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 Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: rtaylor 
Date:   2012-04-26 21:03

Let me state up front that I have no affiliation with Nick Kuckmeier.

I recently sent for some trial mouthpieces from this Austrian maker. If you are unfamiliar with Nciholas Kuckmeier look him up on There is extensive information about his approach to mouthpiece making, materials and the relationship of the reed to the mouthpiece.

I submitted an e-mail inquiry and received a prompt response that a sampling would be sent out soon.

I play on a matched set of Wurlitzer Reform-Boehm 185 clarinets along with a Paulus and Schuler barrel. I do a variety of both chamber music ensemble playing and orchestral gigs. My reed of choice is the Vandoren 56 RLP #3.

I received one example each of the following:
Soloist Model - French Style
Soloist Model - German Style
Playeasy Model B2
5 Legere/Kuckmeier synthetic reeds ( these are supposed to be designed for the Playeasy mouthpiece).

So after multiple weeks of trial and error I narrowed it down to the Playeasy B2 which surprisingly is supposed to emulate the Vandoren B45, or there abouts. I didn't much care for the feel of the Legere reeds. they sound good on this mouthpiece but I never got beyond the actual feel of how they play. On the plus side the Vandoren 56RLPs work very well.

I did request some additional examples of the B2 to be sent for trial. All three 3 B2s were very close with some slight variances in the resistance.

Overal sound: This is a hard rubber mouthpiece which is supposed to be some proprietary formula for Kuckmeier. What ever it is, the sound is very good. The amount of overtones above the fundamental note are some of the best I have ever gotten out of my setup.

Articulation: Things like the Mendelsohn Scherzo and Story of the Soldier are a breeze on this mouthpiece. Kell studies are also a good indicator for me, and they can be executed with a great deal of precision.

Intonation: There is no free lunch with this aspect, but the amount of variance sharp or flat is quite manageble in ensemble playing.

Final Thoughts: These mouthpices take the "effort" out of playing that so many setups can add for the sake warmth or articulation ease. As the name says, they do "play easy".

So,here is my 2 cents. Your experience might be different.


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 Re: Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2012-04-27 08:51

It is heartwarming to hear a positive review of Nick mouthpieces. I am presently looking into taking the plunge into the Oehler realm again and will need a reliable mouthpiece to get me started.


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

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 Re: Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: Lam 
Date:   2012-04-29 17:44

I play on Nick's WR1 and his carina B, i think his mouthpiece is of top quality, both the blank and the reaming of the facing, and also the overall design of the mouthpiece (chamber, baffle, tenon size etc.) I would like to try also his Boehm facing in the near future too :), and I still remember once in an audition playing the Shostakovich 9, this except is so scary but when I play in the recital hall, suddenly the articulation are so distinct and with so much resonance. Great mouthpiece indeed !

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 Re: Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2012-04-29 18:28

Anyone, tried the Boehm mouthpieces?

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: Paul Miller 
Date:   2012-06-14 19:55

I'm on the B2 Böhm mouthpiece, using the Nick-Legere reeds. Love it.

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 Re: Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: EBC 
Date:   2012-06-15 02:01

A friend of mine recently purchased one of these PlayEasy mouthpieces from his teacher, who had made a trip to Germany and loved them so much that he brought back a dozen! I tried his, and was very impressed. Do any of you know whether there are plans for North American distribution in the near future, or will it be available by order only?



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 Re: Mouthpiece capsule review
Author: EBC 
Date:   2013-01-27 00:26

Just to revive this thread (because I feel like more people should know about these mouthpieces): I just tested a sample of 6 "French" PlayEasy mouthpieces. After (very little, in fact) agonizing debate, I chose one of the two B2 models I had been sent. This is a very worthy mouthpiece, providing an incredibly rich tone colour, vibrant staccato, reed flexibility and a general ease of sound production that I have never found before. Intonation is no better than on any of my other regularly-played mouthpieces (Vandoren M13lyre and Rico Reserve X0), but no worse either. The only potential drawback is the almost invariably warm and rich tone colour (it takes effort to produce the kind of big, pure sound that soars over an orchestra). Still, especially for classical and early romantic repertoire, this mouthpiece delivers.

(It should be noted that each mouthpiece was very different from the next, and, for me, only one of the other 5 could compare. Consistency wouldn't seem (from my very limited experience) to be a strong point, but they are, after all, hand-finished mouthpieces.)


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