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Got this metal vintage Berg, I like it and want to know more about them, what do you know?

894 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  JL
recently I bought this one to another forum member and after a few days playing I'm really loving it. However the tip is a bit big(115) and I had to go to a really soft reed. I read they usually have wrong openings stamped and all that but I think this really is a 115 or even more from my feelings. Now I´m trying to find a similar piece in a smaller tip and looking at the market for Bergs.
Seller says that it is vintage but he doesn´t really know if it has been refaced at some time. For me it looks like it has thinner rails than others I´ve looked at. Also the baffle has smoother profile where others seems to have more of a sudden fall after the tip zone. The sides have some strange rugosity, that´s not any sculpting work, more of a flaw of the metal in that place. The table shows circular machining marks, so it is not from the older ones, but is it still considered vintage? I have found other sale threads with same kind of Bergs and they say "vintage". This one has no offset numbers.

I really don´t mind if it is vintage or not, I just want to learn something that helps me when looking for a smaller tip one. I have tried other excellent metal pieces, and the one I was more confortable on was a Guardala Crescent, but it was really brighter than I like. This Berg feels to me like that Guardala but a lot warmer.
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Have you seen Theo Wanne's Berg page?

Berg Larsen Mouthpieces - Theo Wanne
Yes, looks like this Berg could be one of the Scoop Bill ones, so it could be from anytime within the 50s to the 80s, depending when the change of machinery mentioned in the article took place, so....any guess of that?
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Your Berg has been severely modified in the critical chamber area and it looks like they used a chainsaw. Plus, I'd say it has had a re-facing or attempted one, and the tip looks crooked.
What they mean when they say Berg's tips were 'wrong' is they usually were not exactly as stamped. So your .115" maybe was more like .113" or so. Now, I would guess it at .125. I would say at this time it has no value unless it just happens to play great, but you would have to convince somebody of that.
What it looks like a work in the chamber area does not look like that in person, really. Reminds me more of when humidity attacks a painted wall and the the paint is just almost to fall(sorry my english is limited).
Tip is not crooked, maybe those are not the best pictures I have taken.
Tip opening feels to me like 115 or even more, maybe I'll try to measure it with a caliber. At first I used a Lavoz medium fresh reed and it worked but I found it easier to play with softer reeds, so I'm playing blue Vandoren, 2 strength.
It plays really great, I don't need to convince anyone, I only want to find out more things about this piece and Bergs in general.
I've found another for sale, 110/2/sms, and bought it too so to compare and try a different tip(hopefully smaller)
Yes, that will tell the tale. You'll see that the baffle was sanded way down even more than a '3' chamber would be. Now don't get me wrong, it might be great like that but it didn't come that way. An original 110/2 should be a pretty good-playing piece. There are two kinds of modern Bergs - the one with a little 'scoop' on the beak always has a 'step' at the back of the baffle. The one with the straight slant to the beak has the 'bullet cut.
Thanks man,
I knew some facts before buying but not as much as to detect the baffle is lower than it should be. I looked at a student's Berg and apart from the scoop their baffle looked the same to me, same height and angle, but I can be wrong. Luckily I will see him tomorrow again so I'lk take more pictures.
I guess a regular Berg would be too bright for me if you're right.
It does look like chamber alterations. Stainless would be incredibly hard to work smoothly with files. Its also too resistant to lose that much material. It would be next to impossible to make it pretty. Its not a bad thing and it might make it play more fat than original. Im pretty sure its been worker on. Just be aware its probably a unique piece so another will likely not play like it.
Yes, anyway I will try the regular 110 I've bought next week so it all will be more clear after that. I guess this refaced one has turned into some kind of Linkish piece after the reface.
I tried to measure the tip with a caliber as best as I could and looks like it sits around .115
That pattern on the walls of the chamber above the baffle is machining chatter. Someone's been at it with an end mill; probably to lower the baffle; note how the chatter marks are perpendicular to the surface of the baffle. I'm unqualified to suggest whether this is a factory matter or was done afterward. Of course the machining marks on the baffle itself have been sanded out. That wouldn't be too hard to do with a narrow belt sander like a Dynabrade.

I see 1saxman is saying it looks like the baffle's even lower than a 3 chamber. This certainly implies that someone with a Bridgeport and a Dynabrade has had at this thing. Although refacers who work purely by hand find stainless steel hard and tiring to work with using nothing but sandpaper, I can assure you that for a machinist this stuff is no big deal. The biggest challenge would be how to fixture the round OD of the mouthpiece at the desired angle and hold it secure, but even while I'm typing this I can think of two or three different ways to do it. If it was fixtured down on the shank, the amount of flex allowed might well explain the chatter marks on the interior side walls. I think you could chuck the OD of the shank in a collet, mount the collet on an angle table, and get after it. But that'd be kind of a flexible setup, thus the chatter.
Yes all that makes sense. Ironically after trying a lot of mouthpieces, some very expensive, only one of them gave me this initial wow impression when played, that was a Ted Klum Focustone Precision, which coincidentally was a 115. But I ended selling it because of the big tip. Now this cheap and heavy worked on Berg is working great and I will know better in the few next weeks after some rehearsals and gigs.
I was going to say that tip looked like a Klum tip. A weird bluntness to it.
‘I had a Focustone and it was most dull mouthpiece I’ve ever had.
One man’s poison as they say.
Dull you say...maybe that was my feeling not being capable of making the sound I wanted on it, I blamed the tip opening. But it really had something to me at first blowing, like the righ resistance.
If you don't want a Berg to be too bright, stick with a wide tip. At least .115. An open tip helps balance out the high baffle to avoid the mpc playing too bright. If you go to a smaller tip with that high baffle, you risk getting a thin, shrill tone. Stick with the larger tip if you want to use a Berg (or any high baffle mpc).
Yes, just this 115 has also a low baffle from the reface but still projects very well. Of course the new 110 would be so different, and at that tip...yes too bright for sure
Some news, 110 Berg got here and I took some photos. To my surprise, it has the same marks in the chamber sides as the 115. Baffle ramp height is a bit higher. Played it this afternoon and found it harsher with not enough warm, feels like it would be nice for louder settings. 115 is more an all-around piece for which I have to find the right reeds still.
110 Berg has wider rails and different facing curve. Tip is almost the same size when putting them front to front.
Some photos...
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