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Mouthpiece symmetry???

1760 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Christian W
An apology if this is repeating any previous posts, though I couldn't find this info when I searched.

A few questions about mouthpiece symmetry:

I am curious to know at what point it becomes pointless to pursue absolutely perfect symmetry when refacing. HR pieces seem to be harder to get perfectly symmetrical, maybe because of the softness of HR compared to metal, and the unforgiving ease with which HR changes. But anyway, I am just wondering what differences marginal non-symmetricalness actually makes. I can understand that the tip and tip rails need to be as close to perfect as humanly possible, given that this is the part of the mouthpiece that interacts with the reed, but what difference does, for instance, a slightly non-symmetrical window bottom curve have on how the mouthpiece performs?

Cheers guys –
Christian Watson
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thanks Mojo - that all makes sense now. An alto piece I play that has marginally unsymmetrical side rails only at opposite points in the bottom of the window curve plays great. It has a perfect facing curve and facing tip rails. Your info now explains why. Thanks...
hi daddywagsmusic - yes, that is what we are saying, but I think the point is, what needs to be perfectly symmetrical are only the parts of the mouthpiece that interact with the moving parts of the reed (i.e. the tip and the side rails of the facing curve), as well as those parts that deal with the air stream (chamber and baffle).

please correct me if I am wrong on this anyone...

and also, the other thing to remember is that I am only talking about slight imperfections in symmetry, not major imbalances like you find on some mouthpieces.

The reason for my initial question was that I noticed that a lot of refacers go to extraordinary lengths to make their pieces absolutely symmetrical in all aspects, but I was wondering why many pieces that have slight non-symmetrical aspects play just as well if not better than other pieces, that for instance, have a more perfectly symmetrical window curve or perfect side rails at the furthest point away from the tip. From my most recent experiences I am learning that what is most important is the facing curve, facing rails, and facing tip, as well as the balance between these and the baffle and chamber.

anyway, just my thoughts.

thanks guys.
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and one other thing - of course, assuming that the facing curve, facing rails, baffle and chamber are all good and the table is flat - then a bit of good looking symmetry in the other aspects of the mouthpiece never hurt anyone!
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