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Hey everyone-

I was talking to a fellow player this last weekend and we were chatting about mouthpieces. I mentioned how I am happy about my Meyer HR pieces- that despite all the craze around metal, I am not feeling as inclined to hunt for one. But then he said he had tried such pieces and they seemed to get "stuffy" after playing for a couple hours. I never gave it much thought, but I noticed very recently the same thing about my piece. I very seldom play for more than a couple hours, but have had to a couple times lately. On both occasions, I recall having had to "prime" the mouthpiece to be more tone responsive- almost having to blow more intensely to produce a tone in between songs. Is this a common thing among hard rubber/plastic pieces- or maybe only in a select number of makes/models?
 

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That sounds more like a reed or embouchure issue - cannot blame something like that on material.
 

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Short answer - no. It's either the reed, or.... you ... getting tired after 2 hours.

Long answer - there is no difference between hard rubber, plastic, ceramic, resin blend or metal in terms of mouthpiece performance. What IS different is the interior design, facing curve and possibly the size of the beak in your mouth. If those things are equal, the mouthpieces will sound and play identically.

One mouthpiece maker did a study of this - Morgan Fry. The results are here: https://morganfrymouthpieces.com/blog/content/mouthpiece-materials-test
 

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Long answer - there is no difference between hard rubber, plastic, ceramic, resin blend or metal in terms of mouthpiece performance. What IS different is the interior design, facing curve and possibly the size of the beak in your mouth.
+1! This should be up in lights at the top of the mpc section of the forum.

It would be nice to put to rest the idea that HR or metal in itself has any significant effect on the sound of a mpc. There are a lot of reasons a mpc might be stuffy (including the reed), but it's not because it's made out of HR. Of course it's possible (even probable) that some players may prefer the feel of a given material.

But there is no such thing as "hard rubber stuffiness."
 

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+1! This should be up in lights at the top of the mpc section of the forum.

It would be nice to put to rest the idea that HR or metal in itself has any significant effect on the sound of a mpc. There are a lot of reasons a mpc might be stuffy (including the reed), but it's not because it's made out of HR. Of course it's possible (even probable) that some players may prefer the feel of a given material.

But there is no such thing as "hard rubber stuffiness."
Personally I prefer the feel of the hard rubber. I have a large mouth and jaw and meaty embouchure and the metal MPs just feel kind of small to me. As to whether the larger size requiring additional jaw opening might affect sound, I used to believe this but it appears that the evidence from some tests that may or may not have been fully applicable, tends to discount my prior belief. So I'm going to remain "not proven" on that.
 

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I wish people would read the whole post, vs only the subject line...

The question is whether mouthpieces can turn stuffy after a couple hours.

I was talking to a fellow player this last weekend and we were chatting about mouthpieces. I mentioned how I am happy about my Meyer HR pieces- that despite all the craze around metal, I am not feeling as inclined to hunt for one. But then he said he had tried such pieces and they seemed to get "stuffy" after playing for a couple hours. I never gave it much thought, but I noticed very recently the same thing about my piece. I very seldom play for more than a couple hours, but have had to a couple times lately. On both occasions, I recall having had to "prime" the mouthpiece to be more tone responsive- almost having to blow more intensely to produce a tone in between songs. Is this a common thing among hard rubber/plastic pieces- or maybe only in a select number of makes/models?
 

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Depends on the rubber. My modern tenor Link sounds stuffy after one second of playing, and stays that way throughout the session.
 

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I wish people would read the whole post, vs only the subject line...

The question is whether mouthpieces can turn stuffy after a couple hours.
George, you're right of course. Guilty as charged! I only focused on the HR part.

So yes, when something changes after a couple of hours of playing, it's far more likely to be a reed issue than a mpc problem (assuming it's an equipment problem and not player fatigue or something like that). The reed may be swelling and losing a good seal on the mpc table. One thing for certain, though, it has nothing to do with the fact the mpc is HR.

Going back off topic for a moment, I agree with you turf. The feel of a mpc can certainly influence how you play.
 

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I personally prefer hard rubber mouthpieces, but that's mainly due to the feel of the material. I've played other materials (fiberrod, metal, etc) and in some cases I found the mouthpiece to be stuffy, but I when I listened to recordings I sounded pretty much exactly the same. Maybe I subconsciously disliked the feel of the other materials and due to that I found playing those mouthpieces "stuffy" and unsatisfying.
 

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Played metal for years. Then my teeth started getting this buzzing pain so I switched to hard rubber 20+ years ago. It’s all personal preference.
 

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I personally prefer hard rubber mouthpieces, but that's mainly due to the feel of the material. I've played other materials (fiberrod, metal, etc) and in some cases I found the mouthpiece to be stuffy, but I when I listened to recordings I sounded pretty much exactly the same. Maybe I subconsciously disliked the feel of the other materials and due to that I found playing those mouthpieces "stuffy" and unsatisfying.

This is a very interesting observation and highlights the importance of relying upon both recordings and your own ears, depending.
 

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I personally prefer hard rubber mouthpieces, but that's mainly due to the feel of the material. I've played other materials (fiberrod, metal, etc) and in some cases I found the mouthpiece to be stuffy, but I when I listened to recordings I sounded pretty much exactly the same. Maybe I subconsciously disliked the feel of the other materials and due to that I found playing those mouthpieces "stuffy" and unsatisfying.
Please respond to the opening post rather than the subject line.
 

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What I have noticed is that the back of the reed can swell causing poor response, after some time playing. This may be what you are experiencing. It will be unrelated to the kind of material used to make the mouthpiece.
 

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I agree it's way more likey that your reed does something after a couple of hours to change the sound that any rubber would or could.

Short answer - no. It's either the reed, or.... you ... getting tired after 2 hours.
So yes, when something changes after a couple of hours of playing, it's far more likely to be a reed issue than a mpc problem (assuming it's an equipment problem and not player fatigue or something like that). The reed may be swelling and losing a good seal on the mpc table. One thing for certain, though, it has nothing to do with the fact the mpc is HR.


The reed swell progressively, hard rubber doesn’t.

BUT

There are a few things which can have an influence on this. One is if you are playing an hard rubber piece with a concave table (they do exist). https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?93540-Concave-Mouthpiece-Table https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?38888-Mouthpiece-tables-flat-or-concave https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?137985-Pros-amp-Cons-of-Concave-Table

The reed, kept flat before playing will adapt through a session to the table being concave and could change its position in some part for example becoming more open during the process at the tip. This would change its response.

Please respond to the opening post rather than the subject line.
indeed, and the longer the thread becomes the less likely are the responders to read the actual posts (all of them)
 

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I personally prefer hard rubber mouthpieces, but that's mainly due to the feel of the material. I've played other materials (fiberrod, metal, etc) and in some cases I found the mouthpiece to be stuffy, but I when I listened to recordings I sounded pretty much exactly the same. Maybe I subconsciously disliked the feel of the other materials and due to that I found playing those mouthpieces "stuffy" and unsatisfying.
Please respond to the opening post rather than the subject line.
I cannot see that Dr. G's observation is on point here. The OP says he is noticing a stuffiness that develops after he plays for more than a few hours. The group response is that the reed or the player is getting tired, not the mpc. [Very tight reasoning there.] Now that this is settled, our pal acondttt adds the additional possibility that perhaps if the OP had been listening to a recording, he would not have noticed any change in sound. In short, maybe the OP's ears got tired, not his mouth muscles. acondttt heard or felt stuffiness that was not there, objectively, once he listened to a recording. Maybe that was the case for the OP, as well. The OP has to concentrate in between songs late in a gig before his sound gets back where he wants it. But a recording might show no change.

At least that is how I read it.
 

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I cannot see that Dr. G's observation is on point here. The OP says he is noticing a stuffiness that develops after he plays for more than a few hours. The group response is that the reed or the player is getting tired, not the mpc. [Very tight reasoning there.] Now that this is settled, our pal acondttt adds the additional possibility that perhaps if the OP had been listening to a recording, he would not have noticed any change in sound. In short, maybe the OP's ears got tired, not his mouth muscles. acondttt heard or felt stuffiness that was not there, objectively, once he listened to a recording. Maybe that was the case for the OP, as well. The OP has to concentrate in between songs late in a gig before his sound gets back where he wants it. But a recording might show no change.

At least that is how I read it.
Interesting interpretation, Click, but member acondttt is writing about differences between mouthpieces, while the OP is talking about differences with respect to time on the same mouthpiece. Yes/no?
 

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Interesting interpretation, Click, but member acondttt is writing about differences between mouthpieces, while the OP is talking about differences with respect to time on the same mouthpiece. Yes/no?
I do not see why that is significant in context. The matter is "stuffiness" and the cause that MIGHT be in one's ears, according to acondttt. If the problem is in the ears, then the reed, mpc, and other factors are just alternatives eliminated to prove, via a recording, that the stuffiness is only apparent, rather than real. The OP's stuffiness is probably real, and probably caused by fatigue [reed or player, as per the first few postings, including yours]. acondtt surmises that the stuffiness might not show up in a recording, just as the stuffiness he encountered did not show up in a recording. Just an alternative possible source of stuffiness.
 

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If the problem is in the ears, then the reed, mpc, and other factors are just alternatives eliminated to prove, via a recording, that the stuffiness is only apparent, rather than real.
I would vote for the onset of hard rubber stuffiness being caused by the player or listener's mind. It is the same reason that metal mouthpieces begin to sound brittle and abrasive after being played for awhile. Not everybody can hear the change (only those with exceptional hearing and vivid imaginations). Consider yourself lucky if you can't hear the telltale sound of a bronze alloy mouthpiece. It allows you to obsess about other, more worthwhile areas of your playing (and everything else is more worthwhile).

I hadn't seen Mr. Morgan's subjective study on materials. I've only seen his goofy claims about hard rubber producing rich, resonant, grandiloquent vibrations if and only if the rubber tests out at a certain reading on a durometer. The fallacy is so obvious that I've dismissed his "studies" as slightly entertaining but never useful. Just a hint of reality makes his claim disappear.

Mark
 
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