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 Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-02 19:48

I watched this year's PBS presentation with new eyes.....and a large HD television.


Watching the clarinet section and soloist ("Artist's Life" for example) it really looked more like they were playing saxophone the way they held there clarinets further out, taking in more mouthpiece and using almost frighteningly relaxed looking embouchures.


Of course I now also have two years of playing a German mouthpiece, more correctly, under my belt. The idea is that with a longer facing you take in more mouthpiece into your mouth. Then you use pretty soft reed, typically of strength 2 1/2. The Austrian mouthpiece facing is even longer still than the German (at 25.00mm it is already about 7.00 longer than our usual) coming in around 34.00mm.


So I have a New Year's question:


Is the length of our facing an immutable consequence of the Boehm acoustic, or was that something that was in vogue with the French at the time of the Boehm inception?


The other way to ask that is, can we have 34-37mm length facings on Boehm mouthpieces? And would that change the basic sound? For better? For worse?





.............again,


.....................Happy New Year



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



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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-01-02 21:26

Paul, don't know the answer to your questions about 34+ mm facings, but having played 1010 mouthpieces by Pillinger and Eaton for a few years and being in the middle of switching back to a French bore, I'm finding that the Fobes Europas, with a 19 mm facing (the English mouthpieces advertise 21 mm facings, but for me, measure about the same lengths as the Europas), are a lot more comfortable for me than more common lengths for American mouthpieces, so I think that French bore Boehm acoustics can work with a more European facing length.

As you note, the Vienna mouthpiece has important differences from typical German ones. I don't know how typical the feel of Playnick mouthpieces are of the Viennese preferences, but Nick himself seems to think they can produce an Austrian type sound, and they're awfully restrictive - more so than German mouthpieces (for German-system instruments) I've tried. Others will know a lot more about this than I, but from descriptions of the Viennese style from Nick and Otto Kronthaler, I get the idea that it isn't necessarily the "effortlessness" sometimes attributed to the German setup, though it probably does involve taking more of the mouthpiece into the mouth.

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: fernie121 
Date:   2019-01-02 23:21

I actually find playing with my clarinet a little more out allows me to put more mouthpiece in my mouth comfortably. Just be sure to bring the lower jaw toward enough to get in a lot of reed too and not just the top part of the mouthpiece.

Bb Clarinet: Ridenour G1, Mouthpiece: Vandoren BD5 (Modified), Reed: Legere EC 3 3/4, Ligature: Rovner Versa

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-05 03:37

I guess my query is more for anyone in the mouthpiece manufacturing game. The consequence of the longer facing would be a much longer window. That gives you a longer tone chamber........and a shorter bore? And since you're all having to make blanks from scratch now, it may be a fun experiment (if that's not a $10,000 one off to the CNC contractor that is).



https://shop.maxton.at/DesktopModules/WebShop/shopexd.aspx?id=190&productid=2095


This one has a 38mm long facing !





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



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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2019-01-05 18:53

Martin Fluch of Maxton was at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago during December 2017 and sold me a WB 9,5 mouthpiece. This is a Viennese style mouthpiece "W" adapted for Boehm "B" clarinets, with "9,5" tip opening.

The Maxton does have a longer facing. 1/4 strength harder reeds work better for me. My previous mouthpieces were a Fobes Nova, and for a short time before that a Fobes Debut. Before that I had a Vandoren 5RV Lyre which wore out.

The Nova delivers more sound; the Maxton is more controllable. This should not be construed as meaning either has any particular limitations; I found them both usable for any style of music.

I am always playing around with posture, instrument position, and how much mouthpiece I take in, but find my self always reverting to my same-old position, pretty much regardless of the mouthpiece. Can't comment on why this is, but probably I am stuck doing what I was taught early-on.



Post Edited (2019-01-05 18:57)

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-06 02:22

On the Maxton website (linked above) I see both the W9-5 (Viennese, Weiner in German) and the RBW9-5 (RB for Reform Boehm). Both have a listed facing length of 21mm and an opening of 1.23mm. I would assume that is the facing of your mouthpiece.


I also looked at Fobes facing chart (linked under his San Francisco model and see that the Debut comes in at 17mm long and 1.00mm open. Oddly I had the opportunity to try one just this afternoon....... a very good facing for sure!


So the 4mm of extra length on the WB9-5 would make it seem "weaker" because more of the reed is suspended past the table (even though the tip is more open, I find facing length being a bit more dramatic a determining factor). One thing the keep in mind would be to try the "squawk test" every now and then moving back and forth between your WB and your Nova. Keeping your embouchure close to the "pivot point" of the reed/mouthpiece will make the WB work more efficiently (though may not change your final result too dramatically) and may allow you to move back to your 1/4 strength weaker reeds.




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



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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-01-06 05:56

I'm guessing the Viennese mouthpieces are "Wiener," not "Weiner," which might be a mouthpiece style appropriate for clarinetists who drink a lot of wine. 21 mm and an opening of 1.23 is similar to the facings on a lot of British mouthpieces. Also, there seem to be different ways of measuring the length. When I use the thinnest shim to measure my "21 mm" British mouthpieces, they all seem to come out as 19 mm, which is the same as the Fobes Europas. I don't know what method they use that comes out at 21.

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-06 06:53

Thank you for the spelling correction!

[corrected from orig. post]


Also thank you for pointing out the discrepancy in measuring systems. Though I do not have any legitimate measuring device, I can see that there is a significant percentage of difference from a measurement on a Fobes vs. my Wurlitzer. My Fobes billed as 14mm long comes out looking that way (with paper moved to the point where it stops). The Wurlitzer is billed as 24.8mm but looks strikingly closer to 20.00 actual millimeters. So, yes there is more length on the Germanic mouthpieces, but less so than it appears from the provided dimensions - different measuring "system."


Thank you "dorjepismo!"




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



Post Edited (2019-01-06 07:38)

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-01-06 14:44

On a side note, they both seemed to use fairly basic ligatures.
When I later rummaged through my clarinet accesoires, I found a Zinner ligature that looked pretty much exactly like theirs! You get them for 10€ or less.

So much for high-tech ligatures being necessary for pros :D



Post Edited (2019-01-06 14:45)

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2019-01-06 17:55

It is true that despite the groves along the surface or even the "bumper" at the top some have, the German/Austrian mouthpieces can accept pretty basic metal ligatures. What we haven't mentioned in this thread though is that their circumference is significantly smaller than Boehm, so you may find most ligatures we find in the states stop tightening before they even begin to grip on the German/Austrian mouthpieces. For example, to continue using a Vandoren Optimum, I needed to purchase one specific for the job off Thomann Music's website:



https://www.thomannmusic.com/vandoren_optimum_blattschr_klar_deu_pc.htm




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



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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-01-06 18:11

The grooves are so that one can bind their reed with a string. I did that for a time, but eventually didn't find there to be a (positive) difference vs. using the ligatures I already own. Some say it's the best way to have the reed vibrate as freely as possible, but I'm not sure.

Whatever floats your boat, and if it is a cheap Zinner!

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2019-01-06 19:57

"What we haven't mentioned in this thread though is that their circumference is significantly smaller than Boehm, so you may find most ligatures we find in the states stop tightening before they even begin to grip on the German/Austrian mouthpieces."

Yes. Some of Ed Pillinger's mouthpieces are significantly narrower than what we're used to in the U.S., but not nearly as narrow as German system ones. I know the grooves are for string, but don't see why; the string is generally thinner than the grooves, and doesn't arrange itself to fit into the grooves anyway. The bumper I can see, but not the grooves. Anyway string works perfectly well on American style mouthpieces too, unless it's more slippery than the string they usually sell for mouthpieces.

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 Re: Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Eve 2019
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-01-06 20:31

With the right technique and string size, it works. At least I know clarinetists who get a neat result, and I haven't used German mouthpieces for ages. But it's still fairly pointless, as using the entire length of the grooves fixes the reed way too firmly, IMHO.



Post Edited (2019-01-06 20:31)

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