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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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487 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just got one of the early hard rubber Brilhart pieces which Sakshama had masterfully refaced. The interior dimensions seem very similar to my Reso Chamber, and it plays with a similar sonic spectrum. Also, the beak is high just like the Reso Chamber.

https://theowanne.com/knowledge/mouthpiece-museum/brilhart-mouthpieces/

The piece I got seems to be more like the Version 2 hard rubber piece, but the serial number is smaller than the range in Theo's article.

This seems like a more affordable alternative to those seeking a vintage Reso. Sakshama thought they made a fantastic Link-like blank with very high quality hard rubber.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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2,145 Posts
This is a great suggestion! There are plenty of great vintage rubber pieces out there made of good material that are much more affordable than vintage Links but very similar in quality.

Similarly, I lucked into a Steve Broadus "Perfected Model" tenor piece quite a few years ago and just recently had Matt Marantz open it up to a .105 (I think it used to be .085 or maybe even smaller). It's now a pretty glorious piece, big chamber but very easy to play with good perfection and a great color to the sound. Very much like a good vintage rubber Link, but it didn't set me back a grand or more.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016-17
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487 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
This is a great suggestion! There are plenty of great vintage rubber pieces out there made of good material that are much more affordable than vintage Links but very similar in quality.

Similarly, I lucked into a Steve Broadus "Perfected Model" tenor piece quite a few years ago and just recently had Matt Marantz open it up to a .105 (I think it used to be .085 or maybe even smaller). It's now a pretty glorious piece, big chamber but very easy to play with good perfection and a great color to the sound. Very much like a good vintage rubber Link, but it didn't set me back a grand or more.
Good to know about the Broadus. Similarly, I wonder if there are other high quality vintage "blanks" that are out there.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Brilhart gave an interview years ago where he revealed the secret supplier of his vintage hard rubber mouthpieces. And the secret rubber recipe. He, like many other mouthpiece businesses, bought his hard rubber blanks from American Hard Rubber. AHR used a super-special saxophone mouthpiece recipe called ebonite. Brilhart faced the blanks and stamped his name on them. Others faced them and stamped different names on them.

If you are looking for famous blanks, my guesses are:

Woodwind N.Y. got blanks from Babbitt and Riffault (and probably elsewhere).
Johnstone/Selmer U.S.A. got theirs from Babbitt (as did Bundy and Dukoff).
Lelandais got some of theirs from whoever supplied Vandoren (or directly from Vandoren if they had exclusive control).
I promised the outside supplier of Selmer Paris mouthpieces that I would not reveal their involvement, although Selmer does also produce some in house.

Broadus is interesting because the pieces that I've seen don't look like any other blanks. I've never owned one (to look inside), so I don't know if the different look is merely superficial (sorry Broadus fans).

The prices on these vintage pieces keep climbing. Maybe the secret is out.

Mark
 

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There are a lot of old blanks with potential. Old alto pieces are a bit more useful for this process since the average alto tip opening has not changed so drastically as tenor.

The only problem is that its a gamble...you frequently dont know what how your final product will sound and respond. If you do mpc work its no big deal. If you pay a refacer you may end up with more money in the piece than it is worth.

Are you likely to find a blank that gets you a 100 dollar Slant...probably not. Trying to find equivalents of high dollar pieces from a box of old stuff IMHO is pretty much folly. If you know for a fact that one piece is the same blank as another the story changes...but anonymous blanks are another story. That, however, does not mean you cant find something nice....but you also risk ending up with a radish.
 
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