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 Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2021-08-13 00:19

Tell me your impressions. Anyone switched from Vandorens and liked them better? What reeds use with them? Anyone switched from Vandoren BD series?

Post Edited (2021-08-13 00:19)

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Max S-D 
Date:   2021-08-13 04:06

I tried one when they first came out in an "H" facing, which was the most open one at the time. I haven't played the BD series, but I was using a B40 part of the time back then, I think.

I think it would be a very good mouthpiece for someone who wanted quite a dark sound. Intonation seemed very solid and pitch and tone were about as stable as anything I've used. I think the dark, thick tone made it feel very forgiving to me, almost like it would be hard to make a bad sound with that mouthpiece.

For me, though, it felt a bit constraining, since I don't tend to favor a sound that dark. I also felt like the upper dynamic boundary was a lot quieter than on the mouthpieces I usually prefer. Where I would expect the sound to start to pick up edge and break up a bit, it just...wouldn't go louder. I feel the same way about the B40, but the sensation was much more pronounced on the Vocalise.

It's well-made mouthpiece, but the design was not for me.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Jbosacki 
Date:   2021-08-13 22:24

I have one, I played on a lomax classic for years.

I have the "R" Variant which is the closed/short.

When I first played on it I was absolutely hooked, I bought it on the spot. After a year or so I've gone back to my Lomax.

It has a BEAUTIFUL dark sound but it just has so much resistance for me it just takes so much effort. I don't play when like I used to and maybe back in the day it was worth the effort for that clear dark tone but now I just want to play more easily and it just doesn't get that for me.

It's a good mouthpice like I said. I have a bunch of friends who have them, mostly everyone I know bought the R or the G

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-08-13 22:30

I have the R. I chose that one because my previous mouthpiece was the Fobes Debut.

I like it a lot. For me, it's really easy to play. I may get the G down the road, once the rest of my clarinet setup has stabilized, to see what it does for my articulation.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Max S-D 
Date:   2021-08-13 23:31

I would also add that another mouthpiece worth checking out in this price range is Brad Behn's Prescott line, which is also a fully CNC machined mouthpiece. I am fascinated by the new wave of ground-up mouthpiece designs that popped up in the wake of Zinner shutting down operations, so I picked one of those up for Brad's introductory sale price as soon as they were available.

I got the Prescott in a Close facing because that was more in line with what I was using at the time I bought it, so it's not a fully apples to apples comparison with the Backun.

It has what feels to me like a perfectly balanced resistance and a great deal of clarity in the tone. I'd say the Prescott is around the level of darkness that seems to be the common expectation these days, but with more definition and less of what feels to me like a "pillowy" kind of darkness that I feel in the B40 and especially the Vocalise. All of these mouthpieces have good control, but the Prescott had a wider dynamic range, both at the louder end, where I didn't like the Vocalise, and at the pianissimo end, where the added clarity and definition kept the sound from getting overly fuzzy.

I was so enamored of the feel and sound of the mouthpiece that, not long after, I ordered a Behn Sono, which I've used consistently since. It's a bit brighter than the Prescott, which is my preference. Straight out of the box, though, the Prescott almost immediately unseated a very fine mouthpiece that cost well over twice as much and which I still think highly of. I still think the Prescott is my second choice of what I've got and what I would recommend to a student looking to upgrade from their first mouthpiece.

I think it's pretty clear that I preferred the Prescott to the Vocalise, but obviously it's all a matter of taste. At these prices, I think both are worth trying, even if you end up sending one (or both) back.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Neckstrap 
Date:   2021-08-14 00:12

I switched from the BD5 to the Vocalise over this summer. I have had good luck with the BD5 for the past 3 years but was looking for something to help broaden my sound -- especially to help with chirpiness/unwanted thinness in altissimo and upper clarion. I got all 4 facings of the vocalise during the Backun spring cleaning sale (figuring I would resell whatever I didn't want later) I was drawn to the G and have pretty much stuck to it as of late. I do find that the vocalise G seems less flexible to me than the BD5 was, but that has led to a nice hold on the sound. Personally I find the Vocalise G to be perfectly suited to play something like the Brahms quintet; and the 'poppy' articulation has made Paganini quite fun, though the vocalise seems to tire me out a bit more. I do want to put it out there that I think my BD5 mp may have been a bit worn and it was time for a new replacement anyways... I might go to a Vandoren showroom and get my hands on the whole BD series as I am curious about the BD4 to see how that compares. The real test on these mouthpieces will be once I can get back in the hall and play with an orchestra to see how they project. However, I know a few clarinetists that play on the vocalise mp's and you can hear them over the whole orchestra from the back of the hall, so it must be possible.

I used V12 size 4 reeds on the BD5 and vocalise mouthpieces. The reeds feel substantially heftier on the Vocalise G (though this could again be due to a worn out BD5 mouthpiece)

All in all, I would recommend both the vocalise G and the BD5. Really can't go wrong with either one as long as you put in the hours in the practice room and have a solid concept of sound that you are striving for.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Morrigan 
Date:   2021-08-14 00:22

I’m a B40 player and I tried Vocalise mpcs in a shop today. I left with an R, but I’ll be returning it.
Initial impression really good, but as said above, it lacks upper dynamics and “ping”. My B40 can take more air and requires less effort than the Backun.

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2021-08-14 02:48

Neckstrap, I can talk about BD4 and BD7 as I'm experiencing them now for some months. I was playing for one whole year BD5 with 3.5 v12 and I have to say, Vandoren shouldn't release BD5 at all in my opinion. Both BD4 and BD7 are just better! BD4 is the most comfortable with good projection(double projection than BD5). Works well with 1 year played V12 3.5 reeds, I don't how would play with new ones. BD7 feels right with number 3 V12. It gives even more projection than BD4 but you have to get used to the open tip, quite noticeable when you're coming from BD4.. Anyway, I kept them both finally cause I wasn't sure what to choose, really! Now I'm playing mostly the BD7 with number 3 V12 and compass ligature, really great combo!! Read my review of compass ligature on amazon If you will, the one with the picture..

Post Edited (2021-08-14 02:50)

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2021-08-14 20:10

A couple of years ago I was playing the Backun Arabesque mouthpiece (which I still like) and tried the Vocalise H. It seemed like a very competent mouthpiece, very dark sound, good response, good intonation, but more resistant than my Arabesque. I had the same feeling with it that I had with my BD5-13: it let you do only what it wanted to. I decided it was not for me and sent it back.

After the demise of Zinner, I decided to try the BD7 and really liked the sound and feel of the mouthpiece. Since I had tried to compare the Vocalise H against my Arabesque, I decided to try the Vocalise Z against the BD7. The Z was "similar" to the BD7, but very dark and more resistant/inflexible. I sent it back too.

As I had been playing a Kessler-Backun III for years and it allegedly had a facing similar to the BD4, I recently ordered a pair of BD4s and found them to be a very good all-around choice. The have great response and, unlike the BD5 or BD7 a very flexible, round sound--everything from brilliant to warm. They also feel less resistant than the BD7.

I like to feel that I have options with my setup and the BD4 seems to offer me that whereas, while the Vocalise mouthpieces I've tried can produce a beautiful dark sound, they seem optimized for a smaller range of playing styles.

Bob Barnhart

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 Re: Backun Vocalise mouthpieces
Author: Jimis4klar 
Date:   2021-08-15 21:24

Do you find BD4 equal to Vocalise H or more likely would be "similar" to Vocalise G? What do you think? You decided to stick with BD4 eventually? If yes, with what reeds?

Post Edited (2021-08-15 21:28)

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