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Are there re-facers who deal only in classical set-ups? Jazz set-ups? Are there well-known classical mouthpiece modifiers? Thanks.
 

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I would suspect that most of the mouthpiece work that refacers see is geared toward jazz/commercial type of music vs. classical music simply because (if I had to guess), most of the people that play sax and are looking for a specialized mouthpiece are probably playing that kind of music. However, that being said, I think that the same concepts that are applied to make a med/large tip opening jazz/commercial-type of mouthpiece play really well can be applied in similar ways to classical type of mouthpieces to make them respond better too. Details such as checking for table flatness, facing evenness, tip rail width, baffle profile, etc. still need to be checked for on classical mouthpieces. The main difference, probably, is going to be the tip opening and baffle profile, (tip opening probably smaller and probably no high/long baffles in the classical set-ups!). Most classical players are probably going to want significantly smaller tip openings than, say, Lenny Pickett or Joe Lovano, because the sound/timbre of the instrument needs to be different and classical reeds are different, etc.
So, I'd guess that anyone who refaces jazz mouthpieces regularly can probably do a good job of setting up a classical mouthpieces as well. If the musician likes the core sound of their mouthpiece already but is having response issues with it, note can be taken of the original baffle profile on the mouthpiece before checking the facing for irregularities and setting to work on it. This way, the refinisher can try to make sure that the original baffle profile on the mouthpiece is kept as close to intact as possible. Some change may take place on the baffle in regards to normal refacing procedures (if, for instance, it is found that the table needs to be flattened, then the tip must be opened back up afterward to its original specs, which is probably going to call for some reworking of the baffle/tip area to a certain extent).
 

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I would starve if I depended on business from classical sax players. My theory is that the majority of classical players get a setup and pretty much stick with it. I could be wrong but it seems this way from my end.
 

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My experience with rather a lot of re-facers is that they do not understand the particular requirements of classical players - or perhaps I have that the wrong way around, perhaps classical players have become accustomed to a particular response and sound that come from inaccurately made pieces! Selmers off the peg are pretty poor and Vandorens can be patchy too. I have come to the conclusion that it is this inherent inaccuracy that produces 'warmer' sounding pieces at close tips. My many attempts to have S80s refaced have mostly ended in failure since they always end up too bright - this is definitely an effect produced by a well re-faced piece, greater upper partials in the sound, which classical players like to suppress on the whole. My one great success has come from Joe Giardullo at sopranoplanet, who REALLY REALLY knows his stuff. I have a re-faced Vandoren SL3 from Joe which is streets ahead of any other piece I have owned.
 

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I do not know of any that do. Most specialize in clarinet or sax. But sax refacers are usually comfortable with jazz and klezmer clarinet set-ups too. There is not much demand for classical sax refacing. I think there is a need, just not much demand.
 

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I do not know of any that do. Most specialize in clarinet or sax. But sax refacers are usually comfortable with jazz and klezmer clarinet set-ups too. There is not much demand for classical sax refacing. I think there is a need, just not much demand.
I think you have to play the style to a certain degree of proficiency to understand how the mouthpiece should play and feel. I may be wrong, but I don't think that many mouthpiece techs (lol) have serious legit chops.
 

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All the really heavy legit guys I know or have studied with never even mentioned mouthpiece refacing. I dont think they even know much about it. They are obsessed with working on reeds though.
 

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Phil, I think you'd starve if you depended on business from classical sax players since there aren't so many of them.
 

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I've been wondering about this too. As a college student, other than jazz band, I pretty much only play classically. I'd never even heard of refaced mouthpieces till I joined SOTW. Since I have discovered this, I've been curious about getting pieces refaced for classical use.

@sigmund451 - I do agree that most classical players get a setup and then just stick with it. I am the only one here that has played more than 2 pieces for classical use. THey have all played their beginner, then a step up piece(either Rousseau NC4 or S80 C* is all anyone here uses.) I'm kinda the outcast. I'm still on the search for a piece that gives me "my" sound.

@clwomack - my teacher is the only one here that knows what refacing even means. And, she did her dissertation on reeds, so I would definitely have to agree about the obsessing over reeds.
 

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Many just play what their teacher suggests. I think classical players need to and will, "wake-up" with respect to mouthpieces, but mouthpiece techs should be prepared. I've had many inquiries regarding intonation fixings by serious legit students who have their vintage Buescher tone holes jammed up with cork crescents because they didn't know the mouthpiece volume/frequency needed to match the horn. Mouthpiece techs would be wise learn how to guide a client through the matching process as part of their service, since their good facing will sound/feel that much better on a matched mouthpiece than on the same mouthpiece that is even a little bit "off".
 

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Many just play what their teacher suggests. I think classical players need to and will, "wake-up" with respect to mouthpieces, but mouthpiece techs should be prepared.".
Agreed, for sure. I see a lot of students crippled throughout their Music College (University) careers by mouthpieces (and instruments) that are simply 'what the professor recommends' but actually bear no resemblance in quality to what the professor actually plays. I do believe that one can spend too much time in the search of the perfect set-up (witness a large % of the contributors to this forum), but that should not be an excuse to ignore the issue entirely. I see students in one particular establishment who have bought some of the worst 2nd hand sopranos and altos simply because they were the brand the professor insisted upon, just mad.
 

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Are there re-facers who deal only in classical set-ups? Jazz set-ups? Are there well-known classical mouthpiece modifiers? Thanks.
I immediately thought of Chris Vadala, you could get a qualified answer, maybe not on specific refacers but a more performance based view of mouthpieces in the two realms of music. Chris is very out going, email him (just look him up) at the Univ. of Maryland.
 

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I think you have to play the style to a certain degree of proficiency to understand how the mouthpiece should play and feel. I may be wrong, but I don't think that many mouthpiece techs (lol) have serious legit chops.
That's true... many refacers and also many technicians are not able to play a saxophone or a clarinet... many play flute and repair saxophones... to me even a "certain degree of proficiency" is not enough. You should be a professional player to fit the needs of other professional players. There are exceptions of course.

Stan
 

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All the really heavy legit guys I know or have studied with never even mentioned mouthpiece refacing. I dont think they even know much about it. They are obsessed with working on reeds though.
Good point. I think that if you rework each reed, you can get them to compensate for a mouthpiece facing that has "issues". I used to do a lot of this years ago.
 

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I have a C* Selmer tenor mouthpiece that was adjusted by Ed Zentera (it's still a C*) for classical playing. It's too close for me and on ebay now.
 

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There also is no one strategy that works for all players. Most classical sax players prefer a short facing with a resitant facing curve and a closed tip. (At least they are told that they think that way.) This is a good place to start, but if you are unhappy with the response of, say, the low notes, look into a longer facing curve and/or a curve with less resistance in it. I hear a lot of classical sax players that sound like they can not easily play soft on their low notes.

I just reworked what I thought was a fairly nice alto Selmer C* for a player who wanted some changes. I tried a slightly longer facing curve with a little less resistance in the curve. She seems quite happy with it.
 

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Among Rascherites, I know that refacing is very popular. Most players I knew on stock Raschers had the tips opened. Most players I knew on old Buescher/Conn pieces had the facings cleaned up. The only single name I heard keep coming up for that was Lawrence Wyman who wrote a landmark study on mouthpiece chamber design. Wyman was also the sax professor at Fredonia for some time. My experience is that serious classical players are very aware of the benefits of refacing. However, there aren't many "serious" classical sax players and there are a whole bunch of weekend warrior jazz players looking to have a mouthpiece fill in the gaps on their long tone studies :).
 
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