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Discussion Starter #1
Brilhart Tip Opening Availability

I was curious about something: I've seen a lot of pictures and references to Brilhart 4 and 4* mouthpieces for alto. 3/3*, 5/5* seem to come up with somewhat less frequency, with the Specials or 2/2* being rarer. However other than the Personalines, (which are two sizes smaller than marked) every reference I've found to 6 or larger openings has been for tenor or bari.

Did Brilhart simply not make those larger openings for alto? Or were they made, but were incredibly uncommon? And would I be correct in saying that, based upon the above, that the 4/4* were the most common Brilharts for alto?
 

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No Brilharts I have or have had, came close to the sizes they were marked.
All were more open rather than more closed.
The one exception is the alto tonalin I still have.
This is marked a 5 and measures pretty much like a Meyer 5.
 

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+1

The openings are pretty random. My gut feeling (I have not studied it) is that its more random in alto than in tenor.

The majority of tenor piece are at least larger with larger numbers. With alto it seems more likely that a 3 may be larger than a 4.
 

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It also depends if you are talking about modern vs vintage Brilharts. The older one's number systems don't align with the modern ones at all and are almost arbitrary. The modern ones seem to be more marketed as student pieces and seems to be more available in student sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is about the vintage ones. And I'm not talking about the actual openings, just about how they're marked on the piece. Other than the Personalines (incidentally, my S6 is pretty accurate to what a 4 is supposed to be at .075) I don't think I've ever seen so much as a photo of an Alto Brilhart marked as a 6 or above. Thus my question as to whether they ever made pieces marked with those numbers.
 

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They were made. I had an alto Ebolin marked 5*. It was always my understanding the hard rubber and Tonalin Brilharts tip openings were more in line with Links than anything else although like they say, they varied. Back in the day, you went to your local instrument shop/music store and if they didn't have the mouthpiece you were after, they would order it. Brilhart would make whatever was ordered but their regular production was geared toward what the stores were ordering for stock, which represented what was selling. So if guys were buying 3s, that's what they made the most of. When I first started on tenor at the age of 16, I just didn't know much and info on how to play rock and roll didn't exist anyway, so in asking around how did they get those sounds/effects, one guy graciously sold me his Brilhart Tonalin Streamline #3 (with cracked shank, naturally) that didn't do crap for me. Luckily my mentor dropped by the house one day and gave me a Berg 90/2 with which I was immediately able to get a great sound. I have used basically 'Berg-type' mouthpieces ever since. I don't know what I did with that #3 Brilhart - it's possible that I glued some wings and hooks on it and used it for a fishing lure. LOL Too bad I don't have it now as crack and all, it could put a couple hundred bucks in my pocket.
 

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My 5 serial number tenor Brilhart Ebolin 3 (marked on the table, and still in the box with matching serial number 36xxx) measures just around .075 0r 6ish with a feeler gauge.

The Jody Jazz tenor mpc facing chart says a Brilhart 3 and 3* (which relates to short facing curve) should be .074. Pretty close and within margin for error with glass table top and feeler gauge.




It is a serious player. It came with a front f, oblong G# True Tone that allegedly belonged to a guy who played with Glenn Miller in his outfit. Both the mpc and the horn, as well as the original horn case are in excellent condition, as if perhaps someone's livelihood depended upon them. Wish I could prove the Miller connection. That would be cool. I would not dream of having anyone work on the facing on this Ebolin. A bit narrow tip for modern tastes, tho ...

The chamber looks twice the size of the modern ones --- well, significantly bigger, anyway. I guess it is circa 1943 or 44. My 75xxx Personaline tonalin has a slightly smaller chamber, as well, although not nearly as small at the modern 5 and 6 I have.

Is it common to enlarge the chambers of the modern pieces when on the hunt for the older Brilhart vibe through modification and reface?

No vintage brilhart altos here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They were made. I had an alto Ebolin marked 5*. It was always my understanding the hard rubber and Tonalin Brilharts tip openings were more in line with Links than anything else although like they say, they varied. Back in the day, you went to your local instrument shop/music store and if they didn't have the mouthpiece you were after, they would order it. Brilhart would make whatever was ordered but their regular production was geared toward what the stores were ordering for stock, which represented what was selling. So if guys were buying 3s, that's what they made the most of. When I first started on tenor at the age of 16, I just didn't know much and info on how to play rock and roll didn't exist anyway, so in asking around how did they get those sounds/effects, one guy graciously sold me his Brilhart Tonalin Streamline #3 (with cracked shank, naturally) that didn't do crap for me. Luckily my mentor dropped by the house one day and gave me a Berg 90/2 with which I was immediately able to get a great sound. I have used basically 'Berg-type' mouthpieces ever since. I don't know what I did with that #3 Brilhart - it's possible that I glued some wings and hooks on it and used it for a fishing lure. LOL Too bad I don't have it now as crack and all, it could put a couple hundred bucks in my pocket.
Oh, I know there were 5 and 5* altos (as I said in the OP). What I'm saying is that I haven't seen any stamped as 6 or above and was wondering if they actually exist. That's what I'm asking (and to reiterate, I'm just talking about what's STAMPED on them, not what the actual opening is).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did see a 6* alto once. Edit: It was actually stamped 6* and not just a refaced piece.
Hm. I did some further checking, and in the tip opening charts here:

http://www.saxmundstykker.dk/MPC_Brillys_Intro.html

There was one Streamline 6*, an Ebolin and Streamline 7, and a Tonalin 7* for alto. This would certainly seem to suggest that mouthpieces stamped with these openings were relatively uncommon, compared to the number of 4/4* and 5/5*. In fact if this chart is assumed to be indicative of actual production, it would seem that 3/3* would have been the most common size stamped on Brilhart's pieces for alto. There's certainly significantly more examples of 6/6* and 7/7* for tenor.

If you ignore the actual sizes and just look at what's stamped, it certainly seems there was a preference for the more mid-range openings, followed by the more closed 2/2*, and very few of the more extreme 1, 6, and 7 pieces (again, if you're going by JUST what was stamped on the piece).
 
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