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Discussion Starter #1
I've been playing a Vandoren v16 A8 hard rubber mouthpiece on alto for about a year and a half, I bought it new.
I play with traditional Vandorens #3 but no matter what reed I use I cannot get a good seal, i suspect that the table is warped but that usualy happens on much older mouthpieces and it appears to be OK visualy.
Has anybody else had this problem ?
The A8 has medium-short table, maybe that's relevent.
 

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Welcome

I think you will find this bit of the forum is for problems with the forum, not with sax related things.:)

I know...its way too confusing with all these sub forums...try the alto mouthpiece one maybe (assuming its an alto piece?)

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/forumdisplay.php?f=84
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank You !
You're right it is confusing.
 

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Are you sure the reed is not just too hard? A Vandoren trad 3 is kinda hard for an A8 unless you have monster chops.
 

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daigle65:
You don't have to be afraid to smooth out the table (but it has to be done with the right equipment).
Get a piece of plate glass - that 1/4-inch thick stuff that's absolutely flat - maybe about 3 or 4 inches wide and +- 10 inches long (local glass store). And buy a sheet of either 600 grit or 800 grit wet or dry abrasive paper (hardware store or auto supply). Holding the paper flat on the glass, very gently pass the MP over the abrasive paper, then look at it. If it's abraded evenly throughout the table it likely isn't warped and you won't have changed anything. If it's not level and you're mechanically inclined, you can flatten it out by the same tactic. Remember that the paper cuts much better wet than dry so if you go that route, don't press hard. I've even tuned up the rails and tip with this set-up.
ATJ
 

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Allthatjazz said:
daigle65:
You don't have to be afraid to smooth out the table (but it has to be done with the right equipment).
Get a piece of plate glass - that 1/4-inch thick stuff that's absolutely flat - maybe about 3 or 4 inches wide and +- 10 inches long (local glass store). And buy a sheet of either 600 grit or 800 grit wet or dry abrasive paper (hardware store or auto supply). Holding the paper flat on the glass, very gently pass the MP over the abrasive paper, then look at it. If it's abraded evenly throughout the table it likely isn't warped and you won't have changed anything. If it's not level and you're mechanically inclined, you can flatten it out by the same tactic. Remember that the paper cuts much better wet than dry so if you go that route, don't press hard. I've even tuned up the rails and tip with this set-up.
ATJ
I remember the late Jon von Wie saying in an interview something to the effect that people always figure "how hard can it be to flatten the table" and wind up wrecking their mouthpieces trying. I say it's a job for a pro, or at least an amateur who knows they are more likely to make matters worse than better.
 

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Your reed is way too hard for the mouthpiece. Don't touch the table, you'll screw the mouthpiece up. Vandoren's usually have pretty good facings. Instead buy some V16 reeds in #2 strength. If still no joy, get a mouthpiece tech to check the table for you.
 

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The challenge is, when you stroke the MP table on the sandpaper, there is a tendency for the leading edge to dig in more. If the table is convex, it can be maddening to fix it. If it is concave, a beginner has a better chance of doing some good to it. However, they will be making the facing curve shorter. Fixing this without proper gages is risky.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Martinman said:
Are you sure the reed is not just too hard? A Vandoren trad 3 is kinda hard for an A8 unless you have monster chops.
I've been playing trad#3 on medium open mpcs for years,the problem isn't the resistance it's the seal.
I just find it suprising that the table would warp on a mpc that's not even 2 years old. I'm very careful with my equipment, it's not like I kept it near a radiator !
A friend has loaned me a Vandoren V5 A35 that I play with the same reeds and it seals perfectly so there's probably something wrong with the A8.
Thanks for the advice Allthatjazz but i'm to afraid to mess it up, i'll bring it to a pro some day.
 

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Hey bonjour!

I replied to your email, but I'll just add here that Ed Zentera seems to have had a fair bit of experience with the V16s, so if you're looking for a mouthpiece guy, he'd be a good choice (just don't tell him you're looking for a tubby buzzy sound :) .

Also--I had a problem something like this once with my Otto Link alto piece and it turned out that I had a bad box of reeds--the whole box was useless:x :x .

Rory
 

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I've had a similar problem with my Vandoren Tenor Blue Java t 75, I believe the table to be very slightly concave, this causes some occasional squeaking. if I make it wet and apply a reed, it ( vacuum) seals fine though. While if I lay a flat opaque surface on the mouthpieces table and hold it against a light source I can see some light shining through the contacts surface between mouthpiece and the flat surface.

Surprisingly , squeaking never happens on a new reed and I keep reeds as flat as possible in a very good thick aluminum key guard. But after a while the reeds start squeaking. It helps If I sand them lightly.

Fibracells do not squeak, but you have to like them.

I am very unsure about doing the sanding of the mouthpiece myself.

I wonder if a convexity of the table isn't a feature of Vandoren mouthpieces.
I've read that for some reasons some mouthpieces have this feature (lamberson too I believe...)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey Rory,
it's probably the mpc because i tried the same reeds with a V5-A35 and the seal is perfect, when i do the suction test it takes like 10 seconds for the reed to "pop" out !!!

milandro maybe you're right about the convexity....altought on soprano i have a V5-S35 and the seal is OK and i've had it for 15 years.
 

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Slight imperfections (perfectly flat tables etc.) probably don't make as much of a difference as some here would lead you to believe, as reeds being a natural material, probably have more imperfections and variance...reeds also swell and warp as they are played...
 

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Vandoren mpc are usually very good quality.
The A8 has a shorter lay than the other sizes, making it a little of a different beast to blow. You will probably need softer reeds on an 8 than on a 9.
 

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Gange said:
Vandoren mpc are usually very good quality.
The A8 has a shorter lay than the other sizes, making it a little of a different beast to blow. You will probably need softer reeds on an 8 than on a 9.

You mean softer reeds on the 9 right? It has the more open tip...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Gange said:
Vandoren mpc are usually very good quality.
The A8 has a shorter lay than the other sizes, making it a little of a different beast to blow.
I wonder if a short facing is less reed friendly.
 

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FWIW, I play an 8S and use 3S JAzz Select. I have to be much more tight with my embouchure to control anything harder than that, to make up the difference I am playing farther up on the beak and I get the best of both worlds--volume and projection and flexibility...I would like to try the 9, though...
 
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