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 Kaspar asymmetry
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2019-01-01 02:12

In David Tuttle’s article in The Clarinet entitled "The Chicago Mouthpiece Legacy"
There are photos of Kaspar papers with facing numbers for Antony Gogliotti and several other “greats”. Many of the facings are asymmetrical. It would seem these numbers are not target numbers for the refacer but rather measurements taken after the all the adjustments were done and the mouthpiece and reeds performed best.
Do mouthpiece makers today stray from target measurements during the testing and tweaking process?
What has changed regarding facings in the intervening years from Kaspar until now. Why didn’t Kaspar fix the asymmetry? To me asymmetry adds resistance ie more to blow against. Wasn’t there sufficient resistance?
Sorry for the confusing question, I am confused. I have done a fair amount of amateur refacing myself.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Kaspar asymmetry
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2019-01-01 21:21

Arnoldstang wrote:

> In David Tuttle’s article in The Clarinet entitled "The
> Chicago Mouthpiece Legacy"
> There are photos of Kaspar papers with facing numbers for
> Antony Gogliotti and several other “greats”. Many of the
> facings are asymmetrical. It would seem these numbers are
> not target numbers for the refacer but rather measurements
> taken after the all the adjustments were done and the
> mouthpiece and reeds performed best.

One of the things on my to-do list for today is to go back and find David's articles, which I think I remember reading when they were first published. I did find my copy of the March 2016 issue of The Clarinet, the one in which he shows pictures of Frank L's notes on Gigliotti's, Hadcock's, Wright's and Montanaro's facings.

I suspect that Kaspar was simply measuring the facings for information's sake on mouthpieces these players were already using. I know that Gigliotti, who played on Chedevilles when he played Philadelphia (until he started marketing and using his own line of mouthpieces in the '70s), was getting Ann Arbor mouthpieces for his students in the '60s - I bought one of them from him when I began studying with him in 1965. So, Kaspar may have been putting custom facings on the mouthpieces he sent to major teachers and would have needed to know their preferences.

In any case, if you're referring to the same figure I'm looking at, the facings aren't really asymmetrical. The rails aren't identical at every measuring point (where Kaspar indicates two numbers), but they are the same at others (where there is only one number). A truly asymmetrical facing is consistently longer on one side than the other. An asymmetrical curve can certainly be reproduced - it's a design feature for some makers. The individual aberrations in Kaspar's notes would be difficult to reproduce. The actual targets may have varied slightly among those four players, but as far as I've ever been told by several mouthpiece specialists, they were very similar.

> Why didn’t Kaspar fix the asymmetry?

Do you mean in the mouthpieces he made? I have never read or been told that he made his mouthpieces asymmetric as a rule (I can't say he wouldn't have made one on request). If he was measuring mouthpieces that were already in use for those notes reproduced in the article, he wouldn't have had reason to "fix" mouthpieces that weren't apparently broken.

Karl

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