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 Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: PeterinToronto 2017
Date:   2022-05-17 04:08

Hi everyone,

I've been trying a Selmer Recital, and it came with a Selmer C85 120 mouthpiece. I used to play these long ago, and remembered them being sharp and a bit thin in sound. I was quite surprised that the sound was very nice and full on this one! But alas the pitch is impossibly sharp on Buffet clarinets (I may not be buying the Recital).

I have been very unsatisfied with my sound on B40, B40 lyre or BD 5 mouthpieces.
Does anyone know what might be different about this Selmer, is the facing longer or something? I usually seem to prefer more open tip openings, but am a bit in the dark about facing length or inside dimensions.

Does anyone have any suggestions for mouthpieces more in the pitch ball-park, but closer to this C85 concept? I'm thinking I might have more luck with a non-Vandoren piece, but am open to any ideas!

Thanks a lot,


Post Edited (2022-05-17 04:09)

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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: ISM 
Date:   2022-05-17 07:00


I don’t have any mouthpiece suggestions for you, but I’ll offer an observation.

The exit bore size of my Selmer C85 mouthpieces range from 14.53 mm to 14.59 mm. My Vandoren mouthpieces are slightly larger. For example, my B45 measures 14.70 mm, and this one happens to tune poorly on my Selmer 10S II clarinets. Does this small difference matter? I don’t know. Maybe some of the mouthpiece experts here can shed light.


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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: PeterinToronto 2017
Date:   2022-05-17 08:16

Thanks Imre! That's very helpful...the C85 tunes generally ok on the Recital, but terribly sharp on my Buffets. The only major issue with the Recital with tuning is that the standard throat Bb is 20 cents sharper than the other throat tones. I wonder if there's a fix for that?

Thanks again,


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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: Mojo 
Date:   2022-05-17 17:10

Use tuning rings? Or a longer barrel?

Mojo Mouthpiece Work LLC

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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: ACCA 
Date:   2022-05-17 17:48

There's an interesting review here which I more or less agree with:


I agree that these mouthpieces play sharper than the Vandorens specified - but I always played too flat with those!

If you have pitch trouble with the C85, I recommend trying the Selmer Concept- I find it a bit easier on the chops but capable of doing most things the c85 can do, although in maybe a bit more refined way if that makes any sense!

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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: PeterinToronto 2017
Date:   2022-05-18 04:13

Great ideas and suggestions, thanks both of you!


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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2022-05-19 13:47
Attachment:  facings.pdf (79k)

I play on a C85 120, and have various comments:

* They are quite variable. I've bought a few off eBay to try to build up a stock of spares, and they can play very differently - but a good one is hard to beat. They also come in different lengths, so yours may be one of the shorter ones.

* I agree that C85 throat tones tend to be sharper, but I think that is a good thing. With many mouthpieces, it's the opposite problem: Vandoren 13 series particularly tend to produce F and F# that are flat (for me, at least) and G#/A/Bb OK. With a C85, F and F# are OK, and G#/A/Bb are a little high. But (a) how high depends on what resonance fingerings you use and (b) it's easy to tweak the tuning of these by slightly filling the G# & A holes. But a flat F/F# is much more problematic.

* I attach a plot showing facing measurements I made: my main and spare C85; B40; B40L; B45; BD5. B40L is most similar in measurement to C85, and indeed is the closest in feel. The other 3 are a little shorter, and I like them less - especially the BD5, which has a marked flare in the opening in the last couple of mm. I know the BD5 is very popular now, but I find it dull and stuffy, and I'm sure this is related to the short and rapidly flared facing.

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 Re: Selmer C85 mouthpiece vs. Vandoren specs?
Author: Hugues Fardao 
Date:   2022-05-19 23:15

@John Peacock : "They are quite variable", I agree with you, I used to play C85 120 before my Echo. I have two of them and they are different, one is darker and punchier, the other more easy with a lighter sound. Both are really comfortable and sound great. C85 series are very good mouthpieces, even if I regulary play the Selmer Echo, I still like them.

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