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· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently started playing bass clarinet. I've only tried a few mouthpieces: the stock Yamaha, the stock Jupiter and a Morgan protone. The morgan is the best by far. However, I'm thinking i should try one of the VanDoren pieces because i like the B45 so much on my regular clarinet. What do you guys think of the B45, B40 or B30 for bass?
 

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I don't know anyone playing a Vandoren on bass. They don't seem as popular as the soprano mouthpieces. How about Selmer C*, Garrett, Fobes, Grabner? If you're on a budget, the Fobes Debut is a dynamite piece for well under $100.
 

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I have both a B40 and a B45. I'm by far no regular bass player, the Vandorens are easy and safe mouthpieces. No squeaks, easy response all over the range, things I appreciate as an occasional doubler. I also tried 2 medium open Selmers. They had more projection, and a richer tone. But they are more challenging in terms of control. I just don't play enough bass for them.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the info. Trice, pm me about the Garrett if you want to sell. I'll look into the Fobes pieces. Do you fellows have any experience with the Morgan? Do you prefer the Fobes? thanks.
 

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I replaced what I think was a Yamaha (any lettering was pretty worn) with a Morgan Vintage in D facing. No experience with any of the other 'name brand' bass clarinet mouthpieces, but I have no need to explore further - the Morgan does everything I need it to.
 

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Fobes and Grabner both make great bass mouthpieces that I would recommend over the Vandoren. I have heard good things about Roger Garrett's pieces.
Roger Garrett makes a really good BC mpc [and all of his other clarinet mpcs are great as well], and it's reasonable.... if you're on a budget, that or the Fobes Debut are great pieces.
 

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All the Vandoren bass clarinet mouthpieces I've tried were not at all to my liking. Disclaimer: I sell my own refaced mouthpieces. Disclaimer aside: In my opinion the Vandoren bass clarinet facing is too short and too highly curved ("humped"), making it resistant and stuffy and giving it a 'hard', brittle sound. In general --- because as with any mouthpiece there is a large amount of sample-to-sample variation and one could certainly find a very good Vandoren by trying out a bunch of them (maybe a WHOLE big bunch of them). It has been pointed out that some very good players use these mouthpieces, but one has to ask how many mouthpieces they had to try to get one they liked? One characteristic of a "good" bass clarinet mouthpiece (in which category I include Fobes, Grabner, Garrett, and the older Bay) is that a player is more likely to find a suitable mouthpiece after trying out just a few of them, rather than dozens or even hundreds.
 

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I get pretty much what I want with a Vandoren B46. It is like all Vandoren, tenor, alto or clarinet. Consistent from one piece to the other. I don't think you have to "try out a bunch" at all. They have the most consistency of any mass mouthpiece manufacturer. I use it exclusively since it is quite open tipped and that is what I like. I have a Fobes Debut but that is a very closed tipped piece that may be good for someone just starting plus they are quite inexpensive.
 

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I would rather use a vintage Bundy bass clarinet mouthpiece than a Vandoren any day.
I've played on a B45, Yamaha, Vito, B45 clone marked Marney, and Bundy.
In order of preferance; Bundy, Yamaha/Vito are tied, B45 in any form.
I would almost hazard a guess that your Morgan is a better playing mouthpiece than most of the Vandoren offerings.
 

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This whole discussion depends very much on the type of playing we do, let's not forget that! I'm speaking as a classical/orchestral bass clarinetist (one of my two main playing focuses for nearly 40 years, the other being jazz/rock tenor and bari saxes), whereas I'd bet that most of the writers on this thread are bass clarinet doublers, and/or playing it in jazz or big band or pit orchestra settings. The type of mouthpiece I like for classical playing is probably very different from what a jazz player might need for soloing in a combo or big band setting, for example. Apples and oranges! All I can say is that for the classical/orchestral type of playing that is mostly what I do on bass clarinet, the Vandoren mouthpieces just don't work for me. Nor do they suit me on Bb/A soprano clarinets, but that's a side issue.
 

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David, FWIW I don't like them on Bb/A clarinets either.
Granted the majority of my bass playing is now done in a pit setting, but I did play for a few years in a 'concert/classical' setting.
I just have a preferance for those old HR Bundy pieces. Some day I may have the means to try something better, but for now... My Bundy suits my purposes. :)
 
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