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Discussion Starter #1
I played a Brillhart level-aire (tenor 6*) for 30+ years, and about a year ago I decided it was time for a change, as the condition of this piece had deteriorated pretty badly.

So I began my journey by reading all the opinions on SOTW, and ordering the most promising mouthpieces from WWBW (Ponzol, SR Tech ...). One after another, I returned them all, and was beginning to despair.

I finally realized that I had just become too used to the narrow body size and overall shape of the level-aire in my mouth, and could not adapt to the more conventional modern mouthpiece shapes.
So just recently I took a chance on a Beechler Bellite 8, and I am completely delighted with the piece; it plays incredibly easily, and is very loud for those of us who alternate between big-band work and rock gigs. And it feels OK in my mouth, as it has the narrow body that I am used to.

I do find that with an 8 opening size, I have to step down to a strength-2 reed. Is it true that you get more volume from a wide-opening/soft-reed combination than a medium-opening/medium-reed setup? This make a bit of intuitive sense to me, but intuition is often wrong!
 

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Forum Contributor 2017
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I played a Brillhart level-aire (tenor 6*) for 30+ years, and about a year ago I decided it was time for a change, as the condition of this piece had deteriorated pretty badly.

So I began my journey by reading all the opinions on SOTW, and ordering the most promising mouthpieces from WWBW (Ponzol, SR Tech ...). One after another, I returned them all, and was beginning to despair.

I finally realized that I had just become too used to the narrow body size and overall shape of the level-aire in my mouth, and could not adapt to the more conventional modern mouthpiece shapes.
So just recently I took a chance on a Beechler Bellite 8, and I am completely delighted with the piece; it plays incredibly easily, and is very loud for those of us who alternate between big-band work and rock gigs. And it feels OK in my mouth, as it has the narrow body that I am used to.

I do find that with an 8 opening size, I have to step down to a strength-2 reed. Is it true that you get more volume from a wide-opening/soft-reed combination than a medium-opening/medium-reed setup? This make a bit of intuitive sense to me, but intuition is often wrong!
When I joined this forum I had played the same piece and 30 pieces later I am still undecided on just that one piece for each horn. This forum will give you G.A.S. like you have NEVER had it before. Now I have stopped due to being broke but when I get more money well.......:scratch:

B
 

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If you follow this forum, you will soon see that Nirvana, too, will pass.
Hahaha, this is really funny, and true too. +1
 

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Maybe someone should start a poll titled "How many mouthpiece Nirvanas have you experienced?"...
 

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Maybe someone should start a poll titled "How many mouthpiece Nirvanas have you experienced?"...
Mine changes from week to week...a sure sign of too many mouthpieces.
 

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...keep telling yourself that Dan!!!!
 

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never say forever
 

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Changing mouthpieces kind of goes against my ideology. Once I find one that lets me really shape my sound, I'm done. I've got that now on alto. I'm getting a new tenor, so I may want to try some different setups on it, but to be honest, I thought my VersiTone had a great sound and tremendous flexibility on it, and the Drake allows enough flexibility for me to play anything from jazz to pop. I may want to try a FocusTone, but other than that, I don't really see myself stepping out. Shedding will improve my sound as much as I want.
 

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To me, achieving "mouthpiece nirvana" with a certain mouthpiece doesn't mean I can't try out other mouthpieces to see what people are talking about. They usually don't live up to the praise they get but it's interesting to see what others consider "a great mouthpiece" and you can't do that unless you ride the G.A.S. train for a while.
 

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I have 3 pieces for tenor that I find myself extremely reluctant to sell (DG "Studio", Ponzol M1/.110 [my nirvana], and a link style Ponzol M6; the latter of which I think will be a great piece once it is refaced and opened. However , I still see 100's of pieces I want to try like Dan's favorite.

B
 

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To me, achieving "mouthpiece nirvana" with a certain mouthpiece doesn't mean I can't try out other mouthpieces to see what people are talking about. They usually don't live up to the praise they get but it's interesting to see what others consider "a great mouthpiece" and you can't do that unless you ride the G.A.S. train for a while.
I agree with your first sentence, and I really enjoy trying other things and experimenting to see what's out there. Matter of fact, my go-to tech is in the stages of opening up a storefront and he's got me play-testing a ton of mouthpieces so he has an idea of what kind of sound each one has and what kind of player he should recommend them to. I'm having a blast!

However, at least WHERE I LIVE, there's no need to buy up a ton of mouthpieces because there are plenty of shops where you can try them out. In fact, the only mouthpieces I had to buy to try are the Aizens and Caravans. I'm keeping the Caravan because it has it's purpose, but ditching the Aizens because I'm happy sticking to my one Ted Klum. I literally gave away my old Norberto blank Ted Klum to a student who sounds great on it.


However , I still see 100's of pieces I want to try like Dan's favorite.

B
If you're talking about tenor, make sure you try ALL the TK models. The FocusTone and the VersiTone are substantially different, and priced waaaay different, but of equally high quality. For my Martin, I found the VersiTone to be the match, so I saved some $600. :yikes!:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
sadly I have to admit that after playing several gigs on my "Nirvana" mouthpiece I found that the price to pay for brightness is sqeeking. So I am back to my old Brillhart level-aire with the excessively worn bite plate.
The search continues (sigh ....)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes that's probably the best idea.

Any hints for who to go to for this?
I have another level-air with a perfect bite-plate but it doesn't play as well, so I would love to just swap the bite-plates, but I'm guessing it's not so easy to remove them.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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They are just glued on. I made a replacement for mine when I was using them in the '70s.

You might consider sending the lesser mpc to get it refaced. Once that becomes your #1, get your old, tired 'piece freshened up.

Enjoy!
 
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