The "Profile 88" was introduced (in 1988) to offer an alternative to Vandoren's standard beak angle - the thinner beak means the clarinet can be held at a much higher angle for players (like me) that prefer this higher playing angle (almost like an oboe or soprano sax), and therefore the mouthpiece feels more comfortable at this angle compared to the standard beak.
It's especially good when playing seated with a low (desk) stand that all big bands seem to use for appearance over practicality (and good posture), so the clarinet bell can be held up and placed over the desk while playing (while reading the music through the gap between your arms and the clarinet if the music slides down the desk, or while standing and still trying to read the dots while aiming the clarinet at the microphone!).
Yeah, the 88 is really more of a comfort thing. The difference is not huge, but if you get a chance, try both and go with the one that feels more natural. I actually like the traditional beak (as a sax player) because it reminds me that I'm playing clarinet and helps to get myself into that clarinet state of mind!
Might I suggest the B45(dot) mouthpiece... It has a lot of the same characteristics of the B45, but dials down the bright focused sound a little. It's still free-blowing, but easier to get a full, round, dark sound. It's worth a shot if you like the B45.
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