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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey mouthpiece experts, here is another one for you. I've got a Frank Wells alto mouthpiece here, but beyond that I don't know much. I am wondering about:

1. These mouthpieces in general. I know the name, but not much of the history.
2. What model (if any) this mouthpiece is.
3. A fair price for it. I'd prefer to put it up for a fair price on my website vs. letting ebay sort it out.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out!

This mouthpiece measures .093.

Pictures:



 

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Vendor
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Its worth around $250...nice mpc...on the brighter side and good power to these. Gotta love the hourglass table~!
 

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Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
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I don't know a lot about this mouthpiece, but perhaps can give you a little background. Frank Wells was a legendary mouthpiece maker/refacer in Chicago for many years. Don't know exactly when he died, perhaps someone else here knows that better than me. Mike Blanchard at the Saxophone Shop in Skokie, Illinois apprenticed under Wells and could tell you as much as anyone about this mouthpiece and Wells in general. I listed his phone number in an old thread that ought to be easy to find and will probably have a little more info about Wells and these mouthpieces. If I'm not mistaken the mouthpiece has, in addition to the strange hourglass table, an odd angle so that the body slants up a little from the bore - a new take on a "slant" mouthpiece ;-). I think you can see it in your picks a little.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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10mfan said:
Its worth around $250...nice mpc...on the brighter side and good power to these. Gotta love the hourglass table~!
"Hourglass table" is a new term to me, and, looking at this photo, I can't figure out what you mean by it. I can see that there's an unusual taper to the table, but don't understand why that's called "hourglass." Forgive my ignorance! Further info would be appreciated if you have a minute. Thanks!
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #7
10mfan and Chitown, thanks for the info! It was old electrical tape on the beak, and it does have an odd angle from the bore to the beak and table. I cleaned it off and took a few more pictures ($10 off next purchase on my website for first person who can ID the out-of-focus clarinet mouthpiece in the background in the third pic):





 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #9
The window looks a bit like that to me. Lacking any better common terminology for that shape, I think I would refer to the window as hourglass-shaped.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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OK, I can see a slight taper to the window. I was looking at the table itself. I guess I get it, though it still doesn't look exactly hourglass-shaped to me. Thanks!
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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bruce bailey said:
NY is in a different time zone than AZ thus the difference of appearance(?)
That's true! Also, we're on metric time here: 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 hours in the day, 100 days in the year. Works out great, but our hourglasses do look funny.:D
 

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I didnt make up that name. His pieces are known for his "hourglass" shape at the end of the window. People say its an hourglass table...but its really the window that has that look at the end because of the way the rails are shaped. I have owned many of his pieces, and some are very shapely like the end of an hourglass. Pretty cool looking in person, and the shank does go up so the angle of the mpc is more comfy in the mouth.
Did you get this piece from Chris F. by any chance???? If so, it was mine.
Nice player!!!!
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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10mfan said:
I didnt make up that name. His pieces are known for his "hourglass" shape at the end of the window. People say its an hourglass table...but its really the window that has that look at the end because of the way the rails are shaped. I have owned many of his pieces, and some are very shapely like the end of an hourglass. Pretty cool looking in person, and the shank does go up so the angle of the mpc is more comfy in the mouth.
Did you get this piece from Chris F. by any chance???? If so, it was mine.
Nice player!!!!
I was just curious, and then doing schtick. I can see the beginnings of the shape in the window, but when I was looking at the table itself, it didn't make any sense to me. Useful: I learned something.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #17
10mfan,

Yes I did! I traded with him earlier today- he gave me a few pieces including this one and I gave him my very very very vintage Berg HR bari piece that was up on my site (now under "items sold in the past").

The internals are very interesting on this piece. I am wondering if the weird shank angle is not for comfort, but purposely done so that there is no "lip" from the window to the bore. The bore drills down right into the window. I took a picture, hopefully you can see what I am talking about:

 

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Matt,
Thats a cool thought...I dont know for sure why the shank is angled like that. I always thought it was to angle the piece in your mouth at a more comfortable angle to play at...but your thought makes very good sense from an engineering point.

That was a wonfderful piece. Had some brightness and good power with a real nice big tip opening for alto. It was Berg-like for me.
 

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abadcliche said:
($10 off next purchase on my website for first person who can ID the out-of-focus clarinet mouthpiece in the background in the third pic):





DuKoff?
 
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