Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working more on my clarinet lately and unfortunately, my Hite Premiere mouthpiece has a bit of damage to the tip rail. It affects articulation, more so in the upper registers, so it's getting in my way. I know this because I tested it against a friend's stock Leblanc K series HR mouthpiece, and it really freed up the response of the entire instrument.

I am looking for a similar "first upgrade" kind of mouthpiece similar to what a Selmer S80 C* or Vandoren Optimum would be regarded as on saxophone. Something reliable, well sounding, and doesn't break the bank. Any suggestions? I play on Vandoren V12 3.5 reeds on a Selmer USA CL300.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
There are a number of good Vandorens that would work. M13 lyre is a good one. It would not feel to foreign after the Hite. If you want something a bit more open, go for the M30.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are a number of good Vandorens that would work. M13 lyre is a good one. It would not feel to foreign after the Hite. If you want something a bit more open, go for the M30.
I'd like to keep the same reeds, would the M13 Lyre model be more free blowing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
The only way to know for sure is try some and see if they work for you. I think that the Vandoren site lists a slightly harder reed, but I have students who are using the M13lyre with the same reeds you are using. Most have a nice comfortable blow that gets a nice focus and projection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In the end it'll come down to me trying a few and picking the best one, but thank for helping narrow down my choices! Especially for Vandoren, their lineup is rather intimidating to look at on paper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
602 Posts
Take a look at Portnoy or Fobes Nova, both about the same price as Vandoren. I haven't checked the Selmer prices lately, but their mouthpieces have never been great bargains, and quality can be spotty so you need to try many. Fobes Debut would also be worth trying-exceptional mouthpiece at an entry-level price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was afraid that Selmer's mouthpieces would suffer similar issues on clarinet as they do on saxophone. It's a shame. I use Vandoren on sax so I'll likely stick with that on clarinet.

Wouldn't the Fobes be about the same quality of my Hite, though? One thing is for sure, I detest the feel and taste of plastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
602 Posts
I've played Hite Premieres, and the Fobes Debut is in a different league. I use one to back up my way-too-expensive pro mouthpiece. You'd be hard pressed to find another mouthpiece under $100 that's better, or even comparable. It is "plastic" (acrylic?, not rubber in any case). The only time I can taste a mouthpiece is when a rubber mouthpiece starts to de-vulcanize from too much exposure, but that's just me. The Fobes Nova and Portnoy are rubber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll keep the Fobes in higher regard. I'll just try all these pieces and figure out what works best.

Thanks!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
If you're not averse to used, watch Ebay for Charles Bay pieces, which can be a bargain at about the same price you'd pay for those above new. An M M (medium tip, medium facing length) would be what you're looking for. The MO-M, (medium open tip, medium facing length) would require a softer reed, but might work also. These are about as good as it gets, imo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
The Fobes Nova mentioned above is very good and is hard rubber. Clark hand finishes all his pieces, including the inexpensive Debut. He makes great mouthpieces at all levels. You might look on ebay and find some of his pro mouthpieces for about what you would pay for a new Vandoren.

The Selmers recommended can be good, but they are somewhat notoriously inconsistent.

You have to be careful with the Bay pieces. It would depend on which era they are from. I used to like his mouthpiece a lot and played one for years. Somewhere around 25 years ago Bay went from somewhat traditional (and reasonable IMHO) facings where a M or MO would be in the 105-110 tip range to where currently his smallest tip opening is larger than a B45 and his most open is huge.

http://www.charlesbaywoodwinds.com/H1H2Clar.html

http://www.wwbw.com/Includes/WWBW/Static/BuyerGuideCharts/Bb Clarinet Mouthpiece Chart.pdf

They would be hard to control and for many folks would be hard to make sound like a clarinet.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member.
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
You have to be careful with the Bay pieces. It would depend on which era they are from. I used to like his mouthpiece a lot and played one for years. Somewhere around 25 years ago Bay went from somewhat traditional (and reasonable IMHO) facings where a M or MO would be in the 105-110 tip range to where currently his smallest tip opening is larger than a B45 and his most open is huge.[
When did this happen? I have an H-1 from probably the late '70s early '80s and an H-2 from probably the late '90 early '0s and they appear to be pretty much the same.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,586 Posts
I've played a LOT of mouthpieces on a few different clarinets. In my personal opinion Vandoren are low on my list of 'good' mouthpieces.

Portnoy, Larry Combs, Selmer C85, and a Dave Knox prototype have worked the best on my Selmer and Buffet clarinets.
All will be $75 and higher through WWBW, but you may find one on Ebay. Except for the Knox prototype.
To get one similar you would have to get the Jewell DK classical model.

Really, the best thing you can do is have a "Play Date" with a lot of different mouthpieces at your favourite music store.
We can suggest pieces till the cows come home, but in the end YOU are the one that has to play on the thing. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
When did this happen? I have an H-1 from probably the late '70s early '80s and an H-2 from probably the late '90 early '0s and they appear to be pretty much the same.
I recall having a conversation with Bay somewhere in the mid or late 80's where he told me that he was moving to larger tip openings. Since then they seem to have progressively gotten bigger. I am sure that they are still quality mouthpieces and some folks like them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
I've played a LOT of mouthpieces on a few different clarinets. In my personal opinion Vandoren are low on my list of 'good' mouthpieces.
While they may not be to everyone's liking, I know many players, including some top orchestral and freelance players who use Vandoren as their mouthpiece of choice. They make a great variety of pieces and many folks can find something to their liking. Even though I am not using one, I have played some that are excellent.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,586 Posts
Very true clarnut. I just happen to be one of the few who hasn't found one to my liking.
We can't let young clarinetists think that the ONLY mouthpieces to get are produced by Vandoren. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm accompanying my high school band director down to Washington DC Music Center to help her and a student pick out a bari sax, so I'll be sure to trial everything while I'm there.

Thanks all!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top