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442 mpc on a 440 horn?

I just bought a really cheap Vandoren 5RV Lyre mouthpiece that I didn't realise until now most likely isn't a 'Series 13' (A=440).

Will using this A=442 5RV Lyre on my Yamaha 34 be a really stupid thing to do? Will I be way too sharp?

I've only been playing clarinet for a few weeks now but I currently play with good tuning throughout the lower and higher registers.

I don't have the mpc yet, it's coming from someone in Germany, but I'd like an idea of what to expect intonation-wise and whether I should just fork out for another Series 13 model.

Thanks! :)
Clarinetists have been playing with non-13 Vandorens at 440 pitch for years with no problems. Some people say the 13 Vandoren are too flat for them at 440. Some people say the non-13 Vandorens are too sharp for them at 440.

In reality, a clarinet and/or a mouthpiece doesn't actually have a pitch until the whole combination is together wit hthe player. It is the player, mouthpiece and clarinet together that decide the pitch.

So re what you ask, for many players it wouldn't be an issue at all. For you, only you can find out after you try it.
Thanks clarnibass, I was thinking along those lines - since the series 13 seem to be relatively new.

As a sax player with tons of different mouthpieces, each with differing shank lengths, I was surprised to hear that there were specific 442 tuned clarinet mouthpieces.

I'll just see how it plays for me. :D


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Saxophone players often enjoy a clarinet mouthpiece that plays a little sharp. It enables them to play clarinet with a modified saxophone embouchure and be more comfortable. Also, in loud bands, a mouthpiece that is a little sharp helps a clarinet player stay in tune when the ensemble really cranks up full volume.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
The 13 series mouthpiece was designed for the R13 in order to bring its pitch a wee bit down from the European A=442 to American A=440.

I would not recommend that this series be used on any other instrument.

Just pull out the barrel a millimeter if you think you're too sharp.
Wow, thanks for that revelation Tictactux! It all makes sense now.

So why do so many people think it's the other way around? :confused:


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Wow, thanks for that revelation Tictactux! It all makes sense now.

So why do so many people think it's the other way around? :confused:
Maybe because they want to believe that with a 13 series mouthpiece you can turn your crappy chinese honker into an R13. :tongue:


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
FWIW -- and as hinted above -- it's a relatively easy feat to play an A=440hz instrument at A=442hz and vice-versa. Considering you don't have an entire horn that was designed at A=442, it should be even easier.

Checking Vandoren's website, I see this. Quote, "Vandoren has developed the '13 Series' mouthpieces specifically for American clarinetists using A440 pitch." Another way of saying that if it's got the "13" stamp, it's definitely A=440hz. If it doesn't have the stamp, it isn't.

I'm seeing prices in the $80ish range for the 5RV mouthpiece and at least one stamped "B40," as well. I thought the B40 was a rather nice mouthpiece when I used it ... on a YCL-34.