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Just cleaning out a 1940 Conn 10m, and suddenly I heard a crash. I shook the horn, and out pops a mouthpiece and ligature. It says "Steel Ebonite '36 The Woodwind Co NY" and on the back "K6". Does anyone have any info on this mouthpiece? Are they any good? Unfortunately, I can not play with it right now as the tenor is not in playing condition.
 

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Once modified, you almost can't call it a vintage mouthpiece anymore. It's an altered vintage mouthpiece. A K6 isn't a very common facing, and as long as the tips and rails aren't damaged, there's no need to reface it. If it works for you as is, and it just might, consider yourself lucky. If not, why take the chance sinking money into altering it for only the possibility that you'll like the altered version; knowing you could never resell it for what you've put into it? No, if it's not your cup of tea, sell it as is to someone who will appreciate it unmodified, and find another piece that works right for you off the bat.
 

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If you use the search button you'll be able to find some scattered info on these pieces, although they don't seem to be super well-known. There used to be a great old brochure on Theo Wanne's website but it seems to have been removed.

The two I've had have both had really large scooped out chambers. These were both B5s though. One problem with them seems to be, like some other more famous vintage pieces, they're very tight on the neck cork. I can squeeze mine on okay, but if I use my STM right away the cork is too compressed. I guess if you're not careful the shank can crack.

Get that Conn straightened out and you'll have a great old piece for it either way (just stop dropping it:) ).

Grumps said:
Once modified, you almost can't call it a vintage mouthpiece anymore. It's an altered vintage mouthpiece. A K6 isn't a very common facing, and as long as the tips and rails aren't damaged, there's no need to reface it. If it works for you as is, and it just might, consider yourself lucky. If not, why take the chance sinking money into altering it for only the possibility that you'll like the altered version; knowing you could never resell it for what you've put into it? No, if it's not your cup of tea, sell it as is to someone who will appreciate it unmodified, and find another piece that works right for you off the bat.
Hey Grumps,

You're awesome and so no offence please, but to my ears you're sounding a little more like the crank than the logician here:) . As far as I can tell, these pieces have very little resale value anyway (both of mine were purchased for under $30) . In any case, while I get your point about modification in a semantically precise sort of way;) , my reason for "taking the chance," as I explained in my post about my absolutelykillerawesomeloveofmylife NYWWco tenor piece, was the possibility of ending up with a "modified vintage" piece that will, I think, compete with any number of similarly modified vintage pieces that are presently going for HUGE dollars. I actually did play an unmodified B5 for several months before my "adventure with Ed," and, while I liked it a lot and could see its real potential, it was also clear that it needed to be modified to be viable for my purposes. Specifically: the tip wasn't responsive enough and the sound was too spread/quiet for the bandstand. FWIW: last night the NY got the call and the Morgan 8L stayed in the case:) .

Q: supposing the modifications Ed did had been done in 1941. Would that disqualify it as a vintage mouthpiece?

Q2: you're not trying to trick this guy into selling his find so you can send it to Ed are you? :twisted:
 

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No offense taken rleitch, and quite frankly, I appreciate it when folks can remain civil while they may disagree. I'm just a fan of these pieces and have owned several. The K facing was supposed to give a brighter sound as compared to the standard B, and as I said before, seem to be more rare. I can understand why someone might want to reface one of these old pieces to create something new (perhaps just for the quality of the hard rubber used), but each time a little bit of history is wiped clean. That's why I took issue with the suggestion to modify it before even playing it. Though I'm certain there are many skilled craftsmen who can create magic with a mouthpiece, I'm just as certain that the fickle will remain fickle; and their search will never end. There's just too many refaced pieces up for resale to have me believe otherwise; and falling victim to it all is a sense of history.
 

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tenorblondie said:
Does anyone have any idea when it was made? It is a large chamber, how about the tip opening?
It may have been made in 1936, as per the '36, but I hadn't seen the year marked on any of mine. As for the tip opening, I haven't seen any bigger than a 7, though I'd seen reference to some models going up to 8. A K6 would have been relatively open for its day, but not by modern standards. As WW Co. pieces vary quite a bit, I would only be guessing as to the actual tip opening size, but I have a K6 for bari that measures .088".
 

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Very nicely put Grumps--and I see more clearly what you meant about the rarity of the K6 model. I think I share some of your sense of the value of the history associated with these pieces. I guess for me the historicity lies in the tradition of quality craftsmanship and of a real personal relationship between the maker and the user, moreso perhaps than it does in the artifacts themselves, so that in getting Ed to fix one of these beauties up for me I feel like I'm revisiting history, not erasing it.

R.

ps. you may have to add "philosopher" to your shingle if you're not careful:)
 

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Well, there is no reason for me to get rid of it as for now. I guess I'll play it and see how it goes. I appreciate all the info and ideas you've shared.
 

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rleitch said:
ps. you may have to add "philosopher" to your shingle if you're not careful:)
Actually... Philosophy was my undergraduate major, but I focused more on the logic aspect rather than the metaphysics. It's an underrated degree for pre-law, but would be my recommendation for anyone considering such a path.

Congrats on the new 10M tenorblondie. I saw your other post and it looks like you got a great deal on a silver 10M. They're not without their quirks though, and it might take you a while to match it with the right mouthpiece. Generally, the more you're able to push in the mouthpiece, the better a soft low D (and thereabouts) will play. Thing is though, many smaller chambered, or very open pieces, might have to sit on the end of the neck for proper tuning. A search on the site will reveal the experiences of others in this regard and might be helpful should you encounter problems with mouthpiece matches.
 
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