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 Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2021-09-09 19:25

Hey All,

I just finished my review of Gleichweit Mouthpieces, you find that here: https://youtu.be/ZXoaf9X0i00

Has anyone else tried these out yet? What were your thoughts?

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2021-09-09 21:02

Thanks for your review, Eric. The Gleichweit 7-1 does indeed have a limpid, relaxed, lyrical sound and a distinctive tenuto quality to articulation that would be hard to match in any other brand. How well do you feel it would project in an orchestra? Since traditional Viennese mouthpieces have long and very close facings, why do you suppose the Viennese designers use such open facings for the French Boehm models? Do you think the 7-1 could be made to play well with a closer tip opening?

Another mouthpiece line that would be good to review is the Chedeville line produced in Savannah, Georgia by Jody Espina. They include the Chedeville Elite, the Chedeville Umbra, and the Chedeville SAV. Espina bought the rights to the Chedeville name from Omar Henderson and also the right to use Henderson's proprietary rubber. The Elite and Umbra models come in many facings starting from the F00 model with a very close 0.95 mm and the F0 model with 1.00 mm, and ranging out to open.

Post Edited (2021-09-09 22:25)

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2021-09-09 22:25

Hey Seabreeze, that's a good question! I think you described the sound perfectly and you're right, typically when creating that kind of sound, projection is a concern. Since Johannes Gleichweit himself plays with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra I would imagine that his mouthpieces project sufficiently in that environment. My personal impression was that I would have no problem projecting over an orchestra, however there are other mouthpieces that would allow one to have a larger footprint/impact on their ensemble. I don't think there would be an issue of someone simply not being heard while playing on a Gleichweit though. I think the clarity in the sound would help it cut through!

I've wondered about the tip opening question myself. I know very little about German/Austrian mouthpiece design however, so perhaps someone else can chime in. I guess ultimately, in the end, they simply find it easier to replicate the sound they are searching for on these more open-tipped mouthpieces. Interestingly enough, the 7-1 is already the most closed mouthpiece I can currently find on their website specifically made for Boehm clarinets. It's hard to say if it could be made to play with the same character while closing the tip opening down. I'd like to think anything is possible, but I really don't know.

And thank you for your suggestion about the new Chedeville line! I've heard them talked about more and more frequently the last couple months, so I will be checking them out in the future!

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: farabout 
Date:   2021-09-09 22:34

Chedeville SAV is the best kept secret, with geometry & performance identical to Umbra, yet at a fraction of the price. I love my SAV #2.

Given the fact that it has been proven again and again that the material is inconsequential to the tone timbre (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l13yvnQ2nsE ), who needs a "proprietary rubber" (a.k.a. snake ebonite)?

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Bob Barnhart 2017
Date:   2021-09-10 01:54


Thanks for putting this video together. Growing up I was enamored with Karl Leister's sound. More recently, I have become a fan of Wenzel Fuchs and Andreas Ottensamer for some time, both because of their beautiful playing and their gorgeous sounds which are, I think, wonderful representatives of the Austrian tradition.

Throughout my life I have striven to emulate the German/Austrian sound using Boehm instruments and mouthpieces. For a long time, I thought the best way was through really hard reeds, which did yield a darker sound, but lacked the expansiveness and fluidity heard from German/Austrian players.

Within the past few years I have played a number of more open mouthpieces (including M30, B40, Backun Arabesque, and BD7) and have come to the conclusion that if I wanted to emulate a German/Austrian sound I would pick a more open mouthpiece that had (just) enough resistance to work well with a softer reed.

Interestingly, Gleichweit has (apparently) recommended just this kind of mouthpiece for use on Boehm instruments by individuals who are striving to obtain a more Viennese sound.

FWIW, I liked the sound of the B8-4 best (1.19x22), but, realizing that the associated resistance could be counterproductive, might ultimately find either the B7-4 (1.16x22) or B7-1 (1.15x22) to be a more prudent choice.

I would ask though: if one wanted to acquire one of these mouthpieces, what would be the best source (Gleichweit, Thomann, ...)?

Bob Barnhart

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2021-09-10 02:34

Thanks for watching Bob and for letting me know your preference! Sound is such a personal thing, but it's always nice to be able to have a frame of reference for someone else's preferences. I agree that Andreas Ottensamer and Wenzel Fuchs have really fantastic sounds and I am a big fan as well!

For this review, I received the mouthpieces directly from Gleichweit. I believe they have a contact form on their website. It might take a few days to get the ball rolling, but I think communicating with them when I wasn't quite sure what to order was integral to me receiving 3 mouthpieces I could have easily played on and enjoyed!

Post Edited (2021-09-10 02:35)

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2021-09-12 15:07

Interesting Eric! I have now played for a couple of years Playnick's Nommos M, a sister model of Verdi Traviata aimed at syntethic reeds. As we know these are the viennese line of his mouthpieces: a very long facing. How do you compare Gleichweits to Traviata?
My feeling with austrian style mp's is, that at peak playing condition you get a wonderful sound from them, but they need a lot of control of the embouchure, especially very delicate balancing of the lip muscles and support. Actually mr Kückmeier explains in one video, that viennese playing technique is more about support less about embouchure.

The Playnicks are even more open than Gleichweits. They announce them to be 1.28 mm open, which my own measurements confirm!

Jarmo Hyvakko, Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2021-09-12 16:20

Hi Jarmo,

I was playing a PlayNick Tosca, but I picked up a Gleichweit BW8 at the European Clarinet Festival. It was a positive change and easier to play than the PlayNick because it doesn’t have the resistance that the PlayNick has. Certainly worth investigation.

Peter Cigleris

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2021-09-12 23:14

Hi Peter!
That seems to have a longer facing than tosca and slightly closer tip too, so no wonder it's lighter to blow. I prefer a reasonable amount of resistance in my setup. I sort of like to lean to that and more like force the brighter things out of the instrument. Make my life hard. In playnicks i feel to have an issue with intonation with the B2 facing (tosca and nommos B2) and preferred from M facings the Nommos to Traviata because it was more resistant. And i play legere european #4. How are the gleichweits soundwise compared with playnick? Just now i am working on towards a bit brighter and more luminous sound, being tired of this darkness of our clarinet times... And one step has been the yany sixs ligature, i heared from you!

Jarmo Hyvakko, Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: EricBlack 
Date:   2021-09-13 08:00

Hey Jarmo,

When I tried and reviewed the Traviata, I liked it and had a good experience, but the facing wasn't super comfortable for me personally. I think it was just a little too open for me, however I definitely understood why it was appealing for others! While in my Gleichweit video I make a brief comparison between the PlayNick Tosca and the Gleichweit's that were sent out to me, I really could have made a similar video comparing them to the Traviata instead, had I received different Gleichweit models. You should look into their various B10 or B11 models of mouthpiece for a similar tip opening/facing style to the Traviata. It really is incredible the amount of tip opening/facing options they offer for sale!

However, to get back to your question, in general I found the Gleichweit's to be a little more luminous than the PlayNick. I wouldn't say they are "bright" mouthpieces, but the PlayNick, in my experience, is darker. While I can't say 100% that this would be the same for a Traviata to Gleichweit comparison (I found the Traviata to be a little more colorful in general compared to the Tosca,) I wouldn't be surprised if the results would be similar. All-in-all I think the Gleichweit provides a very round, pure sound that maintains a nice resonance and focus from pp to ff without becoming edgy as the dynamic increases, but it is not quite as naturally "covered" as the PlayNick. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

Post Edited (2021-09-13 16:06)

Reply To Message
 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Jarmo Hyvakko 
Date:   2021-09-14 15:47

This business with Austrian style very long and very open mouthpieces is very interesting new fashion. Perhaps we begin to call it "the new viennese school"😀

Jarmo Hyvakko, Principal Clarinet, Tampere Philharmonic, Finland

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Chris Sereque 
Date:   2021-09-19 19:59

I have worked with the Omar Henderson blanks, and they were very good. When the company sold to the new owners, I assumed that the blanks were no longer available, but will check.

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Yavapai 
Date:   2021-09-21 00:00

I'm currently playing on a Gleichweit Hi7 opening (Viennese), Reform Boehm Bore, on my Buffet RCs and I'm truly satisfied.
I always wanted to try the viennese opening and Johannes gave me very helpful advices (for the reeds as well, because the viennese cut is absolutely necessary) in order to get a viennese sound and style with a French clarinet.
Intonation is wonderful as well and high notes come out easily; of course viennese opening needs severla hours of practice if you come from a traditional french mpiece, but i found confortable this way to play, with no "bite job" at all and all the control is on your breath. The tone quality satysfies me and I beleive it's kinda close to the sound I hear from Viennese players with their Austrian setups.
French opening mpieces play louder but with the right reed I have no problems to project (I currently play in wind orchestras and bands).
Reform bore rather that Bohem bore was suggested by Johannes to get a more viennese sound experience: it fits perfectly my Buffet and MoBa barrels.

Post Edited (2021-09-21 00:05)

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 Re: Gleichweit Mouthpieces
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2021-09-21 00:39


that sounds very interesting! I play the B7-1 and really love it with Legere European Cut (#3; Zoom Barrel, RC).
It was a pretty long journey till I found "my" mpc and it turned out to be a Gleichweit. Johannes gave me some great advice and his recommodations were spot on. My goal here was to find a mpc that truly matches Legere reeds and doesn't produce any stuffyness, while giving as much freedom as possible.
Even now when going back to my older mpcs they don't nearly match the quality and response of the Gleichweit.

Playing in concert bands, being able to (at times) be one with the rest of the section is pretty important, especially if you play Boehm and everyone else the German System, but it seems to work so far ;) I also appreciate the ease of the altissimo notes, this combo let's you get on point exactly when you need to.

Hard to say whether this description is helpful in any way. Mpcs are and will always be a subjective choice. One difference to brass instruments would be, that the material does seem to influence the sound more than a bit, and as such Johannes told me that this is relevant especially with synthetic reeds. It's worth noting that all his mpcs I tested allowed for a wonderfully effortless articulation!
I had him rework a Selmer alto clarinet mpc, where he also did a fantastic job. According to him, Selmer has always used rather high quality ebonite (his opinion on Vandoren would be less favorable)

Best regards

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