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Discussion Starter #1
I just got an email from Tom Ridenour and he wrote about a rubber tree in China and how that is where the best rubber for hard rubber mouthpieces come from...I's completely amazed...I never knew there was a rubber tree...

But my question is about the material of pieces...especially hard rubber...Why is the density and unalloyed rubber better for the pieces? Why are "zinner" blanks so revered? Where does Jody Jazz and Babbit ge there rubber for blanks? Does it matter..?

General nerdy mouthpiece q's ...sorry...


Ryan
 

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A whole thread on various Rubbers. :) This could get interesting.
Yes, rubber comes from trees. I haven't seen any evidence to suggest "old" rubber is any better than modern synthetics, or mixes. But since when has scientific evidence been important to sax players? :)
Common sense would seem to dictate that natural rubber would be more inconsistant than a synthetic. Perhaps the popularity of older hard rubber blanks, lies in the dimensions of the blanks rather than the composition of the rubber?
 

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I believe that HR mouthpieces are made from ebonite. From Wikipedia:


Ebonite is one of the earliest forms of plastic. A hard, rigid and shiny resin, it was intended as an artificial substitute for ebony wood. It is actually a very hard rubber first obtained by Charles Goodyear by vulcanizing rubber for prolonged periods. As a result, it is about 30% to 40% sulfur. It is often used in bowling balls, smoking pipe mouthpieces, fountain pen nib feeds, and high-quality saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces. It is also commonly used in physics classrooms to demonstrate static electricity. Hard rubber ('Ebonite' is a brand name that's not universally used) was used in the cases of automobile batteries for years, thus establishing black as their traditional color even long after stronger modern plastics were substituted. Its most prominent use is in hair combs made by Ace, which survive, essentially unchanged, from the days of the US Civil War.



Maybe we could make blanks from old bowling balls...;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the posts on this...I've never been one to buy too much into plating and tonal differences and material making much difference with a mouthpiece but when I played Selmer C* type piece on legit for a long time and then tried a zinner blank piece by Richard Hawkins...i could really feel a difference the way the rubber resonated....The C* seems shallow and porous almost compared to the zinner--which was very dense...

I'm just curious if people put much stock into the older rubber just because it's older and etc...

Ebonite is different from hard rubber right?

R
 

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Writer(s): cahn/van heusen

Next time your found, with your chin on the ground
There a lot to be learned, so look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he'll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, cant
Move a rubber tree plant

But hes got high hopes, hes got high hopes
Hes got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your gettin low
stead of lettin go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant
 

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A lot of refacers like the rubber in the newer Vandoren V16 mouthpieces. A.N. told me that it's a lot harder than the rubber the other mouthpiece makers are using and that it comes off in a fine, gritty dust when he works on it, not a gooey ooze like in other modern pieces. I'm not sure if that means it's better but that was his opinion. I'd feel a little better about having a harder rubber material, too. I played a V16 9 on alto and it felt like there was an additional spectrum to the sound... the tip was just too big for me. I should try a 7 or an 8... but I'm already going on my Junely equipment experimentation freakout and have pretty much tapped the budget on that!

Ebonite is just a brand name that was used for hard rubber.
 
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