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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter #1
I went to a casual jam here in town and thought I'd take my Guardala. It locked up, I was switching reeds all first set and finally got it to play with a Rico Plasticover reed. Lesson is always take your "used to" piece when you go new. Bummer,i like that tone alot. K
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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A mouthpiece locked up?

Me thinks you need a bit harder reed.
 

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...i really have *** moments sometimes with the guardala....i cant figure it out..... i do however make sure i have a soak jar for reeds when i take out the DG...and it always gets fixed with the first reed swap.... ive also found putting the lig pretty far down on the reed help it to open up....
 

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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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Been spending too much time on clarinet? ;)
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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...i really have *** moments sometimes with the guardala....i cant figure it out..... i do however make sure i have a soak jar for reeds when i take out the DG...and it always gets fixed with the first reed swap.... ive also found putting the lig pretty far down on the reed help it to open up....
You really should consider going up a reed strength or two if you're closing it up. Yeah, a fresh reed (or one just out of the case) tends to play a little stiffer at first, but won't stay that way long and it could be why you're freezing on the Guardala and swapping reeds seems to help for a short time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I didn't mean closing it off. I meant that you'd put whatever reed on it and get NOTHING. I always have a reed case with 10 reeds and I tryed most of them as I was waiting to solo after the singer. Guardalas are the only pieces I've had this prob with. Same thing happened years ago with a Super King. Plays and warms up great and then around 5 or 6 oclock when the fog breeze starts up you can put on a reed and blow your brains out. You don't get a normal tone. You have to really work to get the read to ever sound stuffy. Only thing that works is to either go to a plastic kind of reed or take a reed that barely plays and then back it off the tip. whatever, I can send it back to WW and BWs. Just like the tone. I think its the thin rails. I have a Van T 75 or a John thomas HR that would have worked fine but I expected a loud blues jam so I went "loud". Live and learn. K
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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I didn't mean closing it off. I meant that you'd put whatever reed on it and get NOTHING. I always have a reed case with 10 reeds and I tryed most of them as I was waiting to solo after the singer. Guardalas are the only pieces I've had this prob with. Same thing happened years ago with a Super King. Plays and warms up great and then around 5 or 6 oclock when the fog breeze starts up you can put on a reed and blow your brains out. You don't get a normal tone. You have to really work to get the read to ever sound stuffy. Only thing that works is to either go to a plastic kind of reed or take a reed that barely plays and then back it off the tip. whatever, I can send it back to WW and BWs. Just like the tone. I think its the thin rails. I have a Van T 75 or a John thomas HR that would have worked fine but I expected a loud blues jam so I went "loud". Live and learn. K
Hmmm.... Maybe needs to have one of the mouthpiece guru's look at it. Perhaps the rails aren't quite right. You're also making me wonder if the reeds aren't too hard for it or the facing isn't flat.

Same tip opening as your others?
 

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Yeah, it sounds like something is wrong with the facing.
I would suspect the table---either of the Guardala or the other mouthpiece the reeds have been played on. Some mouthpiece makers make the table slightly concave from left to right, others make the table perfectly flat. Reeds that have been played on the concave table mouthpiece for any length of time will not work on the flat table mouthpiece because the back of the reed has conformed to that shape.
 

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...now that makes sense!!! i know ive asked this before..as this is a new concept for me.....which known mouthpieces have a concave table???
 

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This is so weird. This happened recently to me as well on my "Studio". I finally broke out a brand new reed and bingo played like a dream the last two sets.

I am finding the DG mpcs. are extremely unyielding when it comes to reed placement, ligature placement, softness of a used reed etc...but once its set up it plays incredibly well.

I think sending it out to have the table flattened might make a huge difference because my Peter Ponzol works each and every time and I know they are flat.

Unfortunately the Ponzols do not give me the "grit" I like to hear.

B
 

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...are we saying that the Guardalas have a concave table???
 

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That I am not sure of but there seems to be some consensus that the tables are not completely flat. Now the question is whether this is something that should be "corrected" or is it part and partial the design which gives it grittiness? B
 

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...now that makes sense!!! i know ive asked this before..as this is a new concept for me.....which known mouthpieces have a concave table???
Links.

That I am not sure of but there seems to be some consensus that the tables are not completely flat. Now the question is whether this is something that should be "corrected" or is it part and partial the design which gives it grittiness? B
If it works, there's no need to fix it.
 

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...now that makes sense!!! i know ive asked this before..as this is a new concept for me.....which known mouthpieces have a concave table???
Both my custom alto and tenor Northway mouthpieces do. I am not aware of which other makers who do this. Perhaps one of our mouthpiece experts can provide more information about different brands.

I just had another thought. If the mouthpiece is loose on the cork where it is in tune so that air leaks around the sides, it can make it seem as if all of one's reeds have stopped responding. The same is true if there is a leak in the neck tenon. Both of these happened to me at different times years ago and both times I went crazy time trying to find a reed that "worked".
 

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I've had this kind of problem with other mpcs, but never on my Guardala Crescent. Sounds like reed warpage, which can be more problematic when the mpc table isn't flat. I know the "pop test" isn't universally accepted as useful on this forum, but did you try it to see if your reed and mpc were sealing?

If the reed started off fine and later failed the test, I'd ditch the reed. If this keeps happening on nearly every reed, ditch the mpc.
 

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I have a couple dozen vintage handmade guardala mpcs here----and all the tables are flat.

He did not use a concavity.

Just get your pieces checked by a great refacer and they will play great once again.
 

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Keith, these symptoms really sound exactly like a convexed table. I thought these WWBW Guardalas were CNC machined, though. Every table I have seen with this problem has been hand finished (or refaced), worn out, or a Berg. Don't know what degree of hand work these go through, TBH. Are there milling marks on the table and facing, or is it smooth? Is there pitting? JTB's notion about the cork is something worth looking at as well.

If the reed started off fine and later failed the test, I'd ditch the reed. If this keeps happening on nearly every reed, ditch the mpc.
Sound advice.
 
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