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 Nova mouthpiece ligature reed combo
Author: crelias11 
Date:   2019-12-04 00:52

I have a Nova mouthpiece. Looking for a reed, ligature combo. I emailed Clark Fobes but no response. I squeak a lot on this mouthpiece but not on my Daddario reserve evolution that I like better. Mitchell Laurie reeds work pretty well on the Reserve. I got a replacement Nova because my first one was defective-lots of squeaks and condensation coming out bottom of reed and sides (not saliva) I am just getting back into clarinet playing. I have 4 brands of reeds, still searching, I have 2 Rovner ligatures. I want to try a metal one but I see so much variety in opinions. I have an R13 Buffet made in 2013 and I am thinking I should have bought a LeBlanc. I am a bassoon player but was a good clarinet player at one time.

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 Re: Nova mouthpiece ligature reed combo
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-12-04 09:32

D'Addario is amongst the manufacturers who now feel that making mouthpiece dimensions available to the general public gets in the way of saying things like; orchestral sound, dark but quick articulation......etc. When I was at the Summer clarinet show, a rep was able to tell me that none of the Evolutions come with a tip opening as small as their X5 Reserve (which I used for spell). I decided it was not for me. I like smaller tip openings. I have liked all the Fobes Novas that I tried, and in fact own 3 Fobes mouthpieces (a 10K CF+, and two modified C12s).

All that to say that the Nova is a smaller facing than your Evolution and that could be your current challenge. The best way to quickly find where to place your embouchure for ANY mouthpiece is to play an open G (continually) as you take in more and more mouthpiece. Eventually you get to a point where you'll get an uncontrollable SQUAWK. Back off just slightly from there and that is the ideal point to place your embouchure. I'm guessing it will feel like you're taking in WAY too much mouthpiece........but that's ok (as long as you are producing a good sound...and not a squawk).

I would use a Vandoren V21 of either a strength 3 or a 3 1/2. But if you are not playing a lot, you may want to stick with something softer.

As for ligatures, the best all fabric Rovners (in my experience) is the Rovner Light. It allows much more vibration than the Dark and is one of the best ligatures out there bar none. If you want to step up without venturing too far, try the Rovner Versa. It features a metal insert, so you get the best aspects of the soft vs metal design. Oh, and I much prefer direct metal contact with the reed with that ligature so if you get one, tuck the leatherette flaps UNDER the insert so there is metal to cane contact.

If you want to try metal for a ligature, I'd suggest the BG Duo. Just one heck of a ligature!

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

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 Re: Nova mouthpiece ligature reed combo
Author: TomS 
Date:   2019-12-09 22:18

For me, the Evolution is just about as easy to control as the X0. The articulation is just as fast or maybe faster/cleaner. It plays like a closer MP ... but does not like Legere reeds, IMHO.

You gotta find the right reed for the Evolution, and surprisingly, the Reserve Classic and Evolution reeds seem to work better than the others. I suspect they were designed to compliment each other.

My Evolution had some burrs/flash left in the throat when I received it, and I had to take a jeweler's file to the MP. Also, be sure that the slot does not have a microscopically raised edge burr, you might need to take some 2000 grit sand paper and rub the facing over this.

I think with totally machine made stuff, you need to inspect/play and verify each one (hats off to Brad Behn). Machines hiccup when you aren't watching. I went to a music store to find a spare for my X0, only to find all 5 MPs in stock had radically different finishing to the tip rail ... all over the map. I was very surprised.

If I sold CRC made MPs, I'd offer a service to hand select and adjust each one.

In any case, give the Evolution MP another try. I love the compactness above the staff and ease of control in the altissimo. It's warm but with center and clarity.

My usual 3-cents.


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 Re: Nova mouthpiece ligature reed combo
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2019-12-10 00:11

Woodwind/Brasswind used to publish a table of mouthpiece tip openings and lay lengths. There might be others now, but here is one:


I have both a Nova and a Debut, tending to use the Debut for Klezmer where a brighter sound is more desirable.

Vandoren Optimum ligature has worked well for me, but others I have tried also were OK. Make sure it works securely and doesn't slide off when changing instruments.

Vandoren Blue Box or Rico Reserve 3.5 reeds, depending on nothing in particular. I get a certain yield from each box, then run the duds through a Reed Wizard, and get another bunch that work.

I have several other mouthpieces to switch between for classical music, that are less bright so that conductors won't complain. A year or so I moved off the Nova to a Maxton WB 9,5 that works very well for me, but is death incarnate on dance jobs. When continuously playing, the Debut is much easier to keep blowing on.

Consistent squeaking can come from a number of causes. The mouthpiece and reeds are starters. Especially look for a flat mouthpiece table and rails the same height. Leaks in your instrument and inconsistent finger position are other possible reasons.

Post Edited (2019-12-10 00:12)

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