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So, I have a mouthpiece that I have been playing on for a while and ordered some new pieces to 'try before I buy'.

Problem is my cork is the new pieces are slightly different in diameter at the non-playing end and will ruin my cork so that I will require re-corking my neck in order to play my current piece again.

Anyone else have this problem? Should I get a new neck on a trial basis too?

-V
 

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common problem. I Usually rip a piece of paper and roll it around the worn cork to make the piece fit tightly again. It will last for an evening.
Depends on how long you want to be messing around with pieces of paper, eventually you'll going to have to recork. ( not that big an operation)
Don't get another neck unless you want to drive yourself crazy with too much variable factors.
If you want to test a mpc, keep all the other things the same otherwise you don't know what's responsible for what exactly.
 

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An easy trick to get the cork to widen is to leave it in water for 5-10 minutes and then heat it (I have done this in my kitchen oven). Do this very carefully (so you don't burn it) and gradually. It will expand and seal the mpc properly again.
 

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An easy trick to get the cork to widen is to leave it in water for 5-10 minutes and then heat it (I have done this in my kitchen oven). Do this very carefully (so you don't burn it) and gradually. It will expand and seal the mpc properly again.
I wouldn't suggest this method. Just boil water in the microwave for 3 minutes and dip the cork end of the neck in the water for 5 seconds and dry. That's all it takes.

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Do you mean your current cork is too big for the new moutpiece?
Or is it too small?
To big, well... If you like the new piece enough to buy it you can sand the cork down to fit.
Too small... Wrap it with teflon plumbers tape.
 

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So, I have a mouthpiece that I have been playing on for a while and ordered some new pieces to 'try before I buy'.

Problem is my cork is the new pieces are slightly different in diameter at the non-playing end and will ruin my cork so that I will require re-corking my neck in order to play my current piece again.

Anyone else have this problem? Should I get a new neck on a trial basis too?

-V
Hey there BigVSax. What I do to test new mouthpieces is go to a music store and use their horns.

Since you already have the mouthpieces you could either try the exact brand which will still only give you a ballpark idea since now you're not using your horn or mouthpiece. Or take the trial mouthpiece to the store. Many to try? Go different days or different stores.

I even have regular horns in the store that I "know". Unless they have sold them.

Pick out a horn you like or better still pick out a lesser horn and if it sounds good on that it may sound even better on your horn. I usually go with a horn I like.

It gives me a general idea if I want to buy it. Some may scoff at the idea but it works for me. And my cork is intact.

It's been said that when you test you have to test on your horn. But I can tell right away if a mouthpiece has enough potential for me to invest more time in it.

Ironically you won't know what you've got anyway until you're at a jam session or a gig.
It may sound great in your living room or whatever but not with a band in the real world

As far as using steam to swell the cork my repairman said that's a bad idea. Don't know about the microwave. Seems like a variation of the steam thing.
 

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If you've ordered the mouthpieces, and I'm only guessing that this was done online through WWBW or somewhere similar, it may be a little difficult to test them on horns that are 'in store'.
Also trialing a piece on a new Yamaha, Cannonball, or Yanagisawa may give a totally different result than that of trialing it on your vintage Martin, Buescher, or Conn.
 

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Hi Bandmommy. Of course I agree 100 per cent that trying the trial mouthpiece on totally different horns won't let you know how it'll sound on your horn but it'll get you in the ball park. He's in Denver so there should be some stores there.

And you'll know right away if the mouthpiece has potential. You're not going to really know if the mouthpiece is for you anyway unless you play it for a while under varying conditions.

And again you can play it for a year at home on your horn and love it and then go out in the real world and be totally shocked how it sounds with an ensemble. And we're not even going to talk about recording. Lot of dynamics here. Why do cats wake up one day and say " I need a new mouthpiece"? They've evolved.

Like I said it may sound crazy but my neck cork stays pristine because I haven't found something I like better anyway. Not on a mouthpiece quest. So it works for me.

And I admit it may not be feasible with a lot of mouthpieces. That's a lot of mixing and matching anyway.
 

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You might be surprised at how poor the selection of mouthpieces is from music stores here in Colorado. Sax Alley is really the only game in town if you want to try something that isn't a Babbit product of one sort or another. The music stores cater mostly to school rental programs and don't stock very much.
 

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Hey equake,
I guess you didn't know that I've been playing for 40 years. I've been around the block more than once when it comes to 'trialing' mouthpieces. Clarinet, alto, tenor, bari.... I play them all plus a couple others.
I sure as hell wouldn't suggest that anyone try a piece on a horn that isn't theirs. Even to get a 'ball park' idea of how they 'might' like it.
I love the responsiveness and projection of my King 2. Too bad my '59ish Martin tenor won't play in tune when I use it, but it kicks *A* on the Yamaha tenor that my daughter used in HS Jazz band. Potential or foul ball?

I don't know about those stores out there in LA, but the ones up here in Michigan wouldn't let you bring in a bunch of pieces to try on their horns. They would tell you to go home and play them on your OWN horn. :)
 

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Yeah I know what you mean about the stores. They would let you here if they thought you were interested in the horn. Otherwise no. Of course you have to be discreet about it. and I don't have any qualms about it because I buy a lot of stuff there at the stores.

If someone is crazy enough try it then the way to do it if you want to try say three different mouthpieces is to go on different days one mouthpiece at a time or three different stores. There are a lot of stores here.

At one well known small store the owner was really upset when I didn't have my horn to try the mouthpiece. Most don't care.

Well trying strange horns and mouthpieces happens a lot when you go to the Namm show. You learn to adjust to any horn, mouthpiece very quickly. That's when I learned how to play any horn, mouthpiece whatever. McCoy Tyner said the insrtument won't adjust to you. So you have to adjust.

That's what goes on there for days. Guys trying horns , reeds, mouthpieces etc. When I went you were actually were not to bring in your own mouthpiece. Everybody does though. And when you leave you had to prove it was your mouthpiece.

That's where I learned I could extrapolate a ballpark idea from almost any situation.
 

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I wouldn't suggest this method. Just boil water in the microwave for 3 minutes and dip the cork end of the neck in the water for 5 seconds and dry. That's all it takes.

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Thanks! In the winter, my mouthpiece is so close to the end, I'm afraid I'm not getting a tight enough seal.
 

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Thanks for the information KeithL. Even though there are many stores here like you say it's an Otto Link kind of world.

I know of only one store that has the Wanne mouthpieces.

Most have Links, Dukoffs, Bergs, in metal and assorted hard rubber mouthpieces that kind of thing. Of course I haven't been to every store. Calling's no good because sometimes they don't even know what they have.

It wasn't like that before the economy went south.

Want to hear something funny? I called my regular store in Hollywood to see if they had 2 1/2 's Java red box.

They were always out. So I asked him why can't they keep them in stock.

He said when a big shipment comes in some guy comes in and buys all 800 boxes of reeds and resells them in Mexico for three times the price here or whatever.

I was beside myself. Yet another benefit of living in a third world city.

So I asked him if they could keep a few boxes for you know, us second rate customers here.

He said he would try but they really like that size. Do I want some 3's or 2's? I said uh no.

Let me translate that for you. " We would sell them by the truckload to the guy if we could".

And about a year ago he said I should have been there the other day, Kenny G was there playing his line of an Asian soprano. Dang I missed that!

Seems like New York is the only place where you can try whatever comes to mind. Haven't been there in a while so I really don't know.
 

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Well this went a bit off topic from the neck issue :p

I usually do what toughtenor does, and wrap a piece of paper around the neck. Works just fine for me. If you want to try Nefertiti's method, go right ahead. He knows his stuff. Re-corking isn't a big problem either. Happy testing!
 

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I wouldn't suggest this method. Just boil water in the microwave for 3 minutes and dip the cork end of the neck in the water for 5 seconds and dry. That's all it takes.

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even easier than I thought!
 
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