because the Ridenour horns are rather unique in the world of clarinet tuning and coming from them as a comparison is difficult.


I had the chance to ask Tom about this at the show the other day. He is still so passionate about his design and the results he gets from his horns that he never really answered that question directly. Tom offered some dramatic stories of how many clarinetists have preferred his horns. They're good but singular in the industry.





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



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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: Ed 
Date:   2019-07-29 13:59

Have you had other players try these horns to see what they find? I have always found the intonation, response and evenness on Yamaha to be superb.

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 Re: Mouthpiece/barrel quantitative tuning effects?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-07-29 18:48

To Jack: Yes and yes. It is a SEV Master.

Paul/Ed: Yes, I have tried Buffets, they have quirks too. Other people (who play Buffet) have tried this SEV Master with the same outcome. As I mentioned, I also pitched Yamahas against each other last Saturday, and the SEVR did have narrower twelfths on B3/A3 (~20 cents) than the CSVR (~10 cents) and the CSG (< 10 cents).

I agree a comparison with the 576BC would be apples/oranges. Its tuning is quite good. The reason I'm looking at other clarinets is not for better tuning, but for a change of sound. The CSGs I tried were not bad at all.

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