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Mouthpiece Question (Vandoren AL3)

1693 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  vicenarian
Ok, so my younger brother has a Prelude alto sax:

Bought it about two years ago; seems decent enough, and he's been playing about 2 years now (and doing extremely well). I took alto for a couple years in school also.

Anyway, the original mouthpiece was having issues squeaking/squealing, unless the reed was on absolutely perfectly. So we decided to buy a new mouthpiece, namely a Vandoren AL3. However, when we tried fitting it, it's extremely tight! The old mouthpiece can slide almost to the end of the cork (covering up the cork entirely), but this new one can barely make it a quarter of the way up. Is there something wrong with the mouthpiece and/or the cork?

Because the AL3 mpc won't slide up very far, the sax is a half-step flat (A "C" on the sax is like a "D" on the piano, instead of the normal "Eb") I don't want to force the AL3 mpc as I'm afraid of damaging it (who ever heard of paying $120 for a chunk of rubber? hahaha).

So, what should I do?
1 - 2 of 7 Posts
Welcome to SOTW. You can sand down that neck cork yourself and save a trip - it is easy to do. Cut a thin strip of sandpaper, wrap some tape around the neck below the cork so you don't mar the neck's finish (or if you are careful, it is easy to avoid hitting the brass so you won't need to tape off the area below the cork - your choice) and sand around the cork by pulling the sandpaper strip back and forth around the full circumference of the cork until the new mouthpiece slides on, using cork grease. Be careful not to remove too much or you will most likely need to make that trip.

Mouthpieces vary in barrel diameter - nothing wrong with anything; it is just the way mouthpieces and necks and corks are made. DAVE
I neglected to add above . . . . good decision NOT to force that mouthpiece on any further than it could go with cork grease. I have split the barrel on a Selmer mouthpiece years ago while trying to shove the piece further onto the cork. Let us know the results of your sanding. DAVE
1 - 2 of 7 Posts
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