Oooh. Multiquote DOES work here. I must make a note of that. Anyhow, I've never really noticed a difference. I was always under the impression that you used those things if a) you had a specific length you were pulling out and wanted to be consistent or b) you wanted to try to make the mouthpiece/barrel wobble less when you pull out. I also fail to see how a gap between the barrel and the top joint would cause a problem. After all, the barrel seals at the tenon cork. Or am I missing something?