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What exactly (Besides color) is the differences between the Ebolin and Tonalin mpcs made by companies like Brilhardt? What is it that causes the Tonalin to command a higher price? Also, is it WORTH it to get a tonalin over an ebolin because of that price?

I tried researching on this and found nothing. Any insights that you guy have would be great.

Martin Williams
 

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Martin Williams said:
What exactly (Besides color) is the differences between the Ebolin and Tonalin mpcs made by companies like Brilhardt? What is it that causes the Tonalin to command a higher price? Also, is it WORTH it to get a tonalin over an ebolin because of that price?

I tried researching on this and found nothing. Any insights that you guy have would be great.

Martin Williams
The color of the dye used is the only difference, the plastic compound used was identical (and contained NO rubber despite common belief) although the compounds used were changed at least twice during the earlier production runs. It's worth noting that at least 4 different companies actually manufactured the Brilhart mpcs (including both Runyon and Babbitt) and that the original tip opening markings mean absolutely nothing with regard to the true tip openings. Tonalin models were more "popular" and more of them (that I've seen) have cracked shanks from being forced onto oversize tenon corks. The Tonalin models typically command a higher price because they have been seen in some "famous" photos of Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and other prominent players. (Same with Dexter and California Dukoffs etc.) None of these "iconic" players used these Brilharts as their main mpc for any significant period. People tend to forget that Prez used Ebolin mpcs (with plastic reeds!) for all his post-WWII playing and that others such as Benny Carter used them for many years. The "difference" is in the EYES of the beholder, not their EARS, despite all the reseller's "hype" and exaggerated prices asked for Tonalin mpcs. All the plastic Brilharts (including the clear "Tonalite" models) are somewhat fragile and prone to wear easily. They can be very nice mpcs (as can so many, many others) when properly finished but are certainly not intrinsically worth the prices asked for them by resellers here on SOTW and often paid by gullible buyers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ol' Mpc Doc said:
the color of the dye used is the only difference, the plastic compound used was identical (and contained NO rubber despite common belief)
Thats what I though!!! Thanks for clarifying that. I tried a tonalin and an ebolin in the same facing, and heard absolutley no difference, so I was curious aboutr that.
 

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The differance in color is due to the different pigments. The black ones used carbon black (or lamp balack), a relatiivly light pigmant that has some reinforcing properties, thats why its used in tires. The white ones use a white pigment, most likely a mixture but almost certanly containing some titanium dioxide, which is very heavy and does not reinforec plasitcs and rubber like carbon black does. That would explain the Tonalins cracking more. If you belive that material makes a big differnace, then there might be a diffrence due to the density of the tonalins being higher, i.e. they should weight more.

Beechler is making white mpcs using some original white Brilhart stock. I thing they are called great neck originals.
 

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Please don't forget that the white Tonalins were available in streamline version's, and did play quite differently. The ebolin was not offered as such, and that's one reason why the tonalin's are way more rare.
Also no one mentioned two of the most famous of all exclusive Brilhart user's...Gene Ammons (Ebolin) and Don Menza, the Red Snapper
himself, used white Tonalin streamline models like Bird used , only on Tenor. I just picked up a tenor Brilhart Ebolin 9, I never knew they made a 9, but it gives the best Jug (Gene Ammons)Tone ever. Yes, I agree that the white ones crack much easier on the shank, My white serial number Baritone Tonalin, Greatneck NY.from the early 50's just cracked, Oh well... Time for a cannonball banding job...
"King"
 

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king-i have a ebolin streamline tenor mpc! -too bad it has a broken tip
 

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The sound in my personal opinion is different from Tonalin to Ebolin.
The Ebolins are easier to play I think. The Tonalin has a warmer sound.
The black ones are more straight ahead.
But once you have a good Brilhart and push it -- they really scream.

Streamline...........yea. They are good in both colours.
 

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Streamline White Tonalan

:shock: Super 20 dan,
that is too bad!
You must be feelin" kind of mad.
I know when an old mouthpiece that is a trusted friend chips or cracks, i get all bummed out. :cry:
 

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I have owned some ten of these, so here is my experience.

Jay Clark sent me five some years ago:
Tonalin tenor 2: lovely velvety sound, but way too close to play;
Ebolin tenor NY: couldn't get to grips with this one;
Ebolin tenor - 3 pieces: two were very good and I bought one a 4; at present it is my no.1 choice; the third was no great shakes.

Conclusion: very variable!

I have also owned another Eboloin tenor 4 - similarly good.
My alto Ebolin 5 is good, but I prefer a narower opening.
A baritone Ebolin 5: very plasticky sound; I keep going back and it stays the same so I keep going on a Rousseau Classic with a great tone.
Tonalin 5: I found this at last after liking the Tonalin 2 mentioned above; very good on my Selmer SA80 II, but not so strong or so expressive on a Buescher 400 (S5 model) or Aritocrat (Big B). Edgier than I would expect, especially in relation to all the Ebolins. Also more plastic in feel (not tone like the bari) than the Ebolins.

All the above are numbered, by the way.

The other two were Ebolin Specials: the alto was quite good and got me onto this brand but the bari was even worse than the bari Ebolin.

The other thing I have noticed is that Tonalins on eBay tend to have cracked shanks.

So, I do think there is a difference in the material between Ebolin and Tonalin and there is probably a difference in material in Ebolins over time. This comment could also apply to Tonalins, I suppose, and hence lead to the differences which I have found, even though others think otherwise. In other words we could both be right; I simply give my experience over the last few years.
 
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