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Choosing a Step Up Bass Clarinet Mouthpiece

Hi there,
I started bass clarinet few months ago. I bought a used Bundy from my repairman. He also gave me a student mouthpiece. Since I've been playing tenor sax for a few years and I use 6 to 7* tip opening on it, that student bass clarinet mouthpiece is too closed tip for me and has lots of resistance. I tried a Vandoren B45 and B46 at the store. They sound free blowing enough for me. I had squeak here and there more than my student mouthpiece but the store agent was saying I just started that mouthpiece so if I buy it and take it home and practice, after a while I will be comfortable without squeaks.
Then I started looking into forums and try to find a good used mouthpiece in the range of 100 to 200 dollars that is free blowing, has a nice sound, and is good enough till I become an intermediate player.
I didn't have much luck. Either they were too closed tip (Fobes Debut) or too expensive (Grabner CX_BB_90). I think I will be fine with a tip opening of 185 to 200. I like to play solo over my own composition I do in computer. I make new age and smooth jazz stuff.
I appreciate your help.
Thanks,
A.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
The Fobes Debut is $45 and the Grabner is $270, so you're not looking at a "$100 to $200" range. What's the price that you're comfortable with?
 
The Fobes Debut is $45 and the Grabner is $270, so you're not looking at a "$100 to $200" range. What's the price that you're comfortable with?
Thanks for helping out.
I thought I mention Grabner was too expensive for me i.e. above my 100 to 200 dollar preferred range. The reason I have a lower price limit of 100 dollars is hoping to stay away from the closed tip student mouthpieces.

The only one that I know in that price range (100 to 200 dollars) and open enough tip is Vandoren B45/46. I tried them and I like the openness more than my current mouthpiece but I don't like the sound a lot.

So these are things that can perhaps clarify my enquiry:

A: I don't know Vandoren B45/46 are the best choice compared to higher model of Fobes or Garret (just heard the name don't know anything about how good they are, student or non, price, etc.), I'm open to suggestion: any thing else non-student, good quality, good sound, but not more than 200 dollars. I'm asking for advice here.

B: I rather buy a used mouthpiece but a better mouthpiece. Is there any place in the web to buy used bass clarinet mouthpieces?

I hope I'm clear. Let me know if I'm not.

Thanks again.
 
For used mouthpieces outside of a network of friends that might own them, you could do worse than checking eBay.
Can you please let me know what is your opinion for comparing Fobes Nova with Garret or any other medium priced intermediate player bass clarinet mouthpieces? A model that has medium open to open tip opening.
Thanks a lot.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
By no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on mouthpieces, having only tried perhaps four different manufacturers' products over the years. (I've found what suits me, although my choices are certainly not "mainstream" by any stretch of that same imagination. Others hereon "have the bug" for searching them out, and I'm sure they will chime in in due course.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
For the bass clarinet, I've played C and C* Selmer mouthpieces for many years, but have recently (last few years) switched over to a G lay, a very open lay, combined with Vandoren 2 1/2 reeds. I have used a Charles Bay custom in the past, but it got gebroken back in the day.

On clarinet, I've used Selmer HS* for many many years, and haven't found anything to match the ancient one of these that I blundered onto in a junk box. I've even had a custom version produced (by Hite, I think) to act as a spare.

Saxes, I used to settle for Selmer pieces, but transitioned to Berg Larsen metal mouthpieces with a very open lay when I started playing "modern" charts.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
Dunno if you want to hear from a hobbyist doubler. But I struggled finding my sound on the bass clarinet, until I purchased a Grabner piece. I went from squeaking in the clarion and up range to being able to make the bass clarinet speak across the range of the instrument. It is pricey, but for me, I just saved up longer to get the piece that I wanted. You can find cheaper piece that will work for you, but you need to be able to try them. I have found the Grabner pieces (I bought them for bass, contra alto, and contrabass clarinets) to be right the first time. (I never had to return a mouthpiece.) YMMV.
 
If you want a more open mouthpiece than pretty much all of the "student" mouthpieces (I use quotes because they can sometimes be as good as any mouthpiece) then another option is a Behn Overture mouthpiece but ask Brad to face it the way you prefer (you can tell him the tip opening you prefer). The total cost is approx $100 (maybe a little more) if I remember. I have one FWIW.
 
I was also touched by this choice because I don’t like that version of the mouthpiece that I have now. I asked friends in a music school, I was advised to choose one of these options. Perhaps they will suit you too, but I have not tried them yet, I choose at the moment.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Given this thread is 7 years old, I don't think the OP is looking anymore. ;)

FWIW, I use a vintage Geo Bundy piece that I found in my tech's shop. For me it is better than the Vandoren that is the go-to piece for many players these days, and the Selmers I tried. I should mention that I play a Richard Keilwerth clarinet circa 1957, so the Bundy piece is closer in age to the horn than the new MPs. That may have something to do with it as well possibly.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
The old hard-rubber Geo. Bundy mouthpieces were extremely decent. The newer plastic ones aren't.

In any event, there's a bunch of problems with article Daniel-J posted. I'm not picking on you, DJ (really!). I just wanted to point out how bad the article is:

* The page title of the article is "4 Best Clarinet Mouthpieces" and the headline in the article is "Top 5 Clarinet Mouthpieces Review."
* One of the "clarinet" mouthpieces reviewed is actually a saxophone mouthpiece (Yamaha YAC CL4CM-II). It's a Yamaha 4CM Custom. Probably an alto 'piece. It makes me doubt that they put in any research time, let alone 59 hours.
* Most of the other mouthpieces are for Bb soprano clarinet (i.e. "regular" clarinet), not bass clarinet.
* FWIW, you can tune to A=441 or A=442 with most woodwinds without an issue, depending on how decent an ear you have. If you're looking at playing in a symphonic orchestra, you'd also have a clarinet that was made in A=442. You'd also probably have a much more expensive mouthpiece.
* I really don't think "durable" is top-of-mind for people buying mouthpieces. If it was a car ...
* So much more.

In any case, my personal experience has been whatever was in the case was OK for me :D. On a Bb soprano, I liked the Selmer C85/120 (there is a BC version) and the Vandoren B40 and B45 (there are also BC versions). Please also note that I used Vandoren 4 reeds. I was definitely not your stereotypical bass (and contrabass) player. I also used a Berg Larsen hard rubber 110/0 mouthpiece on bari sax, which is now extremely odd and costs around $350. Some places have to order them from the factory.

Anyhow, ITT (in this thread), Selmer C and C* were recommended, as well as Grabner (expensive!), Behn Overture, old Geo. Bundy, and modern-ish Vandoren.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
That's an excellent deal, Mojo. If I had a bass clarinet, you'd be seeing a private message in about a minute.
 
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