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Limits on opening a piece?!

1331 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MojoBari
Hi all. I recently aquired a tenor Conn Steelay mpc with a 3 facing. I've always preferred big tips and am curious, what determines how much a piece can be opened? In a perfect world, I could get this opened to a .140 or so. Thanks in advance for the all the help!
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The biggest limiting factor I come up against is the amount the sidewalls are curved. If they are scooped a lot and come up curved to the window opening, you are usually limited to opening it .005- .010" via tip cutting. If you do more than that, you start cutting into the cirved sidewalls and the window gets wider and wider until a proper reed will not cover it.

One can angle the table to get more tip opening, but there needs to be enough material under the table to do this. To get .010" at the tip, you need to lower the butt end of the table on the order of .030". So to open a lot of tip, you need to take a 3X a lot of material off the table. Often you end up cutting into the shank end of the mouthpiece. Also ligature fits get a lot looser.

With straight sidewalls you can do a lot more tip cutting. But opening a tip a lot will distort its shape. If the tip comes to a point during cutting, you need to file it back to get a more blunt edge. Then the piece and window gets shorter.

So if you want a wide tip vintage-style piece, I would say start with a modern HR Link as large as you can find.
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You might consider a RPC 150. But Ron adds some baffle to it since open large-chambered MPs do get unfocused and tubby sounding for most players.
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