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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
Has anyone tried Ted's model alto mouthpiece? Apparently it came out a few months ago. Perhaps it is the refinement to the classic alto mouthpiece model. Ted mentioned that the new model (Ted Klum Model Alto) has a more consistent baffle compared to Classic Alto Mouthpiece.
It is made from premium hard rubber and interior is hand finished. It is mentioned in the description that the rails are machine precision made. I ordered one with 0.072 tip opening. The default is 0.073 so I think this is a minor hand finish required for that. Let's see what I get. I like to use it as a multipurpose mouthpiece. I will hopefully have it while I will have my Morgan 6C (0.075 tip opening) and then I can compare the two see which one is more versatile (I imagine TK mouthpiece), and also if TK mouthpiece allows enough classical vibe for my taste. If anyone has or has had this mouthpiece, I appreciate if you give your feedback. Haven't found many sources of reviews for this new model yet.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I got the Ted Klum's model alto piece. I noticed somewhere in the receipt or web page that one could return the piece within so many days for exchange for the same model and just a different tip. Unfortunately my problem isn't the tip opening but the facing curve. It was too short facing length, too much curvature in the table side and too flat in the tip side. So the lows were coming out hard and altissimo was not easy either. That was with D'addario 3M. It has a lot of back pressure. I tried it with softer reed (D'addario 3S) but then it didn't seem to work well either. Too much reed vibration which sounds to me the reed is too soft. I don't think Ted's pieces work for me. Also I think the chamber is a bit too small. He told me these pieces have medium small chamber but I think it is smaller than my liking and my setup. I was surprised to see that he didn't have full return policy with full money back warranty. I think I may have to send it to a refacer for modification to the facing curve. It just defeated the purpose to buy a piece cheaper and then at the end of the day you end up spending even more money than his higher grade mouthpiece. If the mouthpiece experience in last few days was about 60 to 70 percent there for ease of performance, I could just assume the rest will come with time, but I feel it's not going to be the case, and I don't want to fight it for the piece to work for me. A radial facing curve is much easier for me. I picked up Meyer pieces from the dealer in town and they just felt right from the beginning, but it had a concaved table so I thought I get a mouthpiece that is coming off a hand facing job with good precision, and something I can afford, and with a bit darker and more focused tone than Meyer. I followed recommendation of a dealer in Canada and I've seen other people praising his pieces (not this particular model since this is a relatively new piece).
 

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I don't think Ted's pieces work for me. Also I think the chamber is a bit too small. He told me these pieces have medium small chamber but I think it is smaller than my liking and my setup. I was surprised to see that he didn't have full return policy with full money back warranty. I think I may have to send it to a refacer for modification to the facing curve. It just defeated the purpose to buy a piece cheaper and then at the end of the day you end up spending even more money than his higher grade mouthpiece.
If the chamber is too small, that will remain a problem after refacing. You may be best served by selling it as-is.
 

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Can chamber get a bit more enlarged by the refacer?
Sure, you can always remove material - but chamber work is more than just drilling out the bore. That's where so much of the work goes for balancing the response of a piece, so it will be an additional charge beyond the reface.

For reference, check out http://mouthpieceguys.com/ and click on the tab that says "What we do (and don't do) Price list".



Better to start with something closer to your ideal, than invest in such an expensive blank.

Do you have a backup mouthpiece that is closer to your preferences? That would be a better starting place.
 

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If the chamber is too small, that will remain a problem after refacing. You may be best served by selling it as-is.
+1. If the piece is worked on by anyone other than TK (with the exception of Sebastian Knox), it ceases to be a TK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sure, you can always remove material - but chamber work is more than just drilling out the bore. That's where so much of the work goes for balancing the response of a piece, so it will be an additional charge beyond the reface.

Better to start with something closer to your ideal, than invest in such an expensive blank.

Do you have a backup mouthpiece that is closer to your preferences? That would be a better starting place.
Well not really. The Meyer that I like more and worked for me had too much material removed because of the original concaved table. I think the rail material removal to rebuild the facing curve was too much and ended up widening the window too much, and they can't fix it or it's too expensive if that becomes the case, otherwise Meyer is a good starting point for me. Although I might prefer a chamber a bit smaller than Meyer but not as small as the Ted's piece. I'll talk to Erik at Mouthpiece guys. He is a really nice guy and I've seen his reface works. They are pretty good. He has done some chamber enlargement for a tenor mouthpiece I bought used a while back. I will check see how much more money he is charging for that part. I think the window of that Ted's piece can be enlarged a bit too. The Side rails are super thick. I'm also not fan of the baffles that suddenly dive down. I like smooth transition. I found out that smooth transition creates better control, and perhaps help with reducing the back pressure. I don't know enough about these things. I guess I will leave it to Erik to figure it out.
 

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I think the window of that Ted's piece can be enlarged a bit too. The Side rails are super thick. I'm also not fan of the baffles that suddenly dive down. I like smooth transition. I found out that smooth transition creates better control, and perhaps help with reducing the back pressure. I don't know enough about these things. I guess I will leave it to Erik to figure it out.
I chased a similar bunny down the mouthpiece rabbit hole for many years. Then I finally realized that the mouthpiece needs to be taken as a holistic system. You'll see "wrong" rails on a RPC, or "wrong" chamber work in a Lamberson - but that all disappears (literally) when you put on a reed and play 'em. Thick rails and a rough chamber are not necessarily a bad thing, nor is the apparent shape of a baffle a solid indicator of how a mouthpiece plays.

Yes, please do communicate with a mouthpiece technician and tell them what results you want. Then trust in them to deliver the goods by whatever path works best for them. It's not unlike going to a horn tech with a bag of your favorite pads (because you read about them at SotW), only to learn that the tech is not experienced with that brand, and uses a different pad for their best results.

G'luck in your quest.

P.S. After rereading your previous post: Have you considered one of Phil-Tone's Custom Meyer rebuilds?

https://phil-tone.com/alto/custom-meyer
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I chased a similar bunny down the mouthpiece rabbit hole for many years. Then I finally realized that the mouthpiece needs to be taken as a holistic system. You'll see "wrong" rails on a RPC, or "wrong" chamber work in a Lamberson - but that all disappears (literally) when you put on a reed and play 'em. Thick rails and a rough chamber are not necessarily a bad thing, nor is the apparent shape of a baffle a solid indicator of how a mouthpiece plays.

Yes, please do communicate with a mouthpiece technician and tell them what results you want. Then trust in them to deliver the goods by whatever path works best for them. It's not unlike going to a horn tech with a bag of your favorite pads (because you read about them at SotW), only to learn that the tech is not experienced with that brand, and uses a different pad for their best results.

G'luck in your quest.

P.S. After rereading your previous post: Have you considered one of Phil-Tone's Custom Meyer rebuilds?

https://phil-tone.com/alto/custom-meyer
Thanks for the advice. I think I will trust Erik's work. Originally I thought of Phil-Tone's custom Meyer but TK's mouthpiece was more affordable for me, and also TK's mouthpiece is characterized as a focused tone which I think is good for classical stuff as well (that's why I like to use smaller tip opening of 0.070 which works for me with a hard #3 reed like Vandoren Traditional). It's just finding that balance. Almost like a hybrid of Meyer and TK's mouthpiece. Something darker and a bit more focused tone than Meyer, but the chamber should accommodate that focus without being bright. Erik was mentioning larger chamber (like Morgan C series that he created) is good for classical but I think in this case the tip has to be so small to create that focus (3C). I like to use a tip larger than 3C so I tried 6C but it sounded dull and too open for my taste (due to the poor relationship between my embouchure, Vandoren #3 and 6C tip opening). I think I would rather have a bit more on the baffle and less in the chamber size than Morgan (let's say 5C) to work well for me. I think it goes back to your comment. I just mention my expectation to Erik and leave it up to him and trust that he will do his best to achieve a good playing mouthpiece. Then I start from there and morph my embouchure to the mouthpiece to create the sound I want.
 

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Thanks for letting me know. Probably I would go for tip 5 from Rousseau for my next investment. Do you know the difference of RC5 and NC5?
I am not well-informed regarding Rousseau alto mouthpieces.
 
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