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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, i'm a new member from France, i play tenor, sop, Bb & bass clarinet.
I'm looking for a good mouthpiece for my bb clarinet. I used to play a b45 lyre and i have a pomarico jazz*, the last one sounds very good for me but it's impossible to play good intonation, the sound is too low (In Europe, we play 442 ), the chamber is very big and have a big tip opening. The b45 is too closed, but very good intonation.So in France , except Vandoren or Selmer not too much choice. I read about Morgan, Fobes, Lomax certainly good mouthpieces but which model for me, i play jazz exclusively, playing with a buffet RC green line and looking for a large, round, dark , focused sound: i love Chris Speed 's sound, as Jimmy Giuffre or François Houle .
Thanks to answer and sorry for my english.
 

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Billybob,

Your English is fine....much better than my French! ha ha ha

If you look through previous discussion threads in the Clarinet or Clarinet Mouthpiece sections of the Forum you'll discover that MANY different clarinet mouthpieces are used by our members. Thus, I would expect your question to receive suggestions for quite a few different mouthpieces. Please remember, it aways comes down to what works best for us as individual players!

Given your particular situation in needing to tune to 442 I think you have 2 main options: 1.) use a shorter barrel (such as .65 mm) on a 440 mouthpiece or 2.) find a mouthpiece you like that is specifically tuned to 442.

If you take option #1 you can have many mouthpieces to choose. However, if you take option #2 there will be fewer mouthpieces since the majority of mouthpieces in the US are tuned to 440.

When words like "large, round, dark, focused sound" are used I automatically think of a (Frank) Kaspar style mouthpiece. The mouthpiece design that Frank Kaspar developed has very special tonal qualities. I think of words like dark, warm, ringing. Several contemporary mouthpiece makers produce mouthpieces that are in a Kaspar style. Walter Grabner, Clark Fobes, Gregory Smith especially come to mind.

In most clarinet circles Kaspar style mouthpieces are thought of as a classical type of mouthpiece. However, it's been my experience that a Kaspar can be perfectly fine for jazz -- especially, as Kaspar mouthpieces have an incredible level of projection. I have no problem being heard in a big band with my Graber K14 Kaspar even though it has only a 1.08 mm tip opening.

Of all of the options I can think of, my best suggestion is for you to consider a Walter Grabner K14 Kaspar-style mouthpiece. This is the most open mouthpiece that Walter makes. That said, the tip opening is not as open as many jazz clarinet mouthpieces on the market. However, it has an absolutely BEAUTIFUL sound and a remarkable level of projection.

Best yet, Walter Grabner is in the process of starting to make a 442 version of the K14! It's called the K14e. I have one on order. In fact, the K14e may be even better for your needs than a standard K14 as Walter told me the new K14e will have a bit more "sparkle" in its sound.

Here's a link to Walter's web site:

http://www.clarinetxpress.com/

I have several Walter Grabner mouthpieces for Bb and bass clarinet. Each one plays beautifully and I'm 100% happy with them. I've found Walter to be very easy to talk with. I've described to him what I'm looking for in a mouthpiece. Then, when the mouthpiece arrived I absolutely loved it.

Good luck to you! Please let us know how you come out.

Roger
 

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Roger Aldridge said:
Given your particular situation in needing to tune to 442 I think you have 2 main options: 1.) use a shorter barrel (such as .65 mm) on a 440 mouthpiece or 2.) find a mouthpiece you like that is specifically tuned to 442.
FWIW I shortened a cheap Hite Premiere by ~1mm (on the tenon end, of course) to bring the whole shebang up to pitch. It was more of a "proof of concept" to see how much shorter a barrel I'd need, but for the time being the Premiere is good enough for me.
 

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Some of the best jazz clarinetists in France, as far as I know, use mouthpieces like the Vandoren B45 Lyre and 5RV Lyre. It sounds like you prefer an open mouthpiece so I'd try the B45 Lyre. I play Fobes on bass clarinet the most open model and I like it. For the clarinetists you mention, they are very different! Chris Speed has a much more "classical" clarinet sound, but Jimmy Giuffre is completely different. To sound so different, it is not so much the mouthpiece that causes it. If you want to try some of the mouthpieces by the American makers maybe you can ask them if they have distributers in France. There are also some mouthpiece makers in UK and I think in other European countries that you can look into.

Good luck!
 

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there's also www.ebay.fr

in England there's Eaton, but his mpcs are expensive though quite good.

The B45 Lyre supposedly has a tip of 1.27mm

As you seem to prefer larger tips, you may want to try a Vandoren 5JB which has a tip of 1.47mm. It should be readily available over there.

as you go to larger tips, usually the throat increases in size/shape to allow more air flow to counter increased resistance from that point, which also normally makes the sound more spread. it should be a good match to your RC

I'd be interesting in knowing what Chris Speed, Jimmy Giuffre and François Houle use as mpcs
 

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Clark Fobes makes fabulous mouthpieces.

http://www.clarkwfobes.com/

Don't get hung up on what others play or how mouthpieces are described. Find something that is comfortable to play. You will get your sound based on your concept. That said, Clark make a nice blowing piece with great response that is very reed friendly. You can contact him with questions and he can make suggestions as to which model might be best for you. Good luck!
 

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billybob said:
Hi, i'm a new member from France, i play tenor, sop, Bb & bass clarinet.
I'm looking for a good mouthpiece for my bb clarinet. I used to play a b45 lyre and i have a pomarico jazz*, the last one sounds very good for me but it's impossible to play good intonation, the sound is too low (In Europe, we play 442 ), the chamber is very big and have a big tip opening. The b45 is too closed, but very good intonation.So in France , except Vandoren or Selmer not too much choice. I read about Morgan, Fobes, Lomax certainly good mouthpieces but which model for me, i play jazz exclusively, playing with a buffet RC green line and looking for a large, round, dark , focused sound: i love Chris Speed 's sound, as Jimmy Giuffre or François Houle .
Thanks to answer and sorry for my english.
Did you try the Vandoren B45 Dot. It,s slightly more open than the B45 and a lot of sax doublers are using them in this area. Try it with traditional Vandoren 2-1/2 reed. It has a larger chamber than other Vandoren mouthpieces for a big round sound if that's what you are looking for. Good luck.
MARTIN
 

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Well seeing that you are from France, I don't think that it shoul dbe hard to find some good Vandoren Mouthpieces. There are great for Classical and Jazz, (the V-5).
 

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It may help to know what clarinet you are playing. I've have many of the mpc listed here. LC3, 5RV Lyre, B45 Dot, and a few others. BTW, the B45 Dot doesn't have a larger chamber. It has a M/MO tip with a ML facing.
Some of these mpc's work best with my Buffet, the others on my different Selmers.
One of the mpc's that hasn't been suggested are the Selmer C85's. Plenty of volume and power for a 'stock' mpc.
I'm the only clarinet 1 in my community band. (45 members, mostly brass) No problem being heard with this one. They should be easy to find in France.
 

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I read in some other posts that the Lakey mouthpieces are (or used to be) pitched at A=443. (I think Dave Dolson made the posts, he having personally spoken with Claude.) The only issue is that you are looking for a "large, round, dark, focused sound", and I'm not sure the Lakey qualifies as any of these! Having said that, you might want to try it yourself. Their website does describe the tone of the different facings, with one described as giving a "warm, round centered sound". (Isn't advertising great?!?) With proper control (I've found these to be wilder than others), the Lakey might provide a viable option.

http://www.claudelakey.com

-DH
 

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Heise said:
I read in some other posts that the Lakey mouthpieces are (or used to be) pitched at A=443.
To quote (again) the true statement from clarinet maker Peter Eaton website: "The suggestion from some makers that mouthpieces or clarinets have a fixed absolute pitch is unrealistic. A clarinet/mouthpiece/reed combination does not have a precise pitch until a player combines with them, and the pitch resulting from a particular set-up can vary by a surprisingly large degree, depending on who is playing it."
 

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clarnibass said:
To quote (again) the true statement from clarinet maker Peter Eaton website: "The suggestion from some makers that mouthpieces or clarinets have a fixed absolute pitch is unrealistic. A clarinet/mouthpiece/reed combination does not have a precise pitch until a player combines with them, and the pitch resulting from a particular set-up can vary by a surprisingly large degree, depending on who is playing it."
Of course! That does not mean, however, that a mouthpiece (or an instrument, for that matter) cannot be *designed* to play at a particular pitch. A smaller chamber/shorter shank will lead to a higher pitch in the same way that a shorter barrel does -- you are shortening the length of the instrument.

Mouthpieces can have a pronounced effect on the pitch of the instrument, as can the instrument itself. Many who have played a vintage saxophone (particularly bari or bass) that is not a low-pitch (LP) model know very well that these instruments are *designed* to play at higher frequency.

Having said this, I'll reiterate your point that the exact pitch is absolutely a function of instrument, mouthpiece, environment (temperature) AND player.

-DH
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks

Thanks for your replies.
I'm interested by morgan grabner and others but want to try them before.
I'm going to change the clarinet at first , i tried selmer odyssee and saint louis and find them terrific for me. I put my RC on sale and will see after for the mouthpiece. I think about refacing my B45lyre.
Thanks again.
 

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Have you tried the B45.? (yes that's B45 DOT) ... It's a bigger chamber. I found it to be bigger more open sound. It's the same facing obviously , but you could have it opened up if you wanted.

(My Clarient/mouthpiece is tuned to 442 If I remember correctly. It would make sense cuz I have to always pull out a ton.)

A short barrel is always something to try as you said.

Good luck :eek:)
 

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Couple of questions:
Have you a teacher?
How long have you been playing seriously?
How far is it to a good clarinet shop (one that stocks over 40 mouthpieces)?
Have you made a recording of your own playing yet?
 
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