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Discussion Starter #1
Why is it that Vandoren is often criticised for the variability of their clarinet mouthpieces, while the hard rubber and metal sax mouthpieces have a reputation of being very consistent?

TBH, I have only tried one Vandoren tenor sax mouthpiece (pretty good, and on my "wish list"), but several clarinet pieces of the same type (e.g. B45 and B40) ... and indeed, if you play three, they all three play slightly different.

For those who have tried more examples of both; is it true that the Vandoren sax mouthpieces are more consistent than the clarinet ones? Or is it just that other manufacturers (e.g. JJ. Babbitt) are even worse?

Thanks for your opinion!
 

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I think they’re the same between clarinet and saxophone, all slightly different.
FWIW, every Ted Klum mouthpiece I’ve played is different too. All great, but all different
 

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Just guessing - I might speculate that the absolute tolerances (in terms of mm) are the same but because clarinet mouthpieces generally have shorter facings and much smaller tip openings than sax pieces the variance in terms of a percentage of the tip opening or facing length on clarinet is larger and correspondingly more noticeable to the player.
 

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Ive also been warned to stay away from the clarinet mpc business...I toyed with the idea a couple of times.

An undisclosed but informed source once told me that, unlike saxophone players, clarinet players are almost impossible to please.

He was not talking about guys who double on clarinet but rather the clarinet being their primary instrument.

Im not say its true...Im just suggesting a possible scenario. Not one I know to be true from experience.
 

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Clarinet players are nuts!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just guessing - I might speculate that the absolute tolerances (in terms of mm) are the same but because clarinet mouthpieces generally have shorter facings and much smaller tip openings than sax pieces the variance in terms of a percentage of the tip opening or facing length on clarinet is larger and correspondingly more noticeable to the player.
If that's true (and it may be) then soprano sax players would have more mouthpiece complaints than bari players.
 

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If that's true (and it may be) then soprano sax players would have more mouthpiece complaints than bari players.
True - I don't know if you could gather a large enough sample of Vandoren playing soprano players to draw a conclusion. I would say from the limited sample of bari guys I know who have tried the bari sax pieces, including myself, the response is generally positive. If you told me I had to play a gig on a mass produced bari piece of my choice that I wouldn't get to test before the gig; right now I'd choose a Vandoren V16 B7 or B9. That's assuming we aren't including Theo's or Jody's pieces which to me are sort of mass produced boutique pieces if you know what I mean.
 

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If that's true (and it may be) then soprano sax players would have more mouthpiece complaints than bari players.
Funny you should say that. I've been trying to get a backup to my S25 for 10 years now. I periodically will order 3 or 4 to try and always send them back. The one I play was the only one they had at the time. Nothing else to compare it to. I guess I got very lucky.
 

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Maybe they farm them out to a different company? I know Lakey farms out their metal mouthpieces to a different company, and they are a completely different product than their old plastic ones designed by Claude. Quality control seems better too.
 

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I have read that Vandoren clarinet mouthpieces are more popular in Europe than in the US. That might be among pro players. They still sell a lot on the US. I do not think they vary as much as some other brands.
 

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