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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a hard rubber Conn Albert (15 keys, 5 rings) in Bb low pitch. It came without a MP.
Please recommend what mouthpiece and reeds I need for New Orleans and more general Jazz-oriented setup.
Will, for instance any Vandoren mouthpiece for Boehm system work with normal French cut reeds on this Conn?
 

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I have a number of Albert and Oehler system clarinets. I've never had a problem using standard mouthpieces on them.

The clarinets I regularly use are a Bb Selmer Paris Albert system dating from 1929 or 1930 and a Bb Clemens Meinel Oehler system dating from 1988.

For New Orleans jazz on both of these I use a Vandoren 5JB mouthpiece with either a Marca Supérieure 2½ or a Rico Royal 3 reed. Both of these are French file cut ! The Vandoren 5JB has a pretty big tip opening: you might prefer to use softer reeds with one.

I hope this is of some assistance to you.
 

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I have a Conn Bb soprano Albert clarinet made of hard rubber; also a C-Albert labelled "Triomphe". I also have a Yamaha YCS 457 German-System Bb soprano clarinet. But, for public use, I play a Buffet RC Prestige Boehm clarinet. My music is strictly traditional jazz in the spirit of Bechet, Dodds, and Lewis.

With that preliminary info, I prefer a Lakey 5* (I have three), one of which Claude himself finished for me while I watched. I use them on all of the clarinets I listed, plus others that I own.

I have two Vandoren 5JB mouthpieces but while I like them, the Lakeys give ME better intonation and projection. I also have recorded with a Vandoren B45. On the Lakeys and the B45 I use a Fibracell Premiere 1 1/2 synthetic reed. The 5JB seems to like soft cane reeds - but all of this is just me and may not work for others. Mouthpieces are VERY personal and depend on the player. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a number of Albert and Oehler system clarinets. I've never had a problem using standard mouthpieces on them.
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I hope this is of some assistance to you.
Mike - thank you, yes it helps!

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I also have recorded with a Vandoren B45.
Dave - great. Imagine, I checked my stuff and I happen to have a B45 mp as well. For some reason I was thinking of it for use on this Conn Albert. But why should it work? Does it have any particular features that would make it suite an Albert clarinet so well?
 

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WinnSie: Please don't make the mistake of assuming that because I had some success with a B45 (substitute whatever mouthpiece is mentioned) that you will have the same success. The B45 (and more so, the Lakey 5*) worked for me because it was me playing it.

It is almost ALL about the player and less about the equipment. I heard a guy a few weeks ago playing the funkiest alto I'd heard in years - and the horn was a new Yamaha. It is the player!

The Yamaha German-System I bought new came with a Yamaha clarinet mouthpiece especially made for German System clarinets (close tip, smaller window, etc.) and I couldn't get a sound out of it. When I put my Lakey 5* on the horn, then it played. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #6
WinnSie: Please don't make the mistake of assuming that because I had some success with a B45 (substitute whatever mouthpiece is mentioned) that you will have the same success. The B45 (and more so, the Lakey 5*) worked for me because it was me playing it.
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DAVE
Dave, I see what you mean. However I also see why Vandoren B45 would be rather good candidate for Albert New Orleans and general jazz-oriented playing.
It has:
- long facing = good for intonating bends and portamento
- quite open tip; mind you, not as open as Vandoren 5JB but still on the open side
 

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I'm not trying to be recalcitrant or argumentative - just sharing my thoughts on mouthpieces (and Albert clarinets). All of those characteristics you mention are interesting, but it all comes down to how your individual "chops" are made - and more importantly, how YOU blow. Long facings, tip-openings, chamber size, baffles, etc., etc. are interesting to those who want to believe in it, but then after all of that is said and the player blows the mouthpiece, I don't believe that any one factor can be isolated to a point where definite conclusions can be reached.

Oh, some posters will bad-mouth me for not drinking the mouthpiece cool-aid, but that's just the way I see it.

As far as Albert vs. Boehm vs. Oehler - much ado about nothing, in my view. They are all clarinets and to me, they all sound about the same. True, they finger differently.

Sure, when we play a clarinet, we can hear and feel slight differences among them, but those differences almost totally escape the audience. They don't care if I use a Boehm System to play BURGUNDY STREET BLUES. I've heard all the rhetoric about Alberts having that "New Orleans" sound but I don't buy it. It is about the player and how he plays those New Orleans' tunes.

My favorite trad clarinetist plays an 1887 Buffet Albert (and very well, I might add). I've tried to play that system but it is way beyond my paygrade. I get along just fine on my Buffet Boehm clarinet and I play all the trad clarinet-tunes using a Boehm clarinet. Few care about that.

I am primarily an amateur soprano sax guy and double on clarinet (and alto sax). I am not a trained clarinetist and maybe I am missing the nuances but I don't care about all of that. I do what I do.

I agree that my B45 is fairly open but not like my two 5JB's. But my Lakeys are the best for me - and they play on all of my clarinets just fine. Without seeing what I'm playing, few would hear much difference - they all sound like me.

I hope your B45 fits your needs. If not, you are allowed to experiment and find the answer yourself - which is ALWAYS the best way to do it. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dave - you are right but I'm talking about tendencies and the rule of thumb and not the hard rules.
I'm sure 98% "jazz clarinetists" especially for early and trad style will prefer more open pieces with softer reeds over small openings and hard reeds.
If you answered to me: 'Yes, that's exactly the reason I chose B45 and not M13.' and B45 didn't work for me I wouldn't blame you for "bad advice".
However I doubt M13 would have any benefits in flexibility compared to B45. That would be strange.
And no - I'm not trying to start any argument either (anyway, that's what everyone says :))
I have to start somewhere. Let it be B45.
Thank you for advice. Now I know that a general purpose French style mp should work fine. I'll find out more later myself as you correctly noted.
 

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Keep in mind that most of the "traditional" players we emulate from back in the day were probably playing relatively closed tip openings. And they sound great!

I sound 99% the same on any clarinet mouthpiece if I have a reed that gets me in the ballpark, resistance-wise. I recently picked up a few mouthpieces to do a comparison, ranging in tip opening from 0.96mm to 1.47mm. I recorded myself playing a variety of music ranging from classical to klezmer tunes to my attempts at "trad" jazz to straight up noise music.

Once I had a reed that was a good fit for each mouthpiece, I could barely tell them apart listening back. It all comes down to feel and intonation. The right mouthpiece is the one that makes playing in tune and sounding like yourself feel natural. The hard part is knowing how you want to sound!
 

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I have always wondered how the old masters sounded so darned good. I have owned and tried to play those vintage mouthpieces (mostly on soprano saxophones, but I'm sure the clarinets in the early 1900's had similar mouthpieces - closed tips and popsicle sticks for reeds).

As far as why I chose a B45 over some other mouthpiece (like the aforementioned M13, which I know nothing about), I think it was because that's what I had on hand. I sure didn't go looking for a B45.

I recall one guy who I heard in Phoenix, AZ told he used a 5JB on his Boehm clarinet, so I dutifully went out and bought one. Then I bought another one because I'd loaned mine to a relative - getting it back years later.

One mouthpiece I used to like was a Vandoren 66 - it too was wide open but gave me more focus than the 5JB. But once I met Claude Lakey, his pieces worked for me and I stayed with them. I still have the Vandoren 66. DAVE
 
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