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Discussion Starter #1
The "not knowing" was bugging me so I bought a china metal #6 mouthpiece for $30. It's beautiful. I washed it in hot water and dawn, twice. It has a plastic bite plate which is harder that the rubber I normally use which allowed the mp to slip in my mouth (I eventually put a rubber on top of the plastic). The outside dimensions are a lot smaller than my others, so taking in more mp is easier, so now I can understand what Pete was saying about beginners having problems with that. Boy is this thing loud. I'm forcing myself to use plastic reeds now for a while and put a signature 2 on this mp. The tone was raucous and unpleasant and I started using Phil's ideas of lots of mp (lip touching the ramp). I worked with it for 30 minutes until I noticed that my lips were tingling, so I took it off and covered it completely with spit letting it sit over nite. Next day washed it off and no more tingling, further it sounded better and was easier to blow(reporting what I noticed, not making any claims here). I notice that I need more force with my air to get the first note to sound, but I don't notice it after the first note. After a week it is now just another mp. Nothing bad to say about it. I now understand how a 6 is different from a 5 and how they are different from a Yamaha 5C. I do not know if I will continue to use it as it forces me to use more air and I seem to run out fast. I also understand that GAS is a real problem for me...I just counted 20 mp on my stand along with the 5 saxes. It's a good thing I don't drink or gamble as self restraint seems missing in my dna.
 

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I worked with it for 30 minutes until I noticed that my lips were tingling, so I took it off and covered it completely with spit letting it sit over nite. Next day washed it off and no more tingling, further it sounded better and was easier to blow(reporting what I noticed, not making any claims here).
Besides being gross, I'm curious behind the reason that led you to cover it completely in spit and leave it over night?
 

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I'll try not to be long winded here. I bought violin strings from china and found that they were covered in unseen oil which could have ruined the hair on the bow but which could be easily wiped off (a step unnecessary when buying any other violin strings). As Gramps would warn, we don't know what the chinese use to make these mp. When I noticed the tingling, I realized that something needed fixed. I thought to use bleach, h. peroxide, acetone, plain water, solder flux, baking soda. Spit just seemed logical. And since it was my spit and my mp, just sayin...and it worked.
 

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Crazy (about the spit). Whatever, I am astonished that the mouthpiece can be played. Since these can be had for the price of a cheap ligature and cap, at the very least they might be good as blanks to be refined by someone who knows what they're doing, or you can use it for a doorstop and keep the lig and cap.
Anyway, MrYikes, try a #1 1/2 or #2 Rico cane reed on it and you'll probably discover a nicer and less 'raucous' (good description of some tones:)) sound, something you might like.
Comments about metal mouthpieces being 'small' and feeling strange are like saying a sports car is 'small' and 'loud'. IOW, everybody here knows that except you.
There's a reason they're 'small'; being metal, which is much stronger than plastic and rubber, the exterior size of the metal mouthpiece only has to be big enough to enclose the interior space, which is essentially the same as a rubber mouthpiece. Many players like the smaller size of these mouthpieces which are now available in metals, machined plastic (Delrin) and cast resin/metal hybrids.

'Loud' is a function of the design of the mouthpiece rather than its exterior size/material.
 

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The "not knowing" was bugging me so I bought a china metal #6 mouthpiece for $30. It's beautiful. I washed it in hot water and dawn, twice. It has a plastic bite plate which is harder that the rubber I normally use which allowed the mp to slip in my mouth (I eventually put a rubber on top of the plastic). The outside dimensions are a lot smaller than my others, so taking in more mp is easier, so now I can understand what Pete was saying about beginners having problems with that. Boy is this thing loud. I'm forcing myself to use plastic reeds now for a while and put a signature 2 on this mp. The tone was raucous and unpleasant and I started using Phil's ideas of lots of mp (lip touching the ramp). I worked with it for 30 minutes until I noticed that my lips were tingling, so I took it off and covered it completely with spit letting it sit over nite. Next day washed it off and no more tingling, further it sounded better and was easier to blow(reporting what I noticed, not making any claims here). I notice that I need more force with my air to get the first note to sound, but I don't notice it after the first note. After a week it is now just another mp. Nothing bad to say about it.
:|.........


........:|......

...I would posit that your entire entry basically is one bad report, no ?

At least the 'not knowing' only put you out $30. (Albeit if I were a curmudgeon, I might add that $30 could have gotten you a respectable, usable mouthpiece which you would likely employ at least every now and then...)

Thx for posting your experience, though. May prove helpful to others....
 

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I'll try not to be long winded here. I bought violin strings from china and found that they were covered in unseen oil which could have ruined the hair on the bow but which could be easily wiped off (a step unnecessary when buying any other violin strings). As Gramps would warn, we don't know what the chinese use to make these mp. When I noticed the tingling, I realized that something needed fixed. I thought to use bleach, h. peroxide, acetone, plain water, solder flux, baking soda. Spit just seemed logical. And since it was my spit and my mp, just sayin...and it worked.
Gramps' warning might include the plating on the mp; I don't know much about material used for plating but at least one manufacturer in China used lead in paint for children's toys.
https://www.google.com/search?q=mattel+lead+paint+china&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab
 

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I don't know much about material used for plating but at least one manufacturer in China used lead in paint for children's toys.
https://www.google.com/search?q=mattel+lead+paint+china&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab
Mattel is a US company, and took responsibility for the lead and magnet issues, apologised for it as well as the damage it has caused the reputation of Chinese manufacturers, saying:

The "vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China's manufacturers," Debrowski said. "We understand and appreciate deeply the issues that this has caused for the reputation of Chinese manufacturers.

Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys."
 

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Gramps' warning might include the plating on the mp; I don't know much about material used for plating but at least one manufacturer in China used lead in paint for children's toys.
https://www.google.com/search?q=mattel+lead+paint+china&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab
Another danger with alleged gold plated materials from China would be the use of cadmium, which was used on children's jewelry. So who knows what might have been on some no name mouthpiece from a fly by night dealer in China that affords the consumer of absolutely no recourse for product safety concerns that makes your lips tingle.

Unfortunately threads like this just give more people the foolish idea that they're going to get some great deal on some great product for absolutely the rock bottom price so then they can come here and tell everybody how wrong they were. Well, that or they get cadmium poisoning and spare us the tale of yet another wasteful venture...
 

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Mattel is a US company, and took responsibility for the lead and magnet issues, apologised for it as well as the damage it has caused the reputation of Chinese manufacturers, saying:

The "vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China's manufacturers," Debrowski said. "We understand and appreciate deeply the issues that this has caused for the reputation of Chinese manufacturers.

Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys."
Your quote is accurate Pete, and is echoed in this article:
http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1664428,00.html

The Time article gives some background to the quote:
It seems that Mattel had originally assessed their "Chinese partners" as having created the problem then retracted the assessment. Prior to the retraction, apparently "reporters grilled Mattel CEO Bob Eckert about how lead paint, which is banned for use on children's toys in the U.S., ended up on its "Sarge" toy cars. Surprisingly, he had answers. In a conference call on Aug. 14, he blamed it on a subcontractor who violated Mattel's policies and "utilized paint from a non-authorized third-party supplier."

Subsequently that answer was retracted. Whether that was based on an error, or a strategic move in dealing with China is a question to consider. The article goes on:

"Mattel needs China just as much as China needs Mattel, and it cannot afford to jeopardize its relationship with the country that produces 65% of its toys. In a global public relations campaign, Chinese officials have emphasized that the country does have strong safety standards, and that problems at a few companies shouldn't be used to paint the whole country's products as unsafe. Even well-regarded Chinese companies with no link to toys or any hint of safety problems, such as brewer Tsingtao and appliance maker Haier, could suffer in the backlash against the made in China label.

"So Mattel found a face-saving way of taking back the blame that it had previously placed so squarely on its Chinese partners, the source of all the toys it recalled this year."

I read this to suggest the possibility that the public apology from Mattel's CEO may have been an effort to maintain the relationship with China's manufacturing sector rather than a sincere assessment that Mattel's design parameters would allow lead paint into children's toys bound for the US.

Both of our sources do seem to agree that "at least one manufacturer in China used lead in paint for children's toys."

I submit that Gramps' warning had wisdom behind it.

I was also struck by the similarity in name between Gramps and Grumps whose post #8 prompted me to find this:
https://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/01/china_jewelry_makers_say_toxic.html

"Business is business, and it's all up to our client," said He Huihua, manager of the Suiyuan Jewelry Shop at International Trade City in Yiwu, a sprawling wholesale mecca where sellers pitch their wares in hopes of landing a lucrative export contract.

He spoke from a small cubicle with rows of dangling metal earrings and key chains hanging on the wall. Elsewhere, brooches, necklaces, charms and other baubles shone under the market's lights.

"We just make what our clients order. If they pay more, we use the better raw material, and vice-versa. From a few cents to a few dollars, we can make the same style of jewelry product with a different raw material."

Asked what he thought about the health risks associated with cadmium and other toxic metals, He said: "I can't be overly concerned about that."
 

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"We just make what our clients order. If they pay more, we use the better raw material, and vice-versa. From a few cents to a few dollars, we can make the same style of jewelry product with a different raw material."

Asked what he thought about the health risks associated with cadmium and other toxic metals, He said: "I can't be overly concerned about that."
This is no BS. The problem is widespread despite the fact that many Chinese manufacturers actually have fallen in line with international standards. It isn't restricted to any product or industry. Remember the melamine in the baby formula? It was added to the formula to boost the protein level tests. Remember the heparin debacle? Though there were a few tragedies, America benefited from it because we learned that indeed, at least some of our medicines are manufactured in China. Not too many people know about the tainted flagyl (an antibiotic) tragedy that killed many thousands of Chinese. Nobody went to jail over that one (as far as i know). In 2006, though, China's top official of the equivalent of America's Food and Drug Administration got a bullet in the back in the head for accepting payoffs.

Among so many in China, the attitude is, "Hey, you wanted a small yellow metal toy car. Here it is. Oh, your kid put it in his mouth? That's not my fault. It's not meant to be gnawed. And besides, you didn't tell me not to use poisons in my paint. And look! Xiao Wang paints pictures with the same stuff and he hasn't complained about the horn growing out of his head. So what's the problem?" Mattel's acceptance of full responsibility is called "saving face", a ridiculous Chinese practice intended to abnegate the Chinese manufacturer's responsibility.

This sounds terrible, I know, but I've spent enough time in China to conclude that cheating is a deeply-ingrained cultural trait. Ask a Chinese mainlander. If he is honest and open with you, he'll tell you the same thing (and possibly more than you want to hear).

A couple of personal experiences: My friendly neighborhood liquor store sold me a bottle of counterfeit Jack Daniels. One sniff and a small taste told me something was REALLY wrong. The retailer gave me the number of his supplier so that the supplier could refund my money. Yeah right.

In one city, I ate in the same restaurant 4-5 nights per week and ordered the same 2-3 menu items for a year with no problems until one night there was a new chef. When the first course arrived, it was unrecognizable. My dinner companion complained about it. (The Chinese are very effective complainers). The waitress took it back to the kitchen and brought back the same thing, except that it was covered with some awful-looking sauce. We complained again. Then the chef comes out and said in a very sweet tone of voice that he couldn't come any closer to the dish because he was out of the proper ingredients. And inexplicably, he told my dinner companion, "The waitress says that your friend comes here every night with a different woman." It wasn't true, but that little bit of disinformation was enough to divert my friend's attention from the awful food to my allegedly licentious behavior. And that woman happened to be my employer. Luckily, she thought that it was funny.

"They do that sort of thing," she said. I had to hear that "joke" at every meeting and from every female co-worker.

Back to mouthpieces: Unless you know your supplier, buying ANYTHING from mainland China (PRC) is a gamble. Really. Back when I had money to throw away, I bought several mouthpieces (and some saxophones as well). I did okay with the saxes, but the mouthpieces? Unplayable on Day One. Unplayable on Day Thirty and a strange taste. I now use one of them on my riding mower as an oil drain. I often wonder if the mouthpiece is poisoning the oil and if some day the oil recycler will trace the heavy metals back to me.

Buying blindly from someone in mainland China (PRC) PROBABLY won't be a good deal.

One more thing: if you ever go to PRC, pay with Red 100 yuan bills and don't take any fifty yuan notes from ANYONE, not even a bank and take a good look at the twenty yuan notes. Be sure to have exact change for a cab (if you can get one to stop for you).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The more I use it, the more I like it. A 1.5 cane reed works well on it excepting the high e and f. But it still takes a lot more air than is comfortable.
 

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The more I use it, the more I like it. A 1.5 cane reed works well on it excepting the high e and f. But it still takes a lot more air than is comfortable.
You can used to playing anything, given enough time. The question is why.
 

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about 15 years ago, when the idea of boutique handmade mouthpieces started to boom, I bought a couple of these off of eFley for $30 to attempt refacing myself, see what the buzz was about. Their facing out of the box was awful, uneven and asymmetric. I carefully copied the curvature of an old STM Link onto it, flattened its table, both pretty successfully actually for a rookie like me. I did not know what to do with the internal baffle though, so left it alone. While that mouthpiece played easily after I worked on it, it still sounded dull and uninteresting. It just made me further appreciate the work of people that really know how to make a good mouthpiece.
 

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Buying blindly from someone in mainland China (PRC) PROBABLY won't be a good deal.
I can relate to that, after spending a night in the ER and being sick for 3 weeks afterwards courtesy of some formaldehyde used to preserve some bed sheets during shipment from China (courtesy of Wayfair) I have turned extremely cautious with anything that says made in China.

And I've spent enough time there myself to corroborate everything you said.
 

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I can relate to that, after spending a night in the ER and being sick for 3 weeks afterwards courtesy of some formaldehyde used to preserve some bed sheets during shipment from China (courtesy of Wayfair) I have turned extremely cautious with anything that says made in China.

And I've spent enough time there myself to corroborate everything you said.
Any textile that will come in contact with skin such as bed sheets, clothing, towels etc. should get washed before using, regardless of where it comes from.
 

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Any textile that will come in contact with skin such as bed sheets, clothing, towels etc. should get washed before using, regardless of where it comes from.
If you've ever visited a Moroccan tannery you'll certainly think twice before putting on your leather underwear.

But we digress...

I'm sure there are some dodgy Chinese made mouthpieces around, but there are also some good ones. Both I and Stephen Howard had Huastar mouthpieces that were great.

I still have it somewhere I think, there are also good mouthpieces from Kanee.
 

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But we digress...

I'm sure there are some dodgy Chinese mad mouthpieces around, but there are also some good ones. Both I and Stephen Howard had Huastar mouthpieces that were great.

I still have it somewhere I think, there are also good mouthpieces from Kanee.
Well, you're digressing here as well. We're talking about unbranded mouthpieces from untraceable Chinese fly by night marketers which afford the buyer no redress for consumer protection/health issues. I'm sure you'd agree that such purchases aren't wise.
 

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Well, you're digressing here as well. We're talking about unbranded mouthpieces from untraceable Chinese fly by night marketers which afford the buyer no redress for consumer protection/health issues. I'm sure you'd agree that such purchases aren't wise.
The one time I bought one of those cheap Chinese tenor pieces, it came with a facing worse than Joe Vasello's "masterpieces". It didn't play and could not be made to play so it met with my hammer. I recommend no-one purchase them.
 

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I got a metal C Melody from Aquilasax years ago and got rid of it soon after.
Just wasn't my cup of tea, the case I also purchased is still good.
 
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