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What's your ContraBass mouthpiece ?

#1
I've tried a lot that just don't work for me.
The plastic Leblanc that came with the straight plastic horn was awful.
The Selmer C* didn't work either (used off eBay,maybe a bad one)
Two of the worst were the Runyon (supposedly the largest opening available) and the Fobes Debut.

The Grabner has been the best by far with the vintage Leblanc that came with the paperclip a close second.

I see that Clark Fobes has he top of the line San Francisco model at $325 ($40 more then the Grabner) so I guess at least he thinks it's the best one out there.

Any comments on the any of these?
What do you use ?
 
#4
I use a Vito plastic piece on my contra. I did however, open the facing up quite a bit...
Hi Merlin
Did it come with the clarinet? Do you have the resotone plastic contra?
I got that model when they started calling them Leblanc and the mouthpiece was a shiny plastic one with Leblanc written on it.

When I finally got the paperclip it's HR mp was pretty close to the Grabner

I thought I'd want a bigger opening (I use a 5JB on soprano) but the Grabner just played the best and Walter said it was the ideal size.

So can you give a little info on what you did? Just rails and tip? Any inside work? I have a Vito also that I got on eBay that is unplayable. Maybe I could fool around with it.
 

Heckelphone

Double Reed CE
Staff member
CE/Moderator
#5
Depends on the horn

It really depends on just what horn you have. The Selmer and Leblanc contras have completely different bore diameters: the tenons may be interchangeable, but the results are not.

I like the Fobes mpcs: they're made for the Selmer Eb (my Buescher is a Bundy/Selmer stencil) and the Leblanc 340 Bb.

Enjoy!

Grant
 
#6
On my Selmer model 40 rosewood Eb contra: Selmer C*, refaced by Glen Johnston, Vandoren Contra reed #4
On the LeBlanc model 340 Bb contra, LeBlanc stock mouthpiece, refaced by John Reilly, Legere Bb contra reed # 2.5 and 2.75

The LeBlanc mouthpiece did not work AT ALL until I had it refaced. I have two, one is .087 and the other .093 tip opening. I have been using the closer one.

Three things have been helpful in playing these instruments for me:
• having the clarinet put into good adjustment by a repairman who knows contra clarinets.
• having the mouthpieces worked on and the tables being made flat.
• on the Bb contra, using the Legere reed. It is perfectly flat on the bottom and will not warp. It is really an advance in Bb contra reeds, for me.

RDG woodwinds stocks both Legere Eb and Bb contra reeds in many sizes.

My 2 cents-
 
#7
I have a low C Leblanc paperclip. I've used a Grabner and the stock mpc, both with Legere reeds, but neither is fully satisfactory. I like the sound of the Grabner, but it takes so much air I have trouble with long notes. The stock doesn't take nearly asmuch air, but I'm not 100% fond of the sound (kinda thin). So, I go with the Grabner, 'cause overall sound has to take priority. Maybe some deep breathing exercises...
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#8
I have a low C Leblanc paperclip. I've used a Grabner and the stock mpc, both with Legere reeds, but neither is fully satisfactory. I like the sound of the Grabner, but it takes so much air I have trouble with long notes. The stock doesn't take nearly asmuch air, but I'm not 100% fond of the sound (kinda thin). So, I go with the Grabner, 'cause overall sound has to take priority. Maybe some deep breathing exercises...
I have the same problem and know that if I ran more (stopped in my 40s 'cuz of the knees) or did more cardio exercises, I'd do much better.
 
#9
When I'm trying to play acoustic bass transcriptions (which usually have very little space to breath), I find playing softly saves air and takes out the buzz which give it a more acoustic bass like sound.

I think my biggest problem with any mouthpiece on contrabass is articulation.
I can't get a true staccato ,especially on the initial attack. Once I get going and the airstream is flowing I can do a staccato passage but one short note is not easy.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#10
I have a low C Leblanc paperclip. I've used a Grabner and the stock mpc, both with Legere reeds.
I also played a Leblanc contra paperclip w/low C (probably late 1960s/early 1970s vintage). I used the stock mouthpiece, which was a Leblanc hard rubber 'piece, and Vandoren 3.5 reeds.

I didn't have much problem with the mouthpiece. However, you've also gotta know that my main horn was baritone saxophone with a Sigurd Rascher mouthpiece. That's one of the largest mouthpieces out there.
 
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