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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is installment number whoknowswhat in my ongoing public service announcements as to "how to not get snowed, or simply misinformed anyhow, on ebay with vintage mouthpieces.

This episodes featured mouthpiece is a Dukoff Hollywood with a stamp of "10" quite large for an old Dukoff, and a presented facing of 0.110. The stamp is least claimed to be "original", however, again in this case it is apparent that the mouthpiece at least has been re-faced. There is no mention of the work having been done to the piece, and instead, (in my impression) an implication by combination of the claim of the original stamp and the large size with no mention of re-face, that it is in fact original ?

Whether it be intentional misrepresentation or accidental misunderstanding due to lack of experience in the eye, I simply cannot say, nor am I trying to assign blame. However my aim is simply to help educate the public who might want to learn about vintage pieces and how to be educated in their purchases.

Of course I should be asked, "how can I be sure that the mouthpiece is not original, and is instead re-faced, and even perhaps re-stamped?". Of course since I am presenting the questions, it would only be right that I be asked these questions, how can I prove this of course??



(1) Firstly, if you are very well versed in these vintage Dukoffs like I am you might notice that the "10" stamp is a bit odd. This is not definitive to me, but the font appears to be a bit too big, and at least from the photos it appears the the "0" is not the same font as the "1". The stamp looks odd, but it is not easy to tell, so I just mark it up as suspicion, especially given the other certainly definitive evidence.



(2) Secondly and the smoking gun in this case, is the very obvious and clearly shortened tip. I can only assume that this mouthpiece was both re-angled at the table and additionally tip worked to produce such a large facing. Since most of these early one piece Dukoff designs came in truly small facings (like barely up to a 5* or 6 in modern sizes) it would take a heck of a lot of work to get it to 8.

This vintage of Dukoff was often finished with a rather thin tip, and I mean thin in terms of thickness at the point of the beak. In the case of so much tip work having been done, or really any tip work having been done on these designs, one runs out of metal to work with at the tip in a flea's sneeze. This results in either stopping the work and being satisfied with the achieved size, or shortening the tip and continuing on, massively changing the properties of the piece.

In this case it is very easy to see that the tip has been shortened by looking at the length of the strip of metal at the tip in front of the bite-plate. One can notice that there are not any straight sides leading up to the rounded tip, but in fact the corners of the tip round away basically at the bite-plate itself or maybe even into the bite-plate area. These mouthpieces were finished with the straight sides continuing into the forward strip of metal at the beak THEN rounding into the corners.



Here three (!!!) examples of what actually original tip configuration of the same design and vintage Dukoff looks like:







It is now quite easy, I would think for anyone to see that obvious difference in length between not one, but three different original beaks and the clearly shortened one presented above. I hope this helps someone in their understanding and future purchases. This is not the first time a mistake of authenticity or identification has been made by the seller, in fact this is the second in two weeks, so I would recommend some additional care be taken in the future, though I doubt my voice is important, and such an examination is often taken as insult, even though it's purpose and result is education of the public and usually results in protecting the reputation of sellers who occasionally make mistakes.

If anyone is interested in what auction or seller this is, they can simply search for Dukoff and it won't be hard to find, for a hint the alleged size of that facing is in the user's screen-name and they are a member here.
 

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I am by no means an expert, but if they used the same blanks at the factory for these mouthpieces, wouldn't the factory have to do the same thing to make an opening of this size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the question.
No, generally mouthpieces of different facing sizes are/were made by probably starting off with a thicker table and working one's way down with a level cut of the table to smaller tip openings or less table cut for larger tip openings I think.

I think the idea is that manufacture of a particular mouthpiece design would seek to maintain a uniformity, consistency in tone and response as much as possible among different pieces and sizes. Otherwise the branding and model of the piece would be very confusing to the market.

Given that, reworking the tip/baffle LENGTH and shape of every piece would lead to very little consistency at all. What I think generally happens instead is a uniform tip shape and size is maintained. The level table is either reduced a little or a lot to achieve the tip size and then the tip/baffle is hand finished but not redesigned as a one off each time.

In this case, with a consistent design of a model such as this, the actual LENGTH of the beak, and therefore reed window is not something you would want to change at all.
 

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I'm sorry to see this thread on SOTW. Despite being presented by the original poster (poser?) transparently disguised as a generously-offered "educational contribution" it appears to me to be little more than yet another vindictive attack on another (unnamed but easily-identified) SOTW member. The ostensible "topic" is an item not advertised on SOTW but the actual "thrust" of the thread is an unmistakable personal attack on another person.

I have had personal contact in the past with both the poster and the target of his attack and entertain no illusions about either of them or the experiential basis for any credibility they may have in their respective activities. There is clearly a significant disparity in their motives and their experience in their respective areas of endeavor.

I just think during these days of "Goodwill toward men" this thread is an inappropriate use of SOTW. To me, misrepresenting one's motivations on SOTW is clearly as unacceptable as any possible misrepresentation of an object described and offered for sale elsewhere on the internet.

I'll post nothing more on this topic and will close by hoping we will all enjoy a gentle and generous New Year.

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sorry that you feel that way Mr. Tenney.

Perhaps that is how you see it, and of course that is your right of having your own view. However, this is the third or fourth thread of this kind that I have started within this year.

While each one of them has probably had some response critical of my motives (some were even completely convinced that I had some looming commercial motives soon to be revealed who now have nothing to say given that this never came to pass) and had posted their protest on the threads themselves, number of people who sent me messages and emails of support were far far greater.

YOU, or someone else may PERCEIVE this as a personal attack with questionable motives, yet the outpouring of thanks and support in messages and emails that I receive for sharing this information and viewpoint really foundationallly supports this as educational, in at least effect.

In terms of some kind of personal or commercial alterior motive on my part. I defy anyone, including Mr. Tenney to find any shred of credible evidence to support such a half-baked theory. You won't, and I said this to the last person who claimed that the whole board would soon know as my great evil motive would be revealed soon... I too would be interested to see it.

Now, beyond conspiracy theories and condemnations. I represent a portion of the playing, buying and selling public in the vintage mouthpiece market. I have a right to share my viewpoint, information and ideas. Clearly (evidence is in my mailbox) my experience and viewpoint has helped quite a number of people who wanted to know this and others who already knew it but wanted it discussed.

As far as I am concerned, "Goodwill Towards Men" is well defined by treating them well in business as well. Goodwill towards men, is not shutting your mouth and allowing people to be mis-informed.

I do not suppose Mr. Tenney would have an opinion that he'd stand behind about the originality of the mouthpiece tip in question eh? While it might hve been satisfying to post a negative review of myself, that is actually not what the thread is about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The ebay add says the facing has been tweaked..
Yep, that was just added after this thread went up (originally there was no mention whatsoever about a replaced biteplate or re-facing of any kind).
Imagine that, I am not just flying off the cuff with no idea what I am talking about eh?

Now, the biteplate has probably been replaced and the facing 'tweaked'. Well fine, but a shortened tip is much more than a tweak, it is a re-arrangement of significant proportions, but the ebay ad itself is not my issue, merely a vehicle to learn more about what we are looking at.

Thanks for the update.
 

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There's one thing to remember here. One man's honest "improvement" to an item may very well be another man's abhorrent ruining of an original vintage item.

While the analysis here was superb, there was an inference that the piece was altered as a matter of deceit. Again, making the number match the resulting tip size could be viewed as just completing the work rather than trying to fool someone.

Without knowing the whole story, we have to give the seller the benefit of a doubt. And we have to depend on experts like the original poster of this thread so we know what we are buying. I believe that if the discussion of motives was left out, no one would have much of a problem with all this good objective information. But that's just me. ;)
 

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Marin, you must have the thickest skin around. I think I appreciate the sentiment, though I'd never pay much more than $100 for any mouthpiece (mostly because I'd never be able to justify it to myself or my spouse, since at my level of playing there are lots of very serviceable alternatives.)

So for now color me a very fascinated spectator. Though I have to say, it's very, very hard to tell where "buyer-beware" ends and seller-irresponsibility/fraud begins.
 

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Although I believe the information is appreciated, I can see why Doc Tenney's reaction happened.

"Goodwill towards men" is not selective (not selective in those very few individuals whom actually do things out of this really high feeling) and this post seems to be directed to hurt 10mfan business or credibility as much as to enlighten possible customers.

I could believe the goodwill towards men BS if this thread have a picture (or pictures) of that particular piece but omited to mention 10mfan or ebay or the auction.

I don't think that "obscure motivation" can necessarily means that the thread starter has mouthpieces to compete with this one, obscure motivation can be found in deep, sick rotten envy towards the wealth of mouth watering MPC's that this guy 10mfan has.

To me this is personal attack wrapped in the goodwill fairy tale for making it more believable.

But hey, that's me, when I hold a grunt against somebody, I just vent it out without trying to color my post and disguise it as high selfless piece of information.
 

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Marin,

I am breathlessly awaiting your next expose of 10mfan's auctions.
:cool:

---
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sure, however you see it, you should be allowed to voice it.

Jicaino, you may choose to think that I am a deeply sick rotten person of course, who is envious of this seller :D

However, I have plenty of mouthpieces of my own, out of which I get the sound I prefer already. Your implication that I am envious is nothing but speculation based on nothing at all related to me. This seller does not have apparently have the type of mouthpieces that I like almost, ever. I only play original (or restored by myself) maximum 0.095 pieces of particular design and vintage that this seller does not deal with often if at all. So, no that is not the issue, you are speculating unfoundedly in this case.

You are also omitting another possible scenario in your moral chain. Perhaps in good faith one attempt to clear up public misconceptions and misrepresented items on ebay. In doing so with a positive motivation towards the public, as an unavoidable side-effect, the sellers of items who misrepresent them, "accidentally forget" to include information about their condition, modification or authenticity.. or even intentionally misrepresent them would be implicated, or affected.

Sometimes, when you try to do something positive that protects others, it may affect someone else negatively who whether intentionally or unintentionally would have misled others. That is just not something that I can control. As I said before the phrase "seller beware" should be considered heavily here. Any potential negative impact to the seller can be avoided very very simply, by them being very honest in presentation and properly informed about their products.

You must not forget that it is not I who either accidentally or intentionally misrepresents or omits this information. I am simply pointing it out. Any negative impact from simply raising awareness of this situation is clearly the responsibility of the seller, and that responsibility is mine too when I am selling.

So please, turn your morality tester around and examine what stake you may personally have in this issue that causes you to chastise those who stick up for the buyer of either misrepresented or badly represented goods instead of those who represent them that way.
 

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Given the market in very high priced "vintage" mouthpieces and the circumstances surrounding them- the differences between a "great playing classic" piece and a "student" slogger are so tiny as to be virtually unmeasurable in any case which is part of the mystique- whether a piece is original or not is clearly vital information.

Even if one believes that a piece forty or fifty years old and played upon for hundreds or thousands of hours retains those minescule but "oh so important" bits of facing/ chamber work which originally set them apart from the hoi paloi the reworking or "touching up" of a piece by "Joe the Expert" means that the piece is now a "Joe the Expert"- not a Brilhart, Dukoff, or Link.

That is, unless the buyer just wants something that clearly was, when new, a classic piece which now plays just fine as do many pieces and which has that "collector appeal" which is what drives these prices.

Does a super rare "A B Brilhart lig" play better than a gazillion other ligs? Unlikely.

Would I squander good money on one (though not multiple hundreds)? Yup.

Marin's pointing out that the piece on EBay is not an original is clearly vital information to many potential buyers. Others may not give a hoot.

If one is to specialize in the high high priced antique mouthpiece market- and be one of the primary contributors towards setting the prices there- one had better be scrupulously careful about exactly describing the wares or expect to get the sporadic slam.

This piece now is described as reworked. It wasn't before.

Confrontational- perhaps. Justified as a public service to potential SOTW buyers- absolutely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Henry H, thanks that was well said.

And if anyone else needs to cast me as having a jealous vendetta, take a moment to look at the other thread from just some days ago that I started about the same seller presenting a vintage mouthpiece as a brand that it had no relationship to at all. At this point it has become a rather common trend. I could not have invented it if I wanted to.

The simple fact that I have been given fodder to make multiple threads of this kind based on one sellers actions is more than coincidence. If misrepresentation and/or omission of important information was accidental ONCE as a seller, I could understand it, but repeatedly in this way does not get past my meter, especially AFTER someone like myself has brought it to issue publicly.

If it is accidental, this is serious to buyers because at this point it is a pattern. If it is intentional this is serious to buyers as well. In all cases, important information was not given to prospective buyers, and that information WAS available apparently because it was added later, after these threads went up.

Anyone can come to their own conclusions about that. If I am the bad guy to whomever, no problem, I did my service though. I am not here to guess why the problem is here, just to point out the reality of the items.
 

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Thanks for the question.
No, generally mouthpieces of different facing sizes are/were made by probably starting off with a thicker table and working one's way down with a level cut of the table to smaller tip openings or less table cut for larger tip openings I think.

I think the idea is that manufacture of a particular mouthpiece design would seek to maintain a uniformity, consistency in tone and response as much as possible among different pieces and sizes. Otherwise the branding and model of the piece would be very confusing to the market.

Given that, reworking the tip/baffle LENGTH and shape of every piece would lead to very little consistency at all. What I think generally happens instead is a uniform tip shape and size is maintained. The level table is either reduced a little or a lot to achieve the tip size and then the tip/baffle is hand finished but not redesigned as a one off each time.

In this case, with a consistent design of a model such as this, the actual LENGTH of the beak, and therefore reed window is not something you would want to change at all.
Whole lot o' speculatin'... DavyW's question is indeed a good one. Perhaps your theory is correct but surely only a hypothesis at this point...yes?
:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Whole lot o' speculatin'... DavyW's question is indeed a good one. Perhaps your theory is correct but surely only a hypothesis at this point...yes?
:cool:
Well, until someone who worked at that factory (and can verify it) comes forward to tell us all how exactly that it was done, I will leave some logical room for doubt. However, I am not basing this on speculation as much as observation from having owned and worked on a lot of similar mouthpieces. Most often, larger tip openings have thicker, higher reed tables and smaller tip openings have thinner lower reed tables, makes sense too.

Besides that one, it is also very easily observed that all the Dukoffs and early Links in a particular model run or batches for example will have a very similar tip configuration. The part about all the tips being similar and not re-designed one off each time differing based on tip size is not speculation at all. Anyone can see that. The idea is that the FACING curve is what is altered between tip sizes, not the rest of it. That is not rocket science to understand.

*****

I should also add here, that I have again, very many messages of support and thanks for bringing this up. One of my friends was kind enough to let me know that he in the past had owned a completely original 10 facing Dukoff of this vintage and check it out: the original tip size was only 0.098!!!

That is reality with these pieces. If you understand this you will have a better chance of understanding why I bring this up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And here we may also have a case of the fans of the kettle calling the pot black:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=97284&highlight=dave+jary+soprano+ebay

The seller mentioned on this thread, had absolutely no moral issue with calling out another seller for misrepresentation , and by name, when he saw fit. So all you folks who enjoy casting doubt on my morals for doing similarly and even more politely, ought to take a good look, then say "TSK TSK" the that tail of yours that is between your legs.

If it is good for the goose, well, gander too huh, and glass houses and all. Some of you folks got a short memory.
 

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Marin:

Your post can reflect good taste, but when you begin to single out a seller, it is quite obvious you are personally attacking that particular seller. Although I will admit, you hide it well.

I find it amusing you are basing the tip length on ONE picture, that is at an angle with interesting lighting. No offense, but that argument doesn't really fly. You have nothing to back it up other than 3 other pictures that you claim are original. Are we supposed to take YOUR word versus someone else who is considered the top seller and expert on vintage mouthpieces? Explain the logic in that one.

In addition, your tip opening speculation has a few holes in it's logic. We're supposed to believe that some guy told you that he had an old Dukoff 10, that was original, that measured .098. However, Theo Wanne, one of the most famous names in mouthpieces and arguably the most knowledgeable, states on his website that the BD Dukoff 10's generally measured at .110, and that vintage metal mouthpieces were the most consistent.

No offense, but I'll go with the extremely reputable, credible, and well known mouthpiece craftsmen vs. some guy on the internet who pretends he's an educator for society. "That is reality with these pieces." Please.

If you're going to present something as fact, make sure you have the evidence to back it up. You're basing an entire assumption and post off of one picture at an angle. You try to pass yourself off as an expert but you come across sounding truly clueless. You say you get very many messages of support for all of your "hard work." That's your word; guess we'll have to trust you, huh?

We appreciate people "watching out for each other" around here, but, IMO, you single out one person and attempt to make very well guised personal attacks. Doc Tenney saw right through your post, and so do I.

When I read your post, I don't see proof. I see assumptions and speculations presented as fact. If you want to TSK TSK something, it's that.

As far as the other soprano thread. It's simple. 10MFan was right, and had the evidence to back it up. You don't. 'Nuff said.

Saxaholic
 

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Marin:

I find it amusing you are basing the tip length on ONE picture, that is at an angle with interesting lighting. No offense, but that argument doesn't really fly. You have nothing to back it up other than 3 other pictures that you claim are original. Are we supposed to take YOUR word versus someone else who is considered the top seller and expert on vintage mouthpieces? Explain the logic in that one.

Saxaholic
Actually Saxaholic I think Marin's assertion in this case is born out by the ebay add itself:

"looks like it has had the biteplate replaced at some point , and the facing tweaked. "
 
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