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Discussion Starter #1
I have played all Guardala models over the years and have had a Michael Brecker I model before. This so-called "Fatboy" model that I got today clearly says FB MB followed by a vertical line which is hard to photograph due to the shallow engraving of small dots Dave usually did. So far, it really seems to be a MB I . This mouthpiece does not show the "DG" on the shank that my "normal" Guardala pieces mostly had. What I find interesting is the short baffle that soon mounds into a long slope. I remember my "normal" MB I had a longer baffle (if my memory does not fail me). Serial number is 209, btw. Theo Wanne's Mouthpiecemuseum does not help with finding out about this, but I'm sure there will be enough experts over here. I have already played it for some time, but still have to find the right reed for it. I tried Rigotti 2/2.5, Francois Louis 2.5/3.5 and finally came back to a Rico Royal 2.5 which worked fine. All my Guardalas were very reed sensitive, and I read that Michael Brecker himself played his pieces with rather soft reeds which makes sense for me. My FB MB does not seem to like stiff reeds at all. I have three ligs to go with it: an Ishimori Woodstone, a Francois Louis Ultimate, and an old Selmer 2-screw. So far, the Ishimori does the job best, although it was designed for regular Guardalas and has to be opened to its limits.
Thanks for sharing this link.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/67sd7u0694u48h2/rz6j4p8To9
 

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It looks much lower than a typical MB1, I'm guessing that Dave did custom pieces on request and this may be of them. Is it as bright as other standard MB1's you've played ?
 

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I have played all Guardala models over the years and have had a Michael Brecker I model before. This so-called "Fatboy" model that I got today clearly says FB MB followed by a vertical line which is hard to photograph due to the shallow engraving of small dots Dave usually did. So far, it really seems to be a MB I . This mouthpiece does not show the "DG" on the shank that my "normal" Guardala pieces mostly had. What I find interesting is the short baffle that soon mounds into a long slope. I remember my "normal" MB I had a longer baffle (if my memory does not fail me). Serial number is 209, btw. Theo Wanne's Mouthpiecemuseum does not help with finding out about this, but I'm sure there will be enough experts over here. I have already played it for some time, but still have to find the right reed for it. I tried Rigotti 2/2.5, Francois Louis 2.5/3.5 and finally came back to a Rico Royal 2.5 which worked fine. All my Guardalas were very reed sensitive, and I read that Michael Brecker himself played his pieces with rather soft reeds which makes sense for me. My FB MB does not seem to like stiff reeds at all. I have three ligs to go with it: an Ishimori Woodstone, a Francois Louis Ultimate, and an old Selmer 2-screw. So far, the Ishimori does the job best, although it was designed for regular Guardalas and has to be opened to its limits.
Thanks for sharing this link.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/67sd7u0694u48h2/rz6j4p8To9
That looks nothing like a fat boy baffle. My Fatboy Brecker 1 had the same baffle as the regular Brecker 1. It should be a little longer ..That looks like a Crescent...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I still have an original Crescent that has a much longer high baffle. I guess Berg-Man is right. This might be a custom piece, or Dave had an idea of what he wanted this piece to sound like. It's lush sounding, but yet it sparkles in the upper octave, very interesting. The baffle reminds me a lot of Link Early Babbitts, at least what I found among hard rubber links.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First of all, I have to correct myself: there is a DG engraving on the shank just like on the other pieces. Then, I took pics of all three Guardalas that I still own (Fatboy MB I left, Postbop center, Crescent right), and it's amazing how short and "roll-over"-like the baffle of the Fatboy piece is. As I said before, almost like in a Link piece (not the chamber, of course). When you compare the chambers, you will see major differences there as well. I can imagine that someone wanted a Guardala piece warmer and lusher than any stock piece, or Dave played this piece in the process of working on it and found it convincing the way it was. Who knows.
I do love my Francois Louis silver mouthpiece and my Navarro Hard Rubber pieces (a red marble Bebop Special, and a black Maestra), but this piece is so interesting in its unique characteristics that it makes me wonder and curious what it is all about.
Maybe Dave's former partner Jeff ('abbedd' in this forum) could help with some information, but I'm afraid he has not enabled PM's nor e-mail communication.
I had another very close look: the piece is definitely original and has not been worked on later: the (short) baffle shows the typical diagonal marks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Right, so this seems to be a custom order piece and quite unique, very interesting. I hope that Jeff sees it and can add some information.
 

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What of Jennifer aka "Vigilante Mouthpiece" (Dave's ex-wife)? Have you considered contacting her?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Might be a way there, but I guess it will be hard to get information about that piece, anyway. I'm quite happy to have it.
 

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You might ask 10MFan as well.
Mark's probably seen more Guardala's than the rest of us put together!
 

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You might ask 10MFan as well.
Mark's probably seen more Guardala's than the rest of us put together!


You can be assured of that. :)

Dave's best pieces were the ones that had the dip in the baffle. Jeff Powell told me how hard it was to do what he did on those special pieces. The handwork he did with baffles and chambers was extraordinary.
I have owned many fatboys and I'm not surprised at the baffle at all.
Dave did lots of custom work and I have had a few brecker fatboys like that---in fact, I'm sure at some point, I probably owned that one. :)
Its a real deal Guardala and a beauty. I bet it plays with a big, powerful sound!! You can also whisper on those pieces easily. I have owned a couple of Michaels personal Guardalas and they were remarkable. One had that same looking baffle. Totally different from the production Breckers.
The wooden breckers I have here are totally unique, warm, powerful, and wonderful.

Enjoy your piece and happy holidays to all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can only confirm Mark's estimation:the Fatboy Guardala has a huge, powerful sound with that typical Guardala core. If you ever come across a Guardala with this baffle, you should certainly give it a try. I do not know what these pieces go for these days, but I think this might become as dear to me as my Francois Louis silver piece. I compared them side by side, and they are an ideal pair of metal pieces: both have a very broad range of tonal colour, and both have their fortes when they are pushed. The Guardalas breaks up a little bit more than the FL which keeps that velvet touch even if you feed it with a lot of air flow and compression.
 

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I have played all Guardala models over the years and have had a Michael Brecker I model before. This so-called "Fatboy" model that I got today clearly says FB MB followed by a vertical line which is hard to photograph due to the shallow engraving of small dots Dave usually did. So far, it really seems to be a MB I . This mouthpiece does not show the "DG" on the shank that my "normal" Guardala pieces mostly had. What I find interesting is the short baffle that soon mounds into a long slope. I remember my "normal" MB I had a longer baffle (if my memory does not fail me). Serial number is 209, btw. Theo Wanne's Mouthpiecemuseum does not help with finding out about this, but I'm sure there will be enough experts over here. I have already played it for some time, but still have to find the right reed for it. I tried Rigotti 2/2.5, Francois Louis 2.5/3.5 and finally came back to a Rico Royal 2.5 which worked fine. All my Guardalas were very reed sensitive, and I read that Michael Brecker himself played his pieces with rather soft reeds which makes sense for me. My FB MB does not seem to like stiff reeds at all. I have three ligs to go with it: an Ishimori Woodstone, a Francois Louis Ultimate, and an old Selmer 2-screw. So far, the Ishimori does the job best, although it was designed for regular Guardalas and has to be opened to its limits.
Thanks for sharing this link.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/67sd7u0694u48h2/rz6j4p8To9

- I knew Daves work well.

Played lots of FAT BOYS. That....has been worked on by someone.

I'd venture to say also - THOSE ARE NOT DAVES FILE MARKS. AT ALL.

You got a neutered mouthpiece there, sad to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hi Tim, I love your playing and respect your expertise, but I think you're wrong here. Maybe it's due to the fact that my photographic equimpent and the lighting did not do justice to the piece. I have played a lot of Dave's pieces myself, and it certainly has those diagonal file marks that I know from the other pieces. If someone had worked on this piece, the baffle and the dip would certainly not be as smooth and even as they are. Interesting that Mark (10mfan) knows pieces like these. I can only say that this piece was bought by the original owner in a shop over here in the 90s and has not been worked on by anybody.
 

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Hi Tim, I love your playing and respect your expertise, but I think you're wrong here. Maybe it's due to the fact that my photographic equimpent and the lighting did not do justice to the piece. I have played a lot of Dave's pieces myself, and it certainly has those diagonal file marks that I know from the other pieces. If someone had worked on this piece, the baffle and the dip would certainly not be as smooth and even as they are. Interesting that Mark (10mfan) knows pieces like these. I can only say that this piece was bought by the original owner in a shop over here in the 90s and has not been worked on by anybody.

No worrys my friend- I've been wrong many times....just ask my wife !! hahahaha,,,,,,,,,,,,

It's probably the lighting. And also...the images at times on screens. In any case-Enjoy your self some great holidays and keep playing your horn sir. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Tim, so have I, ask my wife.......I have just added another pic to the link above, and though I'm still not happy with the quality (colour is ridiculous), I think the file marks have been caught better this time. Yes, playing the horn is definitely one of my constant joys while I'm getting older. I wish you and your family a wonderful time.
 

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Seeing as we have all the fatboy experts here,id like to ask about the playing characteristics of a fatboy... Ive recently succumbed to the reality that i execute the best on a gig with a guardala..which rules out my favorite large chamber pieces.... I have a very SPECIAL sakshama MBII that i play....so im convinced that perhaps a fatboy will give me a little warmer..throughtier sound,if you will.....

What do you say guys??? Also...what liguture is best for a fatboy(the ridge..ya know!)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I contacted Ishimori because the Woodstone lig is a bit tight on my piece. What seems to work at the moment is a slightly larger Selmer lig. I have just added a picture to the link above.
In the picture you see the Ishimori Guardala lig on the right, next to it is the Selmer that fits a regular Guardala, and on the left you see the slightly larger Selmer that I use on other pieces like my Link Double Ring (although I have come back to the original Link ligs or a Marc Jean lig fot that one).
 

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I have to go with Mark on this one. I've owned several Fatboys that were never altered and one of the MB's looked just like this one. The others (another MB, an MB II, a crescent and a Studio...geeeze!) looked just as you would expect them to.
 
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