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 Vandoren BD4
Author: Al_Martinez23 
Date:   2020-02-03 10:37

Hello everyone,

Since the BD4 came out it has continuously been sold out on various sites. My question is if you own or have played one, what did you like or dislike about it? I have one that I recently acquired and I think it sounds great but my only problem with it is that I cannot find a reed to fit it. A Vandoren Traditional 3.5 is a little too soft for it and a size 4 is hard on it unless it was on the softer side of the spectrum. I would love to hear your thoughts on this mouthpiece!

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2020-02-03 10:53

I've played it and it's decent. It plays in tune. The tip surely is open, so players will have different opinions. The bore is tight, a shade small so on German clarinets there are some dead and flat notes. On French clarinets it works. To me the sound is a tad bright but it projects well. This brightness can probably be adjusted.


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-02-03 13:51

Bob; For me, Vandoren mouthpieces are like eating at the Hilton: always alright, but never great or even really good.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2020-02-03 13:57

Hilarious and true, ruben!

Best regards
Christian

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: Jeroen 
Date:   2020-02-03 14:40

I have one since a month but I don't play it very much yet. Compared to the BD5 I like the somewhat brighter sound. However, the sound is more compact, not as full bodied as with the BD5. So, on the moment I still prefer the BD5.

Reeds that work for me on both BD5 and BD4 are Gonzales RC #3.0 - #3.25. I like to play softer reeds on these type of mouthpieces else they play too dark and resistant for me.

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2020-02-03 16:35

Nice Ruben! :)


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


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2020-02-04 00:48

Always love seeing the Vandoren hate that seems oblivious to the fact that the vast majority of orchestral winners and players choose Vandoren.

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: jeeves 
Date:   2020-02-04 01:44

@J. J.: I wonder how many of those orchestral winners are using unmodified mouthpieces, and how many are using thoroughly modified/refaced Vandorens.

Anyone have any insight into that?

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2020-02-04 02:29

Most are using stock, unmodified.

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2020-02-04 02:36

A lot of those “Vandoren artists” are listed as customers for mouthpiece makers like Brad Behn. I think I’ve seen photos of Behn working on orchestral players Vandoren mouthpieces, an M13 Lyre, although I could be mistaken. Ivan Marin Garcia in Spain seems to keep himself busy working on Vandoren B40s and BD5s for players in Europe. He plays a modified BD5 himself. I used a BD5 worked on by Bernardo for a while which played pretty fantastically.

Vandoren provides a great product. If worked on, the cost still comes out to about half a lot of what custom makers are charging for their own professional mouthpieces.

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: brycon 
Date:   2020-02-04 03:15

Quote:

@J. J.: I wonder how many of those orchestral winners are using unmodified mouthpieces, and how many are using thoroughly modified/refaced Vandorens.

Anyone have any insight into that?


Most of my friends (who play Vandorens) playing in pretty big orchestras use unmodified ones. Sure, they may have to try out many to find one that really works for them. But for the most part, Vandorens play very well out of the box. I've even had friends complain about their Vandorens getting messed up by craftsmen/refacers.

The nice thing about Vandorens is that, aside from playing well, if they break, you can just get another that plays about the same. They're also easy to recommend to students in this regard. The downside, of course, is that a lot of people sound the same: there is very much a homogenous sound in the U.S. right now (bd5s or b40 lyres it seems). I don't think people need to sound like a player from the middle of the 20th century; teachers and orchestras don't seem to be looking for this approach. But it was nice when, in the middle of the 20th century, there were a lot of different, individual approaches to sound.



Post Edited (2020-02-04 03:16)

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: TomS 
Date:   2020-02-04 09:19

Apparently Bernard Vandoren had working prototypes of these MPs for years, but could not manufacture them at low cost. I wonder what has changed? Do you think Vandoren uses some high-tech CNC machining for some of the manufacturing process?

I like the M15 because they are available in 3 flavors ... and the 442 version tunes better and articulates better (IMHO) than the 440 version. And work well with Legere European Signature.

Tom

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-02-04 10:19

Tom: They have the best machines money can buy, built by an engineer here in Paris that is some kind of genius. Bernard Vandoren pretty much gives him carte blanche.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: TomS 
Date:   2020-02-04 23:38

Wow! I know that Vandoren's MPs are (were?) actually not made by Vandoren ... at least the blanks ... maybe VD actually did the facing and chamber finishing at their factory (?).

Our 2nd clarinetist here at the "flagship" orchestra in my state, has used boutique MPs and/or reworked stock for decades. A couple of years ago, she switched to a BD5 when she also switched from an R13 to the Tradition.

They don't stock BD4/5s locally, just M13-lyres and 5RV-lyres ... I wonder how they play with the Legere European Signature reeds?

Guess I'll bite the bullet and order a couple ...

Tom

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: gatto 
Date:   2020-02-07 19:50

To me, seeing many videos with clarinettists, it seems, that (at least in Europe) the Vandoren mouthpieces B40, B40Lyre and the BD5 are dominating the Boehm clarinet market. I rarely see another mouthpiece.

I am happy with my BD5, but I was also curious about the BD4. I played on it now maybe only two or three times so far, but I find it similarly good. The feeling is similar, the sound is (it seems to me) a little bit more focussed. I use on both V21 strength 3.5. But I will need more experience with the BD4, and then also with comparing both, the BD4 with the BD5. (Both are the 442 hz versions.)

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-02-07 20:28

I tried a whole bunch of Vandoren mps but none of them worked anywhere near as well for me as my J&D Hite D. I did the same test again a year later and again got the same result. It's interesting to know that different people can find such different result.

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 Re: Vandoren BD4
Author: gatto 
Date:   2020-03-06 00:24

Now I have played the BD4 several times more. I feel more comfortable to go down to 3.0 in strength (V21's). With this I get a quite bright, singing sound, which additionally is quite easy to manipulate. The responsiveness of the reed is very good. (Of course, it works better with better reeds and not so good with...) In the moment I prefer the BD4 over my BD5. I am very pleased with it.

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