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Discussion Starter #1
I just received a new custom-made mouthpiece and could see right away that the curve at the tip is not symmetrical.
So one side of the tip is longer than the other.
Therefore, depending on which side of the reed is lined up with the end of the tip, the reed will be either shy of the tip on the other side, or extended beyond the tip on the other side.
The difference is not massive, but it is easily visible.

My question is:
Should I be concerned about this? Will it have any effect on the tone or performance of the mouthpiece?
I contacted the builder right away, and he told me to return it for repair, because he wants me to be a happy customer.
That is fantastic of him, but out of respect for his time, I don't want to waste his time if this issue is purely cosmetic and has no actual impact.

I tested the mouthpiece and I did hear a bit more air than I was expecting, but then again, since I told him I wanted a piece that would allow me to sound like Paul Desmond in Take Five, that might just be the way the mouthpiece is designed, and might be nothing at all to do with the lack of left-right symmetry.

Please see the attached photos of the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wouldn't want that...

...the reed with the chips is probably not helping much either....
That was just a random 10-year old reed I grabbed off the shelf to take a photo, because when I first sent him the photos with the carbon reed to inform him of the issue, he suggested I could try a cane reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks like someone just bought a refacing kit and hung out a sign.

This is a custom made mouthpiece that just went in the mail:
Wow, that is gorgeous!

This builder came highly recommended by a pro I met at NAMM. My understanding was that he has been building mouthpieces for a very long time.
 

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Have it repaired, without hesitation. First, you'll always wonder if its the mouthpiece (if anything isn't quite satisfactory in your playing, whether sound, articulation, air support required to play full, chirps, etc, etc, etc). No matter what we say, you'll always wonder if it couldn't be made better. So have it made better. Even if it makes zero difference, it will make a difference in your head. That's partly what you paid for with a custom or boutique 'piece.

Second, I wouldn't worry about "wasting" the maker's time. He offered, and moreover, you'll be doing him a favor by reminding him to make sure his custom pieces go out better finished the first time. Inevitably he'll achieve better production efficiencies, higher customer sat and word of mouth referrals by becoming known for high quality.

My opinion. I had a custom large-chambered mouthpiece that had a similar, though less pronounced asymmetry and I always wondered if the air support required to make it sound full, which took effort, was due in part to the tip on top of the large chamber. Even if it didn't, I wondered, and it made me move on to a different piece that I had more confidence in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have it repaired, without hesitation. First, you'll always wonder if its the mouthpiece (if anything isn't quite satisfactory in your playing, whether sound, articulation, air support required to play full, chirps, etc, etc, etc). No matter what we say, you'll always wonder if it couldn't be made better. So have it made better. Even if it makes zero difference, it will make a difference in your head. That's partly what you paid for with a custom or boutique 'piece.

Second, I wouldn't worry about "wasting" the maker's time. He offered, and moreover, you'll be doing him a favor by reminding him to make sure his custom pieces go out better finished the first time. Inevitably he'll achieve better production efficiencies, higher customer sat and word of mouth referrals by becoming known for high quality.

My opinion. I had a custom large-chambered mouthpiece that had a similar, though less pronounced asymmetry and I always wondered if the air support required to make it sound full, which took effort, was due in part to the tip on top of the large chamber. Even if it didn't, I wondered, and it made me move on to a different piece that I had more confidence in.
Cool - thanks to you and the others for the advice. I will box it up tonight and mail it back tomorrow morning.
I am wondering if it can be actually repaired, or if it needs to be re-made. It seems that the tip would need to be reshaped, which can only be done by removing some material. I don't know what the impact of that would be. This is well outside of my area of expertise.
 

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That extreme warpage may not be the maker's fault. Possibly the mouthpiece melted in ambient heat from a postal worker's dead-letter bonfire.
 

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You are not wasting his time to have him make it right. It's obviously not right and he can see it as well as we here can. Give him a chance to make it right. I'm sure paid a pretty penny for it so it's no waste of anybody's time but yours to have him make you another one or fix this one.
 

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not covering the tip rail with the reed is a good way to have chirps

having more reed hanging off than you need is a good way to make all kinds of unwanted noise and chokeoff

having a mpc that guarentees one or more of the above, unless you wonky-trim every reed to customize it, creating its own set of problems ----

That would be absurd.

This mpc maker is NOT reliable. Although everyone makes mistakes, this is something like selling a car with one bicycle wheel.

The point of the custom job is to have the maker ensure proper fit (flat table, even curve, even rails, tip that fits the type of reed the client uses) besides, and part of the ultimate goal of sound.

Do not trust this maker.
 

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Click is right. You might not always like a custom piece (personal taste) but there are glaring issues with the piece beyond the tip rail. Everyone makes an occasional error but frankly, my blanks look better than this before I touch them. How it plays I obviously cannot say. I dont like to dog other peoples work and maybe it will play ok but...well, its all been said.

The piece I posted earlier is Le Son which is my Meyer + Phil-tone design.

Just for giggles I took a shot of a piece going out in the morning. It is The Solstice. It was designed specifically to assist in getting the Desmond vibe but can do so much more.
Here is Joe of Just Joes Music doodling on it. If you have not tired his Just Joe's straps you should! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSV-5fPA_tc

View attachment 228578

(BTW: What looks like rough edges on the far rail are just pixels and lighting...its a quick phone pic after all)
 

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What you see is only part of the mouthpiece quality. But if there are visual irregularities there is a high probability that there are facing curve precision irregularities you can not see.

The rail shape can easily be fixed. They are fairly wide so trimming the tip curve to match a reed curve would not require a ton of other work. But it may need it.

It is possible to make a great playing mouthpiece that looks like this one. But usually a hand maker who can do that would also not be satisfied with those rails.
 

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Would really be good to know who this came from so no one else makes the same mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Would really be good to know who this came from so no one else makes the same mistake.
I do see your point. I am going to wait until I get it back from him and see how it looks before I make a decision whether or not to publicize that info.
In the meantime, if anyone is considering buying a new custom mouthpiece, feel free to PM me to ask whether the builder you are working with is the same person or not.
 
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