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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Why do reeds seal worse on my metal Vandoren V16 T8 mouthpiece than on the hard rubber version?

I prefer playing my metal V16 T8, but it seems more finicky with reeds and they don't seal as easily as on the hard rubber V16 T8. Anyone else have this experience or know why it might be the case?
 

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I prefer playing my metal V16 T8, but it seems more finicky with reeds and they don't seal as easily as on the hard rubber V16 T8. Anyone else have this experience or know why it might be the case?

How do you determine whether it seals?

“Finicky” is often due to an imperfect table or facing, but sometimes can be a result of sharing reeds between mouthpieces of differing geometry.
 

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Finicky with reeds - does this mean that some reeds don't work well, or that you have to be careful how you place the reed on the mouthpiece?

Like Pete, I wouldn't be too worried about the sealing part - some facing curves make it harder for a read to seal (I assume you are referring to the "pop test"). It's not really a big deal.

If the mouthpiece is "reed picky", then it may well benefit from a refacer looking at it and checking things like table flatness and facing curve. If it's just that the ligature lets the reed move around and you have to be careful, get a new ligature :)
 

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Yes, I’ve had a similar experience and the metal table is so flat and smooth that any ligature that is not completely following the curve of the reed stock will eventually over saturate the reed at the window and force the reed to flex away from the table and that critical contact point on the rails. It’s been a while since I’ve played one but there are so many good ligatures that can lessen that affect I described.

I prefer playing my metal V16 T8, but it seems more finicky with reeds and they don't seal as easily as on the hard rubber V16 T8. Anyone else have this experience or know why it might be the case?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. Yes, by "seal," I'm referring to the "pop test" - it's a lot easier to get that pop on the hard rubber V16 T8 than the metal V16. It also seems a little harder to find a good reed for the metal V16. Maybe I should have a refacer look at it, but I thought the Vandoren's were supposed to be machined well and pretty consistent.

I'm using the Vandoren Optimum ligature on the metal V16, and it fits well, so it doesn't seem likely to be a problem. And maybe I don't have a problem, but rather, just the normal frustrations trying to find good reeds . . . .
 

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, by "seal," I'm referring to the "pop test" - it's a lot easier to get that pop on the hard rubber V16 T8 than the metal V16. .
OK, this is what I meant. I\'ve read about people doing that test, it is no way to determine how a mouthpiece plays so if you prefer that metal one to play, that's all that really matters.

"Failing" that test could mean there is something different, e.g. maybe some anomaly in the facing, in which case getting refaced may help it pass that test. Where it plays any better cannot be guaranteed. It may well play worse for you, in which case you may never get it back to how it was.

And I agree with lambros, the whole issue regarding reed pickiness could be down to the ligature. I do think it would be unusual for Vandoren to produce a mouthpiece with a dodgy facing.
 

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Am I the only one puzzled by the contradictory statements in the title and in the first post of this thread?
 

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reed seal ( and a pop test) is a very dubious manner to judge a reed ( and a mouthpiece).

It’s a bit like thinking that a perfectly symmetric mouthpiece would be playing better than an asymmetric one or that a reed should have perfect vamp symmetry to be a good one. There is no evidence that any of this really matters to anything other than responding to a “ sense of order of all things”.

https://science.howstuffworks.com/why-do-get-so-much-pleasure-from-symmetry.htm

“ Humans have a tendency to see patterns everywhere. That’s important when making decisions and judgments and acquiring knowledge; we tend to be uneasy with chaos and chance (Gilovich, 1991). Unfortunately, that same tendency to see patterns in everything can lead to seeing things that don’t exist.”


https://psychcentral.com/lib/patterns-the-need-for-order/

Human brains seem to need this “ order of all things” and that is the reason why we tend to attribute value to irrelevant things like these.
https://www.quora.com/Why-does-our-brain-like-order
 

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, by "seal," I'm referring to the "pop test" - it's a lot easier to get that pop on the hard rubber V16 T8 than the metal V16. It also seems a little harder to find a good reed for the metal V16. Maybe I should have a refacer look at it, but I thought the Vandoren's were supposed to be machined well and pretty consistent.

I'm using the Vandoren Optimum ligature on the metal V16, and it fits well, so it doesn't seem likely to be a problem. And maybe I don't have a problem, but rather, just the normal frustrations trying to find good reeds . . . .
If you are using the same reed on both that could be causing issues if the facing curves are different. Are you saying it doesn't seal or pop at all or it is just a shorter seal and pop. Many people say the seal and pop doesn't matter but I disagree, if it doesn't seal or pop it most likely means there is a leak under the reed either between the table and the reed or between the facing curve and reed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry for the contradictory title, which I’ve corrected. To confirm, reeds don’t seal as easily on my metal V16 T8 as they do on my hard rubber V16 T8. And it seems harder to find a decent reed match for the metal mouthpiece, which I like better than the HR one.
 

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Sorry for the contradictory title, which I’ve corrected. To confirm, reeds don’t seal as easily on my metal V16 T8 as they do on my hard rubber V16 T8. And it seems harder to find a decent reed match for the metal mouthpiece, which I like better than the HR one.
So it doesn't seal at all? What does "reeds don't seal as easily" mean? You're implying that they seal but not as easily........
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So it doesn't seal at all? What does "reeds don't seal as easily" mean? You're implying that they seal but not as easily........
Some reeds that seal on the HR mouthpiece don't seal at all on the metal one. Other reeds that seal with a long pop on the HR mouthpiece get only a short pop on the metal one. Seal-test aside, it also seems like the HR mouthpiece accommodates reeds better than the metal one. I might get one good reed per box for the metal mouthpiece and two for the HR one, though I haven't done a scientific test.

My question is whether this is normal for a metal vs HR mouthpiece - in particular, for the Vandoren V16's - or whether it suggests I have a facing problem to address on the metal V16?
 

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Just to reiterate points made by others. don't use the same reeds on two different mouthpieces. You can use the same KIND of reed, but not the same exact ones. Once a reed has been played on a particular mouthpiece, and even more especially if you've adjusted the reed at all, it will likely not play well on a different piece.

Quick and dirty checks to see if there is a problem with the mouthpiece facing or table.

* Lay a straight edge (like a metal ruler) on the table lengthwise, and see if you can see light between the ruler and the table. If yes, you've got table problems. Move the ruler around a little to check different areas.

* Slide a piece of paper under the facing (gently) while the mouthpiece is laying flat on a piece of glass or maybe something like a marble countertop. If it stops on both rails so that it's square to (straight across) the facing, you are probably OK. Try some thicker pieces of paper, like a business card too - or some feeler gauges if you have them. If the facing is not even, then the paper won't be square. Uneven facings are notoriously reed "picky".

Don't worry overmuch about the pop test. Even if it seals for only a split second, you are good to go if it plays OK.
 

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Re: Why do reeds seal worse on my metal Vandoren V16 T8 mouthpiece than on the hard rubber version?

The difference between the two versions of the v16 is more than just the material. They both have a different geometry inside the mouthpiece....not to mention a significant difference in the hight of the beak. Try a lower strength reed on the metal v16.
 

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I tried answering your question directly and and it seems to have eluded your notice. And I spoke from actual experience and not a hypothetical notion. I tried, oh well...

Some reeds that seal on the HR mouthpiece don't seal at all on the metal one. Other reeds that seal with a long pop on the HR mouthpiece get only a short pop on the metal one. Seal-test aside, it also seems like the HR mouthpiece accommodates reeds better than the metal one. I might get one good reed per box for the metal mouthpiece and two for the HR one, though I haven't done a scientific test.

My question is whether this is normal for a metal vs HR mouthpiece - in particular, for the Vandoren V16's - or whether it suggests I have a facing problem to address on the metal V16?
 
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