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In a fit of inspiration from a fellow sotw'er (thanks Mark) I decided to try a deep chamber small tip tenor mpc. Normally my tenor mpcs are in the .113-.116 tip opening range with moderate baffles.

I recently completed a major overhaul GA$ episode, I spent a ton of bread over 2 yr period.

So for this experiment I simply wanted as cheap as possible mpc to try this tiny tip concept with...

I found a Brilhart special used on FleaBay and it looked quite old to me..the price was right, I did a bit of research, I see the newer Brilhart ebolin student stuff real cheap and then I see some crazy expensive old "New York" Brilhart HR and Ebolin models.

For kicks I looked up the "Special" ..in my research, back in the day was the student mpc, it sold for $7

..So why waste bread on a possible POS ??

Well, the ebay Pic I saw got my attention, the table facing on the thing just looks great, also it shows a very thin and perfect tip rail. (yeah I know, can't tell by lookin') ..now about the tip opening ? it's faded or worn, can't see it..I hope it's not a #2..I'll find out in a week or so.

to view the mpc ebay #264898207616


FWIW for the price of a Legere Signature I'll try it...the challenge of this trial is to relax my airstream into a smaller .085-.095 opening.
 

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Keep us up to date Cash...I've been tempted to try one of these for ages now, Gene Ammons sounded pretty good on his !! and so does Macio Parker.....
 

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I like Brilhart mouthpieces a lot. But you have to find a good one that suits you. I have had and still
have and play several Ebolins, Tonalin (Streamline) and a Hard Rubber. In my earch I never encountered a real dud
but I am sure they are around. Most of them sound and play differently though. In fact just like all the variables with the Links.
I never tried a Special though and I am not sure about too small facings. But then again the facing numbers are all over the place.
The smallest I played was about .80 (a #3 I believe) with a thick reed. I thought that was pretty closed for my liking.
The Brilharts I like most are ranging from .85 to .105. However at .105 they are usually refaced.
I would recommend to find one with an original facing and a serial no. Unless you find a refaced one from PHIL-TONE: a KILLER piece!
SOTW member Peterogping is very knowledgeable about Brilharts and has some great info on his website.
 

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I have a late 40's Tonalin 5 that measures .085 and it is a great piece. Different flavor than a Link but just as good. It seems a little raunchier than a Link. I have an older Great Neck are Ebolin 2 that is just as good with a bit more sizzle than the Tonalin.
 

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'I recently completed a major overhaul GA$ episode, I spent a ton of bread over 2 yr period.'

I'm going through the overhaul cycle now. I hoarded gig money to cover it but I've been buying so much stuff (necks, mainly) that I'm glad I have a really good spring/summer coming up to replenish the fund.
I've only had one Ebolin, a 5# baritone that the band director got for me in school, around 1959. It was simply great, a perfect mouthpiece for the school's new Martin baritone - fine for concert band and plenty loud for marching band. The Ebolin and Tonalin were always seen in professional settings and some still are. I don't know if you can still get a Selmer Ebolin but they're basically just like the old ones.
 

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'I recently completed a major overhaul GA$ episode, I spent a ton of bread over 2 yr period.'

I'm going through the overhaul cycle now. I hoarded gig money to cover it but I've been buying so much stuff (necks, mainly) that I'm glad I have a really good spring/summer coming up to replenish the fund.
I've only had one Ebolin, a 5# baritone that the band director got for me in school, around 1959. It was simply great, a perfect mouthpiece for the school's new Martin baritone - fine for concert band and plenty loud for marching band. The Ebolin and Tonalin were always seen in professional settings and some still are. I don't know if you can still get a Selmer Ebolin but they're basically just like the old ones.
I have seen Ebolins for sale recently. I don't know if they're currently being produced, or if it's just old stock.

I have one of these for tenor I recently obtained in the case of a sax I bought. Plays well, but I don't like the el cheapo tapered as-molded bore which makes it tighter and tighter as you push it on further. I'm planning to buy a reamer and then I'll be able to report on it more fully.

Brilhart and Runyon have been two companies that demonstrated that it's possible to make good mouthpieces for reasonable prices. Unfortunately neither one has quite suited what I personallly want, but still good pieces. As noted I'm going to give the Ebolin another shot on tenor.
 

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I won the bid on EBay last week for a tsx number 3 Ebolin. (It was only $17.00.). I gave it a quick blow but it's way to close for me. Some players on tenor have had good success with the Ebolin but in a much larger opening. I read that Frank Wells had added a baffle to Jug's Ebolin mouthpiece. It's really difficult for me to give mine a proper evaluation at such a small opening but It seems fairly well made. I'll most likely give it away to a student.
 

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Great student mouthpieces and you find many in the smaller sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I won the bid on EBay last week for a tsx number 3 Ebolin. (It was only $17.00.). I gave it a quick blow but it's way to close for me. Some players on tenor have had good success with the Ebolin but in a much larger opening. I read that Frank Wells had added a baffle to Jug's Ebolin mouthpiece. It's really difficult for me to give mine a proper evaluation at such a small opening but It seems fairly well made. I'll most likely give it away to a student.
Maybe give it more time and a stiffer reed ??

Here's hoping mine will be at least open enough to play, if not oh well I'll donate mine too. (or perhaps send it to Brian Powell)...But I won't judge too quick..I think it will take some time to adjust and acclimate to such a diffent feel, and I'll probably need to grab a couple #4-#5 popsicle stick reeds for it..new concept right ?? I know you're supposed to graduate down slowly like my pal did, but I'm far too impatient for that..I'll try the direct route.

Currently I have 5 playable tenor mpcs ranging from .105 to .121

On all these I usually play 2.0-2.25's Legere Sigs.
 

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Well, the ebay Pic I saw got my attention, the table facing on the thing just looks great, also it shows a very thin and perfect tip rail. (yeah I know, can't tell by lookin') ..now about the tip opening ? it's faded or worn, can't see it..I hope it's not a #2..I'll find out in a week or so.
FYI, the reason you can't see the tip opening number is bc it doesn't have one. The special only came in one size. It's wider than you'd expect though, which is to say more so than a typical student level mouthpiece. I don't know what a tenor would be, but I've got an alto sitting here on my desk that is .072"
 

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I find vintage brilhart pieces in close (2* or 3*) facings actually work best with relatively soft reeds, due to the extremely short facing lengths.
 

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+1 for the Mighty Ebolin...big fan here. I've seen claims that the ones with the * in their size marking have the shorter facing curve, and those without have a longer facing curve. I wonder if that is or ever was true. From my experience, the number in the size marking seems to have very little to do with the actual size anyhow. One thing I notice is that you can't play out on the tip...take in more mouthpiece. Then I think the shortness of the facing curve is emphasized, giving you more to work with.
 

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I have two Ebolin and one white Personaline on tenor, and three Ebolins for alto, all Carlsbad era pieces. The small tips (~.084" on tenor, ~.072-.075" alto) are surprisingly easy to play. One of my tenor Ebolins had a reface and is a little edgier and louder than stock, but still great tone. Love them! Arnold Brilhart knew what he was doing.

EDIT: I came to the Brilharts from more open tips - .090" on alto, .110"-.115" on tenor. My chops don't wear out as quickly on the smaller tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have two Ebolin and one white Personaline on tenor, and three Ebolins for alto, all Carlsbad era pieces. The small tips (~.084" on tenor, ~.072-.075" alto) are surprisingly easy to play. One of my tenor Ebolins had a reface and is a little edgier and louder than stock, but still great tone. Love them! Arnold Brilhart knew what he was doing.

EDIT: I came to the Brilharts from more open tips - .090" on alto, .110"-.115" on tenor. My chops don't wear out as quickly on the smaller tips.
Exactly, that is the experiment, some Brilhart's are a great mpc, this I know. My chops really don't wear out, but I do use a lot of air with a bigger tip. I also currently play a .090 on alto.... and like I said, around .115 on tenor. It will be an interesting switch.

I have dismissed a few small tips in the past, this time I will spend some time and reeds on the new concept.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I got the mpc..good shape, like new... I tried a bunch of reeds, currently best reed I found is an old softer BARI brand synth..legit full velvety tone, and yeah it's got a nice ring to the sound, I like it better than the Links I tried a couple yrs back.

Boy did I have to reset my chops quick and also take a ton of mpc, I am starting to relax into this experiment. Plays so easy, great for softer shedding at home.
 

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I have a pair of old Brilharts - one Ebolin 3*, one Tonalin 3, both old enough to have serial numbers. I usually play metal stuff in the .108-.110 range; I had both of these refaced to the biggest tip that made sense (around .100) by Brian Powell and they play pretty well. Not enough volume or cut for the rock/funk stuff I find myself doing most of the time but they have a round, warm old-school sound that'd be great for big band or combo work. YMMV.
 

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My $17.00 EBay special is going to be opened to a .100 tip opening and have the thick student mouthpiece rails thinned out. I'll have it back at the end of May.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Will be interesting to hear how it plays, curious who is doing the re-face.I think mine is around .085. Near the Getz range I think. I still need to dial the right reed. I borrowed a reed from Stan one time, was a La Voz Med-Hard. I never asked him about mpcs.
 

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From the journal "Selmer Bandwagon" May 1966, this page from an article by Arnold Brilhart specifies the tip openings and facing lengths for his range of mouthpieces. You will see that a tenor Special was intended to have a tip opening of .076".
View attachment 235324
 

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I sent my Ebolin 3 to Greg Wier, I'll have it tomorrow. He opened it to a .100 opening and thinned the incredibly thick side rails. He was happy with the results, he thought the refaced mouthpiece had the vibe of a good vintage Ebolin. I'll play it when I get it and post photos. Greg Wier's turnaround was less than a week.
 
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