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Discussion Starter #1
It's pretty well known that vintage Berg Larsen mouthpieces run about .005" smaller than indicated. In other words, a piece stamped .110 will actually measure .105". It seems that they are quite consistently .005" smaller, so it isn't just incidental variation from piece to piece. My question is, why is this? Surely they didn't go decades with mis-calibrated equipment! Also, do new Bergs follow suit, or do their stampings more accurately reflect their tip openings?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did you check Theo Wanne's website (if I remember well he has a webpage about Berg Larsen mouthpieces) ?
His page is where I first learned about this, and I have since confirmed that it is true from having measured a number of vintage Bergs, but he doesn't explain why this is so.
 

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Could it be because the stainless steel was so hard to work with they could only approximate a size? Couple that with Berg's notoriously bad quality control.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Could it be because the stainless steel was so hard to work with they could only approximate a size? Couple that with Berg's notoriously bad quality control.
I don't think so. The thing is they are consistent...they are consistently .005" smaller than indicated. If they were all over the place that would make sense, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

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I don't know, but mouthpiece makers historically have erred to the low side. Not on every piece, mind you, but the majority.
 

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I have an old one, 120/0..offset sms, it plays great! I've played a ton of berg's and this is the only one that plays awesome...it measures exactly right @ .120
 

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I have a couple of very vintage Duckbill Berg Hard Rubber pieces that measure true and a 120/2 denim table Stainless Baritone piece that also measure spot on.
So apparently they’re not all under measurement.
All are original and all play very well.
Perhaps all this quality control stuff relates more to the modern pieces as every older Berg I have had played well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a couple of very vintage Duckbill Berg Hard Rubber pieces that measure true and a 120/2 denim table Stainless Baritone piece that also measure spot on.
So apparently they’re not all under measurement.
All are original and all play very well.
Perhaps all this quality control stuff relates more to the modern pieces as every older Berg I have had played well.
Hmm, interesting. I've measured 4 vintage Berg tenor pieces over the past few months (3 had denim table marks, and the 4th had horizontal marks, but was also old enough to have the 'offset' M). All 4 were exactly .005 smaller than indicated.
 

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I actually just re-measured mine again.
This time the 90 Slant Duckbill Rubber piece measured spot on .90.
The 100/3 Duckbill Rubber also measures pretty close a .99.
The Stainless 120/2 offset sms measured a little below at .117.
Overall pretty good I think.
These measurements were taken right at the tip.
If taken on the inner edge of the tip rail they may measure differently.
I used to have a 110/2 offset SMS stainless berg denim table tenor piece which did infact measure under at .104.
 

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Where on the tip rail are you measuring?
The difference between measuring from the inside of the tip and the outside is about 005
The reed of course hits the outside assuming the rail matches the shape of the reed.
 

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While most of them run 5 under , there was earlier periods where they tending to be exact and also another run when they went 10 under. Later on they went to 5 under and then more recently exact again.
Apparently by design but who knows why?
I did just write to the Berg company about it and will share a reply if received.
 

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.005” under is typical for Bergs. But I have measured them from .025” under to .010” over. Some vintage eras are even on size.

There ar a number of makers who spec their tip openings at the very tip. So measuring inside a tip rail can give you a .003-.004” smaller reading.

Another factor can be from using a wand type tip measurer. These get worn and can not be re-zeroed. They will read higher and higher until replaced. But that does not account for a consistent .005” low reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Where on the tip rail are you measuring?
The difference between measuring from the inside of the tip and the outside is about 005
The reed of course hits the outside assuming the rail matches the shape of the reed.
I measured at the back/inside of tip rail. I see that there is some difference depending on where exactly you measure, but usually not the full .005" since Bergs tend to have rather thin rails anyway.
 
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