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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

I was just wondering what does the refacing of a mouthpiece do for the player?

Justin
 

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Hello there,

I was just wondering what does the refacing of a mouthpiece do for the player?

Justin
It depends. If the mouthpiece is made well in the first place, altering it will make it play differently. If the mouthpiece is a sought after vintage piece, altering it will destroy the value. If the mouthpiece is defective, then altering it may make it play better.
 

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That depends on the refacer, whether he is having a good day and the player.
In the best of cases a mpc plays and sounds better for the player after the reface.
But it also could be that it plays and sounds much worse than before.
A refacer can change the tip opening, the facing curve and length, the baffle, the chamber etc. etc.
All of this influences how a mpc plays and sounds. Some corrections on a mpc maybe could not work for you but be perfect for another player.
Also you should never let your beloved main mpc get a reface unless something really is broken, it could happen that after the reface the magic is gone.
On the other hand some refacers are able to let a very dead sounding mpc change into a great playing pice with lots of magic in it.
But you will never have a guarantee that a reface will work for you and the mpc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So if I have two meyer 5's it's not a bad idea for me to get one refaced if i'm looking for a little improvement in how it plays?
 

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So if I have two meyer 5's it's not a bad idea for me to get one refaced if i'm looking for a little improvement in how it plays?
Nope, it's not a bad idea .... it's a great idea!... keep the one you like better and send the other one to one of the many re-facers on this site ..
 

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Whoa, well, wait a minute. I think it's important to understand why you want the piece refaced. It's not a cheap thing to do, and to just blindly send something off to have someone work it over is just asking for dissappointment.

What don't you like about these now? What would you like to see different in how they play?
 

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Well it is obvious you just don't send an mpc out to a re-facer without discussing those questions first ... I wouldn't suggest sending your Meyer out to someone without first discussing if it is even possible to get what you are looking for .. on the other hand, I like to experiment and if I had 2 Meyers (especially if modern day), and I enjoyed playing on Meyers, I would definitly send one out to see what, if any magic could be done with it ... it is all a learning experience ... expensive at times ...
If you don't particularly care for the Meyer sound, you just might want to leave it home ... it's not going to drastically or magically chage into a berg, Dukoff, Jody or other

that is my 2 cents ..here's a nickel....keep the change
 

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I've only gone down the refacing road once to date.
I'm more than happy with the results.
I had a long body STM opened up by Mojo from a 5* to around an 8.
The end result was just what I had in mind.
Keep in mind though that the mouthpiece was a bargain when I first bought it.
 

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So if I have two meyer 5's it's not a bad idea for me to get one refaced if i'm looking for a little improvement in how it plays?
You can do it but don't expect too much. It could happen that you get back a nice new doorstopper instead of a great mpc. But it could also be that you will get the best mpc you ever played. Or something in between.
The question is whether you have the money to risk a failure.
Also keep in mind that when you want the refacer to do something with the facing it would be better to give him a mpc with a tip opening smaller than what you want and play because if you send a mpc in your perfect tip opening it could be more open in the end than you like (did happen to a meyer someone refaced for me). If you want a Meyer 5 it could be better to send him a 4. My Meyer 8 was after the reface too close to a 9.
 

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I've had a few mpcs refaced by very competent refacers and with only one exception they came out playing much better than they did before. But I always had specific things that I wanted changed. In one case the response was slow. In another case there was too much resistance. More recently, I needed a mpc to play brighter. Here in Europe Morgan Fry has worked on some of my pieces and they all came out playing exceptionally well after his work. But you do need to know what you want to be done to them.
 

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I've had a few mpcs refaced by very competent refacers and with only one exception they came out playing much better than they did before. But I always had specific things that I wanted changed. In one case the response was slow. In another case there was too much resistance. More recently, I needed a mpc to play brighter. Here in Europe Morgan Fry has worked on some of my pieces and they all came out playing exceptionally well after his work. But you do need to know what you want to be done to them.
Give Edd Pillinger a try very well respected in the UK. Also produces MPCs in Bronzite. Eddpillengermouthpieces
 

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So if I have two meyer 5's it's not a bad idea for me to get one refaced if i'm looking for a little improvement in how it plays?
Interacting with a refacer does not need to be real involved. Asking for a little improvement is a good starting point. If a refacer measures it up and does not see issues that can be corrected to help response, then more discussion is needed. Like in what areas does it not play well for you.
 

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So if I have two meyer 5's it's not a bad idea for me to get one refaced if i'm looking for a little improvement in how it plays?
If either reads "Meyer Bros" or "New York" and they're not modern limited editions, it's a terrible idea.

IOU an alligator bite.
And I owe you some work. When I get an expected back up to my bari RPC, I'm gonna send you my old WW Co. pickle-barrel for repair.
 

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You can do it but don't expect too much. It could happen that you get back a nice new doorstopper instead of a great mpc. But it could also be that you will get the best mpc you ever played. Or something in between.
The question is whether you have the money to risk a failure.
Also keep in mind that when you want the refacer to do something with the facing it would be better to give him a mpc with a tip opening smaller than what you want and play because if you send a mpc in your perfect tip opening it could be more open in the end than you like (did happen to a meyer someone refaced for me). If you want a Meyer 5 it could be better to send him a 4. My Meyer 8 was after the reface too close to a 9.
I completely disagree with everything you say. A good reface artist will not send you back a door stopper far from it- what would be the point of his job then, like saying don't go to dentist when the teeth hurt he will make it even worse. Where do you guys come with such an ideas. I would go even further that a good reface artist will improve every, EVERY mouthpiece. I have yet to see a perfect one.
A good reface artist can close down or open a mouthpiece it is not a one way up thing.
One experience doesn't give you right to generalize about the whole profession. The problem is that many people try to do it that know partial truths about refacing that can works in some cases and improve some mouthpieces. To be able to do it consistently is a different thing.
 

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I would go even further that a good reface artist will improve every, EVERY mouthpiece. I have yet to see a perfect one.
Improvement is the lips of the beholder. There are mouthpiece makers that will swear that a bit of what you might consider imperfection is what might make a mouthpiece perfect for any given individual. We all blow differently, and by no means are we all made symmetrical given variations of our lips, throat, oral cavity, bite... what have you. That a refacer can make a mouthpiece "perfect" may be true in a pure sense of symmetrical measurement (though still subjective given each individual refacer's ideal facing curve), but it won't necessarily make it "perfect" for any given player.
 

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There is also the question of how much improvement is available in any mouthpiece...how does one know that perfection has been reached.
Indeed, what is the perfect mouthpiece? Perceived perfection for one may not be the case for someone else.
If the perfect mouthpiece exists then why are we not all playing it?
Just so many imponderables...Hey Ho.
 

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Right, If there is a little to be achieved I would tell it is not worth the money. I'm trying to stay away from metaphysical part of the discussion. What I said is how I feel and see working in the field. Maybe politically correct would be to say that a good reface artist can improve every mouthpiece to his liking. Others are welcome to see trough his eyes or not.
 

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In the beginnings, my goal with sending a mpc to a refacer was usually to ask them just to make sure that the mpc is constructed according to all of the original specifications. That is, if I ordered a Meyer 6M, is the one I got exactly what a Meyer 6M is supposed to be. I wanted to do this so I would know how to relate the mpcs to others, in their original specifications.

Then, as I got more comfortable with certain refacers and knowledgeable about mpcs in general, I would send mpcs to a few trusted refacers with the direction to "do your magic" while leaving the mpc's general playing characteristics untouched, e.g. not radicalising the mpc. Just this little tweaking was all I wanted. Leave the mpc's playing characteristics intact but enhance them according to the refacer's experience and philosophy as to how to maximise the mpc. I would rather know the general playing characteristics of brand/model X, which would be easier to replace (even with tweaks) than to give a refacer a laundry list of changes I want made and then, if I lose that mpc, instead of getting another mpcX and having it tweaked, I'd have to go over the entire project again, of having a mpc refaced from scratch. The latter being somewhat more expensive than the former, also (usually).

That's pretty much all I've been doing with two exceptions. Once I had a Berg that was not the size marked on the mpc. and it wasn't playing like I wanted anyway, so I sent it to Ed Zentera who worked magic and also swore off of working on steel mpcs forever after that, LOL. This mpc is a wonderful match-up with my JK and I doubt that I'd ever get rid of it. And the other was a tenor Link Tone Edge HR I sent to MojoBari asking him to darken it up for me to use on a wind ensemble. tour and he also gave me exactly what I wanted and, again, the mpc is staying with me as my go-to mpc for that kind of playing.

So, Justin - different strokes for different folks. If I was going to get a new mpc and wanted to make sure that it was in top playing condition and exhibiting all of the characteristics that make/model should, I would get several from the wwbw.com's special trial program or one mpc and send it to a refacer asking them just to make sure it makes all of the manufacturer's specs. Some brands are reputed to have less quality control than others, which means that if you order just one mpc it may be a crap shoot as to whether or not it's at it's optimal condition.
 

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I completely disagree with everything you say. A good reface artist will not send you back a door stopper far from it- what would be the point of his job then, like saying don't go to dentist when the teeth hurt he will make it even worse. Where do you guys come with such an ideas. I would go even further that a good reface artist will improve every, EVERY mouthpiece. I have yet to see a perfect one.
A good reface artist can close down or open a mouthpiece it is not a one way up thing.
One experience doesn't give you right to generalize about the whole profession. The problem is that many people try to do it that know partial truths about refacing that can works in some cases and improve some mouthpieces. To be able to do it consistently is a different thing.
Nice that you disagree with me that a refacer could also turn a mpc into the best playing piece ever.
It would be so much easier when people read the whole post thouroughly instead of getting simply upset. I have talked about the risks and did not bash refacers.

Like others said not every correction will work for every person (not only because the physiognomy is different but also because the idea of sound and the horn will be different and is having an influence). When it is done in the way that the refacer sounds good on it it doesn't have to work for anybody else.
Besides i have more experience with refacings than one, i only talked about one time where the tip opening went wrong (besides other things).
I have played several pieces of several refacer (some used mpcs in shops others were mpcs on which i ordered a reface). Some were fantastic for me, some not. Some did not work for me but were perfect for others. Some mpcs were not to the liking of several players that tried them.
I also know enough frustrated stories of refacings gone completely wrong that colleagues told me (but i only heard their story not the side of the refacers and there are always two sides to a coin).This could have thousand reasons as for example bad communication about what should be done. But also a refacer can have a bad day like everyone else too. To say that a refacer will improve every mpc is a bit exaggerated in my eyes.

So who defines who is a refacer artist? Is there an official apprenticeship with a certificate that names him a master craftsman in refacing in the end? How shall we know who really is good or not and who will do work that works for us? You only will know if you try, i think (like gary did).
So a refacer who says it is more difficult to close down an mpc than to open it up because it is easier to remove material than adding something is no reface artist? OK, I can't tell because i don't reface mpcs and never will.
As i already said i think there is no guarantee that you will get back something that works for you and this is a risk that someone should consider, especially when he is short on money. And as i already said before (which got completely ignored by someone) it also could happen that you could get back a fantastic mpc that will end all GAS. But there are no guarantees. The good thing is that most refacers i had contact with are nice people who will try to get you satisfied and also work a second time on a mpc to get a happy customer.
 
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