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 How do you read mouthpiece facing charts?
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-08-13 23:40

Can anyone tell me how to read those mouthpiece facing charts? I am looking for a new mouthpiece for my soprano. I know that the numbers mean a thousandth of an inch, but would I want a closed mouthpiece, or a more open mouthpiece. Right now I am playing on a Hite mouthpiece and Rico (I hear you groaning, but I like Ricos) 3 reeds. I have been told that the Vandoren B45 is a good mouthpiece, and I'm sure it is, but would it fit my needs? Thank you!


Kontragirl, the slightly confused contralto player.

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 RE: How do you read mouthpiece facing charts?
Author: Wyatt 
Date:   1999-08-14 03:58

It's magic! WW&BW has three pages of Clarinet MP Charts, with numbers for the columns from 40 to 60, or so. My Portnoy #1 is in col.#42. What does that mean? Derned if I know (DIIK)a new abbreviation? All it means to me is that the MP plays better than the one that came with my beginners Clarinet(I trust my instructor about things like that.)
David Pino says the number might consist of the facing length and depth...42x105 and that might give us something to work with. The only catalog I have is the WW&BW. Do any of the others give any more info?

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 A Vandoren B45 Owner's Story
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-08-14 04:20

I agree with Wyatt that the WW&BW facing chart gives the consumer a chance to compare mps from various makers in a "head to head" competition, facing against facing, design against design. I personally found that this kind of multibrand comparison chart to be very helpful for me in my decisions for mp selection, even if it's only to put mps on my wish list for future consideration.

I personally use a Vandoren B45 mp daily on my Buffet Festival Bb soprano clarinet. To tell you the truth, the mp needed to be tweaked a bit to take out some defective high spots on the railings. The local woodwind tech had that problem solved in about 30 minutes and he did it for free as he adjusted other things on my horn (crooked pads, etc.). If you buy the Vandoren mp, realize that it is a mass produced item with not much of a final quality check before it's stuffed inside the box and placed on the shelf for sale. When the mp is fixed up right, it can behave itself fairly well, holding its own against stiff competition from other makers and other designs. Don't expect outright miracles, but it's an okay mp overall.

If you have a chance to try the hand crafted and professionally checked out mps that are on the market, then by all means do so. The extra money invested may well be worth it in the long run.

I have personally found that the Vandoren B45 mp takes a medium to soft reed to play well. As an adult novice and intermediate wannabe, I personally play Vandoren cane 2.5 or tailored 3.0 reeds to attain my personal "ideal" of Vandoren 2.75 strength for my B45 mp. I also have a stock of Legere plastic reeds that spec out right at 2.75 that I use as bread and butter practice reeds on a daily basis. I don't use a special or fancy lig. I use the stock lig that came with another mp, a simple metal loop noninverted lig.

I'd like to see other folks post their Vandoren B45 reed/lig setups here to give you more perspective than my one data point.


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 RE: A Vandoren B45 Owner's Story
Author: Simone 
Date:   1999-08-14 11:49

I use a Vandoren B45 with Vandoren 2.5 or Vandoren V12 2.5 reeds. Stuart, what changes did you make on your mouthpiece ?

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 RE: A Vandoren B45 Owner's Story
Author: Simone 
Date:   1999-08-14 11:51

Sorry, I meant Paul and not Stuart.

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 Compare and contrast...
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-08-14 16:30

I have no clue what I am looking for, as you probably noticed, but has anyone tried one of those new Vandoren M14s? How does that compare to my Hite? How does the Vandoren B45 compare to my Hite? Sorry for so many questions...I just really want to know what I'm getting into before I buy an expensive mouthpiece.

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 RE: Compare and contrast...
Author: Kontragirl 
Date:   1999-08-14 16:34

I forgot to say thanks for all of this information. And while I'm thinking about it, I should mention that I play on a plastic Yamaha. Okay, I'm done :)

Kontragirl

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 RE: How do you read mouthpiece facing charts?
Author: Wyatt 
Date:   1999-08-15 01:36

Your Hite MP has a tip opening of .041" if it is a Hite#41, or a tip opening of .044" if it is a Hite#41J. The VD B45 has a tip opening of .044"(oddly enough), and the M13...couldn't find an M14....has a tip opening of .040". To a certain extent, tip opening and reed strength are inverse: narrower opening, stronger reed. You are right back to where we ALWAYS are; try a selection out until you find something you like and works for you. Oh, please, please, don't someone decide that different color combinations might make a difference....

Wyatt

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 RE: A Vandoren B45 Owner's Story
Author: Sara 
Date:   1999-08-15 05:04

I use a regular vandoren 3 on my B45 but I think I might try the V12's out!
Sara:)

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 RE: long facing?
Author: Arnold the basset hornist 
Date:   1999-08-16 07:07

Ever tried a mouthpiece with long facing length (no need to order an austrian type with 33 mm length and 0.75 mm opening - then you should order some "Vandoren black master", too).
After playing those low clarinets (their mouthpieces have a longer facing length just due to the dimension) perhaps you'll like that "room" you get to put your tongue onto the reed (like me). I touch approx. 11 mm of the reed at my basset horn (facing length 27 mm or 28 mm on my three standard mouthpieces) and I'm playing a mouthpiece with 22 mm facing length, when I play on a soprano clarinet one a while (and I'd tend to buy an "austrian table mountpiece", when I would play the soprano more often).
Nevertheless, it could take a while to get used to the long tables - and I'm not sure you can find a mouthpiece just to try it for one whole month.

Do you know a couple other clarinetists having a spare mouthpiece so you can try different facing length and tip openings before you decide to buy your own?

Good luck whith the selection,
Arnold (the basset hornist)

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 Changes Made to B45 MP
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-08-16 15:38

The woodwind tech placed the mp flat against a wetted perfectly flat surface. I believe he used a water soluable ink and a calibrated piece of flat glass, or something like it. Anyway, he showed me on the mp rails exactly where he would have to plane away the high spots. One or two licks across the plane and the job was done.

Now, he knew exactly what he was looking for. He had the "calibrated ear" to listen to me squeaking and squawking on my horn to figure out that the mp had high spots and that I had a leaking pad. He also has highly experienced hands to feel for things being just right.

The point here is to let a professional do the work on your horn if you are not capable of doing the work yourself. I had both my professional tutor and my local factory certified tech do adjustment work on my horn. No one else is allowed to fix my $2000 pro grade instrument. I don't even attempt to do it myself. I have neither the experienced ears nor the experienced hands to perform such delicate yet brutal work on my horn.

I applaud the folks who can do this kind of work on their own horns, but I also caution the less experienced folks to not attempt to bend keys, shave mouthpieces, or remove/reglue pads on their horn. You can ruin an expensive investment very quickly.


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 RE: Changes Made to B45 MP
Author: HIROSHI 
Date:   1999-08-16 16:49

I found there are two general ways to enhance vibration of reed.
1)The tabel to support the reed stock: some make the teble to float the reed supported by the four legs.This means concave table.(Do you kow what I mean?)
2)Side shape incontinuity like Kasper: at about the center of the mouthpice reed looks like a butterfly.(My belief).

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