I'm sort of fixated on Ebolins on tenor, and I can say they really are all over the board. Generally, people agree that the older examples with serial numbers are better, but there's no guarantee. I've got examples with serial numbers that suck, and examples without serial numbers that play great. I have a Carlsbad example and it plays pretty dark, but I certainly wouldn't conclude that all Carlsbad's play dark. I saw someone make the claim that the higher-numbered serial numbered ones (later) play brighter, but I don't know if I believe that either. Folks also claim that the examples marked with asterisk after the number (like 4*) have the shorter facing curve. I'm no mouthpiece expert, but somehow I imagine that's the Brilhart formula that works: smaller tip opening and shorter facing curve. (Phil am I mistaken?) As far as value or appropriate pricing, I've seen some Ebolins (not Hard Rubber) priced way beyond what makes sense to me. Maybe count on buying a couple and hoping to get lucky? Or buy from a knowledgeable source and pay a little premium? Or maybe plan on having one of them worked on to get what you are after?