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Hello everyone! I was wondering if anyone has had a S-80 or AL3 refaced, since I'm interested in getting one of those mouthpieces worked on. In college, I played on a mouthpiece that I liked alright (on bari, which I don't normally play), but after my teacher got it refaced for the school I was blown away by how much I liked it. It was a jazz mouthpiece, but I don't see why a classical mouthpiece wouldn't be upgraded by giving it to Brian Powell. I haven't ever heard of a classical saxophone player playing on a refaced mouthpiece, my old sax teacher doesn't, and it's never been mentioned to me and I've never heard of any of my peers do it. I "like" my AL3 and S80 just fine, but the nagging feeling that I could be playing something much better is getting to me. My new jazz teacher plays on refaced mouthpieces, and recommends custom mouthpieces with a high standard of workmanship (like the mouthpiece cafe ones) and other jazz teachers I've had in the past also strongly recommend mouthpiece refacing, so it baffles me how classical saxophone players who worry about the weight of the screws of the neck wouldn't worry about their mouthpiece having an uneven table or tip/side rails.

If I were to get work done on my AL3 or S80, what would I have done? Just have them flatten the table and correct the side and tip rails (and other standard work) and NOT open the tip up or alter the baffle?

Thanks for taking the time to read and for any advice you can give to me.
 

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I have my reservations about refacing in general.

A good piece, well made, shouldn't need anything (unless something is wrong with it), again the fact that so many refaced pieces are then sold on ( and even worse, are then sometimes refaced, again, by some other refacer, which again makes you wonder about how much " perfection" can be achieved by anyone if it can be " perfected" again and again) shows that refacing is not the panacea and , in itself, doesn't solve " problems " that may not be there in the first place.

Having said so, you are not the first to ask such a question

By the way in Naples ( where I was born) there is a proverb which liberally translated sounds : ...Ask the waterman if the water he sells is cold, the guaranteed answer is : " Yes, it is as cold as melted snow!"

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?143466-classical-refacing
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?133631-Anyone-use-a-refaced-classical-mouthpiece
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?85979-Classical-refacers
 

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Yes I think the first things to do are identify what is wrong with it and/or identify what you want from a reface (related things very often)

The next thing is to accept that after paying money for a reface you may end up with something worse, that has decreased in resale value and that can never be restored to what it was.
 

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I think that may people look in the refacing the same kind of 鈥 magic intervention鈥 that many others look for in different types of boxes.

There will be no shortage of 鈥 boxes鈥 providers鈥 in this as in any other matter involving sales, but the matter will always be whether what you are hoping to find fits in a box or not. It may be within yourself or it may be nowhere to be found.
 

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I wouldn't be inclined to reface either one of them as they're coming with perfectly refined tables (perfect oval concavity on the Vandoren and perfectly flat on the Selmer), and the side and tip rails are ideal for the pieces. Refacing for the sake of refacing is waste of time, money, and effort.
 

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Refacing for the sake of refacing is waste of time, money, and effort.
^^ This.

That said, I don't see why one would distinguish between a jazz and classical mouthpiece as refacing candidates. If a mouthpiece has physical flaws, it could potentially be made better by a qualified mouthpiece refacer. Many years ago I had Merlin Williams reface a Selmer LS Soloist tenor mouthpiece that I was using as my classical tenor piece. It had some visible flaws to the rails, a slightly uneven tip, and I think a high spot on the table. Merlin did a fine job correcting those issues and also opened the tip a hair. The mouthpiece was a much better player when I got it back: less stuffy and less picky about reeds. Did it make me sound like Dr. Steven Mauk on tenor? - no, I wish!

There are a lot of cats out there who really buy-in to the mouthpiece refacing voodoo and there are plenty of "refacers" out there who'll happily take advantage. Now, there are many, many excellent refacers out there, too - some on this forum and some in this thread! But it seems where 15 years ago a vintage Slant was "chops in a box," today a refaced or custom piece has become the "chops in a box" alternative. To me, refacing isn't about finding your sound or whatever, it's about making sure your tools are in tip-top shape. YOU are still the sound (jazz or classical).
 

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Actually classical people definitely play on refaced mouthpieces often. I just don鈥檛 think they glorify the practice as much as jazz players do on jazz mouthpiece. I have played on the refacing work of three people and at the moment my favorite is Bradford Behn.
Like others have said though, make sure to have a general idea what you are looking for in a reface.
 

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Serious question. I know of several people who do mouthpiece refacing who have the "jazz chops" to check their work. Does anyone know anyone who does mouthpiece refacing on classical mouthpieces who are also accomplished classical players? I know Lee Livengood in Salt Lake City who plays clarinet professionally in the Utah Symphony does amazing work designing and refacing clarinet mouthpieces. Of course, anyone skilled in refacing can repair pieces that are damaged by making visual corrections. I'm thinking more in terms of more "nuanced" modifications for the needs of classical players.
 

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Serious question. I know of several people who do mouthpiece refacing who have the "jazz chops" to check their work. Does anyone know anyone who does mouthpiece refacing on classical mouthpieces who are also accomplished classical players?

Edward Pillinger (PhD, BSc (hons) LRAM, ARAM) studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He subsequently pursued a distinguished international career as soloist and chamber music player, performing with ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, and making numerous recordings for the B.B.C. He also taught for many years at the Guildhall School of Music.


Having said that, nobody needs to be a great jazz player to reface mouthpieces IMO anyway. Was Freddie Gregory a great player?

One of the very best refacers evar was Bill Wrathall. And honest. I sent him a mouthpiece once and he rang back saying "I'm not going to **** with that it's great as it is."

Bill's other job was as a lens repairer and grinder at the famous Ealing movie Studios, what he didn't know about curves wasn't worth knowing.
 

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In Rascher's tradition, refacing is done sometimes, but almost always by professors who were his students.
 

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I think that refecers base their work of tone and emission. They can relate it to themselves.

If the client asks fro a spreader , warmer, tore or a focusses and brighter one, they relate it to their playing. It doesn鈥檛 matter the style, really.

But in the end it is all an approximation.
 

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Argh . . . this thread reminds me why I stopped refacing for most people. There are mouthpieces that need work, which I don't mind addressing. But there are mouthpieces where the player just wants something different (Pete Thomas stated this is a distinct thread--it's not my quote). Having been extensively classically trained playing wise, I understand what players need, and that's a stock Selmer S80 or S90 or Concept or AL3/4 or whatever is out there now. They neither need it worked on nor truly understand the ramifications of their requests most of the time. Modern Selmers and Vandorens and the like don't need work--they're perfect for what they do.
 

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A good point, Allen. In a classical idiom, you produce the tone, but you do not define it. That is the prerogative of tradition.
 

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If I were to get work done on my AL3 or S80, what would I have done? Just have them flatten the table and correct the side and tip rails (and other standard work) and NOT open the tip up or alter the baffle?
I had some work done on an AL5 by Joe Giardullo. It was not a full refacing -- no changes to the table or tip opening -- but just some "cleanup" adjustments to the interior of the type he specializes in. The objective was to reduce the resistance of the mouthpiece a little without changing the sound. I did notice a slght difference afterward, but nothing dramatic.

There is no point in having any kind of mouthpiece work, let alone a refacing, done just for its own sake. You have to have a specific functional goal in mind.
 

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I just picked up an old Chedeville alto mp with the Steel Ebonite stamp on top. Artistic Facing, 6 tip opening, and interlocking C's on the side. Nice playing piece, but the tip feels small. I'm not sure if it's original or if it has been previously worked on. I would like to send it to have the tip opened up a bit.. I wasn't sure if there was someone who only works on classical mp's.

andre251, does Bradford Behn work on saxophone mp's? I've been on his site and his services are not cheap.. is the finished product worth what he charges?
 

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I just picked up an old Chedeville alto mp with the Steel Ebonite stamp on top. Artistic Facing, 6 tip opening, and interlocking C's on the side. Nice playing piece, but the tip feels small. I'm not sure if it's original or if it has been previously worked on. I would like to send it to have the tip opened up a bit.. I wasn't sure if there was someone who only works on classical mp's.

andre251, does Bradford Behn work on saxophone mp's? I've been on his site and his services are not cheap.. is the finished product worth what he charges?
Bradford Behn is the best option available for classical refacing work. I adore him and his work. His prices are higher, but so is the quality and seriousness of his effort.
 

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Argh . . . this thread reminds me why I stopped refacing for most people. There are mouthpieces that need work, which I don't mind addressing. But there are mouthpieces where the player just wants something different (Pete Thomas stated this is a distinct thread--it's not my quote). Having been extensively classically trained playing wise, I understand what players need, and that's a stock Selmer S80 or S90 or Concept or AL3/4 or whatever is out there now. They neither need it worked on nor truly understand the ramifications of their requests most of the time. Modern Selmers and Vandorens and the like don't need work--they're perfect for what they do.
I don't play them, but I like the idea of the Rascher pieces where IIRC they come in one facing, and you just deal with it. Sort of implies its own pedagogy.
 
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